South and East London area guide

  • 23rd Sep 20
South and East London area guide

A vibrant and creative social scene and a reputation for being the most fashionable area of the capital, has made East London one of the most popular spots for young professionals. Trendy markets, cool hang-outs and pop-up art events makes it an exciting place to live and connect with others in the community. Neighbouring South London offers the buzz of city life with access to peaceful scenery, miles of riverside walks and plenty of open spaces. The south side of the Thames is ideal for everyone and also boasts ever-growing transport links, making it more connected than ever before. 

A Zone 2 location and easy commute to the city, Greenwich is a hive of independent boutiques, green spaces and some of the prettiest views of London. Two of its notable attractions include Greenwich Park and Greenwich Market, as well as the mix of traditional pubs and luxury foodie hangouts.

Across the Thames lies one of London’s many cultural hotspots. Southwark boasts famous sites such as the Globe Theatre, The Shard and foodie heaven, Borough Market. There’s so much to see and do in the area that no matter how long you live here, you probably won’t get to see it all.

Canada Water
Just one stop from Canary Wharf, Canada Water is ripe for regeneration with thousands of new homes, a new King’s College London campus, a proper high street and new green spaces.  Excellent transport links with fast connections, is making the area popular with young professionals.

Elephant & Castle
Elephant & Castle is undergoing one of the most significant facelifts in London. Billions of pounds are being spent on regenerating the area, including plans to improve traffic. It already has great schools and fantastic public transport links and with a strong sense of community, locals love the independent shops, local markets and choice of pubs, bars and restaurants.  

Tower Hamlets
This is a hugely diverse and vibrant part of London that welcomes people from all around the world. From trendy ‘hipster’ areas such as Brick Lane and Whitechapel, through to the leafy area of Bow, there is something for everyone to appreciate. The regeneration of Tower Hamlets in particular has seen it come into its own with a huge choice of things to see and do. Boasting a world-class foodie scene, cultural hot spots with a variety of museums as well as the Tower of London, there is plenty to keep you busy.

The epitome of East London cool, Shoreditch is at the heart of the social and cultural scene. If you want all of the buzz of city living together with superb transport links, Shoreditch is the place for you. There’s always something going on and if it’s a new trend or cultural craze, you can bet it has its origins here. 

Canary Wharf
In terms of property, you can find a superb mix in this thriving financial centre. Here you will find stunning penthouses, converted warehouses and sleek apartments that are surrounded by picturesque views across the river. With a Jubilee Line tube station, heading into the West End is simple with Bond Street less than 25 minutes away.

One of East London’s most residential areas, over the years, Stratford has become increasingly popular with residents with the Jubilee and Central Lines and overground trains making it easy to access the rest of the capital. Perhaps best known for being the home of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London Stadium, the Olympics legacy has truly transformed the area.

Transport links East London
Good underground and overground links together with the DLR and bus routes. The new Elizabeth Line will stop off at Custom House, Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street. The Central and District underground lines serve East London well, with frequent trains into central London. The DLR connects to the Central Line at Stratford, with journeys into Canary Wharf taking less than 14 minutes. London City Airport is also located in East London.

Transport links South London
South London is served by a smaller section of the Underground, which includes the Northern, Victoria and District lines. However, it does have a more extensive suburban railway system and is also the location of all of London’s tram services. Gatwick Express trains also run from stations including Clapham Junction and Gatwick Airport is the most convenient for travelling further afield.

Top attractions

Columbia Road Flower Market – beautiful flowers and beautiful people can be seen at this Sunday market.

Museum of London Docklands – find out about the fascinating story of the Thames and trace the area’s history.

ArcelorMittal Orbit – Anish Kapoor’s 376ft tall tower at the Olympic Park. Take the drop and slide down for one of the most exhilarating views in London.

Emirates Air Line – cable car that runs from Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Docks.

Victoria Park – London’s oldest public park with good recreation and sports areas.

Westfield Stratford City – shopping and entertainment centre with many high street and designer brands.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – located in Stratford, it includes the London Aquatics Centre and VeloPark.

The Horniman Museum – featuring displays on anthropology, natural history and also features an aquarium.

Hampton Court Palace in Richmond – one of Henry V111’s palaces where you can visit a Tudor kitchen and go on a tour of the state apartments and private rooms.

Wimbledon Tennis Museum – learn about the history of tennis and one of the most famous clubs in the world.

Battersea Park – packed with wildlife, this grade 11 listing is the perfect spot for an afternoon chill.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew – glasshouses full of unusual pants, galleries and a treetop walkway. Look out for the special Christmas events.

Cutty Sark – the world’s last surviving tea clipper at the Thames’ edge in Greenwich has undergone a £30 million restoration.


Famous faces from South and East London

  • David Bowie, Borough of Lambeth
  • Jude Law, Borough of Lewisham
  • Daniel Day Lewis, Borough of Greenwich
  • Alfred Hitchcock, Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Charlie Chaplin, Borough of Southwark
  • John Boyega, Borough of Southwark
  • David Beckham, Borough of Waltham Forest





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