Moving to Hackney: Area Guide

As one of London’s most exciting areas, Hackney is a melting pot of young professionals and students from all over the world, keen for a taste of the vibrant nightlife and creative urban vibe on offer. Hackney doesn’t just offer a mix of people, however; it mixes differing styles and makes them all work. From Michelin-starred restaurants to exotic food tents on the street, galleries to start-up businesses, high-fashion with an emphasis on street wear, Hackney is the perfect place for the young, bold and creative.

Where is Hackney?

Hackney is found in the London borough of Hackney and has an E8 postcode. The colourful Zone 2 area resides in the east of the capital, just four miles from Charing Cross. With Shoreditch and Hoxton just round the corner, Hackney’s offerings are seemingly endless and allow for quick and easy travel between some of London’s rising hotspots.

A brief history of Hackney

Hackney’s name is taken from the term Haca’s Eye, meaning ‘raised ground in marshland’. Long before the area developed into the hipster paradise it is today, Hackney was a rural area of marshland. It wasn’t until 1840 when the railway descended into Bishopsgate, that the area became more built up. Of course, with the railway came the people, and Hackney began to attract settlers, factories and jobs. Unfortunately, the Second World War destroyed much of this initial settlement.

Fun fact: If you take a look back even further into Hackney’s history, you will find that a certain Henry VIII and many of his royal friends dwelled in palaces and houses nearby. 

stock newington west reservoir in hackney

An in-depth look at Hackney

Who lives there?

The borough of Hackney is home to around 281,000 people. Thanks to the heady mix of cultures and entertainment scenes, young professionals and students flock to the area in search for creative inspiration. With endless bars, nightclubs and restaurants it is easy to see why Hackney and the surrounding areas have magnetic powers over wide-eyed youngsters.

Types of property in Hackney

Over the last 10 years Hackney has become one the most sought-after postcodes in the capital. Thanks to the lively and diverse atmosphere  offered in the area Hackney’s days as a run-down neighbourhood are all but gone. Due to the high numbers of young professionals flocking to the area, new builds are the order of the day, popping up everywhere in order to meet the rising demand. With these new apartment blocks becoming a common sight, it is important to point out that more historical terraced houses can still be found throughout the borough. There is also a smattering of converted warehouses, especially down by the canals. The average rent in Hackney is £1,930 per month.

Hackney transport 

Despite the lack of underground stations in Hackney, the area makes up for this with a reliable Overground service and network of bus routes. The one and only underground station can be found at Manor House and offers access to the Piccadilly Line; however, for most people heading into central London, the overground via Highbury and Islington is the best route to take.

cyclist on the road in hackney

Restaurants and shops

If your world revolves around food, you certainly won’t be disappointed with what Hackney has to offer. Rivalling the dining scenes of Soho and Covent Garden, a rush of new, innovative restaurants have set up base here instead of central London. Ranging from Michelin-starred Clove Club and Lyle’s to budget friendly Andu Cafe, which offers delicious Ethiopian vegan food. For those in search of the perfect Instagram shot, head over to Cafe Miami or to The Dusty Knuckle Bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth with syrupy glazed buns and warm croissants. If you want to taste a bit of everything, pay a visit to BOXPARK. Described as a fusion of a modern street food market and pop-up retail mall, get ready for pies, pita, frozen yoghurt, acai and burgers, to name a few. It’s the perfect place to hang out with friends who can never decide where to eat.

Boxpark is also a great place to go on a shopping spree. Home to delicate jewellery store Astrid & Miyu and boutique home and garden store, Decorum, have a wander after your culinary extravaganza and find a gem or two. Treasure seekers on the hunt for up-and-coming designers and vintage finds should head over to Brick Lane, where they will find Beyond Retro, Rockit and Absolute Vintage. Finally, go to Commercial Street any big-brand needs you might have, including Urban Outfitters and All Saints.

Socialising in Hackney

Hackney is home to some of the city’s coolest nightlife, with clubs and bars including XOYO, Nest and Oslo. Adding to the vibrant after-hours scene, there are pop-up bars, cocktail lounges and pubs scattered all over. After spending a boozy night with friends, why not head over to Get A Drip in Shoreditch and stock up on those all-important vitamins and minerals you may be lacking in your hungover state?

For those after a more relaxed vibe, there are plenty of cultural hotspots to enjoy all over Hackney. Take a trip to the Hackney Museum, Geffrye Museum, and V&A Museum of Childhood or head to one of the two independent cinemas, Hackney Picturehouse and Rio Cinema. Hackney Empire is where you want to be if dance or stand-up comedy is your jam and if theatre is what your heart desires the Arcola Theatre will provide the goods.

If you are moving to Hackney, get ready for a fun-filled, colourful and vibrant lifestyle. While there is something for everyone, this area is made for those with that added creative flair and artistic appreciation. With endless culture spots to choose from, Hackney is a neighbourhood get excited about.

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