Olympic legacies and hipster lifestyles have got everyone pining for East London. Whether it’s trendy Shoreditch and Dalston or regenerated Stratford, East London is in demand. There doesn’t seem to be as much love for Aldgate, however.
Some might point to rental prices as the reason why the EC3 postcode is often overlooked – they aren’t, let’s say, super affordable. But Shoreditch and Dalston don’t exactly lend themselves to the lower end of London’s rental ecosystem either.
Whatever the reason may be, those who overlook Aldgate as a viable area to live are missing out on somewhere that features a selection of London’s most eye-catching buildings. The excellent transport links, gateway to the financial district and easy access into central London also adds appeal.
On a map
Aldgate is part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and comes under the E1 and EC3 postcode district. It’s located 2.3 miles east north-east of Charing Cross.
The area was initially thought to have a gate that connected to the road of Colchester during the Roman period. The gateway likely had two circular towers with a busy thoroughfare passing through.
The gateway was rebuilt between 1108 and 1147, then again in 1215, before finally being completely restructured between 1607 and 1609. In 1377, it was brought in line with other London gates and was given portcullis to act as a defensive barrier from French attacks.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry was first founded in Aldgate, before moving to Whitechapel. Another landmark is the Aldgate Pump, which sits between Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street. From 1700, it was used to measure the distances into the counties of Essex and Middlesex.
Renting in Aldgate
There is a wide range of properties in Aldgate, from period Georgian homes to new developments. The latter have become a more prominent feature over the last decade. There is also the odd converted warehouse.
Aldgate’s location in the City of London is appealing to single professionals who mainly work in the UK banking sector. The regeneration has provided a modern feel, with many large, glass buildings overlooking the city.
The average price of a one-bedroom property in the EC3 part of the postcode is around £3,690 per month. However, you can find properties on the lower end of the scale from around £2,100.
The E1 pocket of Aldgate is significantly cheaper: one-bed properties average around £1,800, with rents starting in the £1,500 mark.
A central location in Zone 1 lends itself to convenience, with most major landmarks and areas within easy reach. Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street train stations are nearby and provide access in and out of London.
Aldgate and Aldgate East are the main tube stations. The latter is located on the Hammersmith & City line and the District line, while the former is on the Circle Line and Metropolitan Line. Liverpool Street Tube station is also within walking distance.
It’s safe to say that there is a range of options in the form of train, tube and bus services. Getting around is certainly not an issue.
Places to eat
The central location of Aldgate means residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to eateries. From trendy restaurant to casual cafes and lively bars, East Central London has a bit of everything. Here are some of our favourites.
The Sterling sits in the traffic-free piazza that surrounds the Gherkin, one London’s iconic buildings. The glass walls create a grand feeling of natural light and combine with a unique design, providing a contemporary feel. The food isn’t bad either. Go for the 28-day ribbed eye steak or the smoked haddock risotto.
Located in Lemon Locke, a local ‘aparthotel’, Treves & Hyde keep it simple with the design and tasty with the menu. There is a bar area, dining room and notable Texan smoker and Argentinian Grill where slow-cooked food and roasts are prepared. Well-known chef George Tannock heads up the kitchen.
Downstairs at the Drift is perfect for Friday night drinks, while the upstairs features the restaurant. It might not be the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet meal out. But those into lively atmospheres with lots of buzz will feel right at home in the Drift.
From Colonia Condesa, located just west of Mexico City, to the heart of London, it’s fair to say that Lupita East has travelled a fair way. We’re happy it has though. Authentic Mexican dishes, a vast selection of tequila and Mexican beers await.
Stone-baked pizza, you say? Consider us excited. In this Movebubbler’s opinion, there is no other way to enjoy pizza other than stone baked. Throw in plenty of craft beer options and some mac ‘n’ cheese, and you have the perfect casual hangout to enjoy top-notch treats.
Simply marvelling at the Gherkin is worth your time, especially if you’ve just moved into the area. Totalling 500,000 square foot, the extravagant building has quickly become a symbol of London since its construction in 2004. There is also a restaurant and members club for those that want to do more than take a few snaps for the socials.
Billed as the original London horror tour, immerse yourself in London’s darker side of history with its most notorious serial killer. It begins just outside Aldgate East Tube station and ventures down London’s claustrophobic alleyways, detailing where many of his crimes took place.
The convenience of living in an area so centrally located means that you can include nearby postcodes as genuine amenities. Shoreditch is a little over a mile away from Aldgate. The trendy postcode offers plenty of pop-up restaurants, snazzy coffee shops and bars and clubs ranging from laid back to all-night venues.
Moving to Aldgate
For those looking for a high-end lifestyle with buzzing streets and the city life epitomised, Aldgate shouldn’t be slept on. It’s true that the EC3 postcode isn’t the most cost-friendly, but residents of the area will never be short of things to do. With stylish new developments, Aldgate is designed to offer a taste of East London luxury.
Main image credit: www.thestageshoreditch.com