London’s East End is an area filled with countless secrets and delights. From street markets and great shopping opportunities to a past filled with some of the most notorious figures in the history of British crime, there is plenty to see and do in the East End. Plus, the whole experience is underpinned by the rich history and culture that this part of the city has to offer both locals and visitors alike.
East End tours offer the perfect way to experience this area in a way as unique as the East End itself. But with a history as varied as this, how do you know where to go and what to see first?
Take a walk off the beaten track to get to know the real East End, experiencing the city away from the crowds of tourists. We have put together a short list of several strange or little-known facts about this area to inspire you to try something a little different on your next visit to the East End.
The Wrong Side
Unique among all other roads in the country, there is one road in London that requires drivers to drive on the right – the opposite side of the road to the rest of the country. This road is Savoy Court, just off the Strand. Although the reason for this isn’t known for certain, it is thought that the law was changed to allow taxis to easily drop off guests at the theatre before picking up new customers from the hotel on the same road.
The Millennium Flop
Greenwich’s o2 Arena started life as the Millennium Dome. When the original Millennium Experience exhibition closed, several ideas to repurpose the site were proposed and subsequently rejected, prompting fears that the building would fall into disrepair. Despite many people considering it to be a massive financial flop, the Millennium Dome was transformed, now living its life as the o2 Arena, housing restaurants, entertainment facilities, and one of the city’s largest concert venues.
Great Ormond Street Hospital is widely regarded as one of the best children’s hospitals in the world, but did you know that it actually owns the copyright to one of the most famous children’s books in the world too? Celebrated author J.M. Barrie gifted the copyright of his book Peter Pan to the hospital in 1929. Since then, the hospital has received millions of pounds in sales and money from film adaptations as a result of this generous gift.
If you’re feeling inspired, why not book yourself onto one of our East End tours? Browse our website to see the full range of tours available, then get in touch for more information or to guarantee your place today.