Barking & Dagenham
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was one of the six London boroughs to host the 2012 Olympics. It is currently benefiting from substantial investment into regeneration projects, with a focus on sporting facilities. The new Barking Leisure centre (opening in 2014) is now being built and is expected to include two pools, a gym, health spa, and work out studios.
The borough benefits from excellent transport links, and both central London and the countryside are only a short train ride away for visitors and residents.
There are 25 parks and open spaces across the borough, including the historic Barking Park which consists of nearly thirty hectares of parkland, including a lake, playing fields and a fantastic children's play area.
Barking and Dagenham has six libraries, the two largest (Barking Learning Centre and Dagenham library) regularly host events such as Open Mic nights, bestselling author talks and festivals, as well as having excellent children's sections and programmes.
Other attractions include The Broadway performing arts venue, Eastbury Manor House, Valence House Museum, and football and rugby clubs.