Moving to Hackney
Are you moving to Hackney? With one of the best postcodes in London and new-found popularity, the London Borough of Hackney dates back to 1198 AD. Close to the City of London and four miles away from Charing Cross, the area’s main industries are clothing, furniture manufacture and printing. The first theatre in London was built in Shoreditch around 1575. One of the few Elizabethan Gothic style churches left, St Mary’s in Stock Newington, was built in 1852. House prices are higher than London averages.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Hackney report includes info on:
- The best areas to live
- The good schools
- The average monthly rental prices
- The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Hackney On the Map
The London Borough of Hackney is an Inner London Borough. Situated north-east of the city, to the south is Tower Hamlets, Islington Southgate Road is to the west, and Haringey to the north.
As with most London areas transport links are superb, albeit very busy during rush hours.
Transport links in this popular area have been improved. The new East London line connects directly to the City, the Docklands and the West End.
- Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Luton and London City Airports are all nearby.
- Heathrow is an hour and a half by car or train.
- London Buses, the London Underground and Overground railways are all represented in the area. Hackney Central, Hackney Downs and Clapton railway stations service the area, while Hackney Wick, Bethnal Green and Stepney Green underground stations are all within 35 minutes of central Hackney.
- The Docklands Light Railway Stations of Pudding Mill Lane, Bow Church and Stratford are all within 2.5 miles.
- There are numerous bus routes running through Hackney to London and all the surrounding areas.
- Cycle routes are becoming more popular, due to the heavy traffic and the taxes imposed. Best to choose a route that runs along a canal to avoid heavy traffic.
Hackney is in east London, has an area of 7.4 square miles, is one of the 33 Greater London boroughs, and is located north of the River Thames. Very popular with young people, there is an abundance of restaurants, clubs and pubs. Famous people who live, or have lived in Hackney include Paloma Faith, Alfred Hitchcock, Colin Firth, Marc Bolan, Edgar Allan Poe, The Kray brothers, Dick Turpin, Lord Alan Sugar, and Michael Caine. Across the borough, types of properties range from terraced Victorian houses, Edwardian architecture, apartments, loft and school conversions, semis and maisonettes. Property is in short supply here and oftentimes rentals are snapped up as soon as they reach the market.
An urban area with an eclectic mix of people from professionals to hipsters and students, this is truly a multicultural area, and proud of it. It is pretty central with very good transport links and is only 15 minutes from Oxford Circus on the central line.
The usual supermarkets line the Bethnal Green Road, along with excellent greengrocers. The Working Men’s club is quite festive and puts on a range of entertainment throughout the year including burlesque nights.
Another trendy area with a great nightlife, so dominant that the council is looking to regulate late night openings. Definitely an area for singles and younger couples. A diverse mix of people live here, from wealthy City traders, arty-crafty creative types and the long-established Turkish and Caribbean communities.
The proximity to Dalston makes London Fields popular with young people, along with a lovely park called, strangely, London Fields!
HACKNEY CENTRAL AND HACKNEY DOWNS
Home to the famed Hackney Empire, which is one of the oldest music halls and entertainment venues in the UK, along with a multiplex cinema and a new library. London’s first luxury outlet district, Hackney Walk, has turned the area into a popular tourist attraction. Hackney Central train station makes commuting convenient; you can pick up a bargain at the market stalls on Chatsworth Road and Broadway, or visit the green spaces – most of them have tennis courts and boating lakes. As a matter of interest, a gentleman called Fred Cooke sold jellied eels at Broadway Market to the shepherds driving their flocks into the City in 1900. His grandson still runs the shop selling eels, with the addition of pie, mash and liquor.
Mare Street is the main shopping area, but the back streets recently opened up with thriving cafes, bars and restaurant. Many of the areas, including London Fields, are early Victorian terraces, with lovely Georgian hoses around Clapton Square. New flats, social housing and converted warehouses can also be found.
Homerton, close to Hackney Central, is also an up and coming area.
Close to the Waltham Forest and the borough of Newham, the area has recently improved due to its proximity to the Olympic Park.
This central district is very close to the City of London’s financial district. Hoxton is also pretty festive, with lots of pubs, restaurants and clubs.
