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Top 10 Things To Do and See in Hackney
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Top 10 Things To Do and See in Hackney

Picture of Jessica Barnfield
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hackney is one of the most culturally diverse, and young, boroughs of London– making it the ideal home for the pop-ups, start-ups, and hipster hang-outs that have sprung up there in recent years. An area rich in history and community spirit, there are tonnes of things to see and do in Hackney. Here’s our pick of the best.
A Creative Commons Image: Hackney City Farm | © Dr Neil Clifton
A Creative Commons Image: Hackney City Farm | © Dr Neil Clifton
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The Hackney City Farm

Take a break from city life in the heart of Hackney at the City Farm, where you can pet the goats, feed the chickens, and feel all warm-hearted over baby lambs. Sure, its mostly for kids, but they also have adult pottery classes, woodcraft classes and organic allotment projects for those with green thumbs!

Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmith’s Row, London E2 8QA 020 7729 6381

A Creative Commons Image: The Geffrye Museum | © Fin Fahey
A Creative Commons Image: The Geffrye Museum | © Fin Fahey
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The Geffrye Museum

They say there’s a museum for everything in London, and the Geffrye explores the history of Britain’s domestic interiors. Located in a gorgeous Grade 1 listed building, you’ll feel like a time traveller as you wander through 11 period rooms from the 1600s to the present day.

Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA 020 7739 9893

A Creative Commons Image: Londonfields Lido | © Peter Smith
A Creative Commons Image: Londonfields Lido | © Peter Smith
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Londonfields Lido

Luckily for the warm-blooded amongst us, Londonfields Lido is a heated Olympic sized swimming pool, making it perfect for a dip year-round! Make a day of it in the summer and enjoy the café and sunbathing facilities on the Sundeck.

London Fields Lido, London Fields West Side, London 020 7254 9038

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Broadway Market

A firm favourite with locals, Broadway Market is a proper London food market. More affordable than Borough Market, you can legitimately shop for fresh fruit and vegetables here that rival the supermarkets not only on price but also taste and colour. You can also enjoy delicious cooked food from around the world, and have a browse for some vintage clothes bargains.

Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ

A Creative Commons Image: Gainsborough Studios | © Grim23
A Creative Commons Image: Gainsborough Studios | © Grim23
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Gainsborough Studios

Once a giant of the film industry, and where Alfred Hitchcock filmed ‘The Landlord’, Gainsborough studios has long since been demolished and turned into a block of flats. A blue plaque commemorates its historic origins, and its fate from film studio, to site of cultural interest, to block of flats seems to encapsulate certain trends in London’s commercial transformation.

Gainsborough Studios, 136 New N Rd, London N1 6SU

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Fassett Square

From film history to TV legend: Fassett Square is largely unremarkable save for the fact that it is the model for East Enders’ fictional ‘Albert Square’. The perfect place to indulge your small-screen fantasies of being a Mitchell Brother, or walking down to the Queen Vic for a pint.

Fassett Square, London E8 1DQ

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Nevill Road

Commemorated by a small blue plaque, Nevill Road is the site of the first bomb to be dropped on London in WW1. Well worth a look for those interested in their British history, and a nice fact to have in storage if you ever end up in this part of London with friends visiting.

Nevill Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8SW

A Creative Commons Image: Rio Cinema | © Fin Fahey
A Creative Commons Image: Rio Cinema | © Fin Fahey

Rio Cinema, Dalston

This art-house cinema shows a great collection of classics, new releases, and foreign flicks perfect for a night out at the movies with a difference. Rio Cinema is Grade II listed building, and showcases amazing 1930’s art deco style alongside mainstream releases and independent films, often made into more of an event with live music and cabaret.

Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB 020 7241 9410

A Creative Commons Image: Hackney Empire | © Fin Fahey
A Creative Commons Image: Hackney Empire | © Fin Fahey
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Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire is a 1900s music hall turned modern theatre. Boards that were once trod by Charlie Chaplain now host comedy nights with the likes of John Cleese and Jennifer Saunders, as well as great updated youth productions of classics such as Macbeth and even Royal Academy Operas.

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ 020 8985 2424

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Broadway Bookshop

Located on the canal-side end of Broadway Market, this vibrant independent bookshop is an Aladdin’s cave for bookworms looking to get their hands on old Penguin Classics, reprints of long-forgotten classics, New York Review best sellers, and other literary fiction. Their beautiful travel section is largely focused on books dealing with the local history of London making it a real find for those who want to learn more about Hackney!

The Broadway Book Shop, 6 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ 020 7241 1626