As we arrived in Whitechapel, dominated by coffee shops, cafes and bakeries, there was a sense of excitement about the new area (partly due to the possibility of going to a bagel shop,) despite the bad weather. We then went to Brick Lane where we saw the Brick Lane Mosque and the many Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, which created a wonderful smell and atmosphere. The area was very culturally rich, with a plethora of street art and graffiti as well as street signs in multiple languages. This demonstrated the great diversity in the area which we learnt was largely due to the high levels of French and Bangladeshi immigrants. We came across the famous bagel shop soon after, where many of us bought bagels; one of the highlights of our trip.

Further down the road was Spitalfields market, a popular tourist attraction, which we had the opportunity to explore at lunch. We took full advantage of its wide range of street food and market stalls. After visiting Paternoster Square (home to the London Stock Exchange), we went to St Pauls, which was imposing and grand even against the grey skies. Finally, we walked to the Barbican Housing Estate, where we learned about its role in regenerating previously badly bombed areas in the City of London. Its brutalist architecture was of particular interest to us, because although it looked harsh at first, its practicality and geometric style was very interesting after exploring the estate further.

Overall, our visit to the East End not only provided us with a fun day in London, but also educated us on the significance of regeneration schemes in the Tower Hamlets borough. It developed our knowledge and experiences of a culturally diverse and financially important area that we would all love to visit again.