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Hackney is a district of London.

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Points of Interest in London

Landmarks

  • Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA,  +44 20 8356 5000. Built in the 1930s including the surrounding square and gardens.
  • Sutton House, 2 & 4 Homerton High St, E9 6JQ,  +44 20 8986 2264. Th-Su 12:30-16:30. Tudor House in Homerton, owned by the National Trust. £0.80-2.90.
  • St John-at-Hackney Community Space Centre, Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0PD,  +44 20 7613 9525. This tower of St John-at-Hackney Church is the oldest building in Hackney and a famous landmark of the borough.

Parks

  • Victoria Park commonly called the People's Park, its huge and hosts summer festivals.
  • Clissold Park, Greenway Cl, N4 2EY (tube: Manor House), e-mail: info@hackney.gov.uk. Park with a rich history. It is a former country house and estate and was first opened to the public in 1889.
  • Hackney City Farm, 1 Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QA,  +44 20 7729 6381. Tu-Su 10:00-16:30. Farm dating back to the early 1800s. It is now open to the public and is home to domestic animals. Also houses a café.
  • Hackney Downs, near Clapton Ponds, has free tennis courts and is nice for cycle, though a bit plain and sqaurish
  • Haggerston Park, Audrey St, off Goldsmith's Row, E2 8QH,  +44 20 8356 8428-9, e-mail: info@hackney.gov.uk.
  • London Fields, Richmond Rd, Hackney, E8,  +44 20 8356 8428, 8356 8429, e-mail: info@hackney.gov.uk. There are records of a public park at this site going back to the 16th century. Every Saturday, there is a farmers' market selling here, complemented by many others selling hand-made jewellery, gifts, childrenswear and vintage clothing.
  • Stoke Newington Reservoirs, 1 Newnton Cl, N4 2RH (tube: Manor House),  +44 20 8802 4573. Two former Thames Water reservoirs which are now managed as a nature reserve in urban Hackney by the London Wildlife Trust. Has a small visitor centre.

Museums

  • The Clowns Archive, Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Rd, E8 3DY,  +44 870 128 4336. Museum of clowning, unique collection of faces on eggs. Open only first Friday of every month from noon-5PM. LOL Free.
  • Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA (tube: Old St),  +44 20 7739 9893, e-mail: info@geffrye-museum.org.uk. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su noon-17:00, closed M. Furniture museum which charts the evolution of London urban interior design and furnishing since 1600. Free.
  • Hackney Museum, Technology & Learning Centre, 1 Reading Ln, E8 1GQ,  +44 20 8356 3500, fax: +44 20 8356 2563, e-mail: info@hackney.gov.uk. Tu W, F 09:30-17:30, Th 09:30-20:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. Providing a history of Hackney as well as periodic exhibitions.

Galleries

  • 291 Gallery, 291 Hackney Rd, E2 8NA,  +44 20 7613 5676. Contemporary art within visual art, digital art, live performances, video and music events.
  • Rhodes + Mann Gallery, 37 Hackney Rd, E2 7NX,  +44 20 7729 4372, e-mail: mail@rhodesmann.com.
  • The Residence, The Verger's Cottage, Eastway, E9 5JA (train: Hackney Wick),  +44 20 8986 2324, e-mail: info@residence-gallery.com. By appointment. Avant-gard gallery with up and coming as well as newly established artists.
  • Space Gallery, 129-131 Mare St, E8 3RH,  +44 20 8525 4330.
  • Elevator Gallery and the Chocolate Factory both near Hackney Downs on Stoke Newington Rd.

Westminster Bridge

Victoria Tower

Royal Festival Hall

London Eye

Southbank Centre

Tower of London

London St. Paul\'s Church (the Actor\'s Church)

Tower Bridge

Leicester Square

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Wyndham\'s Theatre

HMS Belfast

Waterloo Bridge

London Bridge

The Monument

Somerset House

London Millennium Footbridge

Piccadilly Theatre

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About London

History

Settlement has existed on the site of London since well before Roman times, with evidence of Bronze Age and Celtic settlement. The Roman city of Londinium, established just after the Roman conquest of Britannia in the year 43, formed the basis for the modern city (some isolated Roman period remains are still to be seen within the City). After the end of Roman rule in 410 and a short-lived decline, London experienced a gradual revival under the Anglo-Saxons, as well as the Norsemen, and emerged as a great medieval trading city, and eventually replaced Winchester as the royal capital of England. This paramount status for London was confirmed when William the Conqueror, a Norman, built the Tower of London after the conquest in 1066 and was crowned King of England in Westminster.

