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EAST LONDON GUIDE


EAST

LONDON

GUIDE

INTRODUCTION Welcome to UEL’s student guide to East London. We’re extremely proud to be based in one of the world’s greatest cities, surrounded by some of the best culture, nightlife, restaurants, shopping, architecture and sight-seeing to be found anywhere. The city is a huge asset to our university – giving us unique access to major employers and global academic networks – and to our students, who get to spend their formative years exploring this exciting, vibrant, unique, diverse and beautiful capital every single day. We created this guide to share some of that magic with you, from the perspective of our very own students. This isn’t Time Out or Trip Advisor, but a journey through some of the more hidden and unusual destinations that you’ll find on your doorstep without busting your budget. Our campuses are situated in Stratford and Docklands, so everything in this guide is easily within reach by foot, bike, bus, train, skateboard or Segway.    Read on and find out what our corner of London has to offer!


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DOCKLANDS Our home in London’s Docklands is also home to the vast majority of our students – UEL’s affordable accommodation is based here, overlooking the river Thames, and the campus caters for our residents with student bars, restaurants, teaching facilities, advice centres and a multi-million pound SportsDock. The campus is easily accessible by DLR – London’s driverless, overground train service – and situated close to London City Airport, the O2 Arena, the Excel Centre and Canary Wharf. The Docklands area is built around the waterside features of London’s historic docks, so it has a maritime theme connecting its major attractions. You’ll find a mixture of riverside culture, nightlife and shopping against a backdrop of skyscrapers in London’s major business district, Canary Wharf. We’ve picked out some of the more affordable and accessible places to visit in the area, whether you’re looking for delicious street food, a free museum or places to go shopping. Everything’s a stroll away from UEL or a short hop on the DLR.


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CHEAP EATS

The Edge | £££ Cyprus | 0 miles uel.ac.uk The Edge is UEL’s very own campus canteen, serving fresh and cheap food on a daily basis – it’s usually full of UEL staff and students and the food is Halal and vegetarian friendly.

Nakhon Thai | £££ Royal Docks | 2.6 miles nakhonthai.co.uk A popular local Thai restaurant, Nakhon offers authentic cuisine at an affordable price. Visit on a sunny day and sit by the river, or order from their extensive takeaway menu.


DOCKLANDS

Fatboy’s Diner | £££ East India | 3.6 miles trinitybuoywharf.com/about/eat-and-drink A classic, chrome-plated 1940s diner serving burgers, dogs, fries, shakes and smoothies. It’s located at Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the shadow of London’s only lighthouse. Check out the Bow Creek Café just round the corner too.

O2 Arena – Various Restaurants | £££ North Greenwich | 4.6 miles theo2.co.uk The O2 Arena is one of London’s major tourist attractions, based in the original Millennium Dome. As well as the regular programme of gigs and concerts, you’ll also find plenty of popular chain restaurants.

Street Feast ‘Giant Robot’ | £££ Canary Wharf | 4.7 miles streetfeast.com/visit-us/giant-robot Housed in a striking Crossrail station with a unique roof garden, Giant Robot is part of the booming Street Feast enterprise. It features a wide range of ever-changing street food stalls and craft beers –from wings and sliders to Korean steamed buns and seafood sandwiches.


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CULTURE

Trinity Buoy Wharf | FREE East India | 3.6 miles trinitybuoywharf.com A unique arts community built around London’s only lighthouse. Hosts regular events alongside permanent features like Longplayer, a 1,000year composition being performed inside the lighthouse itself.


DOCKLANDS

Bow Arts RAW Lab | FREE Gallion’s Reach | 1.8 miles bowarts.org A new addition to the Bow Arts family, this studio complex is based at the Royal Albert Docks and hosts a regular arts programme with a commitment to collaborative working.

Museum of London Docklands | FREE Westferry | 4.4 miles museumoflondon.org.uk/ museum-london-docklands Learn the history of London’s historic docks through ten free galleries. The museum tells the story of the city via its globally important trading hub, from 1600 through to today.

Royal Museums Greenwich | £££ Cutty Sark | 4.7 miles rmg.co.uk A collection of museums with a maritime theme in picturesque Greenwich. The National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory are all a short distance apart, surrounded by the rolling fields of Greenwich Park.


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SHOPPING

John Smith’s | £££ Cyprus | 0 miles uel.ac.uk John Smith’s is UEL’s main campus shop, selling a wide range of budget books, snacks, art supplies, electronics and other student-focused items.

Gallions Reach Shopping Park | £££ Gallions Reach | 1.3 miles gallions-reach.co.uk The nearest high-street retail site to UEL’s Docklands campus – contains a range of popular clothing, electronics and fast food outlets.


DOCKLANDS

Canary Wharf Shopping Centre | £££ Canary Wharf | 4.3 miles canarywharf.com/shopping Canary Wharf contains Docklands’ largest shopping district, with several floors of high street shops and boutique outlets – everything from fashion and food to books and electronics.

