Photos by Sophie Beagles
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Bucket list Bow: A picnic in Tredegar Square

In the first of our week-long series bringing you different daily activities in Bow, we take a picnic to Tredegar Square.

Whether you’ve lived in Bow all your life or have just arrived in the neighbourhood, it’s easy to get bogged down in a monotonous daily routine. 

This week, we bring you something different to do in Bow every day, to open your eyes to the variety of life on our doorstep. 

Whether you follow our advice day-by-day or save our recommendations for a future outing is up to you. But summer is the time for new discoveries, even if all that means is walking a different way to the station tomorrow morning. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our selection of Bow’s best activities and hidden gems. And whether you agree or have an alternative suggestion, our inbox is always open. 

We start with a picnic in Mile End’s Tredegar Square: one of London’s finest Georgian Squares just off busy Mile End Road. 

When the square was built in 1829, its central patch where the gardens lie today, was initially private land until the council intervened. The day the square became public, Prime Minister Clement Atlee opened the space on 25 April 1931. 

Tredegar Square is named after Mile End landowner Sir Charles Morgan’s ancestral home near Newport in Wales. You’ll notice that many local roads have Welsh names: Rhondda, Selwyn, Aberavon, Cardigan and The Morgan Arms pub.

Georgian house front, Tredegar Square, Mile End, East London
Photos by Sophie Beagles

The peaceful gated green space is surrounded by grand three-storey homes and is a great spot for a picnic on a sunny day. Pack a sandwich from home or treat yourself to a takeaway pizza from the Pizza Room just a five-minute walk away on Grove Road. 

If you’re coming from Mile End Tube, take a short detour down Rhondda Grove on your way to the square to visit the Pragati Sangha Hindu Temple. 

The temple inhabits a nondescript white building which you’re likely to miss if you don’t know it’s there. But the colourful interior is adorned with statues and vibrant iconography and is open to all to visit. 

Once you reach Tredegar Square and are enjoying the peace and quiet, you might want to read about its surprising history. It’s hard to imagine that the now majestic green space was dug up into trenches during World War II and was formerly home to a brothel. 

Such debaucherous entertainment is long gone from the area, but there is a quality selection of nearby pubs that are well worth a visit. 

Tredegar Square’s closest pub, the Morgan Arms, is a particular favourite among East London’s canine population, who are treated like royalty at our local bistro pub. 

In June, the Morgan Arms was nominated for the best Dog-Friendly Pub in London and held a dog show with doggy bags and doggy beers for all participants. 

Whether it be for a picnic or just a short stroll, we hope that next time you visit Tredegar Square you can imagine what it was like in times gone past to make your experience somewhat more special. 

Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow’s hidden gem; one of our favourite work spots right here on the Roman. 

For more local things to do, take a tour of Tower Hamlets’ best statues and monuments to see on our streets.

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