London Guide: Stoke Newington, or Stokie as the locals call it, is situated in North London with the postcode of N16 in the Borough of Hackney. My guide covers Stoke Newington Restaurants, shops and places of interest like the beautiful Clissold Park. If you’re looking for things to do in North London or the best places to visit in London, read on for my Stoke Newington Guide.
This is an interesting part of London because you have the village like Stoke Newington Church Street. This connects with the rawer Stoke Newington High Street and Stoke Newington Road which transitions into Kingsland High Street, Dalston. The nearest station is Stoke Newington Overground which brings you out close to where Church Street and the High Street connect. It’s a great place to visit at the weekend when you can laze around in park, grab a bite to eat in one of the many independent eateries or browse the design shops.
Stoke Newington Places of Interest
Just off Stoke Newington Church Street is Clissold Park which opened in 1889. This stunning Victorian Park has been awarded with a Green Flag so is one of the best green spaces in the country. A wide range of amenities are on offer including tennis courts, outdoor table tennis, summer paddling pool, big playground area, ponds, bird aviary and animal enclosure with deer, stags and goats. Clissold House is situated within the grounds. This is a grade II* listed eighteenth century mansion which serves as a café and function room. You can sit on the terrace and enjoy a pot of tea while you survey the grounds on a sunny day. They often host events and festivals in the park which are always very family friendly.
You might spot the turrets of a castle while you are in the park. This is a grade II* listed Victorian water pumping station turned into a climbing centre and called The Castle. It’s very cool inside and is always busy with a mix of professional and amateur climbers. Pop in and take a look while you are in the area because it’s very impressive and you’ll still be able to see many of the original Victorian fixtures inside. They also have a fantastic café which serves Fair-trade and organic produce.
The Castle Climbing Centre
Not far from The Castle is the New River Path, the West and East reservoirs and the West Reservoir Centre where you can go kayaking and sailing. There is also a small café situated inside the building which has an alfresco space overlooking the reservoir. The Woodberry Wetlands is across the road where you will find another cafe. It’s a really nice place for a stroll on a sunny day.
West Reservoir and New River Path
When you’re in Clissold Park you’ll also see the spire of St Mary’s Church. This is a stunning 13th century Gothic style building designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and the spire was added later in 1890 which was designed by John Oldrid. It’s such an amazing building which you should take time to admire as you pass on by.
St Mary New Church
On the opposite side of the road you can still see the original St Mary Old Church which is just so quaint you’ll feel as though you are in a country village. The larger and newer version was built to accommodate the growing community.
St Mary Old Church
Not far from the church is the Clissold Leisure Centre which boosts two swimming pools, sauna, gym, squash courts and you can also book courts for badminton, table tennis and basketball. It also has a nice cafe inside. Close by is the Town Hall and Assembly Rooms which have been restored to offer decadent 1930s interiors rich with dark mahogany wood, elegant marble and one of Europe’s largest working mirror balls. You can hire out these spaces for weddings and events. This is another beautiful building to admire.
Town Hall and Assembly Rooms
A little further along on Stoke Newington Church Street is the Library. You’ll notice a sign on the corner into Edwards Lane which says Gallery. There are often art exhibits and various activities taking place here which are always worth a visit.
Library and Gallery Space
Another building to mention is Abney Public Hall or the Stokie Village Hall as the locals call it. You’ll find this venue situated on Stoke Newington Church Street and you can hire it for weddings and events. The Hackney Flea Market is also held here once a month featuring sellers of curiosities, jewellery, vintage goods, clothing and plenty more interesting objects. Pop in and browse when you see the sign outside and you can also grab a snack and a cup of coffee while you are there.
Abney Hall and Hackney Flea Market
On the opposite side of the road there is an entrance to Abney Park, an overgrown Victorian grave yard which makes for an interesting stroll. This was a burial ground for Dissenters, those who practiced their religion outside of the established church. An alphabetical planting of tree species was set out around the perimeter so it’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in flora and fauna. It is now owned by the London Borough of Hackney and managed in partnership with the Abney Park Trust. They usually have a guided walking tour on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm but do check the website for up to date information. It’s quite easy to get lost in the cemetery so don’t go late in the evening when it’s starting to get dark and make sure you have enough battery left on your mobile in case you need to check a map!
