When the sun's out in London, all we want to do is stroll around the capital taking in the historical architecture and beautiful parks in the rose-tinted hue of our sunglasses. And one of the greatest perks of living in or close to a cultural megacity such as London is that you're never too far from thought-provoking street art or a picture-worthy giant sculpture.
From benches that celebrate literature to the heavy metal band that are inside a black box in front of the Gherkin, we round-up the city's coolest street art to find this summer.
Books about Town
A total of 50 benches shaped like open books are popping up all over the capital. The BookBench sculptures are designed by local artists and famous names in homage to London’s literary heritage. The celebrated books include classics such as Pride and Prejudice to children's classics such as We're Going on a Bear Hunt to dystopian dramas such as George Orwell's 1984.
Location: Various, find here
"'Traffic Light Tree" by Pierre Vivant
Situated in the middle of a roundabout, this sculpture confuses unsuspecting motorists every day. Standing over eight meters tall it has 75 fully working traffic signal heads arranged in the shape of two plane trees. The light sequence mainly displays red and amber to mimic the 24 hour nature of the city.
Location: Trafalgar Way roundabout, E14 5TG
Image: Rex Features
'False Ceiling' by Richard Wentworth
It's quite the delightful surprise to see a giant bowler hat in Paternoster Square. The pop-up near St Paul’s Cathedral is over three storey's high, can seat 212 people and will host over 100 events at this year’s City of London Festival.
Location: Paternoster Sq, EC4M 7DX
Box Sized DIE, by João Onofre
This is the strangest music box you'll ever see. Set right outside the Gherkin, the little black, airtight and soundproofed box contains death metal band Unfathomable Ruination, who are performing inside it. Outside of the cube, viewers can only see the box vibrating and, at certain times, the band entering and exiting the performance space. Visit from 3 July to 1 August, Wednesday to Friday at 6pm.
Location: 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP
'Out of Order' by David Mach
Visit Old London Road, the site of Kingston’s famous falling over phone boxes, which is one of Royal Academician David Mach's earliest works.
Location: Old London Road, Kingston upon Thames
Image: Rex Features
Unfortunately many are now gone (like the girl and balloon mural pictured above) and some are barely visible, but The Banksy London Tour iPhone App for £1.99, helps you find the locations of Banksy's surviving street masterpieces, from 'Clown House' on Stoke Newington Church Street to 'Illegal Rat' on Clipstone Street in Fitzrovia.
Locations: various, download The Banksy London Tour iPhone app
Images: Rex Features