Blackhorse Road is a bustling new area of town. Its artisan-friendly workspaces are supporting small business and growing the area’s culture of making.
Trainee schemes and workshops are helping people to hone their skills and get into work. Pretty Decent Beer Co is one of the latest additions to the Blackhorse Beer Mile, serving a range of beers from local breweries.
1. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
Blackhorse Road is a short walk from the Blackhorse Road Underground Station. Once a bland industrial area with little going on, this now thriving local neighbourhood is home to breweries and restaurants, a street market and a craft beer mile.
Founded in 2016, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is London’s only factory maker of craft jeans. Founder Han Ates sees denim as a blank canvas, creating garments that blend tailoring innovation with heritage construction. He sources raw organic cotton and uses a lab to test new methods of production.
He also believes in building strong relationships with his suppliers, providing them with a good working space and paying them well. “This builds loyalty,” he says. In turn, this enables them to offer more competitive prices to their customers.
2. Blackhorse Workshop
In this new kind of public building, locals have affordable access to wood and metalworking equipment. With on-site technical expertise, members and visitors can build anything from window boxes to carnival floats or fix a bike.
The workshop, designed by Assemble, was set up in 2014 with support from LB Waltham Forest and the Mayor of London. It aims to become a socially pioneering world-class centre for making, bringing together professional makers and businesses with individual hobbyists and community groups.
While Bermondsey might still have the edge on the London Beer Mile, this high-density stretch of breweries and taprooms, all a hop from Blackhorse Road Station, is certainly a contender. Attempting to crawl it all is an exercise in endurance, but the rewards are great, from the bottomless brunches to the mighty craft beer on tap.
3. Pretty Decent Beer Co
This Forest Gate brewery is a recent addition to Blackhorse Road’s beer mile, bringing modern, progressive and seasonal brews like their ‘I Could Get Better at T*sco for a Quid’ session IPA. They also host a range of events including DJs and even a beer tasting evening.
Another brewery on the Blackhorse Beer Mile, Exale are famous for weird and wonderful beer flavours (like an Iron brew sour or a pilsner with Arabian black limes) and a taproom that’s a great place to sink a few pints in. They’ve got a solid grub game too, with wild venison burgers and tatties topped with haggis on offer.
Located in the base of one of Blackhorse Road’s new mill buildings, Renegade Urban Winery is less than 30 seconds walk from several of their Blackhorse Beer Mile brewery neighbours and specialises in wines with unique face-based bottle labels (you can apply to be the next face). It’s a great spot for a chilled glass or two of vino.
4. The Black Horse Bar
The Black Horse Bar is a premium pub, bar and restaurant, ideal for lunch or dinner. They serve an extensive selection of craft beer, lagers and wines.
A short walk from Blackhorse Road tube, this is a great place to take the family for a nice dinner or enjoy drinks with friends. They also have a large entertainment room for live bands.
After being spat out of Hackney by flabbergasting rent rises, London’s artists are relocating to E17’s semi-industrial Blackhorse Lane and its nearby Walthamstow Wetlands. This stretch is dotted with small workshops that produce everything from kitchen units to jeans. New kerbs and paving emphasise the entrances to the estates and the wetlands, and a public artwork on a wall by Blackhorse Road station welcomes you with ‘welcome home’ written in paint and sequins.
5. Walthamstow Wetlands
Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher or just want to enjoy the fresh air, Blackhorse Road is the ideal place for a nature escape. The wetlands are home to a huge number of species including heron, coot and Egyptian geese and offer beautiful views across the lakes.
The main visitor centre is located in the Victorian Engine House and offers a cafe, shop and viewing gallery. There’s also a unique ‘swift tower’ built in the shape of the original chimney to house nesting swifts and roosting bats.
For kids, there’s a play area and family trail as well as activities like bug hunting and pond dipping. Plus, a chance to meet Santa in their festive grotto during December! Find out more on their website.