East London is more commonly associated with hipster vibes and England's version of Silicon Valley. But head a little further out, and you can find rural charm in the neighbourhood of Hornchurch.
Located in Greater London, Hornchurch is a world away from typical East London sights. Yet, its green surroundings and laid-back atmosphere doesn't mean you're cut off. Thanks to excellent travel connections, you can be in the heart of the city in no time at all.
So, Hornchurch has green surroundings and travel links going for it, but what's it really like living in the RM postcode? That's what we're here to find out with our guide to Hornchurch.
On a map
Hornchurch is a market town located in East London. It falls under the Borough of Havering and is around 15 miles from Charing Cross. Neighbouring areas include Gidea Park, Romford and Upminster.
Historically, Hornchurch was an ancient parish in the county of Essex but changed to Greater London in 1965. Its name was initially spelt Hornechurch and first appeared in 1222, meaning "church with horn-like gables".
The area's roots go back even further to the Ice Age when the ice sheet reached The Dell, just south of St Andrew's Church in Hornchurch. Artefacts from the Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age have also been found in Hornchurch.
Who lives there?
A growing number of people are moving to Hornchurch, thanks to rents that are more affordable than other parts of East London. Plenty of professionals and commuters enjoy the convenient travel links and a more peaceful way of life compared to inner London areas. The median age is 42, and 28% of residents rent their home.
Renting in Hornchurch
The majority of homes in Hornchurch range from interwar semis to 1960s bungalows. There's also a smattering of period homes and a growing number of new-build properties, which were constructed to meet the increased demand for homes in the area.
Expect to pay around £1,200 per month for a one-bedroom home in Hornchurch. A two-bedroom apartment fetches around £1,350 per month, and three-bedroom houses rent for around £1,450 per month.
Hornchurch benefits from excellent travel connections, with a local tube station serviced by the District Line. There's also nearby stations at Romford (soon to be on the Crossrail) and Upminster, as well as a tube station at Elm Park and Overground at Emerson Park. Hornchurch is located in travel Zone 6.
Shish Meze Restaurant
Head to Shish Meze Restaurant for some delicious grilled meats and classic Turkish mezze. This authentic Turkish joint offers an elegant dining area with a full bar, just in case you want a few cocktails to wash down your food.
Find some of the best Indian food in town at Zarana. Its smart and colourful setting offers a relaxing interior where you can sit back and enjoy some top-notch grub, and it's easy to see why locals love dining at here for top-notch curries.
Da Vinci's Hornchurch
Get yourself down to Da Vinci's Hornchurch for a set lunch menu or go with a date in the evening and choose from the a la carte options. This is classic Italian food at its best, and it's right on your doorstep.
Things to do in Hornchurch
Fairkytes Arts Centre
There's plenty of culture to soak up in Hornchurch, and you can find much of it at Fairkytes Arts Centre. This is the spot to go for performing arts activities, shows, plays and an open mic night.
The Queen’s Theatre
Enjoy local entertainment at The Queen's Theatre, a venue that puts on six West End-quality productions each year. There's also a highly acclaimed Pantomime and music from regular jazz sessions and classical concerts.
Hornchurch Country Park
Located on the southern edge of the town, Hornchurch Country Park was awarded Gold in the Best Country Park and Large Conservation categories for London Bloom and is somewhere to go to get back to nature.
Moving to Hornchurch
Moving to Hornchurch means you can escape from the hustle and bustle while remaining close enough to join the action whenever you please. Indulge in rural delights and make the most of a town that's growing popularity by the day.