Following recent property developments and transport investments, Bromley by Bow has been transformed into an up-and-coming rural area for renters. Located in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, those living in Bromley by Bow benefit from quieter and greener surrounds compared to many other East London places.
Earning its namesake from the old English term for meadows full of brambles, Bromley by Bow still retains some of its pastoral landscapes and historical buildings. With the River Lea weaving through it, living in Bromley by Bow offers plenty of pretty riverside running and dog-walking routes. The area also has its own Tube station connecting to the Hammersmith & City, making it easy to get to Euston in 30 minutes.
So if you’re looking for a quieter side of London to live in, here’s our guide to living in Bromley by Bow.
The Galvanisers Union
Part of the Antic pubs collective, The Galvanisers Union follows the same trademark of impeccable restoration. The old building is decked out with gritty Victorian-inspired touches alongside contemporary furnishings, making it an atmospheric setting for a pint any day of the week.
The pub serves a whole host of craft beers and ales by regional breweries. If you’re living in Bromely by Bow and feeling peckish, you can also enjoy all of your favourite comfort meals on the menu. During the sunnier weather, make the most of the relaxed beer garden with friends. Occasionally, the pub hosts live music gigs and quiz nights too.
Address: 2 Devas Street, Bromley by Bow, London E3 3LL
Phone: 020 7537 1158
Thought to be the oldest brick house in London, Bromley Hall is steeped in history. The early Tudor manor house dates back to the late 15th century and was originally built by Holy Trinity Priory. The red brick building now stands out among the more industrialised streets of East London.
Many historical figures have passed through the doors of Bromley Hall, including the knight John Blount who was a member of Henry VIII’s trusted inner circle. During the Hall’s restoration, historians discovered it to have been once lavishly decorated with wall paintings, hangings and plush furnishings. Some of the panelling was donated to the V&A Museum for display.
Address: 43 Gillender Street, Poplar, London E14 6RN
Ice cream parlour and wholesaler Happy Endings have your sweet tooth covered. The headquarters are located on the tip of Bromley by Bow and Mile End, and rival that of the great Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. If you’re living in Bromley by Bow then you can visit for exclusive ice cream, chocolate and dessert workshop days — the perfect idea for a party or team-building event.
You’ll find their luxury soft serve ice cream in a number of locations across London. They’re also well-known for their iconic ice cream sandwiches, ranging from the ‘Negroni’ (blood orange and dark chocolate) to the ‘Naughty One’ (salted caramel with chocolate Guinness cake).
The Widow’s Son
Set in a Grade II listed building, The Widow’s Son is an atmospheric pub. Every Good Friday the pub would hold the tradition of dangling hot cross buns from a net over the bar, leading to its affectionate name as the ‘Bun House’.
Recently renovated, the pub fuses its original 19th-century heritage with a stylish contemporary twist. Today, the pub is a cosy spot for a pint; expect local beers courtesy of Meantime Brewery, among others. The bartenders are also on hand to mix you up a classic cocktail. The revamped food menu will satisfy all cravings with a hearty selection of burgers, sharing platters, ice cream sundaes, and roast dinners on Sundays.
The Nunnery Gallery & Café
Community-led art gallery and café, The Nunnery, champions the local area. Housed within a former 19th-century convent, the building is an intriguing historical example in itself, complete with gothic arches and original floor tiles.
Inside the gallery you’ll find a mix of work by emerging artists, information on East London’s heritage, and interesting history-based workshops. As well as the main gallery, there are more than 100 Bow Arts studios.
After immersing yourself in the local creative scene, pop by the café for a homemade cake and coffee. And there’s also a small shop nestled within the café, selling books, prints, pottery, and other handmade items by the resident artists — perfect for decorating your home.
Showcasing the best of London up-and-coming talent, The Beehive has a busy schedule of events throughout the week. The backroom of the pub has been converted into a mini venue complete with a raised stage and lighting. Visit on weekends to listen to live music by local artists who might just become the next big thing. And the pub also hosts stand-up comedy nights and spoken word.
Visit during the daytime for a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of beers on tap. It’s just around the corner from Bromley by Bow Station, making it easily accessible whether you live in the area or not.
Address: 104 Empson St, Bromley by Bow, London E3 3LT
Phone: 020 7515 4889
Email: [email protected]
The House Mill
The Grade I listed House Mill is a fascinating example of one of Britain’s oldest and largest tidal mills. Overlooking the River Lea, the mill traces industrial history back to the late 1700s. Part of the Three Mills complex housed on this river island, records from the Domesday Book suggest that mills here were first in operation in the 11th century.
Today, you can visit the water-powered mill to learn more about its extensive history as a gin distillery. What's more, the House Mill Trust delivers a busy calendar of activities, heritage tours, concerts, art exhibitions, and workshops throughout the year.
Address: The Miller’s House, Three Mill Lane, Bromley by Bow, London E3 3DU
Phone: 020 8980 4626
Email: [email protected]
Bromley by Bow Park
The largest parkland in the area, Bromley by Bow’s recreation ground is a leafy retreat. Conveniently located near the train station, the park is a good place to unwind with friends. In the summer months, the park really comes to life, attracting community-led events and picnics.
To the edge of the park is the Bromley by Bow community centre. The registered charity supports the local community through regeneration plans, workshops, skill sharing, and other inclusive events.
Address: St Leonard’s Street, Bromley by Bow, London E3 3BT
Phone: 020 8709 9700
Email: [email protected]
Living in East London’s Historical & Rural District
So, if you’re looking for a quieter side of East London, you should consider living in Bromley by Bow. With no shortage of outdoor spaces, parks, and riverside walking routes, the district has many charms.
Want to learn more about living in East London? Read our guide for other cool areas to live in and where to hang out.