London went from strength to strength and with the rise of England to first European then global prominence and the city became a great centre of culture, government and industry. London's long association with the theatre, for example, can be traced back to the English renaissance (witness the Rose Theatre and great playwrights like Shakespeare who made London their home). With the rise of Britain to supreme maritime power in the 18th and 19th centuries and the possessor of the largest global empire, London became an imperial capital and drew people and influences from around the world to become, for many years, the largest city in the world.

England's royal family has, over the centuries, added much to the London scene for today's traveller: the Albert Memorial, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Tower of London, Kew Palace and Westminster Abbey being prominent examples.

Despite the inevitable decline of the British Empire, and considerable suffering during World War II (when London was heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe in the Blitz), the city is still a top-ranked world city: a global centre of culture, finance, and learning. Today London is easily the largest city in the United Kingdom, eight times larger than the second largest, Birmingham, and ten times larger than the third, Glasgow, and dominates the economic, political and social life of the nation. It is full of excellent bars, galleries, museums, parks and theatres. It is also the most culturally and ethnically diverse part of the country, making it a great multicultural city to visit. Samuel Johnson famously said, "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". Whether you are interested in ancient history, modern art, opera or underground raves, London has it all.

Climate

Despite a perhaps unfair reputation for being unsettled, London enjoys a dry and mild climate on average. Only one in three days on average will bring rain and often only for a short period. In some years, 2012 being an example, there was no rain for several weeks.

Winter in London is mild compared to nearby continental European cities due to both the presence of the Gulf Stream and the urban heat effect. Average daily maximum is 8°C (46°F) in December and January. Daylight hours are short with darkness falling by 16:00 in December.

Snow does occur, usually a few times a year but rarely heavy (a few years being exceptions such as the winters of 2009 and 2010, with temperatures dipping down to sub-zeros regularly). Snow in London can be crippling, as seen at the end of 2010. Just 7 cm (3 in) of snow will cause trains to stop running, airports to see significant delays, and the postal service to come to a halt. London is a city which does not cope well with snow; walkways, stairs, and streets will not be cleared by shovels or ploughs. The streets will be salted/gritted, but will remain slick and snow/slush covered until the sun melts it away. This is due to a lack of widespread snow-clearing infrastructure as the city does not often see snow.

Summer is perhaps the best season for tourists as it has long daylight hours as well as mild temperatures. The average daily high temperatures in July and August are around 24°C (75°F). The highest temperature since 2000 was recorded once in August at 38°C (100°F). This means London can feel hot and humid for several days in the summer months. Also, because of the urban heat effect, at night it can feel humid and muggy.

The weather in London is highly changeable regardless of the time of year. Cold temperatures and severe rain can occur even in the summer months.

Activities

  • Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, E8 1EJ (London Overground to Hackney Central; Rail to Hackney Downs; tube: Bethnal Green then 10 min by bus no 106 or 154),  +44 20 8985 2424. Historic theatre and music hall, offering an eclectic mix of entertainment.
  • East London Art Walks (Comment Art Walks),  +44 20 7739 1743, +44 7799 776 016. A friendly, qualified art guide will take you around a selection of the most interesting exhibitions on at the moment and also talk about the history of contemporary art in East London. call for times and meeting points.
  • London Fields Lido, London Fields Westside E8 3EU (London Fields Rail Stn),  +44 20 7254 9038. Lovely old-fashioned outdoor swimming Lido run by Hackney Council. £2.45-4.10.
  • Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, E8 (London Overground to Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Jct),  +44 20 7241 9410, e-mail: mail@riocinema.org.uk. A splendid old cinema dating back to the 1900s. Specialises in foreign language films, offbeat arthouse productions and children's programming.
  • Walk Hackney Marshes. Lovely walk along the River Lea and canal which stretches across much of East London and further. A surprisingly rural experience in an otherwise densely built district of London.

Food

Stoke Newington (Church Street), Broadway market and, more recently, Hackney Central, have a variety of gastropubs. There are many great Turkish and Asian restaurants on Kingsland Road. To the south of Mare Street there are a great number of very reasonable Vietnamese restaurants. Some also have the bonus of being able to bring your own alcohol, which brings down cost considerably.

