A comprehensive list of places to busk in the United Kingdom

By lmt-editorMarch 27, 2024
Est. Reading: 17 minutes

Performing music, dancing, or entertaining in public places, known as "busking," has been a staple in the United Kingdom and London. (London is definitely the city for busking if you are wondering!)

Of course, London attracts a large number of buskers, so doing your homework is essential before embarking upon a busking project!

You'll find buskers in various locations, from lively city streets to charming village squares. 

This guide provides a comprehensive list of places to busk throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for both seasoned and aspiring artists.

A busking tour of the UK would be a particularly good idea for IG, Tiki-Tok, or YouTube, and you can use this guide to plan part of your busking travel plans!

Busking in England

Man walking on the Millenium Bridge carrying cello overlooking St. Paul Cathedral

Busking in London

Busking in Covent Garden:

Covent Garden is one of the most iconic hubs for street performers, renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse range of acts. However, navigating the licensing rules for busking in this area can be somewhat perplexing, as regulations vary from pitch to pitch.

The borough of Westminster oversees licensing, adding additional complexity to the process. Despite these challenges, Covent Garden remains a highly sought-after destination for buskers, offering a dynamic stage to captivate audiences worldwide.

Whether you're a musician, magician, or dancer, the opportunity to perform in Covent Garden is coveted, adding to the area's rich tapestry of culture and entertainment.

Do you want to start busking at Covent Garden?

To get your busing licence in Covent Garden, look at Covent Garden Street Performers.

Covent Garden is arguably the best busking spot London offers as travellers and locals come to Covent Garden for music, street performances and great food at the Piazza! (Please note: there is NO Garden here... it is just the name!)

Busking at the Southbank Centre:

Located on the scenic South Bank of the River Thames, the Southbank Centre is central London's culture and entertainment hub. It hosts world-class artists and performers and provides a platform for them to showcase their talents alongside the iconic London Eye and historic Parliament buildings.

The area is also known for its talented buskers, who add to the vibrant atmosphere with their saxophone melodies and drum rhythms. The Southbank Centre serves as a stage for artistic expression and a showcase for aspiring musicians.

Do you want to start busking at Southbank Centre?

Get licensed now and become a busker at Southbank.

For more info, look at Southbank Busking and Street Performance.

Make your busking dreams come true!

Busking at Camden Market: 

Amidst the lively hubbub of Camden Town, Camden Market is a thriving hub of creativity and cultural diversity. Its winding streets and lively stalls attract visitors from all walks of life. This unique atmosphere offers street performers a stage to showcase their talents to an audience eager for entertainment.

The market's eclectic mix of shops and eateries provides a backdrop for performances that range from soulful guitar melodies to energetic drum beats. Each performance contributes to the vibrant tapestry of Camden Market, making it a haven for street performers who seek to leave their mark on London's vibrant cultural scene.

Do you want to start busking at Camden Market?

Get started now with a guitar and amp, and go for it.

Find out more from Camden on their Busking Licence page.

Busking in Leicester Square:

In the bustling heart of London's West End, Leicester Square was a lively stage for street performers to showcase their talents. From melodies to illusions, artists from all walks of life entertain locals and visitors alike, creating unforgettable moments and sparking cultural connections.

The appreciative audience interacted with these performances, fostering a supportive bond between the performers and their fans. Despite rules like permits and noise limits, busking in Leicester Square adds vibrant colours to London's cultural landscape, enriching its lively atmosphere and showcasing the city's artistic spirit.

As far as we know, busking in Leicester Square is not licenced, but some buskers try it. Before the ban, it was one of the best places to busk in the world.

The decision to ban busking was made in response to a surge in criminal activity, particularly incidents of pickpocketing in crowded areas. Also, complaints regarding excessive noise levels from specific musicians prompted authorities to take action to ensure the well-being and security of residents and visitors alike.

Busking in Piccadilly Circus:

Piccadilly Circus, located in London's bustling West End, provides excellent opportunities for street performers.  Again, it does not seem licenced like Covent Garden, but musicians often perform at the Eros statue, where lovers often meet!

