Sprawling east-London borough comprising Hackney Central, Homerton, Dalston and even parts of Finsbury Park at the north end. People might bemoan the rise of the hipsterati, but it’s still a diverse borough, and one of the most creative areas in the city. Hackney Wick has the highest concentration of artists per square mile than anywhere else in the world. There are plenty of interesting things to see and do, and much of it is cheapo-friendly. Queen’s Yard is home to the Yard Theatre and Crate Brewery where you can see new and experimental theatre and music. Hackney Central is home to several venues from historic sites like Hackney Empire St John in Hackney Church to newer places like Oslo and Moth Club within a stone’s throw of Hackney Central Station and Mare Street.
There are tonnes of independent shops, markets and places to eat. Weekends are perfect for wandering through markets. The most colourful is Columbia Road market, selling flowers and plants which is on every Sunday. The road itself is full of Victorian shops with excellent typography and pretty facades, so it’s worth a look even if you’re not a keen gardener. Head on over to Netil Market for a smaller, less chaotic ( and more affordable) alternative to famous Broadway Market, with yard sales, street food and crafts by local designers. Pubs are a mix of industrial bars and old-school pubs like The Dove in London Fields or Kenton. Cheap eats can be found at Hill & Szrok Cookshop in Broadway Market, just walk in to order food from their butcher’s counter served up for under a tenner. For less meaty, but flavoursome options try Tre Viet on Mare Street for wallet- friendly Vietnamese Food. For coffee, tea and baked treats pop into E5 Bakehouse (where you can also learn about breadmaking) and Well Street Kitchen to name but two of countless other cafes. The borough also 58 parks, open spaces and gardens. Green spaces include Hackney Marshes, Hackney City Farm, London Fields and Spring Hill Recreation Ground.