Greenwich Market | £££ Cutty Sark | 4.9 miles greenwichmarketlondon.com Set in a World Heritage site, this picturesque market is filled with independent and boutique shops, focused on arts, crafts, fashion and antiques.

Greenwich Music and Video Exchange | £££ Cutty Sark | 4.9 miles canarywharf.com/shopping This second-hand music shop is a crate-digger’s dream. It’s full of both classic and contemporary leftfield vinyl, and features a bargain basement with hundreds of cut-price records.


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NIGHTLIFE

Underground Bar | £££ Cyprus | 0.0 miles uel.ac.uk A bar exclusively catering for UEL’s staff and students, the Underground offers cheap drinks, fast food and entertainment in the form of pool, table football and regular themed nights.

Galyons Bar and Kitchen | £££ Gallions Reach | 0.4 miles Galyons is a recently refurbished pub just a short walk towards Gallions Reach from UEL’s campus. Serves gastropub food and a wide range of craft beers, ales, wines and spirits.


DOCKLANDS

LA Lounge | £££ West Silvertown | 2.7 miles lalounge.co.uk/london A two-floor nightclub on the waterside with regular, resident club nights. A mixture of pop, rock and urban.

O2 Arena | £££ Greenwich | 4.6 miles theo2.co.uk One of London’s major concert venues, the O2 arena welcomes the biggest acts in the world – from pop stars and classic bands to comedians on sell-out tours.

The Grapes | £££ Limehouse | 4.7 miles thegrapes.co.uk One of London’s historic pubs, said to be visited regularly by the likes of Dickens and Wilde. It’s a tiny 16th century tavern with a quaint jetty at the back that overlooks the Thames.


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OUTDOORS

SportsDock | £££ Cyprus | 0 miles uel.ac.uk The SportsDock is UEL’s on-campus gym and sports centre. It hosted the USA Olympic Team in 2012 and contains a variety of gym equipment, swimming pools and bookable courts.

Emirates Air Line | £££ North Greenwich | 4.4 miles emiratesairline.theo2.co.uk If you fancy heading over to the O2, why not take a cable car? The Emirates Air Line cable cars give you the chance to see the area from above.


DOCKLANDS

Lea Valley Walks | FREE East India / Limehouse | 3.3 miles tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/lea-valley The River Lea is a major tributary of the Thames, which joins the river near Canning Town. From there it stretches north through the rest of London and there are many walks to enjoy along its banks.

Wakeup Docklands | £££ Royal Victoria | 4.4 miles wakeupdocklands.com Wakeup is a watersports centre based in the Royal Victoria Dock that offers wakeboarding, paddleboarding and other activities.

Greenwich Park | FREE Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich | 4.5 miles supporttheroyalparks.org/ visit_the_parks/greenwich_park A serene, stately park set in a hillside overlooking Greenwich. It contains gardens, green spaces and a wide range of heritage sites and museums.


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STRATFORD UEL has two buildings in Stratford, a large campus at Water Lane and our state-of-the-art teaching facilities at University Square Stratford (USS). They’re both a short walk from each other and embedded in Stratford’s booming centre; the area has undergone major regeneration thanks to the Olympic Park developments in 2012 and the arrival of Westfield Stratford – one of London’s largest shopping centres. Stratford station is a major transport hub, connecting the DLR, Overground, Underground and National Rail networks so it’s incredibly easy to get to anywhere in London. The area receives a lot of traffic every day from commuters, shoppers, tourists and students alike. We’ve picked out a few highlights that are a short stroll from the campus, as well as some attractions, budget restaurants, gig venues, clubs, galleries and markets that you can get to with a short train or bus ride.


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CHEAP EATS

Hemalaya | £££ Stratford | 0.3 miles Hemalaya is a traditional Indian restaurant that’s been serving the Stratford locals for over 30 years.

Café Mondo at the Library | £££ Stratford | 0.3 miles A small, friendly café in the heart of Stratford that’s popular with students for its home-made sandwiches and quality coffee


STRATFORD

The Pie Crust | £££ Stratford | 0.9 miles Unlike the name suggests, The Pie Crust is actually a Thai restaurant serving traditional café food – don’t be put off by the unusual décor outside as the food’s great.

Nathan’s Pie and Eels | £££ Upton Park | 2.5 miles Head to Upton Park for a truly traditional experience. Nathan’s is right by the old Boleyn Ground and is full of West Ham memorabilia, old-fashioned furnishings and, most importantly, great pies (served with mash and gravy or liquor) for about £6.

Beigel Bake | £££ Shoreditch High Street / Bethnal Green | 4.4 miles This famous Jewish deli in Brick Lane is quick, super cheap and open 24-hours a day! Serves bagels (obviously) and other baked goods.


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CULTURE

Stratford East Picturehouse | £££ Stratford | 0.1 miles picturehouses.com/cinemas An independent cinema just down the road from our University Square Stratford building. Screens a free film every month for students in association with E4.

Theatre Royal Stratford East | £££ Stratford | 0.1 miles stratfordeast.com A fantastic 460-seater community theatre that also offers concessions for students.


