Full Guide to London’s Bow Area

Complete Guide to Living in Bow

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Living in Bow

A Traditional Cockney Residential Area with Major Transformation Plans Underway

Estate Agents Bow

With major regeneration plans and steady economic growth over the last decade, Bow is a one-of-a-kind place to live in London’s Zone 2. Rich in history and with a wide variety of properties, this area is a bustling urban centre that has become very popular with young families and young professionals. And, let’s not forget students. Bow is in the immediate vicinity of the renowned Queen Mary University of London.

Although largely residential, Bow also offers plenty of shopping and leisure activities. This East London gem hosts many local and bigger-brand shops, a great mix of eateries and pubs, as well as a market three times a week. The Underground District and Hammersmith & City lines offer short commutes from Bow to the financial district of Canary Wharf, as well as the City Centre. There is also no shortage of green areas here. Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are within walking distance from anywhere and there is plenty of outdoor and sports fun to be had there by Bow residents.

Bow’s inclusion in the urban development plans relating to the 2012 Olympics given its proximity to Queen Elizabeth Park has left a very positive mark on the area. Refurbished council housing or transformed former industrial buildings are widely found in Bow, along with classic Victorian and Georgian residential properties.

About the Area – Bow Guide

Nestled in East London’s Borough of Tower Hamlets, Bow is only 4.6 miles east of Charing Cross. It became part of the County of London in 1888. Its name is actually an abbreviation and a reference to its bowed bridge dating back to the 12th century. The original and full name of Bow is Stratford-at-Bow.

The area has seen a succession of regeneration schemes in recent years. In 2010, the Big Lottery Fund of the National Lottery awarded a £4.5 million grant to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. In its turn, the Borough had to commit to a £12 million programme of major improvements to the area of Victoria Park. Subsequently, the urban regeneration brought about by the hosting of the 2012 Olympics also included numerous council homes refurbishments, as well as new residential developments in Bow.

Bow has had a long history of welcoming artists and nurturing their talent. Fish Island is the local own artists’ haven. It hosts numerous creative spaces dedicated to creators, designers, and artisans. On top of that, as of 2014, local residents are hosting their own yearly celebration known as the Roman Road Festival. The festivities aim to celebrate local life, business, and art, and in 2015 the festival made it to the list of the top three Great British High Streets.

Estate Agents Bow
Estate Agents Bow

Transportation

TUBE – Hammersmith & City Line and District Line stations
Bromley-by-Bow
Bow Road
Mile End (also on Central Line)

DLR stations
Bow Church
Devons Road

AIRPORT
London City Airport – 15 minutes by car

Bow – Know the Area

Shopping is at its best in Bow along Roman Road. There is a 150-year old local market, and there are also big-brand stores like Tesco or independent local stores. Bow has numerous wine bars and its own distillery. The East London Liquor Company in Bow Wharf produces local whisky, gin, rum, and vodka. Open spaces are also widely available with tennis courts, playgrounds, and many cafés and there is also a local council swimming pool at Mile End Leisure Centre. Our Bow estate agents recommend these as the most popular attractions in the area:

ATTRACTIONS  –  ARCHITECTURE  –  PARKS  –  SHOPPING

  • Roman Road Market – a busy, vibrant collection of street stalls selling clothing and locally grown produce
  • Chisenhale Gallery – a non-profit contemporary art gallery with cutting edge displays of modern art
  • Bow Church – the parish church of St Mary and Holy Trinity located on a central reservation site in Bow Road
  • The London Aquatics Centre – a modern water sports complex complete with a wave-shaped roof and Olympic sized pools
  • V&A Museum of Childhood – a great place for children of all ages that features the finest childhood collections dating back to the sixteenth century
  • Mile End Park – a very scenic liner park by the canal with cycling and pedestrian pathways, as well as vast green areas and a playground
  • Victoria Park – a lush green area with lakes and fountains covering 86 hectares in the heart of East London complete with a splash pool and a skatepark
  • The Ragged School Museum – a preserved Victorian schoolhouse originally established to educate poor and diseased children of the era.

Estate Agents Bow

Architecture

Bow has a wide range of housing properties. From Victorian and Georgian period homes to regenerated council homes, the tree-lined streets of Bow have it all. For modern property hunters, there are also many former industrial or warehouse buildings converted into contemporary residential units.

Parks

Bow residents do not lack options when it comes to spending their time outdoors. Victoria Park, Mile End Park, and Groove Hall Park offer many sporting and leisure time activities, as well as playgrounds and resting areas or wonderful cafes. They feature tennis courts, wall climbing structures, splashing pools, and walking paths for year-round entertainment.

Estate Agents Bow
Estate Agents Bow

Shopping

For local produce, homeware, and clothes residents can head over to the Roman Road Market. For more high-street fashion, big brands and local shops offer plenty of options. There are many pubs, restaurants, wine bars, and cafes to enjoy in Bow. For more eclectic shopping, there is also an arts and crafts market in Gladstone Place and a farmers’ market in Cardigan Street.

