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Canals in Clapton, East London

Clapton London Guide

19 June 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

The east is fast becoming the de facto creative area of London. From galleries to pop-up shops, there’s a wealth of haunts springing up in East End postcodes. One of those neighbourhoods is Clapton, a funky area where all the cool kids play.

Whether you’re after independent shopping delights, an array of restaurants or a selection of boozers, Clapton is the new it postcode in East London. And plenty of modern-day renters are flocking to the area to capture some Clapton vibes.

If you’re wondering what it’s really like to call Clapton home, this area guide is for you. We’re covering everything from local rental prices to travel options and all the fun things to do and see in the E5 postcode of Clapton.

On a map

Google Map of Clapton

Clapton is located in East London and is divided into Upper Clapton in the north and Lower Clapton in the south. It falls under the London Borough of Hackney and is around 5.5 miles from Charing Cross. Neighbouring areas include Stoke Newington and Hackney.

History of Clapton

Historical picture of Clapton

Initially known as Clopton, which means “farm on the hill”, the area was one of the fastest places in London to become urbanised. Clapton even held most of the population of the north-eastern quarter of Hackney at one stage.

Clapton has never been an administrative unit, which meant it didn’t have any defined boundaries. As a result of boundaries that were hard to define, manorial courts distinguished the parts north and south of Lea Bridge Road as Upper and Lower Clapton.

These two parts of the area still remain to this day. And, in 1917, Clapton was given its E5 postcode, which helped create a more defined area than what came before. In 1965, Hackney merged with Shoreditch, Stoke Newington and Clapton to form the modern London Borough of Hackey.

Who lives there?

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that Clapton attracts lots of young professionals who favour the area for its eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and bars. While younger families also tend to spill over from Stoke Newington into Clapton. The median age is 33, and 68% of residents rent their homes. 

Renting in Clapton

Properties in Clapton

If you like period homes with added charm, the property scene in Clapton will excite you. Many of the residential streets are lined with Victorian terrace houses, some of which have been converted into modern flats.

You’ll find a smattering of Georgian houses around Clapton Pond, while old warehouses have also been renovated and turned into plush apartments. Investment means there are also some new-build apartments in the area too.

A one-bedroom flat in Clapton will cost you around £1,500 per month on average. Two-bedroom homes achieve in the region of £1,900 per month and three-bed-and-up properties market for between £2,250 and £3,000 per month.

Clapton travel

Clapton station

A lack of tube station is a dent in Clapton’s overall appeal, though it does mean the area feels more undiscovered when compared to other London hotspots. While there is no tube, residents can enjoy access to several train stations including Clapton, Hackney Downs and Rectory Road.

They all offer direct trains to Liverpool Street, which makes Clapton appealing for those who work in the City. Hackney Central and Homerton are also on the Overground and have services to Stratford and Highbury & Islington. Clapton is in Zone 2.

Clapton eateries

Venerdi

Venerdi interior

Enjoy delights at Venerdi with authentic dishes that will have you feeling like you’re right in the heart of Italy. Chefs cook up a treat in the open kitchen, so you can watch them in action while salivating at the thought of homemade specialita di pasta.

Sodo Pizza Clapton

Head to Sodo Pizza Clapton for a range of doughy delights, whether you’re stopping by for brunch or dinner. A favourite on the menu include Lord Chovy, which comes with mozzarella, anchovies, tarragon, asparagus and heritage tomatoes. There’s also an extensive wine and craft beer list.

Clapton Table

Food at the Clapton Table

Clapton Table is a staple of the community and welcomes diners with open arms and a friendly smile. The menu features Mediterranean options, as well as dishes inspired by the Middle East. There’s an English breakfast too, just in case you’re looking for the perfect hangover cure.

Things to do in Clapton

Chats Palace

Chats Palace is a creative space with a studio, gallery and darkroom. There are regular exhibitions where you can see all sorts of different art. Local musicians regularly perform at Chats Palace and showcase their talent, while performers from all backgrounds put on a range of shows.

The Castle Cinema

The Castle Cinema

A classic movie house in the heart of Clapton, The Castle Cinema sits in a building that is more than one hundred years old. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016, The Castle Cinema took on new life and today shows the latest flicks as well as live shows and events.

Biddle Bros

A quirky Lower Clapton bar, Biddle Bros keeps it simple with great drinks, comfy sofas and a skylight. It hosts regular jam nights, which include acoustic sessions and monthly DJ sets from locals. Saturday and Sunday always end up being lively nights where everyone shakes a leg.

Moving to Clapton

Come to Clapton for the strong sense of community, stay for the charming period homes and fun, funky mix of things to do. Clapton is fast becoming an East End winner and has a vibrancy once only found in places like Shoreditch and Old Street. Now it’s E5’s time to shine.

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