How London won over this Northerner

[Please note: I wrote this post before the terror attacks on 3rd June. Sending thoughts of peace, love and hope to all those effected by the attacks and those who continue to bustle in our city of London]

I was never particularly taken with our capital. I’d visited London a few times to go to art galleries and I did a work placement on the Lord Mayor’s Parade in my youth, but it simply didn’t interest me; everyone rushing around, general rudeness, the southerners, and the perceived pretension. Then one of my very best friends, Naomi, moved down there for uni, and suddenly London had to be on my staunchly Northern radar. Once it landed on my radar I must say it grew on me, at quite a rate too!

My new found fondness for London took me by surprise, to be honest. I suppose as I’ve gotten older I’ve become less self conscious; I care less about losing my bearings on the tube, or not knowing exactly where I’m going (all part of the adventure), or looking like a tourist – hell I am a tourist!  Where in my younger days I would feel London bearing down on me, these days I find spending time in the capital oddly freeing; I can run around this amazing city and just be myself, lapping it all up.

Despite my younger dubious stance on London, I have come to understand that our capital has a lot to offer a girl. I don’t think I could cope with living there as there’s always so much going on and I know I’d be completely over-stimulated if it was all on my doorstep every day.  But for a long weekend?  I’m down!

London is pretty much just generally photogenic, and I can imagine it providing blog fodder fo-daaayys, but for the sake of this post I’ll focus on one of my favourite recent street art related discoveries. Now I know I bang on about street art, but I truly do see vibrance and beauty in this urban form of expression. I adore the idea of people claiming their surroundings as their very own, and of those people bringing colour and art into other people’s lives. So every time I visit London I unashamedly stop and study (and photograph) the art and the goings-on that catch my eye.

Knowing my passion for this art form, on one of my recent visits Naomi was super keen for me to see Leake Street Tunnel – a tunnel walkway forming a free-for-all brick canvas in the heart of London (I may be late to this party, but I just don’t care!).   Naomi knew she had found a little piece of Anna Heaven, and the tunnel itself didn’t disappoint – the artwork was of a high quality, and spanned the whole length of the tunnel, even the ceiling (impressive).  I also loved to see some of the artists contributing in real time, including the use of some rather large scaffolding; it’s a constantly evolving art piece.  If like me you’re a fan of graffiti and street art – or you’re vaguely interested and are anywhere near Waterloo Station – I’d highly recommend giving it a visit.

With or without the street art (preferably with!), I really have developed a bit of a secret soft spot for London and all it has to offer. Thanks to my new found appreciation I’m heading down to our very own capital this weekend for another fleeting visit, and I will of course keep you updated on mine and my camera’s adventures!

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