Shoreditch

Words by Christianah Babajide


Shoreditch is an inner-city district in the historic East End of London and modern Central London. It is one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods within the London Borough of Hackney, lying immediately to the north of the City of London.

As a Londoner, I have visited Shoreditch a few times but it wasn’t an area I knew well. It wasn’t until after my A-Levels, that I worked in Shoreditch for over a year and familiarised myself with its surrounding.

Shoreditch is one of East London’s most notable areas but is in the heart of Central London near Liverpool Street and Old Street stations. What makes Shoreditch so appealing for visitors (mostly young professionals) is the ability to stumble upon so many hidden gems in Boxpark or simply by walking down the High Street. Shoreditch is known for its creative culture – in fact, you’d find it difficult to walk anywhere in the area without encountering some form of bold, extravagant artwork.

Shoreditch was appealing to me for three main reasons: (1) the cool street art (2) the calibre of people (3) the pubs and clubs – I will explain all in detail and will also include information on the housing and transportation in Shoreditch – to aid prospective students who are unfamiliar with the breadth of London and ease of transport. I sincerely hope this article provides an accurate picture of the diversity of a London area and reveals parts of the City you may not have considered visiting or living in.

Cool Street Art

London is home to a thriving street art scene: Shoreditch. Many a times when going or coming back from work, I have marvelled at some of London’s finest street art. Unlike Central London, where the city is tattooed with art galleries, tourist attractions and British museums, Shoreditch is blessed with the handiwork of the Capital’s best street artists on the art scene. If you are ever looking for visual inspiration then Shoreditch – the creative hub of the trendy East-End, is the place for this. It is now largely recognised as “the spiritual home of street art”, attracting talent from all over the world. Walking from Brick Lane down Redchurch Street into the Shoreditch Triangle, you can take in the area’s impressive prints done by local street artists and creatives. I am convinced there are still several beautiful pieces of artwork just tucked away on the back streets, on street signs, on lampposts or even camouflaged on a wall – just waiting to be noticed!



The People

Shoreditch is home to an international, diverse community that is accepting of all backgrounds. From leading artists, critics, gallery owners to a place you can find Americans, Pakistanis, French, Bangladeshi, Turkish and Eastern Europeans. All these people came from different backgrounds and have added their own exotic touch to the culture, art, food and clubbing scene in Shoreditch making it one of the most multicultural areas in the UK – till this day. Not to mention, living with this calibre of people gives you a chance to network and make contacts which may come in handy when expanding your business or progressing down your career path.



Pubs and Clubs

There is no shortage of restaurants, bard and cafes in Shoreditch and the High Street is one of the best places to be in for entertainment spots. The city is dotted with bold street art, edgy art galleries, access to plenty of pubs, lively clubs and entry to reasonably-priced restaurants – all within walking distance. The famous night life in Shoreditch, which extends beyond Zone 1, doesn’t just occur during the weekends but the weekdays too – there’s no such thing as a quiet night here! I have been at Shoreditch on a Friday Night – the atmosphere is electric with masses of people buzzing with excitement to start their weekend with a bang. The fun thing about Shoreditch is, every day you meet different kinds of people. Shoreditch is also known for wine and dine – this part of London has become a diverse cultural hotspot which offers a selection of locally sourced and niche worldly cuisines – mostly marketed through loyal customers and word of mouth.



Getting Around

Shoreditch is located in the City of London which makes transport links accessible and getting around that much easier. It also makes commuting to university quicker allowing getting to lectures on time. Old Street station is on the Northern line and Shoreditch is on the East London Overground line, connecting to Canary Wharf with a change at Canada Water. Both are Zone 1 stations and an annual travelcard costs £1,284. Ensure you get a student oyster card to subsidise the monthly travel cost. Looking on the bright side, living in Shoreditch means you can complete internships or work in the City whilst enjoying all that Central London has to offer without the downsides.



Housing

One-bedroom flats in the heart of Shoreditch start at around £450,000, rents range from £1,200 a month for a studio to about £6,000 for a large loft. Considering the prime location that Shoreditch is in – you have probably guessed that houses won’t be cheap. With the average flat rent costing over £500 per week, studio flats and houses are often seen as overpriced. This is unsurprising due to its close proximity to Old Street and Liverpool Street. Maybe consider checking for cheaper housing further down East London in Hackney, Bethnal Green or Mile End. However, homes in Shoreditch are extremely popular and it is possible for individuals to find affordable multi share housing in Shoreditch– if you’re lucky you’ll probably get a cool graffiti artist as a roommate!