Living and renting in Shoreditch: travel links, parking, schools, best streets — and the average cost of monthly rent
Just beyond the fringes of the City, there was a time when nobody wanted to live in Shoreditch, a grimy backland of empty industrial spaces and cheap (yes!) housing.
However, its adoption by the Young British Artists and then London’s hipster community and City workers who could see the sense of being able to walk to work, means that Spitalfields is now an established upscale district.
On the streets there still hangs an air of stylish squalor, but the kind of international companies moving into the area (Versace, J Crew) suggests how high local rents and rates have become.
You will need a residents’ permit to park in Shoreditch. An annual pass costs anything from £10 to £264 depending on your vehicle’s engine size/CO2 emissions.
With little in the way of open space, those who want exercise are going to have to pay. If you can afford to be a member of Shoreditch House, you can hang out at its rooftop pool with the beautiful people.
If not, you can keep it real at Hackney Council’s Britannia Leisure Centre, which has a gym, pool, and five-a-side pitches. There are tennis courts and a beach volleyball court at Shoreditch Park, and plenty of private gyms and yoga studios.
Crime rates in the Hoxton East and Shoreditch ward are much higher than average — 41 offences per 1,000 residents compared with a London average of just eight. However, crime data needs to be treated with caution; areas with lots of nightlife and tourists always attract crimes such as pickpocketing, antisocial behaviour and bar fights, which elevate levels.
Average cost of renting in Shoreditch
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Best streets in Shoreditch to live on
Polat Ali, director of estate agent Hunters, recommends Redchurch Street with its boutique shops and warehouse conversions and proximity to the station, plus adjacent Boundary Street, a quieter, cobbled option. A two-bedroom flat here would cost about £2,600pcm.
For more value he suggests looking at the ex-council properties just off Pitfield Street, where a two-bedroom flat on the Arden Estate would cost closer to £1,600pcm.
Shoreditch travel links and accessibility
Shoreditch High Street is on the London Overground (Zone 1).
Local buses go to Old Street, Hackney, Aldgate, and London Bridge.
Best schools in Shoreditch
For a location not immediately associated with family life, Shoreditch has good schools, including the Ofsted outstanding trio of St John the Baptist Voluntary Aided CofE Primary School, Shoreditch Park Primary School, and Central Foundation Boys’ School (seniors).
Supermarkets and food markets in Shoreditch
There is a rash of Tesco Expresses, several Co-ops, and independents, such as The Grocery, specialising in locally sourced, organic and wholefoods as well as an As Nature Intended (health foods).
If you care about such matters, Shoreditch’s moment as the hipster hotspot of London has passed. Most of the young artists and creatives who made it cool in the 1990s and 2000s have long moved on.
In their place have arrived outposts of Soho House, Beach Blanket Babylon, Nobu, chain coffee shops, and boutique hotels. Perhaps the nail in its coffin was the opening of Cereal Killers, a café selling, yes, breakfast cereal.
‘There is a lot of talent around here’
Yasser Khattak loves the buzzing, inspiring atmosphere of E1 (Adrian Lourie)
Aged 18, Yasser Khattak quit school and did what any self-respecting start-up entrepreneur would do: he left his family home in Kent and moved to London.
After a couple of years living in west London he gravitated to Shoreditch, the capital’s start-up hub, where he shares a two-bedroom warehouse flat with a friend.
His move was partly for convenience. Yasser is the founder of Den, a firm selling smart lighting and sockets (getden.co.uk).
Den is based in Wapping and the commute from Holland Park was tiresome. He loves the buzzing, inspiring atmosphere of E1: “There is a lot of talent around here.”
Vogueish Shoreditch is, of course, not a cheap and cheerful option. The monthly rent for Yasser’s home is £2,300, which he splits with his flatmate. “It is really about the same as living in west London,” he says.
Shopping in Shoreditch
Though there are fashion boutiques, it is really all about markets in Shoreditch.
Spitalfields Market may have been over-developed but it still has a good range of food, art, fashion, antiques and gifts, and Columbia Road is fantastic for cut flowers and plants (and bargains just before closing time).
Brick Lane’s Sunday flea market is grubby fun but it takes patience to sort overpriced trash from treasure.
Culture in Shoreditch
It has some wonderful small museums, notably Dennis Severs’ House, a restored 18th-century townhouse, and the Geffrye Museum of the Home.
The Barbican and the Whitechapel Gallery are within walking distance.
There are two arthouse cinemas, Rich Mix and the Electric Cinema.
Sadly, many small art galleries, which kick-started Shoreditch’s regeneration, have been priced out of the area.
Eating and drinking in Shoreditch
Yasser likes the “not fancy” but excellent food at Sichuan Folk, Hanbury Street, and the Carpenter’s Arms on Cheshire Street.
Beyond that it would be possible to write a book about Shoreditch’s bars, clubs, pop-ups, restaurants, cafés and street-food stalls.
If you like variety, Boxpark by the station has a regularly changing roster of names, and the Old Truman Brewery and the Bricklayers Arms are local institutions.
Brick Lane has Indian restaurants both terrible and brilliant (Gunpowder, just off the main drag, is always a safe bet), and you could have a game of ping pong with your pint at Bounce.
Shoreditch’s green space
Not a lot, but Yasser often goes to the Nomadic Community Garden on Fleet Street Hill, which is maintained by volunteers.
The site is earmarked for redevelopment but for now is used to grow food and plants, and is a great pop-up green space.