Dwarfed by skyscrapers at just about every turn, and surrounded by warehouses that hint at a proud industrial past, East London has undergone something of a renaissance over the past 25 years.
Still incredibly popular with young creatives moving to the big city, despite its steadily increasing property prices, the East has firmly established itself as the cultural hub and one of the trendiest places to live in London.
From its fashionable bars and eateries in Shoreditch, to its pop-up galleries and gigs, this part of the capital is positively bursting with things to see and do each and every single day.
And it won’t be outdone on the shopping front either, with the likes of Spitalfields and Canary Wharf giving West London a run for its money. Spitalfields in particular offers so much in the way of atmosphere and variety, with a number of independent boutiques and shops selling everything from food and fashion to arty interiors and eye-catching paintings.
So with all that in mind, let’s take a quick butcher’s at a couple of our favourite places to live in East London.
Location, Location, Location
East London has transformed itself into one of the fastest growing districts in the city. While it’s fair to say there are areas that are still a little ‘rough around the edges’, there’s a creeping amount of regeneration taking place, without threatening the characteristic arty vibe.
The transport links witnessed major development and refurbishment in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games, and it remains one of the best connected areas in the capital thanks to the Central, Jubilee, DIstrict, and Hammersmith & City Lines, in addition to the Docklands Light Railway.
So whether you’re looking for a trendy neighbourhood to live out your bohemian fantasies, or a quiet family friendly community in which to raise your kids, East London has everything in spades.
Family Friendly and Famous
If it’s a family friendly residential part of East London you’re after, look no further than Forest Gate. This leafy area sits in the borough of Newham, and only around fifteen minutes from Liverpool Street Station overground. With its tree-lined streets and lovely terraced houses, this is a lively and well-connected part of East London, ideally suited for young professionals making their way to and from the city centre.
For those with little ones in the mix, the area proudly boasts high-performing primary and secondary schools; Ofsted has described them as either “good” or “outstanding”, so you can’t go wrong.
The Victorian-era house of Woodrange Estate and the surrounding areas of West Ham Park have proven popular, while the 450 acre Wanstead Flats offer much in the way of recreation and exercise with its well-maintained football pitches and popular park runs.
And if all of that doesn’t sell you, then the sprinkle of stardust might just seal it. British Hollywood heavyweights Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor grew up here, while Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and The Who all played in the famous Upper Cut Club.
Where the Cool Kids Live
The vibrant and very cool Dalston has come a long way from the days of housing a leper hospital in the Middle Ages. Urbanisation and immigration has transformed it into a multicultural East End hotspot, spilling over with quirky cafes and vintage shops.
Although it feels like everyone cycles here, Dalston is very well-connected to the surrounding areas, with busses every 15 minutes to Old Street and Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland overground stations.
Gentrification in the aftermath of the 2012 Olympics meant property prices began to rise, but not at the same rate as other parts of London, and there’s a real nice mix of flats to choose from. And with attractions such as the Rio Cinema, Roof Park, and the London Fields Lido, you’ll never be short of something to do, no matter the weather.
Making the move to East London? Check out the Forest Gate and Dalston.
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