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Tired of (East) London, Tired of Life

For those of you unfamiliar with the geographic location of Queen Mary, its main campus is at Mile End, in vibrant East London, which spans the north eastern part of the city. Whether or not you choose to live in East London while studying, it’s definitely worth exploring. As an East London resident myself, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of the top five things to do in this part of the city, in no particular order. If you have anything to contribute to this list, please comment below!

23 April 2015

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1. Brick Lane
As a hub of London’s Bangladeshi community, Brick Lane offers an array of curry restaurants. This website claims to have tried them all and rates the best ones. Apart from a good curry, Brick Lane is also known for its edgy and artistic community. Street art from the likes of Banksy, Stik and ROA cover many of the old brick buildings and you can book a walking tour to learn more about their history (as pictured). The Old Truman Brewery holds a vibrant market every Sunday, and you can also find plenty of pubs, galleries and independent shops along the street.

2. Old Spitafields Market
This seven-days-a-week market is known as the ‘perfect shopping destination,’ offering a little bit of everything: food, antiques, clothing, art and more! Just around the corner from Brick Lane and a short walk from Liverpool Street Station, it’s definitely worth checking out whether for the food or if you fancy a unique shopping experience from vintage clothing to leather goods and everything in between.

© Carolyn Minaudo

© Carolyn Minaudo
© Carolyn Minaudo

© Carolyn Minaudo

3. Broadway Market
Another great market running from London Fields to the Regents Canal in Haggerston, offering some of the best food and original clothing in London. Popular amongst those who live nearby, the Saturday market is the busiest. You can find a great selection of fresh food, tasty desserts and vintage bargains. If you’re living near Mile End, it’s a short walk northward up Regents Canal, which is worth walking along in any case.

4. Victoria Park
As one of London’s most historic and oldest public parks, it’s a great place to go for a walk, bike ride, play a game of football or take a nice study break with friends on a sunny day. It’s only a 20-minute walk from Queen Mary along Regents Canal, and a nice green escape from the City. Pavilion Café at the southeast side of the park is the perfect brunch spot, with great views of the lake (and ducks)!

© Carolyn Minaudo

© Carolyn Minaudo

5. Shoreditch
Once you’ve visited the markets, parks and shops of East London, and want to finish your day with a night out, Shoreditch is the place to go. Full of trendy bars, pubs and night clubs, it’s the closest entertainment district to Queen Mary and a quick bus ride away. Coined the ‘hipster’ hangout, expect an eclectic crowd of 20- and 30- somethings; but if hipster isn’t your thing, it’s also where people from the City go for a night out after a day at the office. There are piles of places to go, whether you’re in the mood for dancing, a pint at a pub, or even a sit-down meal.

  • Carolyn Minaudo is a final year student at Queen Mary, studying an accelerated two-year Law degree. Originally from Toronto, she also has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Political Science from Queen’s University in Canada. Carolyn came to London for the first time to begin studying at QMUL and hopes through sharing her student experience you’ll be inspired to join her!



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