Hackney Wick, Olympic Park & Victoria Park
Want to get away from the city without actually, you know, leaving the city? Head to Victoria Park and drink in London's oldest public park and a real 'village' in the middle of the East End.
The park, which first opened in 1845, is a green lung perched on the borders of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. It hosts a series of festivals over the summer, and millions visit each year just to stroll through the award-winning park and take in its restored boating lake and fountain, Chinese pagoda, playgrounds, skate park, football pitches and two cafes.
Victoria Park village sits sedately on its fringes with a soothing mix of traditional butchers, fishmongers and wine merchants alongside independent boutiques, restaurants, pubs and bars.
Neighbouring Hackney Wick, meanwhile, never sleeps. Its industrial landscape is a place of tireless transformation. The area has been said to host more artists and art studios per capita than any other place in Europe, and for many years it has been the engine-room of East London's art and culture movement. Today, residential developments are rubbing shoulders with hip restaurants, bars and microbreweries.
Visitors can also re-live the incredible atmosphere of the London 2012 Olympic Games, by taking a stroll into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Splash in the pool where gold medallists have swum, pedal round the Velodrome where champion cyclists have raced. Or just monkey around in the park's many playgrounds and gawp at the 114.5-metre-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture - which is now a slide - before more eating, drinking and shopping at Hear East.