One of the best areas for London city accommodation, East London’s Barbican area brings a diverse range of top tier rooms. With a variety of sites to explore in the area, East London has become one of the best spots for tourism and business travellers. There are a number of reasons for this, not only does East London hold some of the most notorious London legends, it’s also one of the tech and finance hotspots in the city, meaning that business travellers and holiday makers alike walk the winding narrow streets. Once an industrial hub and with echoes of the blitz survival spirit, the Shoreditch and Barbican area is now home to nocturnal playgrounds, thriving restaurants and glittering tower blocks.
If you’re staying at the Montcalm at the Brewery London City, you’ll no doubt want to get to know the area a little better. Below are some of our favourite spots in East London, all just short walks from our hotel.
The Barbican Centre was built in 1982 and is famously striking with its concrete brutalist architecture. Consisting of a performance space, a cinema and an art gallery, the Barbican is one of the largest cultural hubs in the city, and gives guests the chance to explore international art in a variety of mediums.
Milton Court Concert Hall
Based within the Barbican Centre, the MIlton Court Concert Hall has played host to a wide range of musicians. With modern and classical performances, this 608 seater music hall spans the range of modern, classical, jazz and orchestral ensemble music, promising a truly intimate concert experience.
The gallery within the Barbican Centre has played host to international modern artists since its opening in 1982. The gallery hosts talks, workshops and exhibitions from a variety of designers and artists, attracting millions of visitors each year.
Enigma Quests offer up a diverse range of unique escape rooms. WIth locations near the Gherkin, St paul’s Cathedral and Spitalfields Market, you can explore the Harry Potter wizarding world, goshgamig time travel and even take part in a multi million heist. Whatever adventure you choose, pick your team carefully, as teamwork is key to success. If you’re visiting London with work colleagues, the Enigma Quest series is a great way to get to know them better!
Whitecross Street Market
Based just off of Old Street, the Whitecross Food Market brings a mouthwatering selection of meals to the streets of East London. With a wide range of pop up food stalls, the Whitecross Street Market brings Indian, Italian and Tibetan cuisines to London’s East End. If you’re exploring the area, this is the perfect spot for a lunch time refresher between meetings or sightseeing.
Wesley’s Chapel & Museum of Methodism
This Georgian townhouse in East London’s Old Street area, the Museum of Methodism is located in the small house in which John Wesley, the founder of Methodism lived for more than ten years. Complete with the small chapel beside it, the Methodism Museum charts the life of John Wesley and the groundworks of what would become Methodism in the early 18th century.
Museum of London
Located close to the Barbican, the Museum of London charts the roots of the city, from its prehistoric foundations to its current infrastructure. With a focus on the social, this museum is mostly concerned with the people and cultural shifts in the city, cementing it as an anthropological marvel and true testament to the city.
Dating back to 1665, Bunhill Fields is a cemetery and burial ground in the Islington area of North East London. The site has become the resting place for many well known figures including writers Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan as well as artist and mystic Susanna Wesley. This beautiful non-denominational burial ground has become a leafy churchyard, full of overgrown shrubbery and beautiful old gravestones.
St. Giles Cripplegate
St Giles-without-Cripplegate is located within the redeveloped Barbican area and is dedicated to St Giles, the patron Saint of beggars. The medieval church is one of the longest standing in the city and has its roots in Saxon England but was founded in 1394 as a Roman Catholic church. With its gothic architecture, this church reached the Grade I list in 1950, and is still open to the public, having survived the great fire of London, the Blitz and several other fires.
This civic hall based in the Basinghall area of East London has been in operation since the 13th century, and has its roots as the site of the largest Roman amphitheatre in the country. The hall has been used for ceremonies and and city council administration for hundreds of years now, and hosts private functions, cultural events and a members bar. On top of this, the building houses an art gallery, concert hall and library.
Based near the Barbican and Clerkenwell, the Charterhouse is a complex of buildings dating back to the 14th century. With a history as a priory and post-dissolution Tudor mansion, the Charterhouse is a brilliant record of the religious history of the city, whilst also becoming a school in more recent centuries. Nowadays, the site has opened up specific areas to the public as of 2017
Guildhall Art Gallery
The Guildhall art gallery is located within the Guildhall complex, and was originally built in 1885. The gallery is home to a large collection of pre-Raphaelite art, including works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and even some John Constable pieces. With the preserved Roman amphitheatre located underneath, the Guildhall Art Gallery is a hidden gem in the centre of the city.
Honourable Artillery Company
This historic charity is dedicated to the “defence of the realm” and has a museum in East London. Here you can find a wide range of information on the long spanning history of the organisation, originally set up by King Henry VIII in 1537. The museum was opened in 1987 and still serves the operational Finsbury army barracks.
Church of St. Bartholomew the Great
One of the most historic churches in the city, this 1123 dating church was founded by the legendary Rahere after recovering from fever. It is for this reason that the church itself has a reputation as a place of healing. The connected St Bartholomew’s hospital also holds a long history, and both are open to the public.
Postman’s Park is located close to St Paul’s Cathedral and is aptly named, bordering the site of the General Post Office headquarters. This public garden is home to the memorial for heroic self sacrifice, which regained interest after it being the subject of several scenes in London set film and play, Closer.