Considered by some to be central London, over a period of 10 years it has moved from being a cheap area to live attracting starving, poor artists, to becoming the centre of London’s art world. Practically within walking distance to the City, prices have soared with a profusion of loft conversions and studio flats close to Old Street. Multicultural Shoreditch is home to Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities from decades back, with Eastern Europeans, American and French arriving more recently. There is also a large number of Londoners who were born and bred here. The 19-hectare Shoreditch Park is a huge green area with plenty of room for family activities.
Previously a slightly seedy area, sometime during the ‘90s restaurants, boutiques and delis popped up, although it has more of a pub than a club scene. This gentrification has made the postcode N16 one of the most desirable north of London. The large amount of green space attracts young families, along with the Victorian terraced housing. Rentals are high, but less expensive properties can be found towards Clapton and Hackney Downs. Nevill Road was the recipient of the first bomb dropped in World War 1.
Maybe due to a lack of TVs in the area, or maybe there’s something in the water, Stamford Hill has one of the highest birth rates in the country.
This prime location has traditionally been home to one of the largest Hasidic communities in Europe, with more synagogues in a square mile than the whole of London combined. Known since the 18th century for spacious large Victorian and Edwardian terraces, and what remains of large family estates, real estate here is at a premium. It has some great schools, some considered ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. There is no underground station and buses are the best form of public transport.
Who Lives and Works in Hackney
With a population of 269,000 in 2015, 160,000 were economically active, of which 62% were at director or professional level and 11.7% were admin or skilled tradespeople. 237,100 people have qualifications equal to or above NVQ3, the equivalent of 2 or more A-levels. 500 of the locals are employed in the civil service.
Traditionally, furniture and clothing were the mainstay of the local economy, and the London College of Furniture, the Shoreditch College for the Clothing Industry and Cordwainer’s Technical College are still in the borough.
29% of the local jobs are in the financial sector, due mainly to the proximity to the City’s financial district. The hospitality industry is also a major employer in Hackney.
Of course, a large number of people commute out of Hackney every day.
The Best Bits
Proximity to the capital, great housing, lots of green areas and good salaries make this a good place for expats.
- The lively art scene includes the Victoria Miro Gallery for emerging artists. The gallery is located in an old furniture factory.
- Great nightlife includes countless bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
- Proximity to all that the City has to offer in terms of historical monuments, museums and theatres.
- Fabulous green areas offering a host of family activities.
- The Hackney Empire on Mare Street. Since it opened in 1901 it has hosted annual pantomimes and great productions. Even Charlie Chaplin played here.
- The Hackney Picturehouse, over the road from the Empire, is known as one of the most comfortable in London.
- The Geffrye Museum of the Home in Shoreditch, explores home and home life from the year 1600 to the present day.
- Old Spitalfields Market. Open daily as a new renovated Victoria covered market.
Bringing the Kids
Hackney is a great place to bring up children and is home to some exceptional schools, rated by Ofsted.
- There are no international schools in the Hackney area, but there is a vast choice in London. The admission and application requirement differ considerably to those at general British Schools. Expats will find that these schools are quite flexible and welcoming to kids of all nationalities.
- There are in excess of 50 state primary schools and 15 secondary schools in the borough. Many of these schools’ work on the catchment system, which could make it tricky when looking for a rental property. The schools do not charge fees.
- There are a number of private schools, some of which offer religious education. They may require the student to sit an entrance exam.
- There is a large number of universities in the City.
Relocating to Hackney
The borough has become a highly sought-after area in recent years and is excellent in terms of investment in residential property. Victorian and Georgian houses offer spacious accommodation for families, while converted lofts and apartments are ideal for young couples and professional.
The public transport system is exemplary, making a trip into the capital quick and painless.
Great education at the existing schools, with more City Academies planned for the future.
Great restaurants, markets and nightlife are on your doorstep. Impressive green and conservation areas like Hackney Downs public park for example, has facilities such as a multi-use games area, basketball courts, four tennis courts, a play area and the pavilion.
Of course, the school catchment system may be a bit tricky to negotiate, as is the complex British rental system. The expert services of our relocation specialists will ease you way through this unsettling process, aiding with rental negotiations, form filling, finding accommodation, spousal support and a host of other potential problems.
Average Monthly Rents in Hackney