Population

Bow hosts a multicultural community made up of original Cockney residents together with a newer wave of young families, young professionals, and students. Its population according to the 2011 Census is 27,720 residents in both the Bow East and Bow West wards.

Estate Agents Bow

Average Property Prices

Bow has become very popular with first-time buyers in recent years due to the good value for money it offers. Homes in Bow are fit for every taste and budget and buy-to-let investors are also attracted to the area for its major rental potential.

Here are the average property prices you can expect to find in the Bow area:

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Average Weekly Rental Prices

  • 1 bedroom property
  • 2 bedroom property
  • 3 bedroom property:
  • 4 bedroom property
  • Studio
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Average Sale Prices

  • 1 bedroom property
  • 2 bedroom property
  • 3 bedroom property:
  • 4 bedroom property

New Developments in the Area

Bow properties offer the best of both worlds. The old Bow has a housing stock made up of Georgian or Victorian houses in conservation areas with tree-lined streets. The new Bow is made up of transformed industrial sites converted into modern riverside homes. Here is a shortlist of Bow’s most notable new residential projects:

  • St Andrew’s hospital – a modern residential project comprising 964 new flats close to Bromley-by-Bow station
  • Bow River Village – a new project in Hancock Road, with 730 new homes starting from £370,000
  • Three Waters – a 300 flat project in three 20-storey buildings with 109 affordable homes and great riverside views of the River Lea and Bow Creek
  • Lime Quarter – a contemporary development with 124 1- and 2-bedroom flats and 3-bedroom duplexes in a 20-storey tower and a 3-storey block

Schools in Bow

Bow has a great choice of schools for young families residing in the area. Here is a list of some of the most well-ranked schools in Bow:

  • Central Foundation Girls’ School
  • Malmesbury Primary School
  • Phoenix Primary and Secondary School
  • Chisenhale Primary School
  • Wellington Primary School
  • Mulberry UTC
  • Marner Primary School
  • Children’s House Nursery School
  • Olga Primary School
  • Old Palace Primary School
  • St Agnes Catholic Primary School
  • Old Ford Primary Academy
  • Ian Mikardo High School
  • Bow School
  • The Cherry Trees School
  • The Clara Grant Primary School

Hospitals

There are several good hospitals and medical facilities available around Bow. Here is our shortlist of available medical units:

Estate Agents Canary wharf
  • BMI The London Independent Hospital
  • 1 Beaumont Square, Stepney Green, LondonE14NL
  • +442077802400
Estate Agents Bow
Estate Agents Poplar
Estate Agents Bow
Estate Agents Bow
Estate Agents Bromley by Bow

Bow Commute Times

Canary Wharf
Distance: 2.5 miles
By public transport: 20-25 minutes
By car: 10-20 minutes
By bike: 15 minutes

The City
Distance: 3.5 miles
By public transport: 25 minutes
By car: 20-40 minutes
By bike: 20 minutes

Westminster
Distance: 6.4 miles
By public transport: 40 minutes
By car: 30-70 minutes

Southwark
Distance: 5.3 miles
By public transport: 30 minutes
By car: 25-45 minutes
By bike: 25 minutes

Shoreditch
Distance: 3 miles
By public transport: 40 minutes
By car: 20 minutes
By bike: 20 minutes

Bow Economic Growth Plans

Bow benefits from the involvement of the Roman Road Trust in its economic and community development. This trust was set up to serve the needs Bow residents and businesses and focuses its activity on the regeneration of Bow’s high street, Roman Road.

Their mission is to bring back the community spirit and encourage economic growth through rebuilding the existing infrastructure and bringing back the locals’ sense of civic pride through sustainable support structures.

The Roman Road Trust considers Bow’s high street the lifeblood of the community offering vital opportunities for the community’s sense of connection and shared experience. Their projects help bring new jobs to the area and encourage investments in the local economy.

Best Pubs and Bars in Bow

  • The Morgan Arms is famous for its Sunday roast
  • The Lord Tredegar offers garden dining and a gourmet menu
  • The Greedy Cow on Grove Road serves camel and kangaroo burgers and steaks
  • Vinarius is a renowned local wine bar and wine shop, as is Bacaro 387 and Symposium
  • The Crown is a great gastropub in Bow with a diverse menu
  • East London Liquor Company is that produces whisky, gin, rum, and vodka and has a cocktail bar and a restaurant.

Bow – the Land of Cockneys

Cockney is a term used to describe the people from the vicinity of Bow Bells, the church of Saint Mary le Bow, Cheapside, in the City of London. It is said that cockneys are those born within hearing distance of the church bells. A study was conducted in 2000 to see how far the Bow Bells could be heard. The estimations of the study were: six miles east, five miles north, three miles south, and four miles west.

This area would cover Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Stepney, Wapping, Limehouse, Poplar, Millwall, Hackney, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Bow, and Mile End, as well as Bermondsey.

Cockneys have a special dialect that uses rhyming and words that are reverse-engineered from their recorded spelling. Examples include words like frust (instead of thrust), farding (instead of farthing), anoder (instead of another).

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Our Bow estate agents know what’s what and can assist you in your search for a good landlord or tenant, saving you precious time and money, too.

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