Walk East London’s Hidden Stories
Uncover the hidden stories of East London on foot with Discovering Britain's inspired walking trails.
Ahead of Old Spitalfields Market’s participation in the Brick Lane & Friends trail event on September 30th, we invited Discovering Britain, a walking project created by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), to share six of their best alternative self-guided walks, allowing you to explore our vibrant neighborhood on foot all year round.
Old Spitalfields Market sits at the heart of the East End, a place of fables, folklore and fascinating heritage. Geographically and culturally apart from the rest of the capital, the East End can be peeled like an onion to reveal its layers of history and geography. Discovering Britain have created a series of interactive, self-led walks to explore the area’s hidden stories…
Look beyond the curry houses of Brick Lane and trace the origins of British Bengali life back to its origins over 400 years ago, on this short but immersive walking trail through the area we now know as Banglatown.
2 miles. Starts at Aldgate tube station.
Find out where Londoners’ obsession with the weather comes from on a short stroll through the City. From raining jellyfish and UFO sightings caused by lightning, to the Devils of Cornhill and a fire caused by a jar of Nutella, this weird weather walk will make you look at the City with new eyes.
2 miles. Starts at Monument tube station.
A short stroll from Spitalfields brings you to Whitechapel and the start of our ‘Lost East End’ trail. Trace the area’s vanished neighbourhoods and uncover stories from a time when this part of London was still wild and lawless.
3.5 miles. Starts at Tower Gateway DLR
Further north, try our edible walk through Hackney created by guerrilla gardener Mikey Tomkins. Instead of city streets, you’ll find a hidden Hackney of gardens, allotments, orchards, vineyards and bee hives.
1.5 miles. Starts at the Triangle, Mare Street
Trace the lost River Fleet that flows out of sight and underfoot from Islington to Blackfriars and see how London’s streets have been shaped by water.
2.5 miles. Starts at Islington station.
All of Discovering Britain’s walks are free to download, self-led and tell an intriguing story about our natural and built landscapes.