Thinking about move to Hackney E5

Hi – i’m sure you get a lot of these.I’m moving from Leith in Edinburgh to London in a few weeks.  A friend of mine stays in Hackney and has offered me a room in E5.  Now, I am originally from Wimbledon but haven’t lived in London since 1995 and I have no idea about the area.Can anyone here tell me why they love Hackney?  Will I find it intimidating?  I’d love to hear from anyone who’s lived in Leith as well,  as it’s considered pretty dodgy but I find it very homely and welcoming apart from the odd smack-head. I was going to move back to Wimbledon but my friend insists that E5 is where it’s at.  I’m also slightly worried about the transport into the centre of town as I will be working in Covent Garden. If it’s of any use i’m in my mid-30s – and my job & interests revolve around music / arts – buying, selling and making it – consequently I don’t have very much money to spend on rent! Does Hackney sound like a good choice  for me then? Thanks in advance!


  1. Hi, first of all, it isn’t the middle of nowhere – trains from Clapton Station to Liverpool St, take about 15 minutes, or you can get a bus to Manor House in 10-15 minutes so the tube is fairly close by, you can get the piccadily line from Manor House direct to Covent Garden. I’ve been living in Clapton since 1997 and never had any issues, one attempted break-in, no muggings or attempted muggings, and I don’t think I look scary enough to terrify potential muggers. It isn’t a fantastic place – food shopping is pretty good – Chatsworth Road has a great Grocers and an excellent Sunday market – plus a few good cafes as well and a deli and creperie (when I moved here that was beyond imagination!) Drinking wise – close to Stoke Newington and a load of decent pubs there – Jolly Butchers is my fave – The Clapton Hart is due to open shortly – no idea if it will be great – I’m hoping it will be. I’ll let others post about music / arts.

  2. Thanks!  I do like a decent boozer – one thing we’re not short of in Edinburgh.  When I was young Hackney had a bit of a bad rep.  It doesn’t look that way any more but like i say, i’ve been away a long while. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

  3. hackney has really changed. it and dalston and thereabouts are now where everyone wants to live. it takes very little time to be in The City or the west end but lots of people don’t even bother leaving there’s just so much to do. the community is very strong. we’re also close to hoxton, clerkenwell and shoreditch, which as well as dalston has many clubs and cafes. west is boring compared to here. there’s street markets and street food and a burgeoning cafe/gallery culture, loads of artists and no end of free or nearly-free stuff to do. while there are some colourful characters, in the ten years i have lived here i have never been threatened. so much is refurbished now too and the overground is brilliant . it does look a bit more derelict but that is part of what makes it so interesting. come try us out for a weekend, ask us where to go and you’ll be sold, i promise. wimbledon will seem like a tomb!

  4. Hi @iamthefly it’s worth checking out this similar thread about Clapton.Hackney is pretty special, I love it so much I made this website!

  5. I moved to London in 2005, and lived in a couple of boring but convenient places (Acton; Wood Green) before eventually being persuaded by my girlfriend that Hackney was a good idea. And she was right. I don’t think its reputation is any worse than Leith – while Clapton used to have the nickname ‘murder mile’, a lot of that came from one particular dodgy nightclub which subsequently lost its licence. It’s finally re-opening as the aforementioned Clapton Hart tonight – which promises to be a nice friendly local. And as others have mentioned, there’s just so much going on here – street markets, loads of little galleries, cafes, and combinations of all three. (Wood Green had a very nice local bookshop, but was rather dull by comparison.) Cycling in London does take a little bit of getting used to – particularly if you’re not confident around lots of buses – but you could probably do Clapton to Covent Garden in around half an hour, and feel much better than if you’d taken the bus. Do it, you won’t regret it! 🙂

  6. Do it!! I’ve lived in just about every postcode in London and E5 is my favourite by far! I moved about a year ago and I don’t want to leave ever.

  7. Wow! Everyone says such great things about the place.  It really does sound like Leith – a bit of a mix but quite arty at the same time.  Thanks for all your replies – i will take a much closer look at the place when I get down.  If the place is anything like this forum, I’ll be very glad to be a resident.

  8. One of Leith’s favourite sons, Irvine Welsh, spent some time living in Hackney and has called them twin towns in the past. I think his area was Stoke Newington, but that was 15 years ago before it became mummyfied. E5 is far more like the real deal nowadays, though even here you will notice the impending creep of middle class gentrification.

  9. and the fantastic Hackney Marshes and Lea Valley Park are on the door step!

  10.  Would you be kind and give us couple of suggestions of where to look for sustainable/eco share accommodation in your area, please.

  11. I am moving to Goulton Road soon and I have found this group really helpful and you guys have made me look forward to my move.  It’s quite daunting moving from leafy, and quite dull, suburbia but from what I can gather Hackney/Clapton is an amazing area to live.

  12. Hi, I live on goulton road too… And its a lovely quiet street that’s a great base for hackney. Welcome! 🙂

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