Hackney Downs

One of Hackney’s major green spaces, Hackney Downs opened as a public park in the heart of the borough in 1884. The pavilion contains 2 team changing rooms and a community room which are available for hire, and the park has a wide range of newly refurbished facilities.

Hackney Downs has been awarded a Green Flag. The Green Flag Award scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK.

See Map of Hackney Downs (PDF 516kb).

See Hackney Downs management plan 2022 to 2027 (PDF 12.4mb).



  • athletics track (seasonal)
  • basketball courts
  • children’s play area
  • community room
  • dog-free area
  • floodlit multi-use games area
  • team changing rooms
  • tennis courts (2 floodlit)

Booking the facilities

For more information about booking the above facilities, please call 020 8986 7955 or see our sports pitches and courts page.

Play improvements

In 2022 we consulted park users, local residents and children on design proposals to improve the play area at Hackney Downs. The proposals were very popular with 87% of those responding loving or liking the designs.

You can view the consultation report and original designs.

See Consultation designs (PDF 8mb)

See Consultation report (PDF 942kb)

As Hackney Downs is classified as common land we are applying for permission to undertake the works from the Secretary of State.

We hope to receive a decision in early 2024, and hope to start work in spring/summer 2024.

View the application for Common Land consent along with its supporting documents:

Park Depot improvements

We plan to improve the park depot at Hackney Downs. We plan to refurbish and expand the old depot building, which backs onto the single tennis court. The building will be contained within the existing yard area of the depot. The new single storey facility will bring a derelict building back into use. It will also provide a secure good quality workspace for the team which maintains the park.

As Hackney Downs is classified as common land we are applying for permission to undertake the works from the Secretary of State.

The consultation has now ended. We hope to receive a decision from the planning inspectorate in summer 2024.

View the application for Common Land consent along with its supporting documents:


The Tree Musketeers have produced a map of trees in Hackney Downs that includes information on the trees’ species and how they benefit wildlife.


Hackney Downs is licensed for plays, showing films, live music, recorded music and dance performances. Find out more about holding events in parks.

Free group exercise classes

Our Parks provides free group exercise Classes in Hackney Downs​, led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors, in Hackney parks.


In 2014, the Hackney Mosaic Project, a team of dedicated volunteers from the local community and from Lifeline, a charity which helps people recovering from addiction, covered the walls of an old shelter in the children’s playground with mosaics depicting animals and trees. Various other groups, such as ESOL students and mental health groups were also involved. 

Other Council-funded mosaics can be seen at Shepherdess Walk, and at the corner of Old Street and Pitfield Street – recently announced as winner of the Mosaic of the Year Award for 2014 by the British Association of Modern Mosaic.

Hackney Downs user group

If you’re interested in joining the user group or would like more information, please email hugdowns@gmail.com.

Walking together

A pleasant walk links Hackney Downs to a number of other green spaces. The walk, which takes under an hour, goes through Shacklewell and highlights changing architecture over the last 300 years. For more information see Walking.


Hackney Downs has a number of meadows. By mid summer the wild flowers will be in full bloom providing a rich habitat for insects including butterflies and bees, and the pictorial meadows will once again provide colour throughout the park. 


Barbecues are not allowed in Hackney Downs.


We have had reports of recent incidents of irresponsible behaviour which we are taking very seriously and so will be increasing patrols in the park. If you see or experience any incidents please report them immediately, providing as much information as possible to enforcementsupport@hackney.gov.uk.

Dogs are not allowed in the play area or sports facilities and Council officers have the power to request that dogs are put on leads if they are behaving aggressively, causing damage, or if their owner does not have appropriate control over them. More information on dogs in parks.

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Page updated on: 10 January 2024

Hackney Downs Park


Downs Park Road
E5 8NP


  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 5pm, Wednesday – 9am to 4pm
    020 8356 3000

Opening times

  • Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm for enquiries. No restricted access


Closing times:

  • 1 January to 21 January  – 5pm
  • 22 January to 4 February – 5.30pm
  • 5 February to 25 February – 6pm
  • 26 February to 10 March  – 6.30pm
  • 11 March to 24 March – 7pm
  • 25 March to 7 April – 8pm
  • 8 April to 21 April – 8.30pm
  • 22 April to 5 May – 9pm
  • 6 May to 11 August – 9.30pm
  • 12 August to 18 August – 9pm
  • 19 August to 8 September – 8.30pm
  • 9 September to 15 September – 8pm
  • 16 September to 6 October – 7.30pm
  • 7 October to 13 October – 7pm
  • 14 October to 27 October – 6.30pm
  • 28 October to 31 December – 5pm