Today’s post will be photo heavy, as I take you on a tour of East London! The Alternative Walking Tour shows the side of London that you might not automatically see when visiting the capital – there are no landmarks in the traditional sense to see, rather you get a potted history of an area of London which is constantly changing in the shadow of the financial district nearby.
Our guide was Kia – an artist part of the tour guide group. He was great – he gave us such a good overview of the area’s history and took us to lots of interesting spots. With the tour (between 1.5-2 hours in duration) being operated on a ‘pay what you want’ basis, it’s a great way to see an area of London that you might not think to visit in the first instance.
Myself, I was quite familiar with the area, as when I used to live in London, I used to spend many a Sunday afternoon trekking over to Spitalfields Market. Even in the 5 years or so since I have left London, the area has been redeveloped and looks a lot more brighter and modern than what I remember, so you can imagine that over the course of a couple of hundred years, the area has been repurposed and reimagined many times.
My favorite piece of street art was the portrait of Charlie Burns who was a resident of Bacon Lane his whole life. The peice is on a wall right next to his family business which is still open today.
At the end of the tour we went back to Brick Lane and had a fantastic early dinner at the Standard Balti House, followed by another wander culminating in collecting pastries to watch in front of the rugby from Beigel Bake – a bakery open 24 hours a day and does the most fantastic cakes. Next time I will be back for a beigel!