Even if you’re unfamiliar with London’s geography, chances are you will have heard of the East End and the West End, with each of these areas being famous for very different reasons.
Although the exact boundaries that define where the East End finishes and the West End begins are not clearly defined, it is generally accepted that the two are separated by High Holborn, which runs all the way from Shaftesbury Avenue in the west to Chancery Lane in the east.
Typically, the West End is associated with the finer things in life – such as shopping and theatre – while the East End is considered to be much more rough and ready, with cockney spirit and a grisly history that includes events such as the Jack the Ripper murders.
While both of these stereotypes are certainly true, the two areas also boast a lot of other features and attractions that some visitors may not expect.
The East End, for example, has cleaned up its act a lot in the last few decades, and while it may previously have been thought of as a run-down part of town it is now home to most of London’s glittering skyscrapers – such as the Gherkin and Heron Tower.
With the area around Liverpool Street and Bank being known as The City, this is also now where you’ll find many the offices of many financial institutions, so rather than the street urchins of yesteryear you’re now much more likely to see suited and booted professionals wandering around this part of town.
As a result, a huge number of swanky bars and restaurants have popped up in the East End in recent times.
The West End, meanwhile, certainly has its posh areas for those who are into that sort of thing – Bond Street and Mayfair, for example, are known for their designer boutiques – although you’ll also find some of the city’s oldest pubs in this part of London.
The Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden, for instance, dates all the way back to the 17th century, while the White Hart in Drury Lane is similarly ancient.