Abney Park and Cemetery
For organic fruit, veg, meat, artisan bread and cheeses head over to the Stoke Newington Farmers Market. It’s usually held on Saturdays from 10am until 2.30pm at St Paul’s Church on Stoke Newington High Street. The produce is organic or bio-dynamic and most of the farmers are from within a sixty mile radius. It’s not massive but you can pick up something tasty for your lunch. They also serve hot coffee so you can stop for a drink and a bite to eat while you soak up the community atmosphere.
Stoke Newington Shops
Stoke Newington Church Street is close to Clissold Park and full of cute shops and eateries. It’s a great place to buy a gift for a friend or yourself. You’ll find a few home accessory shops and lifestyle stores which include Nook for kitchenware, utility products and selected beauty products. Search and Rescue stocks and eclectic mix of vintage objects along with cool and quirky home accessories and gifts. Pictures & Light is ideal for mid-century modern furniture, lighting and home accessories. Hamilton’s has rustic furniture, home accessories and a selection of gifts whilst the Independent Cook Shop is perfect for budding chefs.
Search and Rescue Lifestyle Shop
Other shops to mention along Stoke Newington Church Street are Olive Loves Alfie which is a Scandinavian inspired family store selling kid’s clothing, shoes and gifts There are two Hub shops, one selling women’s designer clothing and the other men’s designer clothing.
The Restoration Vintage Furniture Shop
At the weekends you also need to check down the side streets and alleyways for vintage furniture and brick-a-brac goods being sold. The Restoration at Unit 1 Bouverie Mews sells a great mix of vintage furniture, shabby chic home accessories and industrial lighting. It’s a very large store inside and is tucked down the mews so make sure you seek it out. Also look down into Marton Street at the weekends and you’ll see some vintage furniture and pictures for sale.
Shops of note along Stoke Newington High Street heading towards Dalston are Rouge which stocks rustic vintage furniture from Northern China and Mongolia along with textiles, ceramics and jewellery. If you love vintage clothing pop into Beyond Retro which is quite large inside and has a great café plus street tables which is the perfect place to people watch. Huh is an online culture magazine which sells clothing from their store.
Stoke Newington Restaurants
This area is a great place to eat because you have a high concentration of independent cafes and restaurants and pavement seating for alfresco dining. Along Church Street you can enjoy breakfast and brunch at The Parlour which has a good selection of cooked breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches and some yummy cakes. The Green Room Café is at the back of a flower shop and has some nice breakfast dishes on offer. A new restaurant which opened after this post went live is The Good Egg serving middle eastern influenced brunch dishes, many featuring eggs. Pick up your loaf of bread or a tasty pastry from Spence Bakery or a cute cup cake from Ooh Lou Lou Cakery. If you want to grab take-away food to eat in Clissold Park try Wholefoods. A fantastic cafe serving the most delicious food is situated on a nearby back street, it’s called Ester’s and is located on 55 Kynaston Road. It is so good that you have to seek it out, they only have a few dishes but everything tastes amazing.
Vicoli di Napoli Pizzeria
Along the High Street you’ll find a large Thai restaurant called Yum Yum. There’s The Haberdashery which serves brunch, lunch and dinner. Cafe Z Bar is a really good eatery for brunch which has Turkish, Middle Eastern and English style breakfast dishes plus meze. Try Sutton and Sons for fabulous fish and chips. The Black Pig with White Pearls serves Spanish small plates and L’Atelier is perfect for posh toppings on toast, salads, coffee and a great cup of coffee. For reasonably priced meals you can also try the many Turkish restaurants in the vicinity. I’ve eaten at a couple and the one called Istanbul was quite good. There are many new restaurants opening up along this strip like a new Franco Manca sourdough pizza joint. If you’re on the hunt for a pub for a pint you can try The Rose and Crown which is near Clissold Park, The Three Crowns or The Jolly Butchers are a couple more in the vicinity.
Stoke Newington Further Research
The nearest station is Stoke Newington which is the Overground line. Alternatively you could travel to Rectory Road which is also on the Overground Line. You can also start from the Dalston end and walk towards Stoke Newington from that direction in which case you should travel to Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction stations. If you want to explore the Castle Climbing Centre and the Reservoir then you could arrive via Manor House tube station which is on the Piccadilly Line and walk down Green Lanes. Happy exploring!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for accompanying me on the various visits.