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.
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. Bus routes serving Hackney include the 30, 38, 48, 55, 56, 67, 76, 106, 149, 242, 243, 253, 254 and 277.
Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA, ☎ +44 20 8356 5000. Built in the 1930s including the surrounding square and gardens.edit
Sutton House, 2 & 4 Homerton High St, E9 6JQ, ☎ +44 20 8986 2264, . Th-Su 12:30-16:30. Tudor House in Homerton, owned by the National Trust.£0.80-2.90. edit
St John-at-Hackney Community Space Centre, Lower Clapton Rd, 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.edit
Victoria Park commonly called the People's Park, its huge and hosts summer festivals.
Clissold Park, Greenway Cl, N4 2EY (tube: Manor House), (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Park with a rich history. It is a former country house and estate and was first opened to the public in 1889.edit
Hackney City Farm, 1 Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QA, ☎ +44 20 7729 6381, . Tu-Su 10:00-16:30. Farm dating back to the early 1800s. It is now open to the public and is home to domestic animals. Also houses a café.edit
Hackney Downs, near Clapton Ponds, has free tennis courts and is nice for cycle, though a bit plain and sqaurish
London Fields, Richmond Rd, 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.edit
Stoke Newington Reservoirs, 1 Newnton Cl, N4 2RH (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.edit
The Clowns Archive, Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Rd, E8 3DY, ☎ +44 0870 128 4336, . Museum of clowning, unique collection of faces on eggs. Open only first Friday of every month from noon-5PM. LOLFree. edit
Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA (tube: Old St), ☎ +44 20 7739 9893 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su noon-17:00, closed M. Furniture museum which charts the evolution of London urban interior design and furnishing since 1600.Free. edit
Hackney Museum, Technology & Learning Centre, 1 Reading Ln, E8 1GQ, ☎ +44 20 8356 3500 (email@example.com, fax: +44 20 8356 2563), . Tu W, F 09:30-17:30, Th 09:30-20:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. Providing a history of Hackney as well as periodic exhibitions.edit
The Residence, The Verger's Cottage, Eastway, E9 5JA (train: Hackney Wick), ☎ +44 20 8986 2324 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . By appointment. Avant-gard gallery with up and coming as well as newly established artists.edit
Space Gallery, 129-131 Mare St, E8 3RH, ☎ +44 20 8525 4330. edit
Elevator Gallery and the Chocolate Factory both near Hackney Downs on Stoke Newington Rd.
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, E8 1EJ (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. edit
East London Art Walks (Comment Art Walks), ☎ +44 20 7739 1743, +44 7799 776016. 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.edit
London Fields Lido, London Fields Westside E8 3EU (London Fields Rail Stn), ☎ +44 20 7254 9038, . Lovely old-fashioned outdoor swimming Lido run by Hackney Council.£2.45-4.10. edit
Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 (London Overground to Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Jct), ☎ +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.edit
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.edit
Broadway Market. Visit on a Saturday. Has a variety of gastropubs and trendy clothes!edit
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.edit
The Kingsland Centre, (Opposite Dalston Kingsland Stn). The main shopping mall in the borough, Tchibo has new stock every week and there is a recently opened Matalan.edit
Stamford Hill. The centre of the Hassidic Jewish community and has many kosher bakeries, delis and supermarkets.edit
Stoke Newington Church Street. Many small bookshops and antique stores.edit
London Fields Brewery, 365 - 366 Warburton street (Come out of London Fields station the Mare Street side and turn right for 200m its at the end of the road.), ☎ +44 20 7254 7174, . Every Saturday London Fields Brewery are running Brewery tours. Come down and have a guided tour of the brewery and learn how they are making their superbly tasty beers. Additionally included in the price are tasting of the beers in the BrewHouse, London Fields Brewery very own pop up bar. £10 - £25. edit
Stoke Newington (Church Street), South Hackney (around the junction of Victoria Park Road and Lauriston Road), 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.
Au Lac, 104 Kingsland Rd, N5 2XE, ☎ +44 20 7033 0588. Sa-W 17:30-23:00, Th F noon-14:30, 17:30-23:00. 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.edit
The Cat and Mutton, 76 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ, ☎ +44 20 7254 5599, . Beers £3-3.80. edit
The Cock Tavern, 315 Mare St, E8 1EJ, ☎ +44 20 7248 2918, . M–Th 06:00–23:00, F 06:00–02:00, Sa 17:30–02:00. Beer £2.90-3.50. edit
The Wishing Well, 418 Mare St, E8 1HP, ☎ +44 20 8533 0372. Popular local pub especially during major sports events which are shown on the large screens.edit
The Russet Cafe, Amhurst Ter, E8 2BT. Cool, hippy-vibe bar, its a bit of a run-down alley but the amazing atmosphere and brilliant eclectic live acts make it unmissable. Serves nice mulled wine. Make sure you got cash with you, as an ATM can be a bit of a trek.
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.
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