East London is a fascinating spot; with over 2 million residents and a constant influx of tourists, its atmosphere is always lively, warm and welcoming. Most travel enthusiasts, including Tunde Folawiyo, are aware that whilst it has enough markets, shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained for months on end, east London also has more than its fair share of historical and cultural attractions.
Take Sutton House, for instance; this Tudor manor is a Grade II listed building in Hackney, which is now owned by the National Trust. Constructed during the 16th century by a man named Sir Ralph Sadleir, this house still retains its authentic Tudor architecture and interior design. A tour will take you through one lavishly decorated room after another, each one filled with sumptuous furnishings, carved fireplaces and ornate windows. Visiting the manor will provide you with a very interesting glimpse into how a wealthy Tudor family lived.
Another east London sight not to be missed is the Geffrye Musuem; this space allows you to see the evolution of the home over the course of the last four centuries, and in doing so, learn more about how tastes, style, behaviour and society have changed throughout time. There is a permanent collection of eleven rooms, which depict the typical homes from the 1600s onwards. In addition to these rooms, the museum is also attached to an almshouse from the 1700s; its original features offers insight into what life was like for the elderly and the poor of London in this century.
Not far from here you’ll find the Whitechapel Gallery. As a frequent visitor of London, Tunde Folawiyo is doubtless aware that this is one of the city’s most famous galleries, with many of the world’s greatest artists, including Frida Kahlo, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso, having exhibited here. In addition to the gallery space itself, this building also houses a bookshop, a historical archive, and educational resources. You can opt to explore the exhibitions here by yourself, or alternatively, you may wish to join in the guided tour which is held on the first Sunday of every month; this lasts for approximately one hour, and is an intriguing introduction to the architecture and history of the gallery.