A suburb of the Greater London area, Barking is renowned for its fishing heritage and continues to home many historical monuments from its history. A large amount of money has been invested into the town as part of a massive regeneration, meaning the relatively small town now has a lot to offer visitors. There are a number of interesting historical landmarks dotted throughout the city and its surrounding area which is also surprisingly green for the area. There is also ample shopping opportunity within the city with major high street brands having stores there.
A hatchback will provide comfort for some of the areas on the outskirts of the city, while being small enough to handle the city centre well.
Driving in Barking
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Important things to note
Barking is within easy reach to London centre, with a drive of around 24 minutes depending upon traffic.
There is some level of congestion to be expected throughout the area, especially through the roads leading to and from London. Avoid driving in rush hour traffic where possible, especially between 6.30-9.30am and 4.30-6.30pm.
The roads are of a generally good condition and are well signposted, though those traveling to residential areas should invest in a modern map or GPS.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Tudor gentry house of Eastbury Manor was built in 1573 and offers a fantastic insight into the lifestyle of the wealthy living at the time. The manor itself is stunning, with 17th-Century wall-paintings lovingly cared for and expansive grounds with plenty to entertain children.
Vicarage Field is a fantastic, recently built shopping centre with lots of popular brands showcasing their wears in the centre. There are a large number of shops of a range of services along with cafes and bars.
The Broadway is a comedy, dance, music and drama hall that particularly comes to life in the Christmas period thanks to the number of festive performances. It also serves as a cinema, showing a number of the best films, both current and classic.
Barking Abbey was founded in 666 AD by St Erkenwald, who would later become the Bishop of London, in honour of his sister St Ethelburga. Despite being ruined by a Viking invasion in 870, the abbey was later rebuilt and served as the first home of William the Conqueror. It is fascinating to see this ruin and to imagine the massive importance of the landmark.
Barking is served by the airports within the London area, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and Southend.
The nearest is London City Airport, which is accessible via the A1020. It goes north onto the A13, which will take you in the general direction of Barking.