Post by M Andre
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
Whitechapel, a district in the East End of London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is a vibrant and a constantly evolving area. It is roughly bounded by Middlesex Street and Mansell Street to the west, Fashion Street to the north, Cambridge Heath Road and Sidney Street to the east and The Highway to the south.
The Whitechapel area is a short walk away from some of the best parts of East London, including Old Spitafields Market and Brick Lane. Victoria Park, Columbia Road Market, Shoreditch and the nightlife of Old Street is all a short distance away, and a short tube ride will take you into Central London.
Whitechapel is the location of the infamous gruesome Whitechapel Murders in the late 1880s, believed to involve the legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper.
Today you can book guided Jack the Ripper tours and terror walks offered by various individuals and companies, a fun activity for families, groups or individuals.
Aside from Jack the Ripper tours that involve exploring Whitechapel as well as the surrounding areas, there are many other reasons to visit Whitechapel.
The excellent Whitechapel Gallery, a public art gallery on the north side of Whitechapel High Street, is well worth a visit. The gallery was opened over a century ago and has premiered world-class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Paul Noble, Thomas Struth, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger. The contemporary art gallery plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape.
Whitechapel is also home to The Royal London Hospital that offers a variety of local and specialist services and caters to patients from London as well outside of London. This is a leading, internationally renowned teaching hospital based in east London and home to London’s Air Ambulance. For some, visiting the hospital might be the core reason to visit Whitechapel, however, health permitting, it may well be worth exploring the Whitechape area a bit more before heading home.
The Royal London Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust in Whitechapel.
Whitechapel is diverse and multicultural and was a home to Bangladeshi as well as other communities for many years. Today, you can find authentic fiery Bangladeshi or Punjabi curries, affordable restaurants and places to eat that practice the fabulous BYO (Bring Your Own) drink policy. Authentic cuisine can certainly make the list of things to do in the area. Alternatively, if you like preparing food at home, check out Whitechapel Market for the exotic fruit and veg it offers.
Whitechapel Road Market is also worth a visit, especially if you’re into the more exotic fruit and veg. You might discover fruit or veg you don’t see in your regular supermarket, such as this gorgeous and delicious tropical Jackfruit - this largest tree-borne fruit is a national fruit of Bangladesh, widely used is South and Southeast Asia, but also cultivated in the Caribbean and used in the Caribbean cuisine.
Whitechapel Road Market selling a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which are rather exotic.
A tasty and ripe jackfruit bought from Whitechapel Market.
Located on Whitechapel Road, the market is normally open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm. The nearest tube stations are Whitechapel and Aldgate East.
Trains: Whitechapel is in zone 2 of the tube map and is served by Whitechapel Overground and Underground (District and Hammersmith & City lines) train station – that would be the station of choice for the Whitechapel Market, Whitechapel Gallery or The Royal London Hospital. For train times, delays and other public transport information visit the TFL page here. Aldgate East might be another convenient tube station for you to use, depending on which end of Whitechapel you want to reach.
The area is served by buses: 25 (24 hours bus) towards Ilford or Oxford Circus; 106 towards Finsbury Park; 205 towards Bow or Paddington; 254 towards Aldgate or Holloway; D3 towards Bethnal Green or Leamouth. Night buses: N205 towards Layton or Paddington; N253 towards Aldgate or Tottenham Court Road. You can find more information on buses here.
In Whitechapel it is much about spotting a detail. You can spot beautiful old buildings, great pubs, art installations, graffiti, etc. If you have an inquisitive eye, you will spot gorgeous little corners and unique decorations on buildings, streets, in street corners.
Stunning wall mural by Mychael Barratt, spotted on the Whitechapel end of Mile End Road.
Spotted on the Whitechapel end of Mile End Road, these boats decorate the almshouses that were originally built in 1695 to provide housing for retired sailors. These are the oldest almshouses in Central London.
There are also a few very interesting spots for selfies and possibly as backdrops or backgrounds for certain bloggers. Here are some examples:
Sculpture on Mile End Road, near Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel, London.
Pictured above: Model concrete boat sculpture brilliantly positioned on the kerb in Whitechapel on Mile End Road near Stepney Green street, London.
Pictured above: Whitechapel Street. People in the narrow streets of Whitechapel, around Whitechapel High Street in East London. Photo by Humphrey Spender, originally published in 1938.