Living in The London Borough of Hackney
“…where high-end luxury fashion meets the edgy innovation of BOX PARK, and Michelin-starred restaurants sit alongside street-food tents, Hackney is where you’ll find the culinary stars of tomorrow…”
Moving to Hackney
One of the capital’s fastest-growing and most exciting areas, Hackney attracts people from all over the world with its creativity and vibrant urban life. It’s where high-end luxury fashion meets the edgy innovation of BOX PARK, and Michelin-starred restaurants sit alongside street-food tents where you’ll find the culinary stars of tomorrow. Galleries, start-up businesses and creative offices also line the streets of Shoreditch and Hoxton, while exclusive member’s club Shoreditch House offers a place for the cultural elite and fashion stars of London to mingle. It’s this kaleidoscopic mix of innovative business, alternative entertainment and hip restaurants that makes Hackney so appealing to young professionals and affluent students.
However, on the other side of the coin, Hackney is at the forefront of London’s current controversial wave of gentrification, with long-term residents rapidly becoming priced out of the borough to make way for new property developments and city planners seeking to take advantage of the borough’s cool, creative reputation. This is a borough of contrasts, where council estates sit alongside designer outlet stores, and 41% of local children live in property while city workers buy up million-pound properties on the streets of Shoreditch. Hackney’s highest scoring Locality Reality postcode is N4 1HJ, hitting the 9.5 mark on Rowley Gardens.
House Prices in Hackney
Due to the lively lifestyle the London Borough of Hackney offers its residents, the area is becoming a sought-after residential location, particularly with young professionals, and new builds are popping up everywhere to meet the rising demand. New apartment blocks are a common sight; however, more historic terraced houses can still be found throughout the borough. Hackney has seen enormous amounts of regeneration over the last few decades, and as a result properties here are now £600,000 on average, slightly more than the London average, making Hackney the 12th most expensive borough in the capital. The most expensive areas in the borough tend to be those closest to Central London, such as Shoreditch and Hoxton, with better bargains to be found in areas including Clapton and Homerton.
“Busy, eclectic Hackney has become one of London’s most vibrant cultural hotspots, with regular festivals and events held throughout the borough”
Travelling from Hackney
Although there are very few Underground stations in the London Borough of Hackney, the area makes up for this with strong rail connections on the Overground and a vast network of bus routes. The sole Underground station can be found at Manor House on the border of the Borough of Haringey, and offers access to the Piccadilly Line. For many commuters, the best route into Central London is on the Overground via Highbury and Islington station where connections to the Victoria Line can be made, or alternatively via one of the many direct buses.
Restaurants in Hackney
The dining scene in this borough now rivals that of Soho and Covent Garden, with many innovative new restaurants now choosing to set up here rather than in Central London. Eateries for all tastes and budgets can be found, ranging from the Michelin-starred Clove Club and Lyle’s, to Irani-cafe inspired Indian food at Dishoom and enormous pizza slices at Voodoo Ray’s in BoxPark. In addition, the borough is also home to a range of street food sites and festivals, including Street Feast’s Dinerama, Night Tales, and Urban Food Fest, while Brick Lane is home to some of the best curries in the capital.
Hackney is equally well known for its vibrant night life, with some of the capital’s coolest bars and clubs including the Queen of Hoxton, XOYO, The Nest and Oslo, as well as a seemingly endless number of pop-up bars, cocktail lounges and traditional pubs.
Shopping opportunities in Hackney are also exceptionally good, particularly for those seeking up-and-coming designers or vintage finds. Brick Lane and the surrounding streets are a hub for vintage clothing, with popular shops including the enormous Beyond Retro, Rockit and Absolute Vintage, whilst BOXPARK is packed with small designers and Commercial Street is home to big brands such as Urban Outfitters and All Saints.
Hackney residents who prefer home-cooking to the restaurants of Shoreditch are well-served by good supermarkets throughout the borough, including large branches of Tesco, Lidl and Sainsbury’s. The diversity of the borough has also led to a selection of excellent international supermarkets, such as Longdan Express on Hackney Road and Akdeniz International Supermarket on Well Street.
Health & Sport
There are a wide range of fitness facilities available in Hackney, ranging from branches of popular gym chains such as Soho Gym, PureGym and Fitness4Less to council-run leisure centres such as Britannia Leisure Centre, Clissold Leisure Centre and Kings Hall Leisure Centre.
As a result of the young professional crowd, there are also a range of high-end fitness studios to be found, including those dedicated to pilates and yoga.
Busy, eclectic Hackney has become one of London’s most vibrant cultural hotspots, with regular festivals and events held throughout the borough, a number of brilliant museums, and two independent art-house cinemas – not to mention the theatres and music venues.
Top museums in the area include the Hackney Museum, Geffrye Museum and V&A Museum of Childhood, while film fans are well provided for with both the Hackney Picturehouse and Rio Cinema. Hackney Empire is the ultimate venue in the borough for a range of entertainment from dance performances to stand-up comedy, and the Arcola Theatre is one of the best spots for established and emerging theatre outside the West End.
Finally, if you’re looking for something a bit different, check out the schedule at venues such as the Old Truman Brewery, which regularly hosts events such as the London Coffee Festival, D&AD Festival and the Foodies Festival.
“Schools in Hackney have improved hugely over the last few decades, and as of 2016 students in the borough achieved better GCSE results than the national average”
Schools and Education
Schools in Hackney have improved hugely over the last few decades, and as of 2016 students in the borough achieved better GCSE results than the national average. The best secondary schools in Hackney include Cardinal Pole RC School and Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School in the state sector, and Beis Chinuch Lebonos Girls School in the independent sector. As for primary schools in Hackney, Orchard Primary School, Queensbridge Primary School and Parkwood Primary School are among the best in the borough, with over 95% of pupils reaching national English and Maths targets.
Whilst crime levels in Hackney are still higher than the London average, resting around 105 crimes per 1000 people as of 2016, they are gradually decreasingly and have seen a fall of over 30% since 2003.
For a borough so associated with urban areas such as Shoreditch and Dalston, there are surprisingly good selection of green spaces to choose from, particularly in the northern end of the borough. There are a total of 58 parks in Hackney, with popular spots including Clissold Park and Abney Park in Stoke Newington, and Hackney Downs in Lower Clapton, where you’ll find a range of sports facilities such as an athletics track and tennis courts.
Once a modest Tudor town, dotted with grand palaces and spread with leafy hunting grounds, the London Borough of Hackney has since evolved to take over the scene as London’s hub of urban cool.