Today’s walk starts on Mare Street, in Hackney. Hackney is in East London had has historically had a reputation as being a dangerous area with, for example, ‘Murder Mile’ being only a few minutes’ walk from the Burberry Outlet store which you will see later. As if often the case with these sorts of things, the media beat up is more extreme than the reality. Sure Hackney is not Kensington, but it is an area that is very close to the financial centre of London, and it is in the midst of rapid gentrification. There is lots to like about Hackney, and the vibe is a lot more ‘real’ than in other parts of London, with plenty of hidden gems to be discovered.
Heading off Mare Street, Andrews Road, which leads to the Broadway Market is where the gentrification of Hackney is most evident. What was, 10 years ago, a dangerous part of Hackney is today a clean river, lined with apartments and cycle paths and an amazing market.
The Broadway Market is really great. It was set up in the late 90s by residents who were sick of the bad image that the area had. It was a hit, with plenty of locals setting up pubs, organic stores, food stalls and the like. Of course, once the area became popular, the council wanted to get rid of the markets and turn the whole area into apartments. The people who rented out the various businesses got together and purchased many of the properties outright. Today, the market is a highlight of the area and well worth visiting. It is similar to the Borough markets in many ways, but without the tourists and more of a bohemian vibe.
The Broadway Market is also home to the best Banh Mi in London. Banh Mi is a Vietnamese/French baguette style sandwich which is common on the streets of Hanoi. Banhmi11 is in the same stall as Ca Phe VN. If you are in the area, grab a Banh Mi and a Vietnamese style condensed milk coffee. You will not be disappointed!
This park at the end of the Broadway Market, and a few streets leads to the Hackney Town centre.
Just a hop, skip and jump – or should I say a car park, Tesco and council estate from the Hackney Town centre is the Burberry factory outlet. A mecca for chavs and South East Asian tourists alike, there are plenty of bargains to be found here.
Back on Mare street, and about a 20 minute walk out of Hackney to Old Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane.