|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 May||25 May||26 May||27 May||28 May||29 May||30 May||31 May|
Strange but true: Stoke Newington, an urban north London district in Zone 2 separating Finsbury Park from Hackney has its own castle, once a lavishly-designed water pump works and now a climbing centre (Castle Climbing Centre, Green Lanes, 020 8211 7000, www.castle-climbing.co.uk), which has to be seen to be believed. And it’s not the only hidden surprise in this seemingly gritty area; Stokey (as all the locals know it), much like neighbour Dalston, is one of the capital’s favourite residential districts for young creatives, with a particularly thriving live music scene.
It’s green, too: Clissold Park (Greenway Close, 020 8800 1021) has 54 acres with all the attractions of central London’s big four, but none of the crowds. There’s tennis courts, animal enclosures, ponds, a good café and lots of terrapins for your money.
Church Street is the centre of life in Stokey with a great organic farmer’s market (Saturdays 10am-2.30pm), lots of pubs and independent stores galore:
Hub (49 Church Street, 020 7275 8160, www.hubshop.co.uk) has boutique fashion, Of Cabbages And Kings (34b Kersley Road, 020 7254 0060, www.ofcabbages.co.uk) has cool designer-made crafts and there’s plenty more florists, vintage clothes stores, bakeries and boutiques made for the fashionable London family. And for another unique shopping experience, head to Dalston’s Ridley Road Market – the real-life inspiration for Walford Market, recreated by the BBC in Elstree Studios as the home of tragicomic Londoners in the ever-popular Eastenders soap opera.
The Stage B Bar (98-100 Church Street, 07732 177 553) is a veritable hub of culture, with everything from live Sunday jazz, art installations and Japanese classes amongst the social drinking vibe, and Barden’s Boudoir (38 -44 Stoke Newington Road, 020 7249 9557, www.bardensbar.co.uk) and Dalston Jazz Bar (4 Bradbury Street); are as cool as they come, the former offering sceney live music and the latter late dancing to funk, jazz and soul classics.
The nearest tube station is Manor House (Piccadilly Line), and overground trains call at Stoke Newington, Rectory Road and Stamford Hill from Liverpool Street.
|Manor House Station||2||Piccadilly||2.14 miles|
|Seven Sisters Station||3||Victoria||2.25 miles|
|Arsenal Station||2||Piccadilly||2.66 miles|
|Finsbury Park Station||2||Piccadilly - Victoria||2.69 miles|
|Tottenham Hale Station||3||Victoria||2.89 miles|
|Stoke Newington Station||0.46 miles|
|Clapton Station||0.75 miles|
|Stamford Hill Station||1.57 miles|
|Hackney Downs Station||1.65 miles|
|Dalston Kingsland Station||1.69 miles|