Discover the past and present in Shoreditch

17 January 2022

If you’re planning an action-packed day trip to London, it’s essential to stop at tourist hotspots such as Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London.

But don’t forget to check out the many colourful neighbourhoods of the metropolis.

Proper East End

Shoreditch, in London’s East End, is one of these fascinating neighbourhoods.

You probably know the neighbourhood as Jack the Ripper’s stomping ground. But nowadays, it’s brimming with unique indie boutiques, vibrant street art, and tasty delicacies from around the world.

Thinking of spending the night here? Point A Hotel is a great budget choice on Paul Street, just a short stroll from London Liverpool Street station.

But if you’re happy to splash a little more cash, CitizenM in Holywell Lane is a colourful and contemporary option a mere ten-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane.

Now it’s time to head out and explore the streets. Discover the secrets of the area’s notorious past and explore the fabulous cultural diversity of Shoreditch.

Enjoy London’s eye-catching street art

Shoreditch is filled with interesting artworks. There are even street art tours available for those who want to find out more about the background of the artists and their work.

Striking street art is hidden in every crevice of Shoreditch – be sure to check out the nooks, crannies, and alleyways.

Seven Stars Yard just off Brick Lane has a high intensity of ever-changing street art and is definitely worth seeking out.

For more of the area’s striking pieces, focus in and around the streets of Brick Lane, Shoreditch High Street, Fashion Street, Princelet Street, and Great Eastern Street.

The work of prolific street artists from around the world can be seen in London’s East End including Banksy, Sweet Toof, Stik, Zabou, and Broccoli Man.

Browse the alternative boutiques

You’ll find many of the shops in Shoreditch are a world away from the chain stores of Oxford Street and Westfield.

But there are a few recognisable brands dotted about, with markets and hip independent stores to keep you busy.

BoxPark, located on Bethnal Green Road, is a shopping mall with a difference. Built from shipping containers, it’s a combination of street food market and edgy pop-up shops.

Perhaps you’re looking for a new holiday read? Brick Lane Bookshop is a cosy independent store selling a wide range of books, including a selection on the local area.

Just around the corner in Shoreditch High Street, Elemental is home to two floors of unique retro furniture.

On Sundays, Brick Lane Market sells pretty much everything you can think of, from retro clothing to home accessories.

But we recommend a browse at nearby Columbia Road which hosts a fragrant flower market and where stalls are set up among the arty indie shops that line the road and side streets.

Feast on tasty cultural cuisine

One thing is for sure: you won’t go hungry in Shoreditch. You’ll be spoilt for choice by the irresistible aromas that fill the air such as the tandoori restaurants of Brick Lane.

There’s Andina, a Peruvian restaurant on Redchurch Street that serves ceviche, just a stone’s throw from Brick Lane.

You’ll also find The Smoking Goat, a short walk along the road is a trendy Thai eatery that serves dishes that are perfect for sharing.

For something a little less traditional, head north up Shoreditch High Street and take a left onto Old Street to The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club.

It’s a combo café/barbers/boutique where you can feast on huevos rancheros or a healthy super salad and get a haircut at the same time.

But a must-visit on your Shoreditch adventure is the Beigel Shop on Brick Lane to pick up a salt beef bagel, a Shoreditch institution since 1855. Or try one of their famous rainbow bagels smothered in honey or peanut butter.

At Brick Lane Market on a Sunday, you can sample snacks from all over the world. Indulge in an Ethiopian wrap or maybe try Venezuelan crumpets, known as cachapas.

Have a pint at Jack the Ripper’s watering hole

Feel the goosebumps rise all over your arms as you order a pint at The Ten Bells, located on the corner of Fournier and Commercial Streets.

On 9th November 1888, Mary Kelly, who was to become Jack the Ripper’s final victim left the Ten Bells. Her body was found the following day in Dorset Street, opposite the pub.

For a while, it was known as ‘The Jack the Ripper’, but later reverted to its original name.

You’ll find these days it’s been modernised a little, but still retaining some of its Victorian features including blue and white tiles dating back to 1900.

The pub is also believed to be haunted – a man attired in Victorian costume has been seen walking the corridors.

Feeling super brave? You can take a Jack the Ripper Tour. Led by experts, the night-time tours follow in the footsteps of England’s most notorious serial killer.

Experience the infamous Shoreditch nightlife

Think of Shoreditch and it’s likely you’ll immediately think of partying.

Pubs, bars, and clubs are aplenty here open every night of the week, but Friday and Saturday nights are when things really ramp up.

At weekends, punters spill out into the streets and the atmosphere is buzzing. From grungy basement bars to traditional pubs and cutting-edge clubs, there’s something for everyone to let their hair down.

Make tracks along Great Eastern Street to the quirky Trapeze – its super-value happy hour and circus-inspired bar is a recent addition to the Shoreditch scene.

A visit to cocktail bar, Tonight Josephine, in Hoxton Square, is akin to being transported back into the eighties. Its retro décor is a combination of chrome, neon, and mirrors and the vibe is pure Pretty in Pink.

Winding down

After a fun-filled day exploring the delights of Shoreditch, reflect on your experience over a cocktail at Boundary Rooftop.

You’ll gaze at spectacular views over East London and it’s a perfect way to round off your day in captivating surroundings.

And your time here proves a major point. Once you’re off the beaten track, you’ll discover authentic London – a city much deeper than its famous monuments and museums.