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Dennis Severs’ House

A ‘still-life drama’ by the American artist Dennis Severs, who lovingly recreated the sounds, smells and atmosphere of a perfectly-restored Georgian house. Visiting times vary with sunset, so check the website.

18 Folgate Street E1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7247 4013
Tube: Liverpool Street
www.dennissevershouse.co.uk

The area around the old Spitalfields market is one of the most vibrant in London, with an old community that has long incorporated Brick Lane – London’s curry centre – now joined by a wave of apartment dwellers bringing in new energy.

Tube: Liverpool Street/Aldgate East

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Whitechapel

Spitalfields Market

There has been a market here since 1638. It’s busy every day, especially Sunday, with shops open from 11am to 7pm but the stalls vary. Monday and Tuesday are for general stuff, Wednesday for food, records & books, Thursday for antiques and Friday for fashion & art. 

Commercial Street E1
Tube: Liverpool St/Aldgate East

visitspitalfields.com

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Four centuries of bell-making lie behind this unassuming facade, including Big Ben and USA’s Liberty Bell (they’ve lost the receipt or its crack would be repaired under guarantee). Buy a hand-bell, visit the museum or watch bells still being cast in manure and goat hair moulds.

32 Whitechapel Road E1
Tube: Aldgate East
www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk

Whitechapel Art Gallery

Founded in 1901 to bring great art to East London, this is a vibrant community-driven art space, with talks, film, music and poetry. Artists such as Picasso, Kahlo and Pollock have premiered here, and it is a showcase for modern British art.

77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7522 7888
Tube: Aldgate East
www.whitechapel.org

Old Truman Brewery

With 200 creative businesses within it, this old brewery is an arts powerhouse with always something quirky on. Come for a meal, a drink, a fashion or  art show, live music or, in summer, to enjoy a tiny patch of urban beach to wriggle your toes in.

91 Brick Lane E1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7770 6009
Tube: Shoreditch
www.trumanbrewery.com

Ten Bells Pub

Jack The Ripper’s local is still said to be haunted. Mary Kelly, his last victim, enjoyed a drink here on the night before her mutilated body was found off Dorset Street, across the road. There’s a splendid painting inside the pub showing how the area looked then.

84 Commercial Street E1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7366 1721
Tube: Liverpool St/Aldgate East

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Christ Church, Spitalfields

Built in 1714 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren, the design owes much to Palladian influence. Once threatened with demolition, this most beautiful of Hawksmoor’s six surviving churches took 30 years and £10m to restore.

Fournier Street E1
Tube: Aldgate East
www.christchurchspitalfields.org

The Proof House

The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers was founded in 1637 and this Proof House was built in 1675 to test barrels. It is a unique City Guild in being outside the walls, no doubt due to the noise, and also one of the few to still carry out the work for which it was founded.

48-50 Commercial Road E1
Tube: Whitechapel
www.gunmakers.org.uk

Artillery Lane

Spitalfields also has London’s finest Georgian shopfronts at 56 and 58 Artillery Lane. Built in 1715  for the weavers of the area, the frontages were rebuilt in 1756-7. Note the Chinese-Rococo details on No.58’s fanlight. No.56 is an arts centre with free entry – check out the lovely interiors.

Artillery Lane E1
Tube: Liverpool Street
www.ravenrow.org

Elder Street

The Spitalfields area has many interesting buildings, including these well preserved Georgian houses in two of London's earliest surviving terraces. Built in the 1720s, many have been carefully restored. The nearby Dennis Severs’ House shows off a Georgian interior.

Elder Street E1

Tube: Liverpool Street
www.dennissevershouse.co.uk