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Premier Inn London Tower Hill in East End

Hotel Information This 3-Star modern hotel is conveniently located for Central London, the City of London and Docklands, via the Docklands Light Railway. Premier Inn London City (Tower Hill) is 0.2 miles from Tower Gateway ... Read More »

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Bevis Marks Synagogue - the oldest synagogue in Great Britain still in use

The true boundaries of the East End of London, differing from East London, which refers to a much wider area, are hotly debated and fluctuate from chronicler to chronicler. However, it is widely accepted that the East End encompasses the areas of Whitechapel, Wapping, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Mile End, Limehouse, Bow, Bromley-by-Bow, Poplar, Shadwell and Stepney. Although today much of the East End is made up of popular areas to live, large swathes of the region were initially known for its poverty, Dickensian living conditions in overcrowded slums and perhaps the most successful murderer of all time, Jack the Ripper, whose identity still hasn't been discovered. Problems with overcrowding and unemployment were exacerbated by the clearance of slums to build St Katherine's Docks, and waves of immigrants, including Irish weavers and Ashkenazi Jews; however, the terrible conditions led to two very important movements, which were to change the face of British politics. After workers rebelled against the atrocious working conditions and formed unions, this radicalism led to the formation of the Labour party and helped to advance suffrage as Emmeline Pankhurst based her campaign for votes for women in the area. 

 

Since the rejuvenation of the Docklands area and the arrival of the London Olympics, the area has seen a great deal of improvement and although some areas still experience poverty and have a high concentration of social housing, this is perhaps one of the most authentic areas of London you'll see, which wears its nationality like a badge of pride and there a few other areas of London where you might happen upon a pearly King or Queen or a Bow bells Cockney, born within the sound of the church bells of Bow.

 

Bethnal Green is famed for Brick Lane, a very artistic enclave where many design, arts; architecture and sculpture students from prestigious schools in London have their final year shows to introduce the next generation of art. Brick Lane and Bethnal Green are famed for their mid-size galleries, where local hipsters and troupes of too cool for school kids can be seen networking. Bethnal Green also contains the Ragged School Museum, which gives visitors an idea of the horrific poverty throughout the areas history. The Museum of Childhood, which will take you back down memory lane with its collection of toys, is also nearby. Roman Road Market, which is situated on the oldest train route known in Britain, thought to be used by Queen Boudicca, is also situated near Bethnal Green. Aldgate is home to the Norman Foster building, affectionately known as 'The Gherkin', which has now become one of the most recognisable landmarks in London. Aldgate is also home to Tubby Isaacs, a local institution where you can try East End delicacies such as jellied eels and cockles, admittedly an acquired taste, but the closest thing London has to a regional dish. 

 

Whitechapel is perhaps the trendiest area of the East End, due to its proximity to Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Like much of the East End, the area is a melting pot of cultures, with a strong Muslim community. Aside from the Jack the Ripper murders, which have gained the area equal amounts of notoriety and grim fascination, Whitechapel contains The Albion Brewery, a very attractive facade from the Victorian brewery; The Whitechapel Art Gallery, which showcases some curious and awe-inspiring contemporary art; and Whitechapel Street Market.  

 

Mile End is situated near West India Quay and Canary Wharf, one of London's tallest buildings and an important business and financial district. Here, you can stroll around the Museum of the London Docklands, then take a walk around the Quays, before exploring the shops in Canary Wharf and perhaps taking in the views from the top of the tower. Poplar, a little further along on the Docklands Light Railway, the above ground train that services much of south east London and the Docklands area, contains several well renowned galleries, including Lightbox Gallery and Canary Wharf Gallery. There is also a paintball centre located here, if you prefer something a bit more cathartic. Shadwell has a rather intriguing history due to the areas maritime links. Over 75 sea captains are buried in the St Paul's Shadwell Chapel, where Captain James Cook was baptised, as was US President Thomas Jefferson's Mother. Although Shadwell is largely a quiet area with no large attractions, famed for the Shadwell Basin, the area celebrates the work of hop-pickers throughout history each year with the THCH Hop Festival.

 

The East End is largely serviced by the District and Hammersmith & City lines, which run through Whitechapel, Stepney, Bow, Mile End and Aldgate. From the Hammersmith & City line, you can easily reach King's Cross St Pancras, where the Eurostar terminus is located, and Paddington Station, where the Heathrow Express Train can transport you to the airport in just 15 minutes. The District line will take you to Victoria Station, where the Gatwick Express Train terminates. The East End is a very historic place to stay, although parts of it are still experiencing poverty and the area hasn't been fully gentrified yet, due to this hotels tend to be cheaper than staying in central London and you can still stumble across quirky boutiques and cafes that many other parts of London have driven out due to rising rental prices.

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