Aspire Point 101- Quick Guide to Aspire Point FAQs
Again, welcome to your new home! Hopefully, you are settled in and looking for ways to make the most out of the year ahead of you. As the sun rises on your stay in Aspire I have tried to anticipate and answer some questions that will hopefully make your stay as beautiful as the sunrise in this video taken from Aspire Point by a former resident.
Registering with a GP
This is the first topic because I cannot emphasise how important it is to do this as soon as possible. Carpenters Practice next to the Travelodge is the closest GP to Aspire Point. There is also the Student Health Service in the Mile end Campus.
Living in Aspire Point
Ok so let’s get some of the basics out of the way first before hopefully moving on to the fun stuff. The front desk is your point of call for most things. This includes picking up mail (at the scheduled times), putting in maintenance requests or other urgent requests.
Aspire Point maintains a traffic light system for cleaning the kitchen and each flat member is pre-assigned a particular task that needs to be completed prior to kitchen inspections on a Monday.
The laundry rooms are located on the 1st and 25th floors. To use them, download the “circuit” app on your phone and you can add funds to your balance and also scan the QR codes on the machines prior to use.
Now hopefully to the more interesting items. Aspire is blessed in the sense that it is one of the few accommodation buildings which has common rooms like the cinema room on the 25th floor and the Mezzanine which has table tennis and foosball tables. Other important rooms are the study room on the 1st floor and the bike storage room, which the front desk can help you gain access to. A former resident at Aspire has an in-depth YouTube tour of the accommodation.
You can apply for an 18+ student oyster card. One hack, which I heard about just recently is if you are between 16-25 years old, you can get a railcard for the year and link it to a regular oyster card, to get discounts on both when you use them.
To get to the Mile End Campus the 25 or 425 bus from Warton Road (Stop K), might be your best bet. The 25 bus also continues to the Whitechapel Campus. To get to the other campuses such as Charterhouse Square, West Smithfield and Lincoln Inn’s Field, you will most likely have to take a train from Stratford station.
Stratford station is one of the benefits of living in Aspire since it is only about an 8-10 minute walk away and has almost any line and bus to get to most places in London. For the walk to/from Stratford station, it is highly recommended to be safe and aware if you are using the back road (Jupp road) at night since there are no street lights.
To find your way around London, Citymapper or Google Maps are good apps to use. Cab hailing apps such as Uber and Bolt are also good options too but might be more expensive.
Stratford Centre offers the most diverse, and for me, the most affordable grocery shops including Iceland, Lidl, Loon Fung, Poundland and Sainsbury’s. There is also a Wilkos right next to Stratford Centre which sells affordable homeware items and just a bit further down, a Morrisons, which I am told has a wide selection of beers as well as groceries. Across from Stratford Centre there is also the Westfield Stratford City Mall with shops like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose that sell groceries. There is also a wide variety of department stores like Primark, Marks & Spencer, TK Maxx and John Lewis where you can get most essentials like bedding and kitchen equipment.
If you need something quick and do not want to go all the way to Stratford Centre or the mall, there is Tony’s Convenience store across the street and it's typically open till late. Tesco Express is also about a 3-minute walk to the west of Aspire Point.
There is the option of ordering groceries online from most stores.
Gyms and Parks
If you are a fitness fanatic, there are quite a few options for you. Anytime Fitness on High Street is just a 2-3 minute walk away and I believe, sometimes offers discounts for Aspire Point residents. Qmotion, the students’ union run sport and fitness centre located on the Mile End Campus, provides students, staff and members with great facilities. For the avid swimmers, you can check out the London Aquatics Centre for the opportunity to swim in the same pool that Michael Phelps set records in during the London 2012 Olympics. They offer swim lessons as well if you are a beginner like myself. If you are looking to take your fitness to the next level, there is also a CrossFit gym, Gym 1971, which although a bit pricier than the other listed options, has a great community of people and a wide variety of classes for all fitness levels.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is just a 5-7 minute walk away and provides great running and walking trails. There are a couple of Santander bicycle stations if you do not own a bicycle but want to rent one for the day. For the adventurous ones, it has the world’s longest tunnel slide, The Arcelormittal Orbit. It is a great spot for picnics as well in the summer. Victoria Park is also just a little over a mile from Aspire Point.
Bars, restaurants and pubs
I left this to the end for two reasons. Firstly, to make sure you read everything else up to this point. And second, for full disclosure, this section is not my forte as my ex-flatmates will tell you even without prompting. But thanks to them and a couple of other people, hopefully, we have put together some good recommendations. As I came to realize, there are a large number of places you can try out and so to make it easier they have been grouped up in terms of the three locations closest to Aspire Point.
Broadway road next to the Stratford Centre offers quite a number of pubs including Goldengrove (JDwetherspoon), The Sportsman and Roof East, a rooftop bar which has a cinema and games too.
Westfield Stratford City Mall has a host of dining and drink options. Two of my personal favourites are The Bat and Ball offering ping pong tables and live sports and All Star Lanes which has a bowling alley. There is also a cinema in the mall.
Hackney Wick, which is one stop on the Overground or about a 30-minute walk through the Olympic Park, offers a wide variety of places such as HWK, The Lot, an outdoor terrace with street food, drinks and DJs. Colour factory, a live music venue, food court and nightclub, and Pearl, a coffee shop. Howling hops which is a brewery offering a wide selection of beers is one of my favourite places in Hackney Wick. There are also a number of places where you can dine along the canalside in Hackney Wick.
Hopefully, this covers some of the main questions you might have. Again, welcome to your new home and I hope you have an amazing year. The Residential Life team will be putting together events throughout the year so keep an eye out for them in your emails, posters around Aspire Point and the Residential Life website.
This blog was written by Aspire Point RA William.
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