Hackney in London
Hackney is a district of London.
Hackney will stage the main events during the 2012 London Summer Olympics - with many of the big events happening in the nearby Olympic Stadium, VeloPark, as well as the media building. This will be a hot spot for tourists and locals alike when the action starts.
This is a very diverse and multicultural district and one which has undergone massive regeneration in recent decades. Formerly known best as an area with huge social problems and a massive crime rate, parts of Hackney are now very fashionable with a thriving arts scene in the south of the district for example.
Many problems still remain though and for the visitor it is best to stick to well trodden routes. In particular, the Homerton and Hackney Wick area is known as a place to avoid after dark and Clapton Road has the nickname murder mile.
In the far north of the district near Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill is the centre of the Hassidic and Adeni Jewish communities in London and the largest in Europe. A visit here certainly provides a very different cultural experience to anywhere else in Britain.
Hackney is also known for its wide open green spaces with Hackney Marshes (home of 88 football pitches) being the most notable.
Hackney is well served by buses from all over the capital, with the routes converging on Hackney Central, Dalston and Stoke Newington.
London local train services serve the district well. The London OvergroundNorth London Line from Stratford to Richmond has four stations in Hackney: Hackney Wick, Homerton, Hackney Central and Dalston Kingsland. National Express East Anglia  run rail services from Liverpool Street to a number of stations in Hackney, with the principal station on the line being Hackney Downs.
There are no stations in the district but northern parts can be easily reached from Manor Park and Finsbury Park stations (both Piccadily line).
The best way to get around the borough is to walk or get buses. The many parks and green spaces dotted around make Hackney much nicer to walk around than its inner London location would suggest.
The main north-south bus routes in Hackney are the 38, 55 and 149.
- Hackney Town Hall (address: Mare Street, E8 1EA) +44 20 8356 5000
Built in the 1930s including the surrounding square and gardens.
- Sutton House (address: 2 & 4 Homerton High St E9 6JQ) +44 20 8986 2264
open: Th-Su 12.30PM-4.30PM
Tudor House in Homerton, owned by the National Trust.
- St John-at-Hackney Community Space Centre (address: Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD) +44 20 7613 9525
This tower of St John-at-Hackney Church is the oldest building in Hackney and a famous landmark of the borough.
- Clissold Park (address: Greenway Close N4 2EY) (directions: tube: Manor House) email@example.com
Park with a rich history. It is a former country house and estate and was first opened to the public in 1889.
- Hackney City Farm (address: 1 Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QA) +44 20 7729 6381
open: Tu-Su 10AM-4:30PM
Farm dating back to the early 1800s. It is now open to the public and is home to domestic animals. Also houses a café.
- Haggerston Park (address: Audrey St, off Goldsmith's Row E2 8QH) +44 20 8356 8428/9 firstname.lastname@example.org
- London Fields (address: Richmond Road, Hackney, E8) +44 20 8356 8428, 8356 8429 email@example.com
There are records of a public park at this site going back to the 16th century. Every Saturday, there is a farmers' market selling here, complemented by many others selling hand-made jewellery, gifts, childrenswear and vintage clothing.
- Stoke Newington Reservoirs (address: 1 Newnton Close N4 2RH) (directions: tube: Manor House) +44 20 8802 4573
Two former Thames Water reservoirs which are now managed as a nature reserve in urban Hackney by the London Wildlife Trust. Has a small visitor centre.
- The Clowns Archive (address: Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Rd E8 3DY) 0870 128 4336
Museum of clowning, unique collection of faces on eggs. Open only first friday of every month from noon-5PM.
- Geffrye Museum (address: 136 Kingsland Road E2 8EA) (directions: tube: Old Street) +44 20 7739 9893 firstname.lastname@example.org
open: Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM, closed Mo
Furniture museum which charts the evolution of London urban interior design and furnishing since 1600.
- Hackney Museum (address: Technology & Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ) +44 20 8356 3500 email@example.com
open: Tu-W, F 9:30AM-5:30PM, Th 9:30AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5PM
Providing a history of Hackney as well as periodic exhibitions.
- 291 Gallery (address: 291 Hackney Road, E2 8NA) +44 20 7613 5676
Contemporary art within visual art, digital art, live performances, video and music events.
- The Residence (address: The Verger's Cottage, Eastway, E9 5JA) (directions: train: Hackney Wick) +44 20 8986 2324 firstname.lastname@example.org
open: By appointment
Avant-gard gallery with up and coming as well as newly established artists.
- Space Gallery (address: 129-131 Mare Street, E8 3RH) +44 20 8525 4330
- Hackney Empire (address: 291 Mare Street E8 1EJ) (directions: London Overground to Hackney Central; Rail to Hackney Downs; tube: Bethnal Green then 10 min by bus no 106 or 154) +44 20 8985 2424
Historic theatre and music hall, offering an eclectic mix of entertainment.
- East London Art Walks +44 20 7739 1743, +44 7799 776 016
A friendly, qualified art guide will take you around a selection of the most interesting exhibitions on at the moment and also talk about the history of contemporary art in East London. call for times and meeting points.
