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KingGTF

East London

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Currently looking for a new flat share and realised I can get something quite decent for my budget in East London (Bethnal Green, Stepney, Mile End, Limehouse) kind of area. Well compared to south Camden where I've been the last two years. Never considered this area before because I always had the impression it was a bit shady, rough, dodgy or whatever the word is you associate with the east end. Any Londoners have any advice on the area? Is it in fact not as bad as I expect it to be? Are there some places to definitely avoid?

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2 minutes ago, Miquel The Work Geordie said:

Isn't Bethnal Green one to avoid?

 

Befnul probably not as gentrified as other nearby areas but also probably nowhere near what it was ten / twenty years ago. 

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There's dodgy parts of most London boroughs but most of the areas of East London you mention have pretty much been gentrified now, especially Bethnal Green. With it being so close to London Met campus and Shoreditch / Hoxton so in my experience has its fair share of students and hipsters; as a result prices of property have shot up over the last 10 years or so. Of course the large estates are there still, but you'd be hard pushed to find areas of London that don't have them.

 

Whitechapel / Mile End was still a bit of a dump last time I went, but that was four or five years ago. I went to Aldgate, just down the road from them recently for the first time in a few years and it was nearly unrecognisable, so I imagine it's the same story.

 

Limehouse, as with most areas along the north bank towards Canary Wharf (Wapping, Shadwell) has seen lots of development- I'm not sure you'd still get value for money there. 

 

I've got friends that live in Leyton and Wanstead, they're both nice areas and still (relatively) reasonable price-wise. Have you considered going slightly more north-east?


Edited by RoboFox

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42 minutes ago, KingGTF said:

Currently looking for a new flat share and realised I can get something quite decent for my budget in East London (Bethnal Green, Stepney, Mile End, Limehouse) kind of area. Well compared to south Camden where I've been the last two years. Never considered this area before because I always had the impression it was a bit shady, rough, dodgy or whatever the word is you associate with the east end. Any Londoners have any advice on the area? Is it in fact not as bad as I expect it to be? Are there some places to definitely avoid?

 

Where are you working? 

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I went down to a see a mate over the summer who lives in Docklands and I was quite impressed, transport is decent and the area looks ok, I still wouldn't live there myself but if you have to live in London it didn't seem too bad.

 

Just avoid Stoke Newington in my experience, half the people I saw walking through there were barely human.

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I live pretty much equidistant between Bethnal Green, Stepney Green and Mile End tube stations.

 

Contrary to what others have said if you go east from Bethnal Green along Roman Road here has actually resisted gentrification far more than other parts of East London. Roman Road retains a gritty, multicultural yet local vibe with only a small number of brave coffee shops and delis. It'll happen eventually I'm sure but even the wider Bethnal Green area is no way near as advanced along the gentrification path as areas like Shoreditch, Dalston, Stoke Newington, etc.

 

I live next to Regents Canal, about 10 minutes walk from Victoria Park. I love the area. I can go for long runs without having to cross a road, Victoria Park is in my opinion the best park in London, you are a short walk away from great spots such as Broadway Market (now that is what you call gentrification), Hackney Wick and the Palm Tree pub (the exact opposite of gentrification and a wonderful pub) and you're a short tube journey from proper central London.

 

In the immediate vicinity there is definitely a problem with petty crime. Bikes get nicked all the time, people get threatened but in all the years I've lived in the area I have only been involved in one minor incident. If you're young, working in the City or Canary Wharf and like to have easy access to nightlife and central London it's a great area.

 

That said it won't be particularly cheap particularly if you're willing to go a little further out to Leyton, Walthamstow and even Bow / Stratford to some extent. We rented our large 2 bed flat out while we went travelling for a year and we charged £2,200 per month. That said you could probably get a 1 bed for half that if you're lucky.

 

Any specific questions let me know.

