Cheat Sheet To Living In East London

London has historically (and, at times, rather contentiously) been divided into different zones according to the London Plan. According to the latest revision in 2011, London is made up of 5 different zones – Central, East, West, North and South.

East London is famed for it’s artistic culture, and has recently been the main focus of gentrification in London. It is also the most ethnically diverse area of London.


Barking & Dagenham: Barking and Dagenham was one of six London boroughs to host the 2012 Olympic games. It’s population is mainly located on the Becontree estate and it has the highest fertility rate in the UK (2.58%).

Bexley: A suburban borough with over 100 public parks and open spaces, Bexley is a family friendly area with a long and complicated history.

Greenwich: Greenwich is world famous for being location for the Prime Meridian, from which all universal time is based. In 2012, it was recognised by the British Royal Family as the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

 Lewisham: Lewisham is a highly populated and ethnically diverse borough on the bank of the Thames. Archbishop Desmond Tutu holds the freedom of the borough.

Hackney: Hackney is Inner London’s ‘Greenest Borough’ with 62 parks and open spaces located within the borough. From 2003-2007 Hackney achieved the biggest drop in crime of any London borough (28%).

Havering: The good transport links to Central London have made havering a popular area for those wishing to live in the suburbs of London, but within easy commuting distance. Romford has developed a night-time economy, with one of the largest concentrations of clubs and bars outside the West End.

Newham: Newham is one of the most ethnically diverse places in London, with no particular ethnic group dominating. It also contains most of the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Redbridge: Redbridge has become famous for its award winning parks, with 6 of its parks being awarded the ‘Green Flag’ award. There is a major North-South divide within Redbridge, with most of the South not having been born in the UK, with the opposite being true in the North.

Tower Hamlets: Many of the tallest buildings in London are situated in the Isle of Dogs in the South of the borough. Canary Wharf, on the river Thames, is home to many of the worlds banks.

Waltham Forest: The football team, Leyton Orient are based in Waltham Forest. The borough is also one of only two boroughs in London not to have a cinema within it’s boundaries, and the only one not to have a theatre.

east London

Typical Demographic: East London is the most ethnically diverse London area, with Indians, Nigerians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis all being well represented. East London is also the most impoverished area of London.

House Prices: East London is the least expensive area to rent in London, making it perfect for young students, and seeing it draw a significant young professional population. Including the more expensive boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, average rental prices in East London are 11% cheaper than the rest of London. Excluding them, the average price drops to just £1004 per month for a 2 bed rental property, which is 17% below the London average.

Culture: East London is famed for it’s underground young artistic scene with the British band ‘Iron Maiden’ being formed in Leyton. It has been known as the home of many radical youth movements through the 20th century although more popular areas such as Brixton and Shoreditch have recently become gentrified.

Green Spaces: Although East London has 6.5% less Green Spaces than the London average, there are some areas with significantly more than others. Havering, with 59.3% has the largest area of green space of any borough in London. Redbridge, with it’s multiple award winning parks is also above the London average. 

Safety: East London is becoming significantly safer than it was a few decades ago, with infamous locations such as ‘Murder Mile’ having disappeared long ago. As such the overall crime rate is around 3% less than the London average. However, the violent crime rate is still 15.4% higher than the London average, suggesting that while East London has come a long way, it is still not quite at the level of other areas of London.

Things To Do

See beautiful flowers at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Every Sunday, this small Victorian street transforms into a spectacular array of colours and scents, with vendors flooding the street. Known for it’s laid back atmosphere.

Visit The Whitechapel Art Gallery has 9 galleries and a host of other amenities, and displays both the work of leading artists and work from other leading galleries and museums around the UK.

Browse Rough Trade, East.A vibrant record store, which worthily adds to the famous music culture of East London. Ranked number 4 on Time Out London’s list of London’s Top 100 shops. Concerts are also held in-store.

Places To See

The Museum of London, Docklands. A great family destination, it covers life on the Thames from the Romans to the modern day. A fun day out for a truly educational experience.

See Wilton’s Music Hall– London. It is the worlds oldest grand concert hall, and is still in use. Book to see a play or an opera, and enjoy a fantastic evening out.