East London has long been one of the city’s most diverse and exciting areas to visit, and if you happen to be staying in the Montcalm Shoreditch, then it should definitely be one of your must-see highlights during your visit.
You’ll find the vibrant and diverse neighbourhood of Bethnal Green just a few minutes’ walk away, and it’s the perfect place to head to when you want to experience the variety of culture and adventure available in the city, without having to head out too far afield.
Read on to find out more about what’s on offer when you have a day to spend in and around Bethnal Green. (Trust us, you’re in for a treat!)
Getting to Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green has both an Overground and Underground station, making it easy to get to. As it’s on the Central Line, the quickest way to get there from the Montcalm Shoreditch is via Liverpool Street, which is just one stop away. You’ll find plenty of local treasures within easy walking distance, from local museums and boutique eateries to vintage stores, canal-side parks and outdoor markets.
Discover a new side to childhood
While the Victoria and Albert Museum is certainly one of the most well-known, and busiest museums in London, a short walk away from Bethnal Green station, you’ll find one of its smaller branches, dedicated just to objects about childhood.
It’s a fun and curious place to visit, and perfect for children and adults of all ages. You’ll discover toys and children’s clothing from cultures across the world and from different eras, as well as have the opportunity to get stuck in with a variety of hands-on workshops and games at different times of the year. Look out for the Open Studio, where you’ll find a huge range of exciting pop-up events, classes, film screenings and more.
Check out the delicious food in the area
East London is undoubtedly one of the city’s most stylish and vibrant areas, and you’ll find a huge variety of charming eateries in the neighbourhood. There are plenty of enticing Shoreditch bars and restaurants to choose from, including the M by Montcalm’s own in-house destination dining space, led by a Michelin starred chef.
Beyond the hotel, you’ll also find some fabulous food around Bethnal Green. There are plenty of tiny cafes and bars tucked away under the railway arches – head off the beaten path and explore the area around the station for some surprising gems.
If you’re around the area on a Sunday, it’s well worth checking out the nearby Brick Lane Market, filled with tempting street food, vintage stalls, contemporary art, live music and much more. Or closer to Bethnal Green, take a walk up to Victoria Park, where the weekly outdoor food market promises plenty of mouth-watering treats, from craft brews and vegan delights to juicy burgers, cakes and more.
Enjoy the outdoors
While staying in a boutique hotel Shoreditch definitely has its advantages, sometimes you just want to enjoy some open space. Luckily, you’re not far from some of the most relaxing parks and open areas in East London when you’re in the neighbourhood. If you’re craving sometime in the great outdoors, head down to Bethnal Green, and check out some of the loveliest parks in the area.
You’ll find two fantastic parks with unique character and charm, within 20 minutes’ walking distance. Victoria Park is one of the largest in East London, spanning over 210 acres of space, with a beautiful lake, water features, a bandstand and much more. Because of its immense size, it’s often the site of some of the city’s best festivals and live music performances, including the renowned All Points East music festival.
In the opposite direction, you’ll find the smaller, but lively Mile End Park. The park follows the path of the Regent’s Canal, and you can enjoy a leisurely walk along the canal-side on a sunny day, observing the painted canal boats and barges around you.
The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, with a dedicated Ecology Pavilion where you can learn more about the rich biodiversity of the area.
Experience market life
Bethnal Green has some of the city’s most exciting markets in the area, including the world-famous Columbia Road Flower Market. Running in some shape or form in the area since 1869, it’s a market with plenty of history and character. While once you’d have found a covered food market showcasing fresh produce and cooked food, nowadays, it’s renowned for the plethora of blooms and leaves you’ll discover there instead.
Check out the huge variety of sellers with everything from exotic house plants to heaps of colourful bouquets. You’re unlikely to come away empty-handed, with so many appealing wares on offer, and it’s the perfect place to visit in the city when you need to make it up to someone.
To get to the Columbia Road Flower Market from the Montcalm Shoreditch, head to Bethnal Green Underground station, before walking around the corner, following the signs from the station to the market.
Enjoy a little peace and calm
If you need a little peace and calm during your stay in London, you’ll find the perfect little refuge in Bethnal Green, in the nearby London Buddhist Centre. This relaxing space holds regular mindfulness, meditation and yoga classes, open to people of all levels. Check out one of the drop-in classes during the week, if you just need to step away from the hectic pace of the city, or look into their weekend courses and retreats if you’re curious about getting a little more in-depth.
The Centre also has its own café, which you’ll find right next door. Called “The Larder” you’ll find a variety of delicious vegan and vegetarian options on the menu, from sweet treats and refreshing drinks, to nourishing meals for lunch. You can also pick up speciality items to take back home as a gift.
With so much to explore, don’t delay! Start planning your day out in Bethnal Green now.