A Simple Hackney Area Guide

Formerly known as Hackney Proper to distinguish it from the nearby sub-district of Hackney Central, Hackney is a vibrant and historically rich district northeast of Shoreditch, in East London.

It’s bounded by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and the City of London to the north, and the River Lea to the East.

Hackney makes up two-thirds of the London Borough of Hackney and is one of the largest districts in the region.  It’s made up of several sub-districts, including Hackney Central, De Beauvoir Town, Homerton, and Stamford Hill.  Read on for an overview of the area’s history and some fun things to do while here.

Hackney in the Making: A Historical Background of the District

Hackney, a district whose name original remains subject to debate to date, was one of the wealthiest areas in East London from the 16th century.  It was characterized by Tudor Mansions, upscale homes of Hackney’s Aristocrats, and substantial private villas for the middle class.  After the arrival of the railway, a majority of these houses were demolished, and private blocks of compact terrace houses built.

By the end of that century, Hackney looked more like other districts and villages in East London.  It was lined with shops and houses, and the district’s housing sector was thriving thanks to the London County Council’s flat building program.  Unfortunately, Hackney’s good fortunes didn’t last long as severe wartime bombings destroyed most of the area.

After the war, the London County Council began building flats again, which helped rebuild and shape it into what we know today.

Fun Things to Do in Hackney

The regeneration of Hackney brought along changes that would alter the culture of the area, turning it into a hotspot with edgy shops, pubs, and local eateries.  As a result, the list of fun things to do here is much longer but check out a few fun things to do:

Visit London Fields Lido

If splashing around in water is a favorite pastime, check out the heated swimming pool at the London Fields on West Side, London E8 3EU.  The facility features a 50m heated outdoor pool open from 06.30 am to 9 pm throughout the year.  There’s a café and sun terrace for relaxation on site.

Checkout Sutton House

Sutton House is one of London’s few remaining Tudor houses.  Built by Henry VIII in 1535, this house has served different purposes, including being a Victorian school and a trades union office.  A walk through the house’s courtyard and the linenfold parlor offers a glimpse of what life was like for its occupants

Top hotspots to check out while in Hackney:

If historical spots don’t tickle your fancy, ensure you check out these hotspots in Hackney:

  • Viva, A Mexican-Latin tapas and cocktail bar
  • Hackney Walk, a luxury designer outlet
  • Lardo, a pizza and Italian cuisine restaurant
  • The Hackney Empire, world-class theatre and venue
  • Shoreditch box house

Ready to Explore Hackney

As one of the largest districts in the London Borough of Hackney, Hackney is awash with trendy restaurants, retail shops, and historical attractions in equal measure.  Ready to explore Hackney?  Check out the list above for ideas on what to do while here.