Piccadilly Circus has crowds of people passing through it. It is considered one of the best busking places in the world and certainly in London. It is a popular busking spot that provides good money to those who can hold their own!

Busking in Trafalgar Square:

In London's Trafalgar Square, busking spots are cleverly placed close to the National Gallery but offset from the square's hub. These spots are designed for various artists, including musicians, dancers, and magicians, allowing them to perform and share their talents.

Though the spots can get crowded at times, especially with the presence of "floating Yodas," a popular but amusing sight, they remain accessible and suitable for buskers.

Despite these unusual distractions, artists continue to use these spots to entertain and connect with audiences, enhancing the lively atmosphere of Trafalgar Square and adding to the enjoyable experience of visitors to the area.

Busking in Oxford Circus:

Along the bustling thoroughfare of Oxford Street, you'll discover various busking pitches catering to all types of performers. As the vibrant shopping district of London, Oxford Circus is perpetually bustling with activity, ensuring a steady flow of passersby to entertain.

Despite the constant hustle and bustle, there are typically a fair number of pitches available for buskers to utilise.

Whether you're a musician, dancer, or magician, Oxford Circus provides an ideal setting to captivate audiences with your talents amidst the lively atmosphere of one of London's busiest areas.

Busking in the London Underground:

The London Underground, managed by Transport for London (TFL), provides a unique platform exclusively for musicians to showcase their talents. Unlike traditional busking spots, access to perform in the Underground is not publicly advertised. Instead, musicians interested in auditioning must inquire directly to be considered for this coveted opportunity.

Once selected, performers have the chance to entertain commuters and visitors alike in the bustling atmosphere of the Underground, adding a touch of melody to Londoners' daily journeys.

This hidden gem of the city's cultural landscape offers a unique and intimate experience for musicians and listeners, enriching the underground transit experience in London.

For comprehensive information regarding busking regulations in the London Underground, it is best to refer to TFL's website regarding busking in the Underground.

Manchester street

Busking in Manchester

Busking in Market Street: 

Amidst the crowds of shoppers and commuters on Manchester's vibrant Market Street, a captivating spectacle unfolds.

Market Street's energetic ambience and steady foot traffic create the ideal setting for aspiring performers to showcase their talents.

From melodious music to mesmerising dance routines, these performers create an enchanting atmosphere, transforming the bustling thoroughfare into a stage for artistic expression.

Their performances draw crowds of onlookers eager to witness the raw talent that fills the city's iconic shopping district.

Busking in Piccadilly Gardens: 

Piccadilly Gardens, located in the lively centre of Manchester, is a popular gathering spot with a vibrant vibe. Amidst the city's bustling atmosphere, the square transforms into a stage for talented street performers.

With Manchester's skyline and busy streets as a backdrop, these artists showcase their skills, entertaining and connecting with the diverse crowd that swarms the area.

From soulful melodies to mesmerising dance moves, each performance adds to the energetic and lively atmosphere of Piccadilly Gardens.

The official website of Manchester City Council provides comprehensive information regarding the regulations surrounding busking in Manchester

Bristol Cathedral and Central Library buildings

Busking in Bristol

Busking in Harbourside: 

Within Bristol's delightful Harbourside district, buskers find an ideal setting for their performances. Historic ships line the quays, providing a captivating backdrop.

The calming waters create a rhythmic atmosphere, while the lively cafes, stores, and street art add to the energy.

From violinists to lively bands, each musician contributes their unique flavour to the vibrant atmosphere.

The Harbourside's blend of historic charm and modern vitality offers a stage for talented performers to showcase their skills with grace and style.

Busking in St Nicholas Market:

St Nicholas Market proves to be an excellent spot for buskers due to its central location in Bristol's Old City, ensuring a steady flow of foot traffic and providing performers with a diverse audience.

The vibrant atmosphere created by the bustling market stalls and historic architecture sets the stage for captivating performances, enhancing the overall experience for both performers and spectators.

Additionally, the market's rich history and cultural significance add an extra layer of charm, making it an attractive destination for visitors seeking authentic entertainment. In summary, St Nicholas Market offers buskers a prime opportunity to showcase their talents and contribute to the lively atmosphere of this historic locale.

