If your idea of the perfect Sunday includes brunch, cool coffee spots, market hopping, street food stands and street art then spending the day in Shoreditch will be your perfect Sunday, and even if this isn’t your idea of the perfect Sunday then give it a go as you never know, you might just enjoy it!
Shoreditch is s fairly small area in East London however when me and my friends refer to Shoreditch we also include the nearby areas of Hoxton, Old Street, Bishopsgate, Bricklane, Liverpool Street and Aldgate (therefore I have included all these areas in this guide and I couldn’t include all of these in the title!) and what I love most is how it varies from the glass sky scrapers of the Gerkin and Herons Tower home to the suited and booted city workers, to the small streets around Brick Lane home of the ultimate hipster.
First things first, getting there– there’s many different stations that serve this area depending on where you’re coming from and all of these stations will be perfect to start the day i have planned for you:
Old Street, Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Shoreditch High Street, Whitechapel, Aldgate East
In order to fuel your day hold off on having breakfast and instead go for Brunch because this area is full of cool brunch spots, personally I’d recommend Hoi Polloi on Shoredicth High Street and Lantana in Old Street, but if you’re feeling really quirky head to the Cereal Killer Cafe.
(For more London Brunch options head to my London Brunch guide here)
After brunch your first stop should be Colombia Road Flower Market, a must see on a Sunday exploring East London. I say that the flower market should be your first stop as it gets very very busy so the earlier you get here the better (although expect it to always be pretty busy). A small section of street is completely transformed and lined with flowers upon flowers with London market sellers shouting all the offers. The street also has lots of independent shops a long it so if you feel you need to get away from the crowds then step inside one of them and have a look around.
The best way to get there is to walk up Shoreditch High street, turn right onto Hackney Road and right again straight onto Columbia Road, follow the road and you’ll soon stubble upon it. The mass of people carrying flowers back from there will also give it away!
Next, follow your steps back onto Shoreditch High Street and walk down it until you come to BoxPark on the corner, have a browse in some of the shops but cross back over and head up Chance Street on your left. You may think you’re heading up a dodgy alley way but pretty soon you’ll be greeted with the infamous colourful Instagram wall! Perfect for getting some snaps against!
Afterwards, turn right onto Redchurch street and stop a long here for a coffee, there are lots of cool, hipster, quirky cafes a long here, one that I love is called Barber & Parlour and it does actually have a barbers in it, but also a really good cafe and coffee!
While you’re here keep your eye out for some cool street art, especially up the side lanes!
Your next stop, just up the road is Brick Lane! Brick Lane is a funny little street and it screams East London. It’s filled with many independent shops from book shops to bagel shops to vintage clothes shops to curry restaurants, there are a few chain stores there now but they aren’t too ‘in your face’ which is good as this area is known for its independence and quirkyness!
On a Sunday there is a market that runs pretty much all the way down Brick Lane with so many different food options as well as things to buy, I would suggest getting a cheap and yummy lunch at one of the food markets on your way down Brick Lane as there’s many stalls both inside and out with food from pretty much every region you could ever want! Make sure you take a seat on the curb too in true East London fashion!
When you get close to the end of Brick Lane you’ll notice the big Vintage Market on your right, this area is also filled with food stalls and stalls selling clothes, jewellery, bags, records, and everything you could ever really need!
From here turn right onto Hanbury Street until you see Spitalfields Market up in front of you on the left. You may be a bit over markets by this point but Spitalfields is a gorgeous building and worth a visit just to admire it, again it’s filled with food stalls and clothes stalls and there’s some nice shops surrounding the outside. Once you’re here I would suggest you go into one of my favourite Wine Bars – Vagabond, as a wine will probably be needed by now and they actually have seating which goes into the market so nab one of these if you can!
Alternatively there’s plenty of other places to have a drink around here or head back to the bottom of Brick Lane and find a cool bar around there – the Big Chill Bar is pretty cool and has music playing on Sunday afternoon’s.
If you’re still this way around dinner time then heading onto Brick Lane for a Curry is a must as Brick Lane Curries are almost as famous as the street itself, you won’t have trouble finding a place as the restaurant owners will be out on the street later on offering you the best offers they can and you can get yourself a pretty good deal!
And that should conclude your day in Shoreditch!
If you can’t make it on a Sunday then it’s still worth a visit on a Saturday or during the week but the Colombia Road Flower Market and Brick Lane Market will not be on, however this will mean it will be less busy and that the streets are easier to walk down so that’s a plus and there’s still plenty of food markets about in the Vintage Market and Spitalfields Market so you can get your fair share of market food!
To fill your day a bit more then why not check out an actual street art tour as this area is filled with hidden gems!
**Is there anything else you like doing in Shoreditch/East London and would add to this itinerary? Let me know!!**