Not that long ago, Hackney was listed as one of the worst places to live in all of Britain. But thanks to the investment brought here by the 2012 Olympics it has made a complete turnaround and is now a great neighborhood to live in. New schools, transportation links, and upgraded housing were all developed since Hackney became the site of the £500 million Olympic park.
As part of the development, a lot of single-family homes that had been converted to apartments long ago were converted back into single-family homes. Ironically, as some long established residents take advantage of the higher real estate prices and cash out to head elsewhere, some of those homes are being converted back into apartments.
Still, there’s a real community feel in this neighborhood. Independent boutiques and shops have loyal customers, artists have opened up shared workspaces, and locals know each other. The newly cool vibe here has made Hackney a popular destination for young professionals and creatives.
If you enjoy food from different cultures, there are a ton of options here for you, from Vietnamese to Italian to Turkish. The pizza here is out of this world! Broadway Market is probably the most popular place to go for bars and eats, and on Saturdays you’ll get some of the best organic produce at the farmer's market. The street food market here is also high.
As far as things to do, there is a cinema, newly revived nightlife, and some great gastropubs. Other amenities include a 24-hour Tesco supermarket, open air parks, King’s Hall Leisure Centre, the London Aquatics Centre, a skating rink, spas, a library, and white water rafting (yes, white water rafting in the middle of London – a leftover from the Olympics).
The City: 3.4 miles / 20-40 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit / 25 minutes by bike
Canary Wharf: 3.5 miles / 15-30 minutes by car / 35 minutes by transit / 20-25 minutes by bike
Southwark: 3.4 miles / 25-45 minutes by car / 40-50 minutes by transit / 25-30 minutes by bike
Westminster: 6.3 miles / 30-60 minutes by car / 40-45 minutes by transit
Shoreditch: 2.6 miles / 15-20 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit / 15 minutes by bike