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Mile End area guide

Mile End | E3

Area Guide

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Mile End Area Info

Mile End Area Info

Sandwiched between Bow, Stepney, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green, Mile End is a largely residential neighbourhood that might not have the same degree of cool and edginess of some of its nearby neighbours, but has greatly benefitted from recent regeneration nevertheless. Residents are generally a lively mix of young professionals taking advantage of the convenient commute, born and bred Londoners who have been here for decades and students attending Queen Mary’s University on the Mile End Road. Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning film director and the genius behind the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony also lives here. Like its diverse mix of residents, Mile End also offers a diverse mix of property, consisting mainly of terraced houses and blocks of flats, with the occasional grand period house thrown in for good measure. However, thanks to a recent spate of development, you’ll now also find a generous selection of slick new-builds.

Accessibility is one of Mile End’s biggest draws, with the tube itself sitting conveniently on the District, Central and Hammersmith & City lines, with the latter two being just two stops from London Liverpool Street. You’re also a short walk from Bow Road (District and Hammersmith & City) and Limehouse (DLR).

Primary schools in the area include Halley Primary and Bonner Primary, both with a good rating from Ofsted. Morpeth Secondary School is nearby and received an outstanding rating in its last Ofsted inspection.

Things To Do In Mile End

If you like green space, you’ve come to the right place because Mile End Park has 79 acres of glorious greenery with plenty of attractions including a lake, farmers’ market, Astroturf and football pitches, play areas, leisure centre, climbing wall and go kart track.

A trip down the Roman Road is also a must, where you’ll not only get to experience a traditional East End market that’s been running for over 150 years, but where you’ll also find dozens of independent stores, cafes and restaurants. Grab a flat white at Zealand Road Coffee, a bag of candy at Sweet Treats or go into full on dining mode at Symposium, which serves up some of the best Italian fare in town.

Pubs are not in short supply in Mile End, which is what you would expect in the proper east. The Lord Tredegar is one of the best - a charming spot on a tree-lined street with a lovely beer garden out back. It’s the perfect place for a pint and a bit of pub grub. Or if your idea of a pub is a little more gastro, then head to The Morgan Arms, where you can enjoy your Negroni in style with a dish of monkfish cheek and salsa verde.

For something more educational, head to The Ragged School Museum on Copperfield Road. Formerly the Dr Barnardo-founded Copperfield Road Free School (also known as a ragged school as the pupils were among the area’s most destitute), it has a recreated Victorian classroom, complete with stern ‘teacher’ (an actor in period garb), plus a small exhibition offering an insight into just how tough life was in East London in the late 1800s.


508 Roman Road
E3 5LU
020 8102 1236

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History of Mile End

Mile End is recorded in 1288 as La Mile ende. It is formed from the Middle English 'mile' and 'ende' and means 'the hamlet a mile away'. The mile distance was in relation to Aldgate in the City of London, reached by the London to Colchester road. In around 1691 Mile End became known as Mile End Old Town because a new unconnected settlement to the west and adjacent to Spitalfields had taken the name Mile End New Town.

During the Victorian period, the area became a slum due to the rapid growth of London, the heavy riverside industry and the railways. Similarly like other areas of the East End, overcrowding and poverty became synonymous with the area, despite the fine terraced housing and delightful squares located nearby.

The Second World War brought more desolation to the area, with most buildings being destroyed and many residents losing their homes due to the London bombings. So the story goes, only born and bred residents from Bow, who heard the sound of the St Mary-le-Bow church Bells, can truly call themselves a true cockney. Some of these people will also recall the first ever V-1 flying bomb which descended on the area during the Blitz years. The industrial land, which was destroyed, was left derelict for almost 50 years until the creation of Mile End Park in 1999 and more recently, a 200kg bomb was found near Mile End station during building work in the area.

In May 2007 during building work, a live World War II bomb weighing 200 kg was found north of Mile End station near Grove and Roman Roads. Approximately 100 local residents were evacuated and stayed with friends and family or the Mile End Leisure Centre until the bomb could be deactivated and removed.

Nowadays, Mile End is a mainly a family orientated residential district and Bow has a thriving student population thanks to Queen Mary, University of London. Part of the London Olympic Village is also situated within the E3 postcode, which has helped regenerate and develop the district.

St Mary Le Bow Church
St Mary Le Bow Church

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