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Once an indistinct industrial area and mundane main road located between Walthamstow and Tottenham Hall, Blackhorse Road is now a burgeoning and bustling local neighbourhood, thanks to a swathe of new apartment buildings and student accommodation and it’s recently christened Blackhorse Beer Mile.
From a bounty of brewery taprooms to quirky coffee shops and a nearby oasis of calm, here is our guide to the best things to in Blackhorse Road, London:
Things to do in Blackhorse Road
Blackhorse Beer Mile
Likely the main reason you’ll have heard of Blackhorse Road if you haven’t visited before, the Blackhorse Beer Mile (also known as the Walthamstow Beer Mile) is a collection of breweries and their taprooms that are within close walking distance of Blackhorse Road tube station.
Spread out just over a mile and comprising of Truman’s Social Club, Exale Brewery, Wildcard Brewery, Signature Brew, Beeblefish Brewery, Hackney Brewery High Hill Taproom and (furthest out) Pillars Untraditional Pub, this is a geographic-ale and ‘crafty’ challenge.
Although not as big as say the almost 20 breweries along the Bermondsey Beer Mile, Blackhorse Road is blessed with seven breweries that can all be completed within a day if you are so inclined (we definitely were). Expect new additions to the Blackhorse Beer Mile in the near future – we also hear that Vagabond Wines are also looking to open a winery here soon too.
Blackhorse Road Mural
As you first exit the Blackhorse Road tube, you’ll see a beautiful mural on the wall across the road (looking left), which was completed several years ago by the owners of God’s Own Junkyard from nearby Walthamstow, with the motif ‘Welcome to the home of people who make and create’. A combination of paint, cut out shapes and sequins, this iconic mural is a warm welcome to Blackhorse Road and Walthamstow.
Like this? Then check out God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, a single tube ride or 20 minute walk from Blackhorse Road.
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Blackhorse Horse Road coffee shops
Blackhorse Road has seen a number of new and permanent coffee shops open up in recent years, likely as a result of all the new housing developments and residential towers that have opened. Three of the best coffee shops on Blackhorse Lane or the immediate vicinity are:
Armstrong Audio Coffee and Repair Shop
Talk about quirky – Armstrong Audio on Blackhorse Lane is a coffee shop cum repair shop which is always incredibly popular (we’ve seen queues out the door here at the weekend so it must be good). With a focus on good coffee and great sounds (plus sublime cinnamon swirls), this is a nice Blackhorse Road hang out.
The closest coffee shop to Blackhorse Tube, Deja Brew is a cute coffee shop where all the food ‘is made with love’ and they’ve recently reopened their secret garden area in the rear, with new decking, roofing and fairy lights.
Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters
Hermanos are an independent coffee roastery run by two Colombian brothers with coffee shops in several areas including London Fields and this pop-up on Blackhorse Lane.
Located on Forest Road just a little way up the hill from Blackhorse Road tube, you can’t miss Jaunty Coffee as it is next to the biggest and brightest street art mural in the area. Billed as a neighbourhood coffee shop with a few coffee puns thrown in for good measure (‘everything I brew, I brew it for you’), this is a cute community hang-out to get your caffeine fix.
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Blackhorse Road shops
Blackhorse Road has a number of independent and chain shops – from greengrocers to kebab shops, through big brand stores like Co-op and Magnet Kitchens, there is a small selection of shops to browse – one of the most popular and well known Blackhorse Road shops is Krypton Comics, with over 250k titles to browse or purchase online – kapow!
One of the newest openings is on Forest Road, approximately a 2 minute walk from Blackhorse Road Tube station; 151 For the Road, a charming craft beer and bottle store, which also allows you to fill your own growlers with beer from nearby breweries as well as from further afield.
Don’t be fooled by the name – this urban oasis of calm is actually closer to Blackhorse Road tube and Tottenham Hale tube respectively than Walthamstow (and can easily be combined with the Blackhorse Beer Mile, if you are so inclined).
It is hard to imagine that Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetlands is only a five minute walk from a London Underground station and just 15 minutes by train from Central London.
The wetlands near Blackhorse Road are a huge 211 hectare site (two distinct areas divided by the main road) and are a world away from the nearby hustle and bustle of Northeast London. The sites comprise of ten connecting reservoirs that are still used today to provide much of London’s drinking water – it is also the biggest fishery in the capital and best of all, Walthamstow Wetlands is free to enter.
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
Blackhorse road isn’t just about craft beer – in fact, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is apparently London’s only craft jeans designer and manufacturer. Whilst their main store is in Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross and open seven days a week, their E17 outlet can be found about a 10 minute walk away from the nearest Tube station (although as at October 2021 it is still currently closed to the public).
Blackhorse Workshop is an arts focused community centre hub tucked away on Sutherland Road (although clearly signposted on Blackhorse Lane). A lively space that offers a variety of workshops as well as a pop-up coffee shop, Blackhorse Workshop is often buzzing at the weekend with local families. Talking of buzzing, if you visit Blackhorse Workshop, make sure you pay a visit to the Blackhorse honey man / shop also on Sutherland Road to taste samples of his delicious organic honey.
The Ferry Boat Inn
OK, so you could argue this is more Tottenham Hale than Blackhorse Road but it is the best pub in the immediate vicinity with a beautiful beer garden overlooking the river.
Recently refurbished, the Ferry Boat Inn is a nice afternoon spot (it also happens to be our local pub). Why we like it is that it doesn’t feel like a London pub, given all the surrounding greenery and water – for instance, sitting in the beer garden, you’ll often see swans gliding by or beautifully coloured dragonflies. Check out the Ferry Boat Inn website for weekly food offers such as two courses for £11.99 during the week.
Tavern on the Hill
Dating back to the 1800s, this bright and breezy brewery bar is the new venture from the team behind the local Wildcard Brewery, and has a superb Japanese food menu from Oishi Don (with traditional roasts also available on Sundays).
We’d recommend combining a trip to the Tavern on the Hill pub with a visit to nearby Hackney Brewery and Wildcard taprooms on the Lockwood Way Estate.
Blackhorse Road Underground Station Mosaic
And finally, not so much as a thing to do in Blackhorse Road but more something to look out for – if you are arriving by Tube / London Underground, check out the beautiful mosaic of a black horse on the right hand side exterior entrance of Blackhorse Road Station.
Random Blackhorse Road Facts
- Blackhorse Road derives its name from a former mansion – Black House – that once stood at the southern end of the road.
- The now derelict night club and pub just across the road Blackhorse Station has featured in Channel 4’s Inbetweeners, where they go to see a live band.
- Blackhorse Road is on the boundary of Waltham Forest Council.
- You can play free table tennis in the garden area of Blackhorse Road Mills (although you do need to bring your own bats and balls) – there are also additional tables in Truman’s Social Club.
Walthamstow blog posts
- Ultimate guide to Walthamstow, London
- Guide to Walthamstow Village
- God’s Own Junkyard – London’s neon nirvana
- Best pubs, bars and brewery taprooms in Walthamstow
- Walthamstow Beer Mile Guide with map
- Walthamstow restaurants – the best places to eat
- A peek inside God’s Own Junkyard, Walthamstow
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- Wanstead and Wanstead Park guide, east London
- Guide to Alexandra Palace in north London
- Top things to do in Shoreditch, east London
- A guide to Victoria Park Village and park
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- Things to do in Hackney Wick, East London
- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- The best brewery taprooms in London