Things to do near Hackney Wick station - discover our cool and quirky neighbour
Just like IQL, and Stratford itself, Hackney Wick’s a place where innovation meets art and culture. And there’s loads to do and see – quirky places to eat, drink and visit, and even the 2018-built Hackney Wick station!
It takes just over three minutes on a train from Stratford to reach Hackney Wick station.
The station itself has much to appreciate on arrival. Drawing on the area’s industrial heritage, a long glass wall features protruding hexagonal shapes which flood the interior of the station with light. Hexagonal fittings also adorn the concrete wall opposite. Both features are a nod to the chemical compounds of the world’s first plastic which, although invented in Birmingham, was first made commercially in a factory near the station in 1886.
And Hackney Wick station is just the start – the increasingly cool Hackney Wick area is a melting pot of street art and culture, with canal-side bars and restaurants to explore. Here’s our super quick guide on things to do in Hackney Wick.
Culture and creativity
Hackney Wick is home to a host of affordable studio space and this naturally encourages a high volume of street art. Urban graffiti and murals abound in the back streets so be sure to bring your camera! A highlight to look out for is a 2020 mural created by local writer and artist Busk at Hackney Bridge. Busk’s signature pieces are inspired by Hackney Wick and pay homage to its old school writers’ scene. The mural at Hackney Bridge was created by Busk in collaboration with Hackney's Global Street Art and represents both the area’s industrial past and the creativity seen all around the area today.
And don’t forget to check out the mural commissioned by Network Rail at Hackney Wick station. Facilitated by Creative Wick, it was created by a local street artist in collaboration with John Atherton.
Creative Wick was set up to support the creative economy in Hackney Wick and Fish Island. They source commissions and commercial opportunities for local artists, run exhibitions and events, and offer free masterclasses to support the creative community. They also run regeneration tours where a local tour guide will take you through the history and regeneration of Hackney Wick and Fish island - contact [email protected] for more information.
Hackney pubs and restaurants
Take a break by stopping off at HWK Hackney Wick – a coffee shop and restaurant by day, with wine, cocktails, and DJs in the evenings.
Old Street Brewery and Tap room is an independent craft brewery in the heart of East London! Pop in and try GhostWriters, their DDH Pale created in collaboration with @thisones_art and @tizerid. Launched on 1 May 2021, the new brew celebrates the tap room’s opening and - according to the brewery – it’s “an absolute juice bomb”!
Number 90 Bar: For delicious food and a massive selection of drinks – not to mention a giant disco ball - this Hackney pub features eclectic wooden décor and a huge terrace. Relax and drink in the canal-side setting with your choice of refreshment from the range available.
Other things to do in Hackney Wick
If the great outdoors is more your thing, skip the train and take a walk from IQL through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) to Hackney Wick. You’ll still see all the sights and can catch the train back to IQL at the end.
Allow yourself around 2.5 hours to complete this 8.5k walk as there’s loads to see. In the park, as you stroll from south to north, you’ll feel the landscape changing. An urban landscape of sports venues, trees and wide streets will give way to waterways and ponds where planting is deliberately wild; wetland habitats surrounding QEOP have been reinvigorated through restoring native species along the River Lea. There are 6.5k of waterways in the park itself, and this route will take you over some of them as well as letting you experience many of the art installations in the park.
The stretch through Hackney Wick and Fish Island offers an insight into Hackney’s regeneration. Hackney Wick’s industrial past may have risen from its proximity to rail and waterways, but it’s now home to a more creative and artistic community, with Fish Island’s original industrial units having made way for smart apartment buildings.
After your 2.5 hour walk, you’ll be ready to refresh your spirits in one of the many cool Hackney restaurants and bars, before heading to Hackney Wick station to hop on the train back to IQL.