 

 

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In answer to your question about areas to avoid if you are used to London which it seems like you are then I would say everywhere is fine. Homerton (just north of Victoria Park) used to be a bit dodgy I think but this whole area now is just typical of most parts of London nowadays - generally safe unless you're unlucky, don't use common sense or go looking for trouble.

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2 hours ago, Miquel The Work Geordie said:

Isn't Bethnal Green one to avoid?

Currently home to a decent boozer or two and slowly becoming hipster centric. That's my limited knowledge, as discovered when visiting before West Ham away. 

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@Finnegan Student, Holborn and the Strand area. Worked Fleet Street this summer and am carrying that on part time so central line is useful for me. Part of the reason I looked at Mile End is because it has a more student feel with Queen Mary being there. Have a few friends moving that area too but can't ask them about it cos they haven't moved there yet.


@RoboFox Cheers for that. Thing is I don't want to move that far out, I'm more than happy to pay extra to be close to the centre or at least a short tube journey away. The only areas I've really looked at are Camden, Kentish Town and around there, Angel, Holloway, Highbury and Islington,  a little bit of Canonbury, and the areas I mentioned earlier. Open to suggestions though.

 

@James. I might have a look more towards Victoria Park actually, hadn't really entertained that area as much. You've reminded I think I've been to that area once before, I'm sure a pub called People's Park Tavern right by Victoria Park? I'm sure on petty crime Camden is as bad, it's just unease because I don't know the area and only know of certain reputations. I'm not going to walking down many side roads in the dark anyway.

 

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I actually don't mind my commute in to town. I'm exactly one hour from my flat to my desk next to Monument, sometimes less. Buggered if I miss the last train home though lol.

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I'm not one to venture north of the river much these days. In my experience thought, can't really go wrong with Old Street/Angel way.

 

If drugged up hipsters and a certain rough around the edges atmosphere is your thing, Bethnal Green and Mile End are not bad at all.

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26 minutes ago, KingGTF said:

@Finnegan Student, Holborn and the Strand area. Worked Fleet Street this summer and am carrying that on part time so central line is useful for me. Part of the reason I looked at Mile End is because it has a more student feel with Queen Mary being there. Have a few friends moving that area too but can't ask them about it cos they haven't moved there yet.


@RoboFox Cheers for that. Thing is I don't want to move that far out, I'm more than happy to pay extra to be close to the centre or at least a short tube journey away. The only areas I've really looked at are Camden, Kentish Town and around there, Angel, Holloway, Highbury and Islington,  a little bit of Canonbury, and the areas I mentioned earlier. Open to suggestions though.

 

@James. I might have a look more towards Victoria Park actually, hadn't really entertained that area as much. You've reminded I think I've been to that area once before, I'm sure a pub called People's Park Tavern right by Victoria Park? I'm sure on petty crime Camden is as bad, it's just unease because I don't know the area and only know of certain reputations. I'm not going to walking down many side roads in the dark anyway.

 

You work about 5 mins walk from me. If you frequent the Stag's Head I've probably been to your house, I've lost count of the amount of times I've ended up at a random fellow City fans' house for an after-match sesh.

 

I live in the not-so-posh area of North Islington - Stroud Green / Finsbury Park - if you're willing to do a couple more stops on the Viccy Line. Been here for years and I'd recommend it. Crouch End especially is really nice nice. Wood Green area is still reasonable, too although the vicinity around the shopping centre is still a bit grotty so I tend to avoid. 

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I'm a contractor for TfL and spend my working day travelling all over London working at tube and train stations, and by far the dodgiest area I've come across is seven sisters. So many of my colleagues have been robbed or attacked there. The only place I've been robbed is at Tottenham court road station. If you want to live in the east then id recommend you don't move further out than mile end. Places like Stratford, east ham, barking, Ilford and Dagenham are the pits.

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1 hour ago, RoboFox said:

You work about 5 mins walk from me. If you frequent the Stag's Head I've probably been to your house, I've lost count of the amount of times I've ended up at a random fellow City fans' house for an after-match sesh.

