Living in London gives you the opportunity to go to all the incredible sites you’ve seen on television or read about. Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace and several other incredible monuments make the city so rich with history. Of course, these are all important sites to see, especially if you’re studying in London for a few months and have the time to. Yet, as an associate student at Queen Mary, I’ve tried to discover culture and art closer to campus in the East End of London. These are just a few of my favorite things to do near Queen Mary.
This was one of my favorite tours in London. I learned so much from my guide about both art forms and the various artists roaming around London. He started off by explaining the difference between graffiti and street art, and then proceeded to take us around to several of his favorite pieces near Brick Lane. A street artist himself, he was passionate about the subject and often was thrilled to discover new pieces during our tour, that had just been painted days ago. This tour opened my eyes to the free and constantly changing museum that is the streets of London.
This is one of my favorite places to go for a study break during the week. My flat mates and I would go here to catch recent movies and student tickets are discounted on Mondays and Wednesdays. The best part of this theater, though, is their mixed salted and kettle popcorn.
Since I’m studying abroad in the Spring, I’ve managed to find plenty of beautiful sunny days to relax at Victoria Park. A friend and I decided to rent Barclay’s bikes and ride down the canal that runs next to campus to the park. I also walked the canal to the park a few times during finals to clear my head for a few minutes. It’s a great place to hang out, picnic or relax if you don’t have time to get to St. James’s Park or Hyde Park.
Just down the street and to the left of Queen Mary’s campus is a thrift store where you can find all the flannel you’ll ever need. You can stuff as many clothes as you can into a bag for £10. It’s pretty fun to rummage through this place and I’ve actually found a few cool pieces from here!