Budget

  • Green Papaya, 191 Mare St, E8 3QT,  +44 20 8985 5486. Tu-Su 17:00-23:00. Offering great Vietnamese food for veggies and meat eaters alike. Mains from £5.
  • Mess Cafe, Amhurst Rd. Great quality caff breakfasts. £4.
  • Song Que Cafe, 134 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DY,  +44 20 7613 3222. Rated by Zagat's as the best Vietnamese on Kingsland Rd.
  • Viet Hoa, 70-72 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DP,  +44 20 7729 8293. Tu-Su noon-15:30, 17:30-23:30. You must try the salted prawns! Mains from £5.30.

Mid-range

  • Au Lac, 104 Kingsland Rd, N5 2XE,  +44 20 7033 0588. Sa-W 17:30-23:00, Th F noon-14:30, 17:30-23:00. BYO. The pancakes are recommended as a starter (this was a batter parcel containing chicken and beansprouts, rolled into lettuce leaves), also the steamed sea bass, which has a delicious sauce. More of a restaurant for a group of friends, rather than a romantic meal.
  • Buen Ayre, 50 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ,  +44 20 7275 9900, e-mail: info@buenayre.co.uk. M-F 18:00-22:30, Sa Su noon-17:00, 18:00-22:30. Argentine Grill restaurant. Mains £8-22.50.
  • The Empress of India, 130 Lauriston Rd, E9 7LH,  +44 20 8533 5123, e-mail: aga@theempressofindia.com. 09:00-23:00. Indian cuisine. Mains from £12.50.
  • LMNT, 316 Queensbridge Rd, E8 3NH,  +44 20 7249 6727. M-Sa noon-23:00, Su noon-22:30. European cuisine. Mains £9.95.
  • Su Sazzagoni, 136 Lauriston Rd, E9 7LH,  +44 20 8985 8448. Sardinian cuisine. Mains from £9.90.

Drinks

  • Biddle Bros, 88 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0QR,  +44 20 8985 7052. Lively pub with a good local following. Often have a live band or DJ in the evenings,
  • The Birdcage, 58 Stamford Hill, N16 6XS,  +44 20 020 8806 6740, e-mail: manager@thebirdcagen16.co.uk. Friendly Stoke Newington pub that often hs live bands playing.
  • The Cat and Mutton, 76 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ,  +44 20 7254 5599. Beers £3-3.80.
  • The Cock Tavern, 315 Mare St, E8 1EJ,  +44 20 7248 2918. M–Th 06:00–23:00, F 06:00–02:00, Sa 17:30–02:00. Beer £2.90-3.50.
  • The Wishing Well, 418 Mare St, E8 1HP,  +44 20 8533 0372. Popular local pub especially during major sports events which are shown on the large screens.
  • The Russet Cafe, Amhurst Ter, E8 2BT. Cool, hippy-vibe bar, its a bit of a run-down alley but the amazing atmosphere and brilliant eclectic live acts make it unmissable. Serves nice mulled wine. Make sure you got cash with you, as an ATM can be a bit of a trek.

Shopping

  • Broadway Market. Visit on a Saturday. Has a variety of gastropubs and trendy clothes!
  • Ridley Road Market. Mix of traditional East-end fruit and veg alongside Afro-Caribbean delicacies, imported films, clothes and household items. Little of interest for the tourist to buy, but a great experience. Watch your pockets in the crowded pavements behind the stalls. There are also market stalls on the side streets surrounding Dalston Kingsland station.
  • The Kingsland Shopping Centre (Opposite Dalston Kingsland Stn). The main shopping mall in the borough.
  • Stamford Hill. The centre of the Hassidic Jewish community and has many kosher bakeries, delis and supermarkets.
  • Stoke Newington Church Street. Many small bookshops and antique stores.
  • London Fields Brewery, 365 - 366 Warburton street (Come out of London Fields station the Mare Street side and turn right for 200m its at the end of the road.),  +44 207 254 7174. Every Saturday London Fields Brewery are running Brewery tours. Come down and have a guided tour of the brewery and learn how they are making their superbly tasty beers. Additionally included in the price are tasting of the beers in the BrewHouse, London Fields Brewery very own pop up bar. £10 - £25.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article London/Hackney on Wikivoyage.

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