STRATFORD

V&A Museum of Childhood | FREE Bethnal Green | 3.5 miles vam.ac.uk/moc A subsidiary of the Victoria & Albert Museum, this free gallery explores the history of childhood in the UK, exhibiting toys, clothing, books and other antiquities.

Whitechapel Gallery | £££ Whitechapel | 4.2 miles whitechapelgallery.org One of London’s primary smaller galleries, exhibiting challenging contemporary work for over a hundred years. The White Cube at Hoxton is also in the vicinity.

Various Galleries: E2 | FREE Bethnal Green / Hoxton / Dalston Junction / Hackney Central | 3.9 miles The E2 postcode is home to many of the smaller, artist-led galleries in London. Take a look at Matt’s Gallery, Cell Project Space, Flowers Gallery, Union Gallery, Hundred Years and many more around the area. They’re usually free too!


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SHOPPING

Westfield Shopping Centre | £££ Stratford | 0.8 miles uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity The Westfield shopping centre is one of the largest indoor shopping centres in London. It’s full of popular high street shops, bars and restaurants as well as more niche outlets.


STRATFORD

East End Market on Roman Road | £££ Bow Road | 2.4 miles romanroadlondon.com/market A popular East End market, with stalls selling everything from clothing to homeware at really affordable prices. It’s been running for 150 years and is full of interesting characters.

Broadway Market | £££ Cambridge Heath / London Fields | 3.6 miles broadwaymarket.co.uk A bustling food market with a variety of stalls selling produce and street food. The road itself is also lined with pubs and boutique shops, leading to London Fields.

Ridley Road Market | £££ Dalston Junction | 4.0 miles hackney.gov.uk/ridley-road-market A large, diverse market with over 150 stalls. Ridley Road has been around since the 1880s and is now a lively international market selling Afro-Caribbean, Asian and European goods.


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NIGHTLIFE

King Edward VII | £££ Stratford | 0.4 miles A traditional British pub in the centre of Stratford. It’s a short walk from the campus and serves a range of ales, lagers, wines, spirits and pub food.

Roof East | £££ Stratford | 0.5 miles roofeast.com A rooftop bar that’s accessed via an elevator in the Stratford Shopping Centre. You’ll find bowling, baseball batting cages, beer, and a cinema. Needless to say, it’s busy on a sunny afternoon.


STRATFORD

The Cow | £££ Stratford | 1 mile thecowwestfield.co.uk Spacious, multi-level pub with a contemporary rustic interior and Olympic stadium views.

St John at Hackney Church | £££ Hackney Downs / Hackney Central | 3.3 miles stjohnathackney.org You might think we’ve put this in the wrong category, but this stunning church is one of London’s coolest and most unusual venues. It’s an active church by day and a gig venue by night.

Kingsland Road | £££ Hoxton / Dalston Junction / Dalston Kingsland / Stoke Newington | 5.2 miles Stretching between Stoke Newington in the north and Shoreditch in the south, Kingsland Road is a popular strip full of pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and gig venues.


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OUTDOORS

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park | FREE Stratford | 1.2 miles queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk One of the key sites built for London’s 2012 Games, it’s now become something of a tourist attraction thanks to the sports facilities, attractive parkland and attractions like the Orbit Slide.


STRATFORD

Victoria Park | FREE Cambridge Heath | 2 miles One of London’s most popular parks, its 86.18 hectares feature a man-made lake, splash pool, bandstand and plenty of green space. It also plays host to Field Day and Love Box festivals once a year.

Wanstead Temple Garden | FREE Wanstead | 3 miles Set between two golf courses and the rolling greenery of Wanstead Flats, this 18th century structure now acts as Wanstead Park’s official visitor centre. There’s also a café nestled between the two large ponds.

London Fields | FREE London Fields | 3.4 miles wakeupdocklands.com A small patch of greenery in the middle of Hackney, it’s largely popular due to its proximity to Broadway Market and the dozens of fashionable bars and restaurants in nearby Dalston and Hackney.


Don’t just listen to us… We’ve only covered a tiny fraction of the wonders that London has to offer, so check out the apps and websites below to explore the rest of it:

Our favourite apps Get Started – UEL’s own! Citymapper – master the public transport networks Dojo – see what great places are nearby (that we’ve missed) TFL – keep up to date with travel alerts and advice Deliveroo – get restaurant food without leaving your house Dice – get gig tickets without booking fees Eventbrite – host your own events and find out about everyone else’s

Our favourite sites Time Out – London’s cultural guru Resident Advisor – any club night worth attending is on here Spotted by Locals – see what real Londoners recommend Londonist – your guide to everything London Spare Room – you might need this when you move out of halls Groupon – explore more of London at a better price Open Table – browse London’s restaurants and book ahead

UEL East London Guide  

Packed with some of the best destinations for food, shopping, nightlife and more, in and around our vibrant east London home. You'll want to...

UEL East London Guide  

Packed with some of the best destinations for food, shopping, nightlife and more, in and around our vibrant east London home. You'll want to...