Busking in Clifton Triangle:

Busking in Clifton Triangle offers a unique platform for performers in Bristol. Located near the University of Bristol and vibrant student areas, Clifton Triangle attracts a diverse audience.

While regulations may apply, such as obtaining permits, the area provides opportunities for musicians, artists, and entertainers to showcase their talents amidst the lively atmosphere.

With its bustling streets and cultural significance, Clifton Triangle serves as a dynamic stage for performers to engage with passersby and contribute to the vibrant spirit of Bristol's arts scene.

Busking in Broadmead:

Broadmead, particularly around Tesco, The Podium, and the Cabot Circus end, offers excellent opportunities for busking in Bristol.

Generally, anywhere in the Broadmead area is suitable as long as you're not obstructing emergency exits and there's a flow of people passing by.

However, due to the popularity of busking in the area, finding a quiet spot might be challenging, and occasionally, nearby buskers could be quite loud. In such cases, a bit of exploration might be necessary to find a more suitable location.

Overall, Broadmead provides a bustling and diverse environment for performers to engage with audiences and contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of Bristol's city centre.

Do you want to start busking at Broadmead?

Read these essential resources:

Busking in the Bear Pit:

The Bear Pit offers a distinct busking experience in Bristol, with its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Amplified performances may not be suitable here due to the loud traffic, but it presents an opportunity for more intimate acts.

While there might be occasional requests for change, the short window of engagement with passersby encourages quick connections and lively interactions.

Negotiating the challenging environment prompts performers to leave a lasting impression in a brief moment, adding an exciting element to the experience.

Despite its challenges, The Bear Pit provides a unique and dynamic atmosphere for buskers willing to embrace its characteristics.

For details on busking regulations in Bristol, visit Bristol City Council's website, you can also view their excellent PDF on Busking in Bristol!

It will direct you to the code of conduct for busking in the city, outlining guidelines for performers and the community.

Busking in Brighton

Busking at the Seafront: 

Busking at Brighton's lively seafront promenade offers an unparalleled opportunity for performers to showcase their talents against the backdrop of crashing waves and stunning coastal vistas.

As beachgoers bask in the sun and visitors explore the city's famous seaside attractions, buskers add a touch of magic to the atmosphere, creating memorable moments for all to enjoy.

With the sea breeze in their hair and the sound of seagulls echoing in the air, performers contribute to the vibrant energy of this iconic destination, leaving a lasting impression on locals and tourists alike.

Busking in Churchill Square

Churchill Square, located in Brighton, is not only a popular shopping destination but also a great place for busking.

With lots of people visiting regularly, it's an ideal spot for performers to entertain and showcase their talents. The lively atmosphere and diverse crowds create an engaging environment for buskers.

Plus, the management is open to having buskers in certain areas, which helps keep things organised. Overall, Churchill Square's vibrant energy and welcoming vibe make it a standout location for buskers to connect with audiences and add to Brighton's culture.

Busking in Pavilion Gardens

Busking in Pavilion Garden comes with its own set of pros and cons. On the positive side, people are generally open and welcoming to buskers, creating a chilled and relaxed atmosphere.

However, vocal amplification is not permitted, which can limit some performances.

Additionally, the enforcement of busking rules by security guards may pose a challenge for performers.

Despite these drawbacks, Pavilion Garden remains a pleasant and inviting space for buskers to share their talents and engage with audiences.

Busking on New Road

Busking on New Road is attractive due to its variety of spots and the vibrant atmosphere suitable for year-round performances, including evenings.

However, buskers face challenges such as specific restrictions in the street's middle sections and competition for prime locations.

Success here requires early arrival, flexibility, and positive engagement with the public and fellow performers. By respecting local regulations and pedestrian flow, buskers can thrive in this lively setting.

For more information on busking regulations in Brighton, you can visit the official website of Brighton & Hove City Council.

Albert Dock in Liverpool

Busking in Liverpool

Busking at Albert Dock: 

Albert Dock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a vibrant mix of museums, galleries, and eateries, drawing diverse crowds.

Its historic warehouses and grand ships provide a unique stage for street artists, creating a lively atmosphere for busking.

