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Trip Report London - Off-the-Path Gems

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I've been going to London about annually since Queen Victoria was on the throne, or just about! And though first or even 2nd or 3rd time visitors understandably want to dwell on the myriad of fantastic famous sights largely in central London, or Tourist London as I have seen it described, over the years I have found a plethora of awesome sights/sites outside of Central London. And this is my trip report, over many years, of some of these that I have enjoyed the most.

And if you have things to add that are not on all tourists' radar please chime in!

GREEN STREET - QUEEN'S MARKET (TUBE: UPTON PARK)

East London is far different from central or western London in many ways - the traditional haunt of the iconic Cockneys I think the area generally has a blue collar hue and feel through and thru. Not much posh here though places like Bethnal Green have become rather well-jheeled in places.

My favorite place in East London I have visited so far is Green Road and the Queen's Market area of it. Taking the Tube you get off at Upton Park Tube stop and right outside the exits unfolds a scene that seemed to me right out of India or Bangladesh - stores catering entirely to South Asians - sari shops and colorful food shops with mounds of brightly hued spices for example and a smorgasbord of take-out South Asian foods like pakorahs, samosas (sp? and lots of mouth-watering sweets, all lovingly displayed in picture windows. These are all spread out along Green Street to the left as you exit the station (north probably) - to the right is Queen's Market, a rather downscale clothing market in a tacky-looking market hall.

And also to the right when exiting, along with the market hall, you walk in a short way back into merry ole England - pubs, greasy cafes - betting parlours, etc and also the home field of the West Ham Football club.

I purposefully came on a football Saturday to witness the pre-game activities - the crowds swarming off the Tube and packing the various pubs, singing club songs, etc. All in all it was very orderly - much more so than I expected - with dads and kids in tow, kind of a family atmosphere along with the loud pubs full of fans.

Anyway for a day out for something difference check out Green Street and its environs!

http://www.londontown.com/LondonInformation/Shopping/Queens_Market/9eeb/

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