Newham header banner overlooking the Royal Docks and London City airport with a sunset

Living in Newham

One of several London boroughs that hugely benefited from regeneration around the London Olympics in 2012, Newham has been transformed into a haven for young professionals, young families and students looking for great connections around the City, a sense of community and a vibrant social scene.

Why consider moving to Newham?

There’s so much happening in the area, with a host of great restaurants, cafes, shops and bars that reflect its young and multicultural identity. Comedy, dance and arts are all alive and kicking in this East London borough with the Theatre Royal and Stratford Circus Arts Centre hosting a range of performances all year round. 

Newham is an up and coming area, having seen a lot of change since the 2012 Olympics. The UK’s newest cultural quarter, the East Bank, is at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and has attracted some big-name brands including the Victoria & Albert Museum, University College London, BT Sport and the BBC. 

Newham is also one of the youngest boroughs in London in terms of its residents, with an average age of just 32.

This is partly due to the number of Universities now calling Newham home, with Loughborough University, University College London and Staffordshire University all having campuses on the Olympic Park.

University students

If that’s not enough, Newham is also home to Stratford Westfield shopping centre, London’s most popular shopping centre with an impressive 214 stores and 87 restaurants.

Discover the history of Newham

The name Newham is an amalgamation of East and West Ham with the old English word 'hamm' meaning 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland'. The area can be dated back as far as Anglo-Saxon times and a number of settlements are recorded in the area in the 1086 Doomsday Book. 

Newham was a ‘dry area of land between rivers’ and there was a very rural feel to life here - Henry VIII is thought to have visited here once, staying at The Spotted Dog pub in Forest Gate, which dates back to the 15th century and would have been a hunting lodge at the time. Rural life was interrupted in the 1850s with the building of the Royal Docks, which rapidly transformed the area with people coming from all over the globe to work on the largest docks in the world.

Bombing in the Second World War, a decline in industry and lack of funding saw a large decline in the area.

Regeneration schemes, and in particular the arrival of the 2012 Olympics and the Olympic Park and East Bank have transformed the borough into a thriving and vibrant place to live and a mecca for businesses and investment.

Olympic Park with ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture

What's the lifestyle like?

Westfield shopping centre in Stratford is a huge draw - it’s London’s largest (and most visited) shopping centre. It’s home to all of the biggest brands with the likes of Adidas, John Lewis, Apple and Calvin Klein calling Westfield home. And you’ll find lots of restaurant chains too like Ask, Five Guys and Franco Manca. There’s also the Big Easy bar with nightly live music, a cinema, bowling, bar games and a casino.

Nearby, the ExCel London (one the world's largest exhibition centres) hosts events of all kinds all year round. From Disney exhibitions, food and drink events and car shows to business expos; there’s always something happening here. A short trip from here and you’re at the O2 arena, which has some of the world's biggest stars in music and comedy gracing its stage.

Westfield Stratford highstreet
Stratford highstreet with busses and shops
London Stadium - West Ham united
Excel London exhibition centre
Thames Barrier Park
Stratford highstreet with busses and shops
London Stadium - West Ham united
Excel London exhibition centre
Thames Barrier Park
Westfield Stratford highstreet
London Stadium - West Ham united
Excel London exhibition centre
Thames Barrier Park
Westfield Stratford highstreet
Stratford highstreet with busses and shops

Westfield Stratford City

London Stadium (formerly known as the Olympic Stadium)

ExCel London

Thames Barrier Park

Shopping in Stratford

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The Olympic Park and London Stadium is now home to Premier League West Ham United and is a regular venue for concerts and events, with acts like The Foo Fighters and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers performing here in recent years. The Olympic Park also has the London Aquatics Centre, Lee Valley Velopark and a hockey and tennis centre alongside plenty of green spaces, parks and gardens.

Food & drink

Newham’s diverse melting pot of cultures and communities are reflected in the array of eateries, bars and restaurants here. Japanese, Australian, Bangladeshi, Caribbean and African cuisines are just some that rub shoulders with traditional British East End offerings, so whatever you fancy eating and whatever the occasion is, there will be something in Newham for you. There’s a nice mix of family run and independent restaurants and places to drink alongside established high street favourites.

The Boleyn Tavern

Boasting Britain's longest bar, this large, traditional London pub occupies a large corner plot in Newham that dates back to 1900. Retaining an impressive amount of that Victorian architecture across its seven bars and serving a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits and classic British pub dishes, the grandeur of this old Victorian building really needs to be seen in person.

Fish House

A contemporary, independent seafood restaurant and traditional fish and chip takeaway that has an ethically sourced, seasonal menu. All food is cooked to order and their fish is delivered daily. Offering weekly specials and an extensive beer and wine list, it’s ideal for dining in or take away (the only authentic thing missing is the sea).

The Natural Philosopher

A London cocktail bar with a difference. This quirky venue serves an astonishing range of cocktails and aperitifs, all set within sleek antique-filled decor. There’s even a happy hour every single day of the week.

 
Green spaces to explore in Newham

Despite its urban location, Newham has 25 parks and numerous green spaces for people to enjoy. The Olympic Park with its host of sports and leisure facilities is also home to a number of gardens and open spaces, with the 2012 Gardens featuring plants from all over the world; Park Meadows right by the Olympic rings is a great place to stop for a picnic. The London Blossom Garden was planted to commemorate those who lost their lives in the pandemic and has 33 blossom trees, one representing each London Borough, and offers a tranquil escape from the City. 

There’s also Mandeville Park, Wetlands and Park Meadows, popular with both people and local wildlife. Beckton District Park North is another popular place with locals, with a large lake and woodlands. West Ham Park is the largest green space in the area with a botanical garden, athletics track and tennis courts.

Royal Victoria Gardens

What's public transport like in the local area?

A major draw to Newham is how well connected the area is. The Hammersmith & City, Central, Jubilee, District, Circle and Elizabeth tube lines run through Newham, providing quick and hassle-free access to most of London.

UEL docklands campus bus stop
Plane landing at London City Airport
DLR train at Pontoon Dock station
Entrance to Stratford international train station
Plane landing at London City Airport
DLR train at Pontoon Dock station
Entrance to Stratford international train station
UEL docklands campus bus stop
DLR train at Pontoon Dock station
Entrance to Stratford international train station
UEL docklands campus bus stop
Plane landing at London City Airport

London City Airport

DLR

Stratford International train station

UEL Dockside Campus bus stop

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Newham also has great overground rail connections including the London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) with easy connections to Canary Wharf. For travel further afield, London City Airport is only a few stops away on the DLR and Stratford rail station has good connections to national rail services and the Eurostar.

 

Moving to Newham

Although Newham has undergone a vast transformation in recent years it’s still very much an up and coming area with plans for 33,000 new homes in the area by 2036 so if you’re looking to locate to the area there are plenty of Newham properties for sale. If you’re considering taking the first step on the property ladder you might want to look at Newham Shared Ownership opportunities or some of the many Newham new-builds that are coming onto the market.

Explore our range of Newham homes

Royal Albert Wharf

Royal Albert Wharf

North Woolwich

Woolwich Reach