One of London’s most hip and exciting neighbourhoods, Hackney is a place where British pubs brush shoulders with modern art galleries and where you can stumble across Banksy’s artwork on street corners. Innovative restaurants, independent cafes and vintage markets line the streets, complementing the young and lively atmosphere.
Things to do
For an inner London borough, Hackney offers plenty of outdoor fun. Visit London Fields park and take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, then head for Hackney City Farm to see donkeys, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs and to buy fresh eggs and honey. You’ll be captivated by the exhibits at the Clown’s Gallery-Museum, such as costumes from famous clowns and an archive of clown make-up designs.
Need some retail therapy? Shopping enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Burberry Factory Outlet, while those looking for one-of-a-kind pieces will want to trawl through Hackney Flea Market and its endless range of vintage clothes and jewellery. When you’ve worked up an appetite, visit Broadway Market, a foodie heaven that sells everything from bowls of Vietnamese pho to vegan doughnuts.
In the evening, why not take a stroll down to the Hackney Empire. Originally a music hall where Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel once performed, the theatre is now celebrated for its alternative comedy and pantomimes. If you’re a film buff, check out the Art Deco Rio Cinema, known for its foreign film screenings and matinee classics.
The London Overground runs through Hackney with stops at London Fields and Hackney Central, and there are bus stops on every major street. Parking is limited, so it’s best to use the city’s extensive public transport.