Apples ‘n’ pears, knees up mother Brown and jellied eels are three fantastic things that come to mind when thinking of East London - BUT there’s much more to the ‘ard side of London than Albert Square (made famous in British soap "Eastenders") and funny pots of fish. So on we march, or cockney walk if you prefer, to eight of the best places to live in East London.
East London is one of the most popular areas in London for young creative types moving to the city. Although it's been increasing in price considerably in the last few years, the area remains a cultural hub and one of the best places to live in London.
We create loads of content in and around East London. You can see from just reading some of the blog posts on the best places to eat in Shoreditch, best bars in Shoreditch, why everyone's living in Hackney and the location of the best burger joints in London (and way more) that it's stuffed full of brilliant things to do including live music venues and pop-up events on a daily basis.
The area has the highest concentration of artists in Europe with Shoreditch originals Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin among the first to start making the area fashionable. The place is thriving with business and bursting at the seams with creative people. Dalston is a more affordable alternative to Shoreditch, and is just a ten-minute bus ride away.
Johnny Borrell and Razorlight once sang “Don’t go back to Dalston” but we say do. Dalston has many of its own vibrant clubs, pubs and restaurants and has great transport connections with busses to Old Street taking around 15 minutes and Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction stations to hand for the rest of London (although everyone seems to have a bike here!)
Make sure you check out the 10 best restaurants in Dalston.
One bedroomed flats and studio flats begin at £700 pcm (per room) in Dalston while the same in Shoreditch will burn a monthly £750 pcm (per room) sized hole in your wallet (prices based on a room in a two bedroom property).
Forest Gate has become rather smart in the last few years and is now a popular place for families. Forest Gate is a residential area in the borough of Newham that is a little under a fifteen minute overground train journey from Liverpool Street Station and seven miles north-east of Charing Cross.
Jimi Hendrix apparently wrote “Purple Haze” in the famous Upper Cut Club and notable former residents include “Luther” and “Wire” star Idris Alba and some guy called Arnold Schwarzenegger?!
The area boasts both primary and secondary schools with Ofsted grades that would put any of the more “fashionable” areas to shame.
Popular areas to live are the film-set imitating Woodgrange Estate, with Victorian houses and West Ham Park’s surrounding areas. Landing in zone 3 of the underground means keeping costs down, but it still has great transport links with the Cross Rail.
Flats begin at £650 pcm (per room) and modern terraced property begins at £780 (per room).
Looking for more ideas? Check out the ultimate guide to the best places to live in London!
Plumstead and Greenwich
Now for those of you with more refined tastes, you’ll find Plumstead in the Royal borough of Greenwich (a little South East but still within our remit) and it’s an 8-minute Journey to London Bridge or 30-minute journey to Charing Cross on the Overground.
Don't forget the DLR of course (sitting on the front of the DLR was named one of the top 101 things to do in London by Time Out) which can get you to the City in less than 30 minutes.
The Cutty Sark and the Painted Hall also lie in Greenwich, so it's packed full of sights - if you have visitors you won’t run out of ideas!
The popular food and crafts market in the centre of town and the many gastro pubs and restaurants are some of the best in the capital.
Studio flats begin at around £800 pcm but you will pay more for extra bedrooms and bathrooms. If you can push the boat out to the £800 you could find yourself in a room in one of the gorgeous flat/modern terraced house areas close to the DLR.
Haggerston is a part of the London Borough of Hackney, close to Hackney, and has become popular with the creative, bohemian types of Shoreditch and Hoxton in recent years thanks to its similar vibes and better prices (though prices have risen significantly in recent years).
The area hasn’t yet suffered from the price increases and over-population, so it's a bit cheaper.
The property mainly consists of Victorian houses converted into flats and new-builds. Prices for two bedroom properties ranges from £1500 - £2795 pcm.
Stoke Newington sits in the London Borough of Hackney and lies just five miles of outside central London. Its nearest Underground station is Manor House on the Piccadilly Line but it does have its own Overground station.
It’s served by plenty of bus routes including two 24-hour services.
Church Street’s lively atmosphere and mix of independent shops, cafes and restaurants give the area an individual charm that many places in London can lack at times.
Two bedroom properties range from £1278 - £2600 pcm.
Hackney Wick. This inner-city development is just five miles from central London and falls into the Borough of Tower Hamlets. It’s served by the Hackney Wick Overground. The area has an industrial history but almost all of this is gone now and old warehouses and abandoned buildings are now being turned into chic cafes, art studios and live music venues.
Victorian style buildings converted into flats (including many Grade II listed buildings) cover most of the property market in Hackney Wick. Prices range from £1257 - £3033 pcm.
Shadwell is currently undergoing extensive regeneration and links up well to many of London’s more popular areas thanks to the DLR line to Bank. The Docklands Light Railway station at Shadwell means that it’s easy to link up with some of London’s popular visitor attractions.
The next stop along the line is Limehouse, home to a gem of a pub. Part-owned by Sir Ian McKellen, The Grapes (old haunt of Charles Dickens) is steeped in tradition and well worth a visit if you’re a fan of pubs and London’s history and culture. Check out the Jamboree too for a lively evening! Prices ranges from £1257 - £7492 pcm for two bedroom properties.
Olympic City! Stratford has been completely regenerated since hosting the 2010 Olympics and is now becoming on of the main hotspots in East London. There are a selection of shiny new residential developments, including luxury housing in the Olympic Village.
There’s tube station on the Central Line with direct access into central London, plus Westfield Stratford, where you can bitterly shop ’til you drop in Europe’s largest shopping centre. One-bedroom properties rent for an average of £1300 per month, while two-bedroom apartments command £1770.
Bland, soulless, corporate - these are the words you used hear bandied about whenever Canary Wharf was mentioned. In 2017, though, the E14 postcode is becoming its own mini Manhattan, with luxury residential developments, a mega shopping centre plus a selection of boutiques - all set the the backdrop of a scenic river setting.
Canary Wharf tube station is on the Jubilee Line and offers direct routes to Bond Street in around 25 minutes, while the Elizabeth Line will also stop at E14 in the next couple of years. There is even a selection of walkways and parks which has e been designed to bring more families to the areas. Two bedroom properties average £2400 pcm.