Get a free valuation

Get an instant valuation here or contact one of our offices

Shadwell area guide

shadwell | E1

Area Guide

Scroll Down

Shadwell Area Info

Shadwell Area Info

Bordering Stepney, Limehouse, Wapping and Whitechapel, Shadwell, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is working hard to shake off its reputation for being a somewhat rough place to live, and little by little it is succeeding. It may be home to a lot of social housing and many of its residents come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but there’s a strong sense of community in this diverse neighbourhood. Regeneration efforts are having an impact, but they have not changed the essential character of the place, which many consider to be a good thing.

New builds, including one, two and three bedroom loft style apartments and tasteful warehouse conversions are proving popular with city folk looking to get more bang for their buck while still enjoying superb river views. Shadwell is also home to many families, indicated by the fact that there is a slightly higher percentage of children aged 0-15 in this area than in London as a whole.

Being in the docklands, Shadwell is perfect for commuters, having both a DLR and Overground station next door to each other, as well as nearby Stepney Green Undergound station on the Hammersmith & City and District Lines.

There is a good choice of primary schools in the area, including Bigland Green and Blue Gate Fields Elementary, rated by Oftsed as outstanding and good respectively. The nearest secondary is the Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools, which is generally rated good by Ofsted, with Wapping High School also close by and rated good.

Things to do in Shadwell

Shadwell is a great place to learn a variety of watersports slap bang in the middle of London. With courses for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, bell boats, dragon boats and powerboats as well as non-water activities such as climbing and high ropes, the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre provides a wide selection of activities for both children and adults alike. Watney Market is well worth a visit being one of the East End’s biggest and most popular street markets with over 100 shops and many hundreds of stalls selling everything from fruit, veg and household goods to authentic Indian saris and spices from Asia.

Food wise, you’ll find cuisines here as diverse as the community itself, including the famous Lahore Kebab House that’s been serving up authentic Punjabi dishes to appreciative locals since 1972 and the Madina Grill for perfectly cooked kebabs, steaks and wings. If it’s breakfast, lunch or light bites you’re after, however, then the Qwerky Café on Watney Street is a safe bet.

Nearby watering holes include The Hungerford Arms on Commercial Road, an old school East End boozer with friendly staff, beers on tap plus a juke box and pool table and the George Tavern, also on Commercial Road, a more hip and happening joint that also acts as a music and performance venue.

For late night shenanigans, Shadwell isn’t really the place, but don’t worry, the area’s nearby East End neighbours more than make up for it and are only a hop, skip and a jump away.


508 Roman Road
E3 5LU
020 8102 1236

Contact our office

Get directions
to Shadwell
Properties to
Rent in
Properties for
sale in

How much is your property worth?

Find out here

Find Schools in Shadwell

See what our clients say about us.

Read all our testimonials

History of Shadwell

Shadwell had less than ideal beginnings. Being largely populated by seafarers, the area soon became notorious for crime and poverty, not helped by the tenements being primarily occupied by the poverty stricken. By the late 1600’s the area had been turned into a maritime industrial area for tanneries, roperies, breweries, smiths, wharfs and – of course – taverns. Roads were built into the area and by the 1700’s the area was flourishing.

This enterprise would continue for many years, and in 1832 a new opening to Shadwell Dock was created to connect the Docks to the Thames. This, along with a new wider entrance constructed in the mid 1850’s to allow larger vessels to serve the docks greatly increased the number of merchants and trades into the area.

Unfortunately this prosperity would become a double edged sword. During the Victorian times the popularity of the trades, its workmen, the dockers and seafarers attracted many prostitutes to the area and it started to gain a less than favourable reputation. Opium smoking was also prevalent, and Shadwell became notorious and ultimately very unpopular.

The port eventually closed in 1914 after being sold to the City of London Corporation at the turn of the century. In 1936 the infamous Battle of Cable Street took place. The residents at the time were predominantly Jewish and attempted to block Oswald Mosley’s fascist march passing through on its route from Tower Hill to Aldgate. 250,000 protestors took part, overturning a lorry to block their path. A mural was created in 1982 to commemorate the event.

Shadwell Docks fell into dereliction in the late 1960’s into the 1970’s until the area was acquired by the London Docklands Development Corporation. Since then, much of the old areas were demolished and rebuilt, and in 1987 Shadwell DLR station was first opened.

Shadwell Basin - London
Shadwell Basin - London

Customer reviews

The service provided by the entire team at Butler and Stag is fantastic. From purchasing a plot, to the sale of the properties was run fantastically. Very professional outfit and a pleasure to work with. We certainly will be using Butler and Stag again in the near future. Matthew Hammond

Read more reviews
Our office Google reviews

Our office Google reviews

★★★★★ 4.9 Bow (London Office)

★★★★★ 5.0 Theydon Bois (West Essex Office)

★★★★★ 5.0 Buckhurst Hill Office

Find your next property