Urban Architecture, Urban Photography and Urban Tours in East London
The East End of London was devastated by the bombings in WW II. Its redevelopment formed a vibrant, colourful area consisting of diverse cultural backgrounds. Banksy's graffiti art may be found off the tourist trails as visitors walk through the area discovering hidden gems. Hoxton Square's galleries display the works of many young British artists. Local cafes provide traditional pie and mash which can be enjoyed as one browses the stalls at Spitalfields or walks along trendy Brick Lane.
Urban Architecture in East London
The East End has changed greatly over the years. Today the mixed background of Brick Lane provides multi-cultural sounds, sights and smells throughout the area. The mosque found here was once a Synagogue and before that a Huguenot Church. Nearby lays Banglatown with its eastern boutiques and wonderful curry houses. Farther along the walk visitors can tour the Truman Brewery. This historic building provides a wide variety of lunch choices in the food stalls that now inhabit the interior. Their meal can be eaten inside an old London bus that sits in the building's courtyard. If the walking tour is guided, its leader provides a fascinating historical catalogue of all the various areas and sights along the route.
Architecture and Sights of Silicon Roundabout/Tech City
The architecture of Shoreditch, the home of Tech City and the Silicon Roundabout, reflects its industrial past. As service industries including technology firms have moved into the area, former warehouses and factories have been transformed into office spaces, business incubators, galleries, and other modern spaces. At the same time, the character of Shoreditch's industrial heritage has been retained with original facades and internal features.
The Old Street Roundabout itself is a rather unremarkable piece of London's architectural fabric, although there have been moves in recent years to reinvent the space. The roundabout is at the junction of Old Street and City Road. Underneath is St. Agnes Well, a shopping centre named after an ancient well that was once located nearby. The area is likely to be transformed in the near future as brownfield sites are redeveloped with new office and residential towers rising south of the roundabout, including a major development on the former Bishopsgate Goods Yard.
While there is a move to introduce stunning new architectural wonders such as the recently completed Avant Gard residential tower on Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch's architectural past is still present throughout the area. Tech City is renowned for some stunning examples of converted warehouses and repurposed heritage buildings. To the east of the Old Street Roundabout is Shoreditch Town Hall. Once the administrative heart of Shoreditch, the nineteenth-century Town Hall has been reinvented as a stunning venue for live performances, exhibitions, and other events. The Tea Building is a lovely example of a refurbished warehouse that is now home to start-ups Tech City is known for today. Situated to the south-east of the Old Street Roundabout, the former bacon factory and tea storehouse has retained many original interior and exterior features.
Urban Tours in East London
East End walking tours take approximately 4-5 hours and begin daily. Walks begin on the financial City's boundary, considered the creative hub of London. Banksy's art mural on Moorefield's' Eye Hospital is the first stop. The studio where Alfred Hitchcock began his long film career is a short stroll down Regent's Canal. This is also the area where Guy Fawkes' anti-government plot ended, which is still commemorated each Guy Fawkes' Day.
Street art may be found on building walls all along the walk in this section of town and walkers can locate a variety of bargains in East London markets. An actual Circus School is open to visitors throughout the year. Reclamation projects in the area include an old church and Underground carriage houses converted to office complexes. Historic Spitalfields contains Georgian Terraces which have become home to artists of all types. History also tells about many of Jack the Ripper's victims having their last drinks at the local Ten Bells Pub.
A side tour recommended for adults takes visitors on a tour of Jack the Ripper's London and a Thames River Terror Cruise retracing the trail of these notorious murders through London's dark side. A coach carries visitors to the Old Bailey, famous as a site of public hangings. In the evening guides take their charges down East End's cobbled alleyways that were known for vice and crime during the 19th century. This is the area where, in 1888 Jack the Ripper butchered five women. Clients are encouraged to solve the unsolved case if they can decipher any formerly undeciphered clues.
An East End tour of the River Thames by night includes fascinating sights and sounds of the area as well as the guide's stories about KGB murders in the area and other suspicious deaths. The cruise passes by the Tower of London among other historic spots. The tour ends at Embankment Pier where visitors' can continue their entertainment in the local night spots.
Tours are available that will take those interested through East London's fashion, design and art scenes. This area's fashionable enclave is opened to tourists who want to enjoy the life of well-heeled locals, if only for a day. Various tours are hosted by local trend spotters, artists, journalists and designers. Each group remains small and entrance to the various events is private allowing each visitor time to get an individual feel for the fashion scene from the local guide who is "in-the-know."
Getting to and around East London
East London is very well connected to both the rest of London and other parts of the UK. You can choose to travel using the London tube network, by bus or by using the District Light Railway (DLR). The newly extended East London Overground service also provides regular services to and from the area. London Liverpool Street train station offers transportation to a range of UK destinations including an express service to Stansted International Airport. You can also travel via car throughout East London. Not driving yet? Start learning with a local driving school now.