The Top Things To Do In East London
Whether or not you’re a Londoner, it’s pretty agreeable that London is a magical place and is home to many beautiful landmarks and areas. It’s hard to reject the pull of the city and you’ll often find yourself visiting over and over if you don’t already live here. Home of our office, East London, has a multitude of places to visit, and this is your guide to them:
1.East London Markets
Personally, I don’t think you can visit East London without travelling to at least one of its famous markets! There’s so many to choose from and they all offer something different and unique; just to name a few: Roman Road Market (where you can find our office), Old Spitalfields, Brick Lane etc… You can find more info on dates, times and locations here:
Whilst you’re visiting Brick Lane market, you can also take the opportunity to visit the famous Bagel shop “Beigel Bake” which was established in 1974 and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including Christmas!) The bakery is famous for its salt beef bagel but also offers other fillings and baked goods, all at incredibly low prices. You may have to wait in a queue when you visit, but this goes down generally quickly and you can always take the opportunity to get to know your line neighbours!
Genesis is an Arthouse cinema based in E1 showing blockbuster and independent films in a renovated 19th-century building. The venue offers a relaxed vibe with an in-house café and cocktail bar at your fingertips plus the best part: sofas for seats! Studio 4 and Studio 5 in Genesis offer a luxury cinema experience and contain 40 and 42 seats respectively where customers can recline in comfy sofas and armchairs (complete with blankets and Ottoman foot-stalls). The luxurious screens also benefit from the in-screen bar serving a selection of drinks and snacks.
Victoria (or Vicky) Park is one of London’s most important historic parks and its oldest public park, visited by millions of Londoners for nearly 170 years. It’s an absolute east London must and is beautiful to visit all year round. The park is based in Tower Hamlets and spans from Bow to Bethnal Green to Hackney, benefitting from lakes, ponds, cafés and a Chinese Pagoda island. Victoria Park is also host to a weekly produce market which is open every Sunday from 10am-4pm and offers everything from fresh fruit and veg, sweet treats and hot food; the market is accessible from the Bonner Gate entrance.
5.V&A Museum of Childhood
Home to one of the world’s finest collections of children’s toys, doll’s houses, games and costumes, the Museum of Childhood looks better than ever after extensive refurbishment, which has given it a remarkable entrance. Part of the Victoria & Albert Museum (which is the world's leading museum of art and design), the museum of childhood has been collecting childhood-related objects since 1872 and continues to do so. The museum has lots of hand-on stuff for kids dotted about the many cases of historic artefacts. Regular exhibitions are held upstairs, while the café helps to revive flagging grown-ups. The V&A Museum of Childhood is a perfect day out if you’re exploring East London with your children.
6.Westfield Stratford City
Westfield Stratford City is the central hub in London for all your shopping and dining needs; the Centre is the largest shopping mall in Europe and offers over 250 stores to shop plus 70 places for eating and drinking. Westfield also offers world-class leisure facilities which include Vue Cinema, one of the largest, most innovative all-digital cinemas in Europe boasting 17 all digital screens; All Star Lanes, a luxury bowling experience; and finally, the 65,000ft Aspers Casino with its two bars and 80 seat restaurant. The shopping centre opened in September 2011, in preparation for the 2012 Stratford Olympics and has been improving the quality of stores and dining ever since. Westfield is easy to access, being adjacent to both Stratford station and Stratford International DLR whilst also offering 3 separate 4-level car parks.
7.Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is free to visit and is home to the London Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – as well as parklands, waterways, playgrounds and cafes. There’s so much to do in this fantastic park and there are always new events going on, such as the great funfairs often hosted there. Why not also take a ride down the ArcelorMittal Orbit? Take in London’s stunning skyline whilst you’re up there and spot famous landmarks before taking a ride down the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide, measuring 178m! It’s a great activity for adults and kids alike.
Okay so although this isn’t an exact place, the streets of Shoreditch are full with beautiful wall-art which is incredibly photogenic; if you’re an avid instagrammer like me, the area is a gold mine for cute and trendy photos! One place in particular, Great Eastern Street, is home to two graffiti covered tube trains perched on containers on top of a building, captioned: ‘Lets Adore And Endure Each Other.’ Underneath the caption are four panels whose art often changes. The area is a definite if you want to upgrade your Instagram or take in great art!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the Shoreditch streets, you can head to Boxpark for something to eat. Boxpark is a pop-up retail mall which introduces the concept of a modern street market and offers everything from burgers and pizzas to doughnuts and ice-cream; there’s always plenty to choose from whilst accommodating any dietary needs. Once you’ve refilled your energy, you can have a shop around at the stores (both familiar brands and independent ventures) which are all set up in repurposed shipping containers.
10.Gods Own Junkyard
Another one for the Instagram addicts: Gods Own Junkyard is a stunning neon store, featuring colourful neon and lightbulb signs and other eclectic pieces which illuminate the shop, making for striking photos and vibrant viewing experience. The store is also home to the Rolling Stones Café, where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat if the picture taking and modelling gets a bit too much. Speaking from experience, it’s easy to get lost in the illuminous wonderland for a few hours so I would make sure to leave plenty of time for your visit.
11.Emirates Air Line
Glide above the Thames in the Emirates Air Line cable car where you’ll “discover a unique view of London”. The cable cars travel from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula are a great way to get across the river whilst taking in some sights. Each trip takes approximately 10 minutes or 5 minutes during rush hour, and the cars, which accommodate 10 people, arrive every 30 seconds. After 7pm, you can enjoy extended Night Flights (12 to 13 minutes each way) with music and video in cabins to enhance your in-flight experience as you watch the city come alive after dark.
Hopefully this guide is helpful; good luck and happy exploring!