With the iconic Liver Building and stunning waterfront as a backdrop, performances here become memorable parts of the visitor experience, appealing to a wide audience and making it a perfect spot for buskers to showcase their talents.

Busking in the City Centre: 

Liverpool's vibrant city centre teems with shoppers, diners, and nightlife aficionados, offering buskers abundant chances to flaunt their skills within its dynamic cultural milieu.

The bustling streets, pulsating with urban energy, beckon street performers to captivate a diverse audience, rendering it an ideal setting for showcasing their talents.

This not only enriches the city's lively ambience but also enables artists to forge connections with individuals from varied backgrounds, thus contributing to the rich tapestry of Liverpool's cultural landscape.

Busking on Wall Street:

Busking along Wall Street in Liverpool, not Manhattan! 😊 offers performers a dynamic platform to showcase their talents amidst the bustling urban atmosphere.

With its lively ambience and diverse pedestrian traffic, Wall Street provides an exciting opportunity for musicians, street artists, and entertainers to captivate audiences.

Buskers can engage with passersby through music, dance, or other forms of expression and contribute to Liverpool's vibrant cultural landscape.

From impromptu performances to planned showcases, busking on Wall Street allows artists to share their creativity and connect with the community memorably.

You can find detailed guidance on the official website of Liverpool City Council for comprehensive information regarding busking regulations in Liverpool.

If you want to perform in the Liverpool ONE Shopping area, you can find out more details on their dedicated busking page.

Busking in Scotland

St. Giles Cathedral in Royal Mile in Edinburgh


Busking in Royal Mile: 

Edinburgh's Royal Mile, a historic street brimming with shops, cafes, and landmarks, offers buskers a stage to entertain tourists and festivalgoers.

Set against the backdrop of iconic sites like Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament, performers can captivate audiences amidst the city's heritage.

This bustling avenue provides a unique opportunity for street artists to showcase their talents, enriching the cultural experience of visitors and locals alike in the heart of Scotland's capital.

Busking in Princes Street Gardens: 

At the foot of historic Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens blooms with colourful flowers and offers breathtaking city views.

It's a picturesque haven for street performers, who transform this stunning setting into a stage. Their music and talents enhance the atmosphere, mingling with the beauty of nature and architecture.

This unique fusion of art, history, and natural charm creates a captivating experience for performers and visitors alike, in the vibrant heart of Edinburgh.

For detailed guidance on busking regulations in Edinburgh, you can access comprehensive information on the official website of the City of Edinburgh Council.

City Council Building in George Glasgow

Busking in Glasgow

Busking in Buchanan Street: 

Glasgow's bustling Buchanan Street is the city's premier shopping thoroughfare, pulsating with energy and life.

This vibrant hub of activity is a haven for buskers, who weave their melodies amidst the lively atmosphere of street performers, quaint cafes, and bustling shops.

As shoppers browse the latest trends and commuters hurry to their destinations, the sounds of music and performances fill the air, adding an extra layer of charm to this iconic street.

With its captivating blend of culture, commerce, and creativity, Buchanan Street offers buskers a dynamic stage to showcase their talents and engage with the diverse array of people drawn to its bustling sidewalks.

Busking in Ashton Lane: 

Hidden in Glasgow's West End, Ashton Lane is a quaint, cobbled street adorned with pubs, eateries, and boutique stores.

Buskers find a cosy spot here to entertain diners and those frequenting pubs in a laid-back, atmospheric environment.

This charming lane offers a unique ambience for street performers to share their melodies, contributing to the vibrant cultural scene. It's an idyllic setting for both artists and visitors, adding a musical layer to the relaxed and picturesque backdrop of one of Glasgow's most beloved spots.

For thorough information regarding busking regulations in Glasgow, you can find detailed guidance on the official website of Glasgow City Council.

City of Aberdeen

Busking in Aberdeen

Busking in the City Centre: 

Aberdeen's bustling city centre, alive with its vibrant streets, presents countless opportunities for buskers to entertain shoppers, diners, and sightseers exploring the city's cultural attractions and historical landmarks.

This lively urban environment serves as an ideal platform for street performers to display their skills, contributing to the dynamic ambience of Scotland's granite city.

