Decried by many for being a haven for hipsters and Carhartt beanies – it’s nevertheless undeniable that there’s a certain air of ‘cool’ to East London. Counting such areas as Dalston, Clapton, Shoreditch, Hackney, and Walthamstow within its post-codes, East London is full of independent eateries, galleries, drink-eries, and shop-eries. And now, one area of East London has been deemed the coolest place to live in London: Hackney Wick.
The title comes courtesy of a poll from Naturecan, who surveyed 5,000 people to get the results. The survey considered each areas number of independent shops (per capita – or per head), the cultural scene, and their representation in film, and television, as well as their social media popularity.
Hackney Wick sure does check all the required boxes! The area houses a thriving food and drinks scene, with plenty of breweries, cafes, restaurants (on and off the water!), and food markets.
Anyone going for even the briefest of wanders around Hackney Wick will also be very aware of the area’s art scene. Each step around a new corner reveals new and varied art for viewers, and there’s some particularly incredible street art. Plus, Hackney Wick has served as the shooting location for TV and film hits ranging from Bridgerton to James Bond. All markers of a winner, baby!
That’s before we even mention the area’s proximity to shopping destination Stratford, and the stunning green spaces of Victoria Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
So, basically, if you’ve never visited Hackney Wick before – what’s stopping you?
The top five coolest places in London were rounded out by the inclusions of Spitalfields in second, followed by Walthamstow, Tottenham, and Brixton. So East London is batting 2 for 5, those aren’t shabby numbers!
The national coolest place to live list
However, it looks like London may not be as ‘cool’ as we like to think. Even though Hackney Wick was placed at the #1 spot for London, it was placed at #25 on the national list of top 50 coolest places to live.
Coming in hot in first place was Cornwall’s coastal fishing village of Polperro. The popular summer destination is famous for its quaint charm, historic cottages (which are often covered in flowers in the summer), and car-free roads.
Nipping at its heels in second place was Norfolk’s Wells-next-the-Sea. Another port town, Wells-next-the-Sea offers up sandy vistas, iconic colourful beach huts, and relaxed seaside living. Which, okay, yeah – we get it. It’s definitely way cooler to have a relaxed life by the sea than get swallowed up by the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan – well, depending on who you ask!
Rounding out the top five coolest places to live in the UK were Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Morecambe in Lancashire, and the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.