The man with a van's guide to South London
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Thinking of moving to East London? Here is some local information from Friendly Movers. For a guide to other parts of London, please see our guides to North London, West London, East London and Central London
Remember that according to the questionable logic of the London postcode system there is no North-East London - you go straight from East London (i.e Hackney E8) to North London (i.e. Islington N1). Despite being right next to each other, this is quite a step!
East London, like pretty much of the rest of London is very mixed. Some of the rougher parts of London are here (Canning Town, large parts of Hackney) but it is also home to one of the richest areas on the planet: Canary wharf which houses some of the world's largest financial institutions. You get unbelievable contrasts here. Billions of pounds has been ploughed into the area beside the Thames in the form of beautiful apartment buildings - cross the A13 and it's rough as guts. I once read that Hackney Wick - still a no-man's land of industrial decay - is the most deprived borough of *Europe*.
East London starts somewhere around Aldgate. This, believe it or not, is pretty much the epi-centre for all things trendy in London - in particular the areas of Shoreditch (E2) and Hoxton. There is a large South-Asian population in the area - particularly around Whitechapel (E1) and Bethnal Green (E2). You can see this in the colour, great food and lively markets - particularly around Brick Lane.
Bethnal Green is a large and popular area to live. It's generally quite cheap, very colourful and close to the trendy parts of town. As you head East you're into Bow (E3) which is probably my favourite part of East London. It's down to earth, clean, leafy and right next to the beautiful Victoria Park. Still relatively close to Central London (as well as Canary Wharf), there is a lot of development going on here and it's unlikely to remain so affordable for very long.
Moving right along we come to Stratford (E15) and West Ham. Stratford is quite a nice area except the maniac seventies town planners decided to put in yet another gyratory. Stratford has become the HQ for all things Olympics 2012 so expect huge changes in the area. Still going East, the feeling is still down to earth, slightly rough around the edges, but pleasant enough all the same. Plaistow (E13), Forest Gate (E7) and East Ham (E6) are all up and coming and, I think, quite nice. It's getting a little bit out of town but Chingford (E4) is a lovely place. Ditto Clapton (E5). Leyton (E10) and Leytonstone (E11) are ok - it's quite cheap to live here. But parts can be quite rough.
I've heard people rave about Walthamstow (E17) and there are some lovely new apartment buildings here, but its reputation is a bit rough. If it were me, I'd be inclined to stay in nearby Wanstead (E18) which is a much greener, more villagey place. Leyton (E10) and Leytonstone (E11) are ok (the Leyton high road is lovely).
Now we head back to Hackney... Affectionately known as 'Crackney' and recently voted worst place to live in London, Hackney could certainly be said to suffer from a bit of an image problem. Parts of Hackney are a bit dire (I mean this in the same sense that parts of the area around Chernobyl are a bit dire). But it's not all bad! Stoke Newington (E8) are nice and quite trendy. The Columbia road is lovely. Homerton elicits nightmarish visions in the minds of many londoners but the part next to Victoria Park is extremely nice...
South London areas and postcodes covered by Friendly Movers man and van service:
man and van E1 Whitechapel, Stepney, Mile End SE1 Waterloo, Bermondsey, man with a van Southwark, Borough. E2 Bethnal Green, Shoreditch. E3 Bow, man with a van Bromley-by-Bow. E4 Chingford, Highams Park. E5 Clapton. E6 East Ham. E7 Forest Gate, man and van Upton Park. E8 Hackney, Dalston. E9 Hackney, man with a van Homerton. E10 Leyton. E11 Leytonstone. E12 Manor Park. E13 Plaistow.E14 Poplar, man and van Millwall, Isle of Dogs, Docklands. E15 Stratford, West Ham. E16 Canning Town, North Woolwich SE16 Rotherhithe, South Bermonsey, Surrey Docks. E17 Walthamstow. E18 South Woodford.