It's a fusion of art and history, offering entertainers a diverse backdrop to connect with audiences, enriching the cultural tapestry of Aberdeen.

Busking at Aberdeen's Beachfront: 

Aberdeen's charming beachfront promenade provides an idyllic stage for buskers to showcase their talents amidst the backdrop of sandy shores, bustling cafes, and breathtaking coastal vistas.

As visitors stroll along the promenade, taking in the sights and sounds of the seaside, buskers add to the vibrant atmosphere with their music and performances, creating memorable experiences for all who wander along the picturesque coastline.

To learn more about the regulations governing busking in Aberdeen, you can find comprehensive information by visiting the official website of Aberdeen City Council.

View over city of Dundee

Busking in Dundee

Busking in Dundee's High Street: 

Dundee's celebrated High Street is a bustling hub of activity, where the air is filled with the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee from cosy cafes, and the sound of laughter echoes off the historic edifices that line the thoroughfare.

This charming street, adorned with its quaint shops and storied buildings, offers a sensory feast for all who wander its cobbled paths.

Amidst this lively atmosphere, buskers take centre stage, their soulful tunes and captivating performances drawing in passersby, adding depth and character to the already rich tapestry of one of Scotland's oldest and most cherished streets.

Busking at Dundee's Waterfront: 

In Dundee's rejuvenated waterfront precinct, buskers find a contemporary and lively platform to display their skills, set against the canvas of impressive architectural wonders, waterfront cafés, and cultural landmarks such as the prestigious V&A Dundee Museum.

As visitors explore this modern urban environment, enchanted by the allure of the waterfront, they are treated to the harmonious melodies of buskers, enriching the atmosphere and contributing to the vibrant character of this emerging cultural hub nestled in the heart of Scotland.

To gain in-depth insight into the rules and regulations concerning busking in Dundee, you can access comprehensive guidance on the official website of Dundee City Council.

You can also read the excellent PDF that the council has put together entitled: Responsible Busking Code of Conduct.

Busking in Wales

Port in the city of  Cardiff Wales

Busking in Cardiff

Busking in Queen Street: 

At the hub of Cardiff, Queen Street is a vibrant hub where shopping and social life intersect.

Buskers perform, blending their music with the lively street atmosphere. Amidst the hustle and bustle of shoppers and commuters, the melodies of these musicians enhance the charm and energy of the street.

Each note contributes to the unique atmosphere of Queen Street, leaving lasting impressions on those who experience its dynamic ambience.

Busking in Cardiff Bay: 

Set against the stunning waterfront, Cardiff Bay provides a captivating platform for talented buskers.

Encircled by iconic landmarks, quaint waterfront cafes, and renowned cultural gems like the Wales Millennium Centre, buskers display their skills against this picturesque setting.

As visitors wander through this tranquil haven, captivated by the bay's beauty, they are serenaded by enchanting melodies from buskers, adding to the charm and vibrancy of this beloved Welsh destination.

View of Swansea city

Busking in Swansea

Busking in Swansea's City Centre: 

In Swansea's bustling city centre, buskers entertain the many pedestrians, including shoppers, diners, and tourists visiting historical landmarks and attractions.

Despite the urban hustle and bustle, these skilled performers contribute a lively atmosphere to the city's streets with their music, which fills the spaces between historic buildings and alfresco dining areas.

Their presence enhances the overall experience of exploring Swansea's vibrant city centre.

Busking at Swansea's Waterfront: 

Along Swansea's waterfront, the charming promenade offers a platform for talented buskers.

As people stroll along the scenic walkway, enjoying the tranquil seaside views, they are serenaded by enchanting tunes.

The buskers' melodies blend with the coastal panoramas, creating a captivating ambience.

They perform against a backdrop of golden sands, lively cafes, and breathtaking coastal views, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of Swansea's beautiful waterfront.

Busking in Lower Oxford Street:

Busking on Lower Oxford Street offers the advantage of high foot traffic and a diverse audience, thanks to its mix of retail and dining establishments.

However, performers should be mindful of potential challenges such as limited space, ambient noise, and the need to adhere to local regulations or permits.

