You’ll never be short of things to do in Shoreditch, East London. As the creative hub of the area, it’s home to an eclectic – and often eccentric – array of attractions. So whether you want to see some of the best street art in London, embark on an epic pub crawl or taste the street-food delights of Brick Lane, here are the top things to do in Shoreditch.
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The East End is like a living art gallery, which means you should take of a couple of hours to pound the pavements in search of the best street art in Shoreditch. Head to Rivington Street to see an original Banksy or Shoreditch High Street to see the sculptured faces of Gregos Art. Better yet, forge your own path and see what you can discover.
Shoreditch is a goldmine for one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories, with more independent boutiques and vintage shops than you can shake a second-hand hat at. Try ATIKA, formerly Blitz London, which is one of the biggest vintage shops in Europe. Weekend bargain hunters click elbows at Brick Lane’s Sunday market, where you can sample street food to celebrate your latest find. Fans of contemporary clothing head to Redchurch Street, which also has a make-your-own perfume lab called Le Labo.
With so many pubs in Shoreditch, why stop at one? Kick off at The Golden Heart, a classic old-school watering-hole, wrapped around a corner on the edge of Commercial Street, opposite Spitalfields Market. It has long attracted an eclectic bunch from the Brit Art crowd to arty locals including Gilbert and George and Tracey Emin – a copy of her piece My Bed hangs on a wall. Landlady Sandra Esquilant is one of a kind, setting the tone (and the jukebox). London ales such as Redemption Urban Dusk and Redchurch Old Ford stout and quality foreign imports are sunk at the Crown & Shuttle, a strip club turned cool urban hangout with exposed brick walls, heated courtyard garden and tasty tapas-style dishes. From here, head to the Commercial Tavern, the Ten Bells and/or Goose Island Brewpub.
Shoreditch has always been known for its nightlife, with some venues less salubrious than others. Now the brothels have been replaced by a reputation for cool nightclubs and bars. Bigger-name clubs, such as Cargo and XOYO, are less wallet-friendly but there are plenty of other options for a cheaper night out. The Book Club is a basement brunch spot that’s anything but bookish, with cocktails and a busy, affordable event schedule – including Sheroes, a celebration of a different female pop culture icon each month.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Grace Beard.
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