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Hackney Wick, Olympic Park & Victoria Park

Want to get away from the city without actually, you know, leaving the city? Head to Victoria Park and drink in London's oldest public park and a real 'village' in the middle of the East End.

The park, which first opened in 1845, is a green lung perched on the borders of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. It hosts a series of festivals over the summer, and millions visit each year just to stroll through the award-winning park and take in its restored boating lake and fountain, Chinese pagoda, playgrounds, skate park, football pitches and two cafes.

Victoria Park village sits sedately on its fringes with a soothing mix of traditional butchers, fishmongers and wine merchants alongside independent boutiques, restaurants, pubs and bars.

Neighbouring Hackney Wick, meanwhile, never sleeps. Its industrial landscape is a place of tireless transformation. The area has been said to host more artists and art studios per capita than any other place in Europe, and for many years it has been the engine-room of East London's art and culture movement. Today, residential developments are rubbing shoulders with hip restaurants, bars and microbreweries.

Visitors can also re-live the incredible atmosphere of the London 2012 Olympic Games, by taking a stroll into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Splash in the pool where gold medallists have swum, pedal round the Velodrome where champion cyclists have raced. Or just monkey around in the park's many playgrounds and gawp at the 114.5-metre-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture - which is now a slide - before more eating, drinking and shopping at Hear East.

The imposing canal side White Building in Hackney Wick bills itself as is London's centre for art, technology and sustainability.
A design store, prop house and location studio in Hackney Wick, curated by furniture dealers Sophie Pearce and Augustus Greaves.
Branch on the Park is an independent jewellery shop in the heart of Victoria Park village that also sells paintings and photography.
The Copper Box was built as a venue for goalball, handball and modern pentathlon during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Empress is a popular gastro pub blessed with a series of head chefs who have brought years of experience in high end restaurants to Victoria Park.
Four Quarters East offers a clever combination of booze and arcade-based nostalgia, situated on the canal side of the Olympic Park, known as Here East.
The Baptist church on Frampton Park Road is open to all and has a café, community centre, and holds activities for children and over 50s.
Frampton Park Youth and Family Centre, just off Well Street, offers a range of recreational, social and educational activities for young people.
The Hemingway in Victoria Park Road was renovated and reopened as a gastro pub by a collective of club, bar and restaurant insiders.
A busy pub in the heart of Victoria Park village, the Lauriston serves great stone-baked pizzas, seven days a week.
Lee Valley VeloPark contains everything to excite the experienced cyclist or the novice biker.
Enjoy lane swimming, family fun sessions, diving classes and more at the iconic London Aquatics Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Main Yard Studios in Hackney Wick is a collection of creative units which are predominantly music/recording studios, plus offices and desk space.
This spacious canal side bar and restaurant is situated within the 90 Main Yard building in Hackney Wick.
The People's Park Tavern is a large pub and micro brewery beside Victoria Park serving hearty, traditional pub food and its own range of beers and ales.
Found just off buzzing Well Street, The Refinery offers a range of health and fitness sessions including yoga, meditation, pilates and workouts.
The Royal Inn on the Park is a massive Victorian pub with an outdoor area and views over Victoria Park.
Scoffs Grill in Hackney Wick is a traditional Turkish restaurant offering an eat in or take away menu.
Skinny Eric's Cycleworks, in Hackney Wick, sells a range of bikes, parts and accessories, as well as offering bike servicing and repairs.
This Victoria Park cafe is also a creative activity space for adults and children alike.
A workshop selling functional stoneware pottery handmade on the premises by Caroline Bousfield.
The Yard, in the atmospheric industrial surrounds of Hackney Wick, specialises in presenting new work by up-and-coming theatre-makers.

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