Top 10 things to do in East London

East London

East London has been my stomping ground for the past many years and here are my favourite ways to spend time in this fascinating, multi-cultural, artistic and increasingly trendy part of town. East is the new West didn’t you know.

Old Spitalfields Market

Antiques, clothing, handicrafts, food and more – Spitalfields market is one of London’s most popular and although it has been tarted up in recent years due to its proximity to the spreading City of London, it doesn’t disappoint. Despite the adjoining office buildings and chain eateries it manages to retain a lot of charm. Sunday is the biggest day of course but don’t forget it’s also open on Fridays and my particular favourite day to go to Spitalfields is Thursday, vintage day. I’ve picked up some brilliant antique jewellery there over the years. Take a look at the Christopher Wren gem Christchurch Spitalfields at the end of Brushfield Street.

Spitalfields Market, east London

Brick Lane

Following on from Spitalfields, the Brick Lane area is also seeing encroachment from the City but will also be one of the best places in London to go for a curry at the end of a big night. The vibrant multi-culturalism of this corner of London is unquestionable. From Huguenot refugees in the 17th century to Jews and Bangladeshis, the East End of London has been the first port of call for many immigrants over the centuries. Brick Lane now also attracts the young and fashionable to clubs and pubs. The Sunday market around Cheshire Street and Sclater Street is a  wonderful experience and there’s now also a Farmers Market on Sundays in Bacon Street.

Brick Lane Market, east London

Colombia Road Flower Market

Similarly to the Brick Lane Market, the Colombia Road Market originated with  a dispensation given to the Jewish community a few hundred years ago that arose out of the Jewish Sabbath being observed on Saturday. Now its a bustling flower market with wall-to-wall flower and plant stalls on a street lined with independent shops,  galleries and cafes. Pop upstairs in the vintage bookshop for the best photo opportunity out over the market. If you want a bargain, go towards the end of the morning when the stallholders start selling off produce very cheaply.

Colombia Road Flower Market, east London

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