Freshers guide to East London

The summer sun has set and the autumn rain has arrived, but there is an aura of excitement in the air as hundreds of university fresher’s descend upon the capital this September to begin the next chapter of their lives. Living at Scape East is a brilliant choice; it’s situated in the vibrant and rustic East End of London and there are plenty of things to do. The East End’s patchwork of diverse settings means there’s something for every student.

There are the obvious things to go and see whilst living here at Scape East such as Victoria Park, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the shopping mall at Stratford. But the East End has so much more to offer you and that’s where this guide comes in; I’ve listed some of the best things to do and visit during your time at Scape East. Art and music in East London.

It may come as a surprise but there are some brilliant art exhibitions to explore here in the East End. Firstly, there’s the Whitechapel Gallery. This is the original East End gallery, which serves as a stage for both contemporary and classic artists. With nine galleries you’ll be able to experience (for free!) world renowned classical artists such as Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, as well as modern and contemporary greats such as Lucien Freud and Mark Wallinger.

Further to this there is the Wilton’s Music Hall, one of the East End’s best kept secrets. Here, a variety of distinctive, imaginative and diverse musical scores including theatre productions, comedy, cinema and cabaret is offered. Hackney Empire and Rio Cinema.

Presenting old, traditional and hit productions from a bygone era in a contemporary manner, Hackney Empire is an essential excursion for all new East End students. Hackney Empire is renowned for housing great touring productions, world famous orchestras, and international comedians and musicians (Check out their autumn programme here).

If rustic cinematic entertainment isn’t for you, then perhaps the contemporary Rio Cinema at Dalston, may be more to your taste. With its mix of modern and classical films, it is a truly worthwhile visit.

East London markets

London is renowned for its many cultural and diverse markets and the East End is home to two of the best. Both Broadway Market and Spitalfields are short distances away from Scape East. At both markets you’ll find a mixture of students, locals and Londoners bustling through the stalls.

Broadway market is situated in Hackney next to the beautiful Regents Canal and is open every Saturday. At Broadway you’ll find everything you’ll need for your weekly shop at rock bottom prices. There are stalls selling organic fruit and vegetables, poultry and fish, as well as numerous pubs and restaurants to keep you entertained. At Spitalfields (located near Shoreditch) you will find a seven-day market with classic and vintage stalls. These offer cutting edge East End fashions, original artworks, quirky crafts. Also squeezed in are a number of food and drink stalls.

Food and drink

There are some great places to eat and drink in the East End. Firstly there’s the newly opened Dirty Burger restaurant on Mile End Road. Alternatively, Vietnamese food is available at the affordable Song Que restaurant in Shoreditch. If you fancy spending a night of your fresher’s week in slightly more extravagant surroundings then a trip to Les Trois Garcons on Brick Lane is essential. This French cuisine bar/ restaurant has an extravagant interior filled with stuffed exotic animals, bright and colourful flowers, and there’s always a brilliant atmosphere.

I hope you enjoyed my rundown of some key East End attractions. Whatever you get up to this fresher’s week remember to have fun and stay safe (you can read our article on student safety.

Where next?