If you are looking for something to do on a Sunday, I would totally recommend heading to East London for the day. There is a lot to see and do around Shoreditch and Bethnal Green including the Young V&A Museum, markets, parks and plenty of places to eat or grab a drink. If you are heading to Brick Lane on a Sunday, you won't be disappointed. We got on a bus from London Bridge train station. You can get a 149 or a 388 from outside the station (in front of the Shard) to Liverpool street. It is a short ride and delivers you right where you need to be. Spitalfields market was our first port of call.
Spitalfields is a multicultural area known as Petty France, Little Jerusalem and Banglatown, centred on Commercial Street and Brick Lane. Many refugees from French religious persecution settled in Spitalfields, the Huguenots were attracted to the area by the silk-weaving industry.
The market’s Victorian section, facing Commercial Street, is open seven days a week. It is a great market full of art, jewellery, clothing, vintage finds, food stalls and pretty much everything you could wish for.
The Herd of Hope will be residents of Spitalfields Market until Summer 2022. Walk among life-sized bronze elephants and get to know the real-life orphans that have inspired this installation.
Fournier Street below shows many of the old houses from this period. It was developed in response to the settlement of wealthy French Huguenots around Spitalfields.
Donovan Bros paper bags shop on Crispin Street, Spitalfields.
If you head down Fournier Street you will end up on Brick Lane.
Brick Lane runs from Bethnal Green and through Spitalfields down towards Whitechapel. This area was a haven for immigrants moving into London to escape persecution or looking for a better life. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it was best known for its Irish and Jewish population. You will find a couple of original Beigel (bagel) shops which are always busy, expect huge queues. Brick Lane also has a large Bangladeshi population and it is a great spot to grab a curry.
The nearest tube to Brick Lane is Aldgate East or Shoreditch High Street station, which is also a short distance. Liverpool Street is also within walking distance. Sunday is a great day to take a wander through Brick Lane with its street food stalls, market stalls selling all sorts of curios. We grabbed a cup of fresh fruit and then went to look at all of the street art and murals. If you stroll down Pedley Street just off of Brick Lane you will find so much art! There is also a park and playground here called Allen Gardens.
Brick Lane has an endless parade of vintage stores, book shops and cafes. We also got a grilled cheese sandwich and churros. But there was way too much to choose from. There are lots of indoor markets along the lane, you just need to have a good wander around. Whilst you are in the area you will probably notice lots of people carrying bunches of flowers - they will have come from Columbia Road flower market which is also walking distance from Brick Lane.
This man playing chess on Brick Lane always draws a crowd.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Columbia Road Flower Market is in Bethnal Green you can pretty much just follow the crowds to find your way there. The market is only open on Sunday's from 8.00am - 2.00pm and it gets very crowded with locals and tourists. It is bustling with market sellers selling all sorts of flowers, bouquets, potted plants and herbs. Be prepared for crowds and speak up as people will try and jump in front of you. I got three beautiful blooms of hydrangeas for £10. The street is lined with lots of quirky little shops and cafes too.
Ravenscroft Park has a great play area for kids and is literally just around the corner. There is also some beautiful architecture in the area.
Shoreditch and street art go hand in hand. Shoreditch is by far the best place in London to see street art. You will find a mural on every street and they are so colourful. Shoreditch is also home to lots of shops, cafes and bars including Box Park.
This mural is by Woskerski and you can find it on Redchurch Street, it was created to show support for the people of Ukraine.
We made our way back to Brick Lane and had another look around Spitalfields Market before catching a bus opposite Liverpool Street station (149) back to London Bridge station. We found the area really easy to navigate our way around and I am going to head East again in the summer and take a look down Petticoat Lane market which is on Middlesex Street.