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Victoria Park area guide

Victoria Park | E9

Area Guide

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Victoria Park Area Info

Victoria Park Area Info

Spanning across the London Borough of Hackney to the north and Tower Hamlets to the south, Victoria Park is an area that derives its name from its iconic park, also known as ‘the people’s park’, an 86 hectare green area with picturesque lakes, fountains, monuments, cafes and dedicated children’s play areas. There’s a wealth of delis, shops, boutiques, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes located on Lauriston Road and Victoria Park Road, collectively known as Victoria Park village.

Properties on offer here include some truly special three and four storey Victorian terraced houses overlooking the park, which rarely come to market as they are among the most exclusive homes in east London. Alternatively, the surrounding areas of Victoria Park have amassed a network of modern apartments and flats offering good value for money. Residents here tend to be a mix of original east enders, finance professionals and families. The rap artist, Tinie Temper, also lives here, occupying the house once owned by Alexander McQueen, the late, great fashion designer.

Victoria Park is walking distance from both Bethnal Green and Mile End tube stations, on the Central line and the Hammersmith & City, District and Central lines respectively. It is also connected to the Overground via London Fields and Hackney Central. Several highly sought-after schools fall within Victoria Park’s catchment, including Lauriston School, a primary with a good Ofsted rating, and at secondary level the Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy, which also rates good.

Things To Do In Victoria Park

Well the obvious choice is the park itself, which is great for just relaxing in the sun, or for the more energetic among you, going for a run. If you really want to push yourself, you can join the Regent’s Canal towpath here, travelling to Islington in one direction and Limehouse in the other. In our opinion however, during the summer months there’s nothing better than having a coffee and a croissant at the excellent Pavilion Café, overlooking the lake, after which you might want to hire a boat and enjoy a leisurely row around.

Standing proud at the Grove Road entrance to the park is the Royal Inn on the Park, a beautiful Victorian pub with a great selection of beers and wines and a menu of delicious sharing boards and pub classics. However, it’s the Sunday roasts that really pull in the punters and have gained legendary status among those in the know. Another fine local is The Lauriston, slightly back from the park on Victoria Park Road, where the pizzas, pints and cocktails on offer are always a popular choice.

For something a little more fancy, head to The Empress on Lauriston Road, a wonderful gastro pub that serves a modern British menu featuring quality produce from its neighbourhood suppliers. Just a few doors down, however, you’ll find the Fish House, which is great if you just want some good, old fashioned fish and chips.

Should you just fancy coffee and cake, there are lots of lovely cafés nearby, with our favourites being Elbows, Amandine and Loafing. Also on the doorstep is Haus, a fabulous furniture, lighting and gift shop that we defy you to leave empty handed!

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History of Victoria Park

Originally a Royal Park which became municipal in 1887, Victoria Park or Vicky Park as its known to some is one of London's oldest public parks, visited by millions for nearly 175 years. It was opened to the public in 1845 after a local MP presented Queen Victoria with a petition of 30,000 signatures. The aim was to make it a kind of Regent's Park for the east and it originally had its own Speakers' Corner. Considered as the finest park in East London, it is bounded on two sides by canals: the Regent's Canal lies to the west, while its branch, once known as the Hertford Union Canal runs along the Southern edge of the park. The main entrance gates at Sewardstone Road has replica statues of the Dogs of Alcibiades, the originals of which stood here from 1912 to 2009 until vandalism led to their being removed, restored and rehoused elsewhere in the Park. Two pedestrian alcoves, surviving fragments of the old London Bridge, demolished in 1831, are located at the east end of the park near the Hackney Wick war memorial where they were placed in 1860. They were part of the 1760 refurbishment of the 600 year old bridge, by Sir Robert Taylor and George Dance the Younger, and provided protection for pedestrians on the narrow carriageway. The insignia of the Bridge Association can be seen inside these alcoves. The alcoves have been Grade II listed, since 1951.

In the latter half of the 19th Century, Victoria Park became an essential amenity for the working classes of the East End. For some East End children in the 1880s, this may have been the only large stretch of uninterrupted greenery they ever encountered. Facilities like the Bathing Pond later transformed by a lido, would have introduced many to swimming in an era when many public baths were still only communal washing facilities.

The Lido opened in 1936 and reopened in 1952 following damage during the Second World War, it was closed in 1986 and demolished in 1990.

During the Second World War, Victoria Park was largely closed to the public and effectively became one huge anti-aircraft site. The gun emplacements conveniently straddled the path of German Luftwaffe bombers looping north west after attacking the docks and warehouses further south in what is now Tower Hamlets, and so the park was of some strategic importance.

Fast forward to today and the park is enjoyed by cyclists, joggers, dog walkers and families. In the summer music festivals such as Love Box attracts thousands of revellers in one weekend, whilst Nike's 'We Own The Night' an all female 10k night race is another popular fixture.

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

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