 

I live in the not-so-posh area of North Islington - Stroud Green / Finsbury Park - if you're willing to do a couple more stops on the Viccy Line. Been here for years and I'd recommend it. Crouch End especially is really nice nice. Wood Green area is still reasonable, too although the vicinity around the shopping centre is still a bit grotty so I tend to avoid. 

lol I've been the Stag's Head a few times, was particularly good in the final run when we won the league

 

Well I actually have just lined a viewing up for the morning around Stroud Green area, it's on Upper Tollington Park I think the road is called. Piccadilly down to Holborn isn't too bad so this could work out.

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Basically everywhere in London is shithole and also a decent place to live and it can be literally a street difference between the 2. My advice would be pick a few areas that work with your commute/budget and just go and look at places. Everywhere has positives and negatives you just need to find somewhere that suits you. East London can provide a nice little converted town house, a trendy warehouse flat or a drugs den. You won't know what you'll get until you go and look. That applies to pretty much all areas of London. There are some absolute gems out there and some absolute dives, you just have to trust your judgment.

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19 hours ago, RoboFox said:

You work about 5 mins walk from me. If you frequent the Stag's Head I've probably been to your house, I've lost count of the amount of times I've ended up at a random fellow City fans' house for an after-match sesh.

 

I live in the not-so-posh area of North Islington - Stroud Green / Finsbury Park - if you're willing to do a couple more stops on the Viccy Line. Been here for years and I'd recommend it. Crouch End especially is really nice nice. Wood Green area is still reasonable, too although the vicinity around the shopping centre is still a bit grotty so I tend to avoid. 

I was in the Stag's Head for the Club Brugge away game last year, fantastic boozer and for a match it felt like you were back in Leicester.

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16 hours ago, separator said:

I'm a contractor for TfL and spend my working day travelling all over London working at tube and train stations, and by far the dodgiest area I've come across is seven sisters. So many of my colleagues have been robbed or attacked there. The only place I've been robbed is at Tottenham court road station. If you want to live in the east then id recommend you don't move further out than mile end. Places like Stratford, east ham, barking, Ilford and Dagenham are the pits.

Seven Sisters is definitely dodgy - used to be a great venue on the Severn Sisters Road, Finsbury Park way though called the George Robey. Gone the way of the Bulldozers as is increasingly the case. 

13 hours ago, Captain... said:

Basically everywhere in London is shithole and also a decent place to live and it can be literally a street difference between the 2. 

Agree. The social gradient can be ridiculously steep. You can go from the worst parts of Kilburn where you'll be lucky to emerge with your wallet at night, to St.Johns Wood and rub shoulders with government diplomats and oligarchs in the space of minutes.

 

15 hours ago, m4DD0gg said:

London is a cess pit.

Cesspit is actually one word and moreover so is Mayfair. - Most likely that residents of the latter will disagree with you.

 

London is like any major capital city. Overhyped in places, overcrowded in others and in many areas impoverished. I'm London born and (partially) bred. Beneath practically every paving stone or cobble, behind that brickwork facade, down an alley, or around every corner there is a rich history which most visitors even locals remain utterly impervious to. In the words of Samuel Johnson - "when a man is tired of London he is tired of life" - maybe not so true today, (depending upon where you are of course). I can tell you how to find his house if you want - just behind Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street which is testament to my point.

 

21 hours ago, RoboFox said:

There's dodgy parts of most London boroughs but most of the areas of East London you mention have pretty much been gentrified now, especially Bethnal Green. With it being so close to London Met campus and Shoreditch / Hoxton so in my experience has its fair share of students and hipsters; as a result prices of property have shot up over the last 10 years or so. Of course the large estates are there still, but you'd be hard pushed to find areas of London that don't have them.

 

Whitechapel / Mile End was still a bit of a dump last time I went, but that was four or five years ago. I went to Aldgate, just down the road from them recently for the first time in a few years and it was nearly unrecognisable, so I imagine it's the same story.

