The East End

Organise your short stay in London in the trendy East End.  East London is full of interesting contrasts – vibrant and multicultural, trendy and traditional, affluent and gritty. It has a wonderful and diverse range of people from bohemian artists, monied financiers to the original locals, Cockney Londoners, with their famous rhyming slang.

A short stay in this richly historic and ancient part of London will provide you with plenty to keep you entertained, amazed, and educated! For example: The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Monument (built to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666), and London’s Roman Wall.   Or walk across the river Thames, as the South Bank offers fabulous attractions such as HMS Belfast, The Design Museum, Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and of course, Tate Modern.  There are numerous restaurants and traditional London pubs to cater for all tastes and budgets including St Katherine’s Dock which offers a peaceful residential oasis to slow down in and watch the yachts in the marina.

Aldgate was in times past the eastern gateway from the City to Whitechapel and East London via London Wall.  London’s oldest synagogue was founded here in the 1600’s and it was also the original site of a famous bell foundry founded in the 1400, which supplied bells to churches in the City.

Just on the edge of the City is Tower Hill, which is close enough to all of the must-see London landmarks but still far enough away from the hustle and bustle that it allows you to mingle with the locals and feel like a real Londoner. A very convenient location for a short stay. Liverpool Street Station has excellent train and underground connections to the west end and Central London.

Hoxton is close to Shoreditch, not far from the City of London. It is a hip and culturally diverse part of London with plenty of cool. Head for the lively local street markets of Columbia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane, Broadway Market, Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane. Much loved by artists and city financiers alike, this area offers vibrant restaurants, music venues, bars and night life as well as renowned galleries and museums, such as  The Geffrye Museum. The bars and clubs of Old Street and Hoxton Square attract a happy diverse crowd from suited City types to fashionistas and everyone in-between.  Explore and take in the cultural and historical wealth of this interesting and vibrant neighbourhood with it’s galleries, shops and pubs. Olde London is all around you if you look carefully enough – Romeo and Juliet was performed here in the 1500’s and they say that Shakespeare himself was one of the actors.

This is great territory for walking!  Stroll through the City to St Paul’s Cathedral, crossing the Millennium Bridge which will takes you past The Globe and Tate Modern. Or head West and wonder around antique Bloomsbury, explore the wonderful treasures of The British Museum and pop in at one of the four Inns of Court to get a feel for medieval London. If you are feeling energetic there are many cycle paths along the canals which are great for being out and about on a lazy Sunday, with a pit stop at the local pub.

East End neighbourhoods such as Shoreditch and Whitechapel offer up their own selection of culture, eateries, shops and cafe’s. Whitechapel with it’s infamous Jack the Ripper connections still has several pubs open today that were frequented by the locals in those terrible years such as The Ten Bells and The Blind Beggar. The Whitechapel Art Gallery is worth a visit.

Shadwell is a neighbour to Whitechapel, with it’s own rich history. The local St Paul’s is a lovely parish church which was known as The Church of Sea Captain’s, honouring this areas rich maritime history. Captain James Cook himself worshipped here. Shadwell Basin was the last remaining body of water from the old London Docks, which has now been transformed into an activity centre with water sports and outdoor activities. There is quick access to The City and central London from here, and an easy commute to Brick Lane, Hoxton and Spitalfields. Anyone who needs to be close to Canary Wharf for work or leisure will also find this location handy.

Wapping, Stepney and Shadwell are all on or close to the river, which adds greatly to their historic charm. There are plenty of charming riverside pubs and restaurants to enjoy. The Prospect of Whitby is one of the oldest and most famous pubs in London and The George Tavern is a grade 2 listed building, which is now a pub and music venue. Historically known as The Halfway House, it is mentioned by Dickens, Pepys and Chaucer, which gives you an idea of it’s rich past and import.

Music halls and theatre was always well loved in the East End.  Wilton’s Music Hall is a famous and recently restored building which really makes you feel like you are stepping back into the past. Soak up the old world atmosphere as you enjoy concerts, variety acts and theatre such as locals have enjoyed and sung along to throughout history. The Troxy is a popular and award winning art-deco theatre on Commercial Road.

The excellent train and tube connections in the East End, plus 24hr bus links to it’s many neighbourhoods and surroundings.  Get to The City and the West End quickly and easily from this exciting and vibrant part of London.