Whitechapel, Stepney and beyond...
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After a beautiful Saturday, Sunday was one of those days when I woke up feeling all peculiar. Without the usual throbbing hangover to keep me occupied for the first few hours of the morning a restlessness that could not be ignored crept up on me.
I wasn’t really up for spending the whole day on my own though but to be honest I didn’t have much choice. So I ended up doing what I always do when I have lots on my mind - setting off on foot and just walking.
I ended up doing a tour of the East End - from Whitechapel all the way across to Royal Albert Docks (by the time I’d made it to East India I admitted defeat and jumped on the DLR to to Royal Albert).
It was a fascinating journey and I stumbled across atmospheric parts of London town like Poplar and Limehouse. I’d always written of areas like that as lacking in soul -either full of bland luxury apartments housing boring banker types or littered with grim housing estates.
If the truth be told, both exist but strength of the last remnants of East End character shine through in places like Narrow Street and in the gorgeous waterside pubs like The Grapes, which is actually an award-winning fish restaurant too.
The Royal Docks are stunningly beautiful. Albert Docks is home to the London Regatta Centre - the city’s premier rowing venue. It also houses an authentic Chinese restaurant which as luck would have it was full of families out to celebrate Chinese New Year. You can watch my ear-splitting video footage in the post above.
The highlight? Well it would have to be the Museum in Docklands. Admittedly the name doesn’t set the imagination dancing but it is possibly one one the best museums I’ve been to in a long time. Luckily the £5 ticket is valid for a year so you don’t have to take in everything at once.
The Museum is jam packed with information from the pre-roman history of the Thames to London’s history with the slave trade. So if you want to try to get your head around London, where better place to start than the Thames?
Girovago rating of the day as a whole: 4/5