Tell me a bit about upper Clapton

Can anyone tell me a bit about Upper Clapton? I know the area round the Pond is having a renaissance, and of course chatsworth road, but is any of this trickling north? Or do most people there either walk into Stokey or down to the Pond? We’re thinking about a permanent base for our tea and cake outfit, possibly a cafe or maybe just a new kitchen, and Upper Clapton Road is cheap… Thoughts please!PS (it stands for plug, shameless) If you haven’t added us yet, our facebook page is now proudly in possession of its own URL –


  1. @hopsyturvy I know that @marty21 lives in Upper Clapton, where abouts are you looking? Spring Field Park (or Spark) Cafe gets a fair few visitors

  2. That looks like a really lovely spot.. As to where we’re looking, it’s all pipe dreams for now, so pretty much everywhere…

  3. Sadly the pond and Chatsworth Road are not Upper Clapton, more Lower Clapton.I’ve lived in Upper Clapton since 1997, what do you want to know? Upper Clapton Road is pretty grim really, no decent restaurants or bars – The Crooked Billet is the only place to drink, although the Royal Sovereign on Northwold Road is alright – although it is sorta in Stokie, the border lands. Shop wise – we don’t really shop there, apart from Newsagents, the Beer and Wine Supermarket (it’s sign used to look like the Beer and Urine shop – good times) on the corner of Northwold Road is ok for some stuff – we go to Chatsworth to the excellent MFR grocers. There are some nice streets of housing, basically the streets between the Station and the Lea Bridge Roundabout are all ok. The streets that head down towards the park.It’s close to the Marshes, so in the summer, mighty fine walking to be had – the Middlesex Filter beds are great to wander about in, Springfield Park too. Further up nearer Springfield Park are some nice streets too.Can’t imagine it changing much, it has had an influx of the middle-classes over the years, you’ll see them all on the train – rarely on the buses. Transport wise, it is ok, 253,106,393 buses fairly reliable (although the 393 can be a little eratic) the train is usually pretty reliable, and you can also walk up to Rectory Road Station which is fairly nearby. Plus there are other buses that turn off onto the Lea Bridge Road, 38,55,56 which are convenient if you are close to the Lea Bridge Road.Plenty of new Build along the lea – plus a new CostCutters which is alright – and a new Doctor’s surgery too. Anything else you want to know?

  4. Thanks @marty21, this is a good start! I think we’ll just have to have a wander around and see. Royal Sovereign looks OK on google maps, any real ale? Is there a lot of road or foot traffic on Upper Clapton Road?

  5. I have some friends who live opposite the Royal Sovereign. Its meant to be quite lively (in a good way) with at least one ale on. Upper Clapton has a completely different feel to Lower Clapton. Lower Clap seems to getting more popular of late (hipsters), so I am sure it will spread to Upper Clap in time.

  6. I’m working with the Clapton Arts Trust on a vision for the area around the roundabout. There’s a lot of activity in the Old Tram Depot, and the Cinema and White Heart Pub are up for sale (for pennies), and if CAT get it their way they’ll become major attractors.

  7. It would be great to see the White Hart and the cinema being used for something (good)

  8. I know – i heard on the grape vine that the owner couldn’t get £650 000 for it at auction so didn’t sell. I thought that was pretty cheap considering.

  9. @euan I have a photo of it from 1975 – there is a big White Hart on top of it. Pretty cool

  10. I go to the Royal Sovereign occasionally, it’s alright, usually have one real ale on (London Pride the last time I was there, which was in the summer) It would be great if they did redevelop the old cinema (into a new cinema) and the pub (didn’t realise it was called the White Hart) The Roundabout is a real barrier, I might go to the Biddle Brothers more it wasn’t the other side of the roundabout – it’s probably a psychological thing. I must try harder.

  11. @marty21 in amongst the other photos I have is the roundabout from 1890 – it’s the size of a mini roundabout, with a statue on it – not so much of a barrier then!

  12. @ewebber I’d like to see that pic, when I first moved to upper Clapton in 1997 you could still use the underpass and cross the road that way, they closed it down and filled it up because people kept being robbed down there.

  13. @marty21 it’s in my super cool book of Hackney pics – I will post some soon

  14. I would add to @Marty21 about Upper Clapton Rd being grim. Except for the dry cleaners, off-licenses, household goods stores, and take away chicken/kebab shops, there seems to be regular turnover of shops, most lasting less than a year. The one I saw opened and closed within a year (2010) was an Indian restaurant called Spice Aroma – despite super cheap prices, nice people and quite tasty food, it seems like they were only around for 6 months(ish). To the original poster, I’d do a serious study of who your customer base is before opening a business along Upper Clapton Rd. That being said, anyplace that’s actually pleasant to spend time in (so not the caf or a take away) might be something that hasn’t been tried in the two years I’ve been living on/right off Upper Clapton.

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