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Hackney Wick area guide

Hackney Wick | E9

Area Guide

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Hackney Wick Area Info

Hackney Wick Area Info

Previously a mundane, rather forlorn inner-city area, Hackney Wick has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, largely thanks to the legacy programme that was delivered after the London 2012 Olympics. Today, it is a thriving, artsy area with a distinct charm and beauty, especially along the Lee Navigation canal, where colourful narrow boats and an abundance of wildlife are very much in evidence.

On the boundaries of the London Borough of Hackney and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Hackney Wick is known as London’s greenest borough with over 60 parks and green spaces, including the famous Hackney Marshes, home of Sunday League football.

Affectionately known as The Wick, the area once had a rich industrial history, but these days, with industry and manufacturing long since gone, many of the buildings have been creatively repurposed. Meanwhile, the site of Hackney Wick Stadium, famous for its greyhound and speedway racing, now falls within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and is a commercial space, housing various artistic and digital endeavours.

Transport links in Hackney Wick are good, with the Overground station taking you to Stratford International in just over 10 minutes and similarly for Highbury & Islington where you can pick up the Victoria line. There are also plenty of good bus routes. as you would expect, there is a variety of property options available in the area, from stylish, converted industrial buildings and warehouses to the many thousands of new homes built as park of the Olympic legacy. More recent developments include purpose built apartments and flats, while traditional Victorian terraced houses are also in abundance.

Schools wise, Hackney Wick’s main primaries are Gainsborough and Mossbourne Riverside Academy, rated good and outstanding respectively by Ofsted. For secondary education there’s The City Academy in nearby Homerton and Clapton Girls’ Academy both of which have an outstanding Ofsted rating.

Things To Do In Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick’s backstreets are a work of art, quite literally, with the area known for its iconic street graffiti and murals. This should come as no surprise as Hackney Wick houses the highest concentration of art studio spaces in the world, with over 600 individual venues clustered around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park alone. The mural on the Echo Building in Hackney Bridge is probably the most notable. Created by local street artist Busk, it features an artist with a paintbrush in front of classic graffiti as a nod to The Wick’s industrial past and artistic future.

If you’re planning on a late one then the Hackney Wick Horseshoe, close to Hackney Wick Station, is a must-visit. The Horseshoe features a string of hip raving joints, and is one of the best spots for nightlife in the area. Grow is a great place to kick off your night, with food, drinks and a floating music stage, while there’s always something new and innovative happening at Studio 9294, which describes itself as a blank canvas venue. Beer lovers should check out the Beer Merchants Tap, a laid-back taproom offering unique craft beers, cask ales and over 500 different bottles and where bar snacks, platters and pizzas are available to soak it all up.

If, however, you’d prefer to get out and explore the wonderful waterways of Hackney Wick, then head to Moo Canoes, which is based at The Milk Float, a floating venue on the canal, just off White Post Lane, that also houses a bar and café. Here you can choose from canoe, kayak or paddleboard, all decked out in the company’s signature cow print!

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History of Hackney Wick

In 1965 the borough was formed from the area of the earlier metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. At the time the council included representative symbols of the predecessor boroughs in its new combined coat of arms: Shoreditch by three bells from Shoreditch Church; Stoke Newington by two trees bearing fruit; and Hackney by the Maltese Cross of the principal landowners of the parish in the Middle Ages. The shield is surmounted by a representation of St. Augustine's Tower.

To this day a portrait of the Queen wearing the robes of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem, of which she is Patron is displayed in Hackney Town Hall.

The borough has a steep history; Ermine Street, the Roman Road forms the western edge of the borough. Most of the rest of the land was covered with open oak and hazel woodlands, with marshland around the rivers and streams that crossed the area. Hackney lay within the Catuvellauni tribal territory. The eastern boundary of the borough is marked by the River Lea. This was an ancient boundary between pre-Roman tribes, and in the Roman era, was tidal up to Hackney Wick and continued to be the boundary between the historic counties of Middlesex and Essex.

Following industrial action, extensive post-war development and immigration, the area's many Georgian and Victorian terraces are being gentrified, dilapidated warehouses are being converted and new apartments are being constructed.It was inner London's 'greenest borough' and London Transport's 'best bike borough 2006',with 62 parks and open spaces, covering 815 acres (3.3 km2). Up to seven Hackney parks have now achieved Green Flag status. One, Abney Park, became scheduled in 2009 as one of Britain's historic parks and gardens at risk from neglect and decay.

Hackney Wick Brewery - London
Hackney Wick Brewery - London

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