Scouting the location in advance, establishing good relationships with local businesses and other buskers, and staying informed about Swansea City Council's guidelines can help navigate these issues and contribute to a successful busking experience.

For a deeper understanding of the regulations surrounding busking in Swansea, detailed guidance is available on the official website of Swansea City Council.

Aberystwyth Promenade

Busking in Aberystwyth

Busking at Aberystwyth's Promenade: 

Aberystwyth's quaint seaside walkway provides a stunning stage for performers to exhibit their skills amidst the captivating backdrop.

The crash of waves and the salty tang of sea air envelop beachgoers and tourists as buskers delight them with their performances.

While leisurely wandering along the coastal path, mesmerised by the serene coastline, visitors are further enchanted by the melodious tunes filling the air.

The harmonious melodies of the buskers blend seamlessly with the rugged landscape, crafting an unparalleled experience for those indulging in Aberystwyth's natural beauty.

Busking in Aberystwyth's Castle Square: 

Castle Square, located in the centre of Aberystwyth, is a vibrant hub where street performers entertain a mix of locals, tourists, and shoppers.

The performances add to the charm of the square, which is known for its historic buildings and cultural attractions.

The melodies played by the buskers create a lively ambience that complements the square's rich history and vibrant atmosphere, making it a beloved destination in Aberystwyth.

Busking in Northern Ireland

Belfast City Hall

Busking in Belfast

Busking in Belfat's Royal Avenue: 

Royal Avenue in Belfast is a bustling shopping centre buzzing with activity. It's the perfect stage for street performers who entertain shoppers and visitors alike.

The vibrant ambience, filled with the sounds of musicians, the inviting aromas from cafes, and the hustle and bustle of shops, creates an enchanting atmosphere.

The music adds another dimension to the street, making it a captivating and memorable experience for those who explore it. 

Busking in Donegall Place: 

In Belfast's vibrant Donegall Place, street musicians create a lively atmosphere.

While strolling its busy streets, you'll be greeted by skilled buskers who entertain crowds with their music.

Their melodies fill the air with joy, making Donegall Place a destination where the rhythm of the city comes alive and visitors can immerse themselves in Belfast's vibrant spirit.

Derry Northern Ireland

Busking in Derry/Londonderry

Busking in Guildhall Square: 

In Derry/Londonderry, Guildhall Square is a beloved meeting place, drawing residents and tourists alike.

Buskers perform amidst historic landmarks and cultural events, enriching the vibrant atmosphere.

As people gather, the music blends with the city's heritage, fostering community. Guildhall Square embodies Derry/Londonderry's spirit through music, culture, and shared experiences.

Busking at Peace Bridge: 

Stretching gracefully across the River Foyle, the Peace Bridge serves as a vital link between communities and provides an enchanting venue for buskers to showcase their talents.

Set against the backdrop of breathtaking waterfront vistas and the majestic silhouette of the city's iconic skyline, this scenic location offers a captivating setting for musical performances. 

Final wrap-up on busking: our advice:

Starting to busk is really exciting!

You'll share your skills with lots of different people, add your own style to the busy city vibe, and soak up all the sights and sounds around you. 

It feels terrific to find a spot, get your instrument ready, and get ready to make people smile with your music. 

Busking isn't just about showing off what you can do; it's about making connections, spreading happiness with your tunes, and being part of the city's culture. 

As you explore these locations for busking opportunities, it's crucial to adhere to local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or licences. (In a lot of cases, you do not need a licence. Just read up on the council's website for information about the regulations. The councils are very forthcoming!)

It is also essential that you build a good relationship with your fellow street performers. You do not want to take anyone's pitch if it is their livelihood and they regularly busk there. (Although no one can claim a pitch as theirs!)

Just be sensitive. It is best to busk in a side-pitch if it is just for fun.

If you want to make busking part of your livelihood, then take your time to introduce yourself slowly into the circle of your fellow buskers without stepping on too many toes in the beginning! 

You can demand a better busking pitch once you have been there for several months. Make sure you also get licenced with as many places as possible. 

For example, when it rains in London, the Underground is far more fun for busking than playing above the ground! 

So, get ready for a fantastic journey as you start busking!

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