Queen Mary's main campuses are based in the East End of London, which is home to fashionable clubs, cafés, markets, theatres, galleries and parks.
Learn more about the prominent part QMUL has played in the history of the East End.
Next to Queen Mary's Mile End campus and bordering Regent’s Canal is Mile End Park. With its iconic green bridge stretching across Mile End Road, this linear park features a leisure centre, museum, ecology zone and an art pavilion. A walk along the canal will bring you to Victoria Park and eventually to Broadway Market – it’s the perfect route for a weekend cycle.
Mile End is also home to the Mile End Climbing Wall. Based in a converted engineering works only minutes from campus, it’s one of the largest indoor climbing walls in London – so why not try bouldering as an unusual and fun way to stay fit? Also nearby is the Ragged School Museum, which explores and recreates the experience of Victorian children studying at a ragged school, a pioneering Victorian experiment in public education for poor children.
There are loads of places to eat close to the Mile End campus. Here are a few of the best:
- Greedy Cow – Gastropub food at reasonable prices, Grove Road (5 minutes walk)
- Baghdad Café – Authentic Iraqi and Arabic food at affordable prices (3 minutes walk)
- Morgan Arms – Upmarket pub food, good for a special occasion (10 minutes walk)
- Half Moon pub – Wetherspoons pub serving standard pub food (5 minutes walk)
- Nandos – Chicken with Portuguese hot Peri-Peri sauce, popular with students (10 minutes walk)
Just down the road from Mile End, Stepney is popular with students for its pubs and the independent Genesis cinema, which is housed in a beautiful converted musical hall and famed for its half-price ticket deals on Wednesdays and Fridays. Genesis is also home to Bar Paragon, where you can sample a wide range of classic cocktails made by master mixologists while attending events such as their monthly film quizzes and poetry slams.
Whitechapel and Brick Lane
Whitechapel is home to the East London Mosque, the oldest Mosque in London, along with a street market running Monday to Saturday and a wide variety of curry houses. It also features the East End Thrift Store and The Whitechapel Gallery, which offers a changing season of innovative art exhibitions, and houses a celebrated bookshop and café.
The nearby Blind Beggar pub has a fascinating history. It was the location of William Booth's first sermon which led to the creation of The Salvation Army. It’s probably most famous however as the place where East End gangster Ronnie Kray shot and murdered George Cornell in 1966. But don’t worry, these days it has a lovely outdoor garden with a koi fish pond, and is known for its fine cheese and wine nights.
Shoreditch is where all the most exciting student events in the capital take place, from private concerts performed by internationally renowned artists to the daily buzz generated by galleries, markets and shops. Not only is Shoreditch a social hub, it’s also home to Tech City, where many of London’s digital start-ups are based. There are regular free networking events in the area and it’s a good place to look for internships.
Some of the best venues in the area include XOYO, The Hoxton Pony and The Old Blue Last – at almost 400 years old, it’s known as one of Shakespeare’s old haunts. Now owned by the Vice media channel, it hosts high-profile gigs at student-friendly prices. Hoxton Square also offers a range of restaurants and bars.
Next to Shoreditch High Street station is Shoreditch Box Park, a quirky pop-up mall with shops selling a range of gifts and fashion, all housed in converted shipping containers.
The Old Spitalfields Market is a five-minute walk from Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane. Here you’ll find restaurants and stalls selling a variety of items on different days, from vintage clothing to collectable vinyl – try Thursdays for antiques and Fridays for fashion and art. Spitalfields is also home to Dennis Severs’ House, which features painstakingly recreated rooms spanning historical time periods to provide an immersive experience of Spitalfields life across the ages.
Just one stop away from the Mile End campus on the Central Line is Stratford, famous for being the site of the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2017 World Athletics Championships. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is an oasis in the busy city. Queen Mary sports clubs have priority access to many of the sports facilities, including the netball and basketball courts in the Copper Box Arena as well as the amazing Aquatics Centre. Visitors can also climb Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture. The nearby Westfield Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping complexes in Europe, with a huge range of shops, bars, restaurants, a cinema and bowling alley.
Developed in the 1980s on the site of London’s disused docklands, Canary Wharf (along with the City) is the financial centre of the capital – a hub of global finance and glittering skyscrapers. There are lots of restaurants, cinemas and a shopping centre here, as well as an ice skating rink over the Christmas period. If you’re interested in working in banking, finance or commercial law, it’s a good place to look for work experience and internships.
Just a short journey from Canary Wharf on the Docklands Light Railway is Greenwich where you can visit the National Maritime Museum or the Royal Observatory to admire a panoramic view over London. Greenwich Market is London’s only historic market set within a World Heritage site, and boasts a range of craft stalls, food bars and restaurants open seven days a week.
A leisurely walk along Regent’s Canal and only one stop from Mile End on the Central Line, Bethnal Green has a lively and eclectic atmosphere filled with shops and art collectives. A popular location for student housing, it’s also home to St John’s Church and the London Buddhist Centre, along with the V&A Museum of Childhood, as well as playing host to the Roman Road market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Bethnal Green features a number of quirky cafés, including the vegan-friendly Gallery Café and the UK’s first cat café, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Columbia Road is a winding treasure-trove of coffee houses, vintage shops and art studios, with its famous Flower Market being held every Sunday, rain or shine.