 

Limehouse, as with most areas along the north bank towards Canary Wharf (Wapping, Shadwell) has seen lots of development- I'm not sure you'd still get value for money there. 

 

I've got friends that live in Leyton and Wanstead, they're both nice areas and still (relatively) reasonable price-wise. Have you considered going slightly more north-east?

Agree about Mile End - still dodgy in my opinion. Two people I know, one works in the City the other is at St.Mary's, shared a house there and regularly had the meths addicts rifle through their bins. Place is also rather hostile and bleak. 

 

The thing that most amuses me about London is that increasingly those that come from there - don't come from there. You mention gentrification, but as opposed to regeneration this is almost invariably at the expense of the local population and is not necessarily the best thing for the area. It also causes massive resentment and in places like Brixton in which people have been trying to escape the poverty trap and cycle of depravation for generations. The irony is that many are displaced onto the surrounding sink estates or beyond while the old cultural heart is ripped out of the area. Sure, if you remain within the square mile or so around Atlantic Road and the Brixton Road area of Cold Harbour Lane and saunter up the affluent corridor of the Dulwich Road past Brockwell Park to Herne Hill there is a lively and vibrant scene and unlike thirty years ago - or even ten, it's very pleasant. But annexation of these areas by developers and hipsters sits uneasily with an undercurrent of increasing alienation. Some of these areas are tinderboxes and the idea that upper middle class white kids are now invading places like Peckham is a disaster in the making. Horrifying.

 

I was born and lived for a time in Wandsworth and It used to greatly amuse me the disparaging and derogatory divide between north and south of the river which still endures. Perhaps it was the centuries old legacy of the Southwark slums, but if you come from there you were/are viewed as a peasant in spite of the fact that there are plenty of shit tips in north London. Returning to Brixton, the standard joke was that if you had the misfortune of going there, it was either by mistake or as a consequence of falling asleep on the Victoria Line. I used to go for the venues, and buy my dub and even punk records in the market - even went to a blues party there once.. In those days it was Yardie central - today Lambeth is the gun and knife capital of London. Avoid that street scene stay away from the gangs on the estates and you're generally fine...and many of these places, in particularly Brixton, are very very busy. Safety in numbers - though obviously this does not always hold true. In five years the rents will be through the rood and the place will be as desirable as Clapham.

 

19 hours ago, iniesta said:

I'm not one to venture north of the river much these days. In my experience thought, can't really go wrong with Old Street/Angel way.

 

 

I'd say that this is probably one of the best recommendations on here if not for demand and price. Angel is home to the City University campus and accommodation is easy to fill so high priced. Old Street is close to the City so again the rent is high, but they are safe, nice areas and very central.  

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4 hours ago, Line-X said:

I'd say that this is probably one of the best recommendations on here if not for demand and price. Angel is home to the City University campus and accommodation is easy to fill so high priced. Old Street is close to the City so again the rent is high, but they are safe, nice areas and very central.  

I used to live just off the City Road, by the Eagle Pub. It's a nice area, agreed - but I essentially got priced out of the area. It just became unsustainable.

 

The the same class divide still applies there, as you mentioned. The new-ish building my flat was in was a stones-throw from a pretty dilapidated 60s brutalist estate. There was quite a problem with gangs at the time, but they seemed more concerned with each other than to bother the increasing numbers of yuppies descending on their area, thankfully. Although myself and a friend got mugged once - the only trouble I've ever had in over a decade in London - down the road in Hoxton.

 

I went back about a month or so ago for a night out for the first time in a couple of years, and I couldn't believe the amount of development the place had seen. Skyscrapers have just popped up out of nowhere around the roundabout in a remarkably short space of time.


Edited by RoboFox

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Got a place in NW8 in the end. Was amused earlier at the disappointed faces not being able to do their Beatles recreation on the zebra crossing because of roadworks

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