Things to do in East London
I have lived in Bow for over 6 years so it is about time I wrote this post. East London is quirky, chilled, fun and can also be rather pretty! Set out below are just some ideas of things to do in East London.
Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane
Spitalfields Market is situated near to Liverpool Street Station and operates 7 days a week. It is one of the oldest markets in East London and offers fashionware (clothes, shoes, accessories etc), handicrafts, artwork and artisan food. Over the years I have bought handbags, t-shirts, dresses and a canvas print.
The Kitchen in Spitafields market offers delicious street food from traders including Yum Bun, Fen Noodles, Montys Deli and Pleasant Lady Trading. Bleecker Burger (one of the best burgers in London) has a space at Spitalfields as well as a number of sit in restaurants including Brother Marcus and The Grocer.
Just minutes from the back of Spitalfields Market is Brick Lane which is renowned for its rows and rows of affordable curry houses and fantastic street art (with tours available) with work from Banksy, D*Face and Ben Eine. The Old Truman Brewery holds a vibrant market every Sunday selling a variety of clothes, handbags and jewellery. There are also vintage clothing stores and chic boutiques in the area.
Colombia Road Flower Market and Broadway Market
Columbia Road flower market and shops are open on Sundays from 8am until 3pm. Located in between Hoxton and Bethnal Green, Columbia Road is a flower and plant haven ranging from bedding plants to 10 foot fruit trees. There are over sixty independent shops including small art galleries, vintage clothes stores and cafes. Oh and two pubs – The Royal Oak and The Birdcage.
Just 10 minutes north of Colombia Road Flower Market and through Haggerston Park is Broadway Street Market. The street is part of the old “Porter’s Path” and has been in use since Roman Times. It features a market every Saturday and over 70 shops, cafés and restaurant open seven days a week. I love We Are The Bach for brunch and the Cat and Mutton for a drink.
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
The Tower of London is one of London’s most iconic historic structures. The White Tower (which gives the entire tower its name) was built by William The Conqueror in the 11th century as a demonstration of Norman power, siting it strategically on the River Thames making it both a fortress and gateway to the capital. Over the years, The Tower of London has been an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, a prison, a public record office and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. Adult tickets are £24.
After the Tower of London, visit Tower Bridge glass walkway for just £10.60. The feature gives visitors an unique birds-eye view of London life, from 42 metres above the River Thames. It’s pretty cool to look down on all of the traffic and pedestrians over the Bridge! The Walkways also offer gorgeous panoramic views of London, including The Shard, St Pauls and London Bridge.
Hackney Wick is a weird and wonderful destination in East London. It is a large industrial area with street art, disused buildings, artist studios and so many great cafes, restaurants and bars many of which are situated on Regent’s Canal.
Some of the best places to visit for bite to eat / drinks are:
From there you can take a scenic walk along the canal through Clapton up to Walthamstow.
Visiting Victoria Park is one of the best things to do in East London. I have always felt so lucky living right next to such a great park. The park is split into two sections by Grove Park and is within a 15 minute walk of Bethnal Green, Bow and Mile End.
The park has two cafes, The Pavilion Cafe in the west and The Park Cafe in the east. There are two playgrounds, one on either side of the park, as well as tennis courts and a sktepark in the east.
The West side is the prettiest side with the beautiful lake by the Pavillion and the Chinese padoga (above) and a small rose garden. It is also where Victoria Park Market is held every Sunday with hot food, artisinal products and fresh food all on offer.
Eating and Drinking in Shoreditch
One of the best things to do in East London is to eat and drink in Shoreditch. It is packed out with some of my favourite restaurants and bars:
- Flat Iron
- Gloria Trattoria
- Tapas Brindisa
- Queen of Hoxton
- Callooh Callay
- Old Street Records
If you are looking for something more casual, Boxpark is a great destination for street food and a relaxed atmosphere.
East London Girl: Things to do in East London
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