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Like most coastal cities, East London grew from around the harbour area (Quigney, West bank) into the suburbs of Berea and the city centre which surrounded the old market square and the main city street, Oxford Street. The Central Business District in the city centre is a thriving shopping area with many retailers; taxis, busses and pedestrians going about their business. A recent addition was the Gilwell Mall, unique in that it has an internal taxi-
The Main East London beach front, along with other unused tracts of land in the CBD, has unfortunately not been modernised or developed to it’s potential, the city fathers seem to pay scant regard to this and the potential for increased tourism and the job creation opportunities that development would surely create.
The older and more established suburbs of East London along the eastern side of the Buffalo River and west of the Nahoon River. These are indeed lovely suburbs with many examples of different architectural styles. Bunkers Hill and Vincent reflect the very large homes built during the mid to late 20th century -
From being an outpost across the river, Beacon Bay is now arguably the most sought after suburb in East London. Away from the ‘madding crowd’ and the suburb which has everything, Beacon Bay is nestled between the Nahoon and Quenera River. The suburb hosts three shopping malls and has one of the best beaches in East London, the Bonza Bay Beach. There are lovely beach walks, the beautiful Dassie Trail and restaurants galore. Consider Riverbend Guest House and other accommodation options in Beacon Bay if you are visiting East London for business or leisure. East London is relatively small and Beacon Bay is a mere twenty minutes from the East London airport, perhaps thirty minutes during peak traffic periods.
Slightly further afield are the seaside suburb of Gonubie and the relatively new suburb of Dorchester Heights. Gonubie is certainly recommended for a family seaside holiday, this quaint village offers visitors a lovely beach and seaside strolls along the rocky coast. A little far out for business travellers perhaps, the road in and out of Gonubie can be quite hectic during peak periods.
While the many East London beaches are a wonderful attraction, there are other interesting activities for visitors. Our Museum is well worth a visit, is interesting and well run. The East London Aquarium is small but the dedicated staff do wonders as regards marine mammal rehabilitation and penguin breeding. The Ann Bryant Art Gallery has some excellent works of both local and other accredited artists. There are many other attractions within a one hour drive from town, Mpongo Park, Python Park and the Inkwezi Game Reserve just to name a few. The seaside villages along the East Coast such as Chintsa, Kei Mouth, Yellow Sands and others, offer interesting day excursions. If you’re a golfer, the famous East London Golf Club is continually adjudged as being in the top ten of South African courses so bring your clubs along.
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