- London Fields Lido (address: London Fields Westside E8 3EU) (directions: London Fields Rail Station) +44 20 7254 9038
Lovely old-fashioned outdoor swimming Lido run by Hackney Council.
- Rio Cinema (address: 107 Kingsland High Street E8) (directions: London Overground to Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction) +44 20 7241 9410 email@example.com
A splendid old cinema dating back to the 1900s. Specialises in foreign language films, offbeat arthouse productions and children's programming.
- Walk Hackney Marshes
Lovely walk along the River Lea and canal which stretches across much of East London and further. A surprisingly rural experience in an otherwise densely built district of London.
- Broadway Market
Visit on a Saturday. Has a variety of gastropubs.
- Ridley Road Market
Mix of traditional East-end fruit and veg alongside Afro-Caribbean delicacies, imported films, clothes and household items. Little of interest for the tourist to buy, but a great experience. Watch your pockets in the crowded pavements behind the stalls. There are also market stalls on the side streets surrounding Dalston Kingsland station.
- The Kingsland Centre (directions: Opposite Dalston Kingsland Station)
The main shopping mall in the borough, Tchibo has new stock every week and there is a recently opened Matalan.
- Stamford Hill
The centre of the Hassidic Jewish community and has many kosher bakeries, delis and supermarkets.
- Stoke Newington Church Street
Many small bookshops and antique stores.
Stoke Newington (Church Street), Broadway market and, more recently, Hackney Central, have a variety of gastropubs. There are many great Turkish and Asian restaurants on Kingsland Road. To the south of Mare Street there are a great number of very reasonable Vietnamese restaurants. Some also have the bonus of being able to bring your own alcohol, which brings down cost considerably.
- Green Papaya (address: 191 Mare Street, E8 3QT) +44 20 8985 5486
price: Mains from £5
open: Tu-Su 5PM-11PM
Offering great Vietnamese food for veggies and meat eaters alike.
- Mess Cafe (address: Amhurst Rd)
Great quality caff breakfasts.
- Song Que Cafe (address: 134 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DY) +44 20 7613 3222
Rated by Zagat's as the best Vietnamese on Kingsland Rd.
- Viet Hoa (address: 70-72 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DP) +44 20 7729 8293
price: Mains from £5.30
open: Tu-Su noon-3:30PM, 5:30PM-11:30PM
You must try the salted prawns!
- Au Lac (address: 104 Kingsland Rd, N5 2XE) +44 20 7033 0588
open: Sa-W 5:30-11PM; Th-F noon-2:30PM, 5:30-11PM
BYO. The pancakes are recommended as a starter (this was a batter parcel containing chicken and beansprouts, rolled into lettuce leaves), also the steamed sea bass, which has a delicious sauce. More of a restaurant for a group of friends, rather than a romantic meal.
- Buen Ayre (address: 50 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ) +44 20 7275 9900 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: Mains £8-22.50
open: M-F 6PM-10:30PM; Sa-Su noon-5PM, 6PM-10:30PM
Argentine Grill restaurant.
- The Empress of India (address: 130 Lauriston Road, E9 7LH) +44 20 8533 5123 email@example.com
price: Mains from £12.50
- LMNT (address: 316 Queensbridge Road, E8 3NH) +44 20 7249 6727
price: Mains £9.95
open: M-Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-10:30PM
- Su Sazzagoni (address: 136 Lauriston Road, E9 7LH) +44 20 8985 8448
price: Mains from £9.90
- Biddle Bros (address: 88 Lower Clapton Rd E5 0QR) +44 20 8985 7052
Lively pub with a good local following. Often have a live band or DJ in the evenings,
- The Birdcage (address: 58 Stamford Hill N16 6XS) +44 20 020 8806 6740 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendly Stoke Newington pub that often hs live bands playing.
- The Cat and Mutton (address: 76 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ) +44 20 7254 5599
price: Beers £3-3.80
- The Cock Tavern (address: 315 Mare St, E8 1EJ) +44 20 7248 2918
price: Beer £2.90-3.50
open: M–Th 6:00AM–11:00PM, F 6:00AM–2:00AM, Sa 5:30PM–2:00AM
- The Wishing Well (address: 418 Mare St, E8 1HP) +44 20 8533 0372
Popular local pub especially during major sports events which are shown on the large screens.
- Amhurst Hotel (address: 45 - 47 Amhurst Park N16 5DL) (directions: tube:Manor House) +44 20 8800 7587
Budget hotel in north London with self-catering facilities
- City Inn Express (address: 144 A Mare Street, Tudor Road) (directions: Nearest Tube Station:Bethnal Green) +44 0 208 533 0846
A quality bed & breakfast good for budget travelers.
- The RE Hotel London Shoreditch (address: 419-437 Hackney Road E2 8PP) (directions: (Tube: Bethnal Green)) +44 207 613 6500
Despite its reputation as a dangerous place, it is relatively safe provided you're careful. Most violent crime occurs amongst the gangs in the rougher parts of the borough. Stick to commercial areas where there will be lots of people. Keep away from housing estates as some can be very dangerous. Hackney Wick and some of the surrounding areas should be avoided. Hackney becomes much more dangerous at night, and it would be highly foolish to go out walking alone.