Things to Do in Bow Street, London

From Georgian squares with hidden war trenches to whiskey distillery tours, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained and well-fed in this east London neighbourhood.

Start with a stroll around Roman Road’s jungle of market stalls and head to Symposium on the corner of Rhondda Grove for coffee, a bite to eat or a glass of vino.

1. Bow Bridge

Bow Bridge is one of the coolest places in Central Park as it’s a place that is very popular among tourists for a romantic stroll and many people have also been seen making proposals here. It offers stunning views across Bethesda Terrace and the breath-taking landscape of Manhattan. It is also a favorite spot for photographers and has been featured in countless movies.

It is an elegant span of cast iron designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould in 1862. It is named for its graceful curve that suggests a violinist’s or archer’s bow. It was built in cast iron instead of stone for economic reasons, and its understated design blends seamlessly into the natural jumble of the Ramble.

Budding detectives can join the Bow Street Police Museum for a 20-minute crime-solving walking tour. Pick up clues, observe the exhibits and help Henry the Runner find the thief (suitable for all ages). There’s also an opportunity to try your hand at a sleuth game with a crime scene set up and learn more about the Museum’s history.

2. Central Park

Bow Street runs through Central Park, a massive urban greenspace designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and home to a variety of activities and attractions. From cultural events (Shakespeare in the Park, Summerstage) to awe-inspiring landscape architecture (Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace), it’s possible to spend an entire visit to Manhattan wandering the park.

A must-see is The Mall & Literary Walk, which is lined with American Elm trees and features statues of historical figures. It’s a popular spot for artists and performers throughout the day but can be quieter earlier in the morning.

Also be sure to check out Strawberry Fields, which includes a mosaic homage to John Lennon and attracts mourners to leave roses in his memory. Afterward, book a table at Tavern on the Green for classic American fare with a distinctly Old New York vibe. You might even recognize the venue as a setting from a famous film or two!

3. Mile End Park

Mile End Park is a great place to visit with kids and explore on foot. It is also a beautiful green space and it is home to a large playground. The Children’s Park has a rope slide, scrambling wall, complicated climbing frame and swings along with a dedicated area for under fives with a huge sand pit. The park also features a new piece of play equipment which is suitable for disabled children, the Art Pavilion.

The park is linked to the Ecology Park by a path and cycleway under a railway viaduct. It is also home to a small lake and an “art mound” which is used to display outdoor art. It is also the starting point for a walk around the Mile End Park Murals. One of the most prominent is a mural of Pankhurst, unveiled in 2018. It is a powerful tribute to one of the greatest British women’s rights campaigners.

4. Wennington Green

A short walk across the bridge brings you to Roman Road where you’ll find a bustling jungle of stalls. Whether you want fresh clothes, a Turkish pancake or an Italian deli-style meal there’s something for everyone here. The foodcourt’s a hit with families while if you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax and read you should head back to the library.

Once you’ve re-fuelled, amble over to Wennington Green a small village green that sits inside Mile End Park and is bordered by the Regents Canal. It’s the spot where you can hear locals singing their heart out and where Rachel Whiteread’s controversial ‘inside-out’ concrete cast of a terraced house once stood. The garden has a surprising history too; during WWII air raids, the gardens were used to shelter 10% of London’s population.

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