If ever in the East End of London and want to take in some great atmosphere walking the streets outdoors then I highly recommend a stroll along Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets. A fantastic mix of culture, food, creativity, vibrancy and more. The Brick Lane and Shoreditch areas have fast become my favourite parts of London to explore lately. So many pictures taken, so much seen and learnt already and more visits to come for sure.. Will start with a leisurely walk along Brick Lane..
This part of London has seen so many changes throughout the centuries. It is of course a lane by name and hard to realise that well over 500 years or so ago it was a lane that cut through fields and back then was named Whitechapel Lane. In the 1400s the ground around became favourable for brickearth and so brick and tile manufacturing became the big local business, hence the name change to Brick Lane at some point back then.
Immigration throughout the centuries has added lots of culture and some of the modern traditions into the mix. Starting from the 17th centuries there has been time were whole swathes of immigrants settled around Brick Lane. The French Huguenots came setting up a great weaving industry of its time, this brought many more looking for work. From the 17th century the area was predominantly Jewish. The Sunday market today is famed for the ability to find all kinds of things from old rare vinyl to antique books and plenty of creative and obscure items. Well this market started as far back as the 1600s because of special dispensation given to the Jewish community to sell on the Sabbath! The latest swathe of immigration to the area was in the last Century creating a huge Bangladeshi community. You will see and smell the wonderful array of famed curry houses as you walk along.
Street food is the order of the day. Just has to be done. So much choice. One other tip is to definitely call into Beigel Bake, you will most probably see a queue to get inside, and once you taste the salt-beef and mustard bagels you will know why. Trust me, it is absolutely delicious, you will want another.
The variety of quirky shops and stalls prevails only a couple of doors away with what can only be described as one of the most mouth watering chocolate shops I have seen… mountains of the yummy stuff
Art. All kinds of it. Brick Lane has become a place were street artists show their imagination and skills. Banksy amongst many other big names have added to the scenes you see around as you walk down the lane and off the little side streets.
The Old Truman Brewery building has added to the mix with galleries, independent shops, restaurants and plenty more, situated next to the market you can sense why many people treat this as a one stop destination for a real London East End treat. Brick Lane hosts a lot of art exhibitions within the old warehouses along it. A real cultural creative destination has been built.
It is not just specific things to walk along Brick Lane for really. It is the vibe, the alternative sites and to take in some wonderfully multi cultural tastes. Old London meets new London in a more trendy, non false-touristic way and has so much to offer.
Another tip for here… Coffee stop by Nude Espresso in the Truman Brewery… Marvelous! 😉