London – the world’s favourite destination. With festivals, libraries, museums, shops, Royal Parks and nightlife, it is no surprise that London is one of the most popular cities in the world. The political, cultural and business centre of the UK, London attracts people and talent from across the globe. Delegates have the opportunity to engage with an unparalleled array of academic resources, including a wealth of world-renowned libraries, museums and research institutes on their doorstep. With a population of 8.6 million and more than 300 languages spoken, the people of London represent cultures from every corner of the earth.
East London – the place to be
Next to the City of London, east of the medieval walls that marked the City’s original boundaries, you’ll find the East End – a captivating place, with a rich history, vibrant cultural scene and a sense of community all of its own. The East End is one of the most rapidly changing parts of the capital, combining the best of old and new. Cycle ten minutes from the QMUL campus, for example, and you’ll find the world-class sports facilities of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Around campus, you can take a turn down a residential street and stumble across a rare mural by graffiti legend Banksy, a hidden garden square, or an atmospheric Victorian pub serving good food. There’s always something new to discover.
The cultural variety of the East End is reflected in the range of restaurants on offer. One street can represent food from all over the world, and there are some great restaurants close to campus. Exploring the streets surrounding Mile End Park, such as Burdett Road, will reveal Bangladeshi, Indian, Arabic, Italian and Chinese restaurants, to name a few.
The area around Shoreditch has grown to represent an alternative experience to the formulaic bars of the West End, while local cinemas, like Genesis, and the area’s coffee shops are a lot less packed than in central London. Modern clubs, such as Cargo or the Hoxton Pony, sit alongside hundred-year-old pubs like The Old Blue Last, creating an eclectic and colourful mix.
Our host, Queen Mary University of London and its recently established Centre for European Research and the School of Politics and International Relations, will provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas on research and teaching on Europe in the heart of London’s East End. The Centre is also home to two highly successful and prestigious publications: East European Politics (edited by Professor Adam Fagan) and the European Journal for Political Research Political Data Yearbook (co-edited by Dr Rainbow Murray). Historically the Mile End campus was the home of the People's Palace, later named Queen Mary College, which started in 1887 as a philanthropic centre to provide east Londoners with educational, cultural and social activities.
QMUL is the only university that can offers city and campus experience: a friendly, self-contained residential campus in the heart of the capital. QMUL is close to Shoreditch and Brick Lane, the financial centres of Canary Wharf and the City, and only 20 minutes on the Tube from Westminster and Whitehall. On campus, there’s plenty of greenery and attractive outdoor spaces, and with the familiar rhythms of student life, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of a bustling capital city.
East London easily has the most vibrant cultural scene in the city. The music, art, and history of the region create a potent, exciting mix. If you’re a fan of art, several galleries in the area are celebrated for their interesting and unique exhibitions – the Whitechapel Gallery is particularly popular.
You don’t even have to go indoors to see some of the most iconic art of the East End– famed graffiti murals dot the streets of Hackney, Whitechapel and Shoreditch. East London is also renowned for the amount of musicians, artists and actors that started out or grew up in the area.
Perhaps the worst that can be said about shopping in the East End is that there’s simply too much choice, from charity shops to one of Europe’s biggest indoor shopping centres in Stratford. The east of London is particularly famous for its open-air markets, like Brick Lane’s Sunday stalls, where great food from all over the world sits alongside stands of imaginative clothing.