Most of us have been to London at one time or another — but how about a sightseeing trip by skateboard through the streets of East London?
Stepping into East London feels like stepping into another world: one where you can leave behind the homogenised streets that characterize some other parts of the city. It’s a place where you can wear what you like and be who you want to be, without anyone batting an eyelid.
The capital’s creative professionals have been calling East London home for over a decade. And, as such, it now bears all the hallmarks of an interesting place to live: colourful street markets, buzzing bars and a generous corridor of green open spaces.
One of the first things you’ll notice about East London is the quality and diversity of its street markets. If you only have time for one, make it Broadway Market, which is situated close to London Fields.
This unassuming residential street is transformed on Saturdays by street vendors selling farm fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes and a whole lot more to discerning local hipsters. Treat yourself to a good old fashioned scotch egg or pork pie (artisan, of course!) washed down with a flat white from Australian-run Climpson & Sons.
On a sunny day, make sure to head to Victoria Park near Mile End tube station. London’s oldest public park is no less popular than it was when it opened in 1845. You will find children rollerskating along the footpaths, trendy young things sprawled out with picnics and old-timers sitting on benches and watching the world go by.
It really is a “people’s park”, yet never feels short on space. A great place to go is the West Boating Lake, where you can drink builder’s tea in a polystyrene cup from Pavilion Café, whilst admiring the water features.
After sunset, why not take a bus up to the uber-trendy strip of Kingsland Road in Dalston? This rough-around-the-edges neighbourhood has been compared to Manhattan in its mid-90s heyday and attracts a good mix of artists, students and media professionals. To name all the good bars would take all day, but a few to start with are The Mockingbird for romantic drinks; Birthdays for chic cocktails in an industrial setting; and The Alibi basement bar for dancing ‘til dawn.
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All photos courtesy Skateseeing