My Dog-Friendly Neighbourhood: Paws&Purrs Guide to Hackney, London


We go here, we go there but Basil and I can’t get everywhere, which is why we’ve called on two of our favourite doggy pals - Betty the Jack Russell and her owner Liz of Paws&Purrs – to kick off Barkarama’s new ‘My Dog-Friendly Neighbourhood’ feature.

The duo reside in Hackney, which is a busy borough of London. Now for those living in the sticks, the thought of inner-city dog ownership in a place like Hackney may be an unlikely concept. But actually, according to our pals at Paws&Purrs it’s probably one of the most dog-friendly places in the country! Over to you Betty and Liz for your guide to dog-friendly Hackney ….

A woodpecker tapping away or a formation of geese cackling overhead may not be the sounds you’d typically associate with inner city living.  But with Hackney being home to 330 hectares of green space, nature is a familiar soundtrack to our daily dog walks.

Betty’s top pick is the glorious Abney Park, a woodland nestled in middle of Stoke Newington and, despite its morbid purpose, a place of real peace and beauty. There are lots of smells for Betty to sniff and roll in and she hasn’t re-surfaced from the undergrowth with a bone … yet!

Also highly recommended is Clissold Park for squirrel chasing and socialising – we held Betty’s second birthday party in there this Autumn and this summer, we will be holding our annual dog show Bark-i-tude there. Watch our Facebook page for updates.



And finally check out Springfield Park, which leads to the Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes – offering vistas, lush grass, riverside walks, reedy marshes and water for paw paddling.


A bracing walk in the country wouldn’t be complete without a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Sadly, the park cafes are not dog friendly but there are an abundance of dog friendly cafes just a stone’s throw from these parks. Our latest fave is the new Fingers Crossed, handily situated just next to Hackney Downs. Betty and Whippet chum Biscuit made the most of the fuss from other customers while we humans enjoyed a chai latte and some gluten-free corn bread.


Just minutes away from our shop is another newbie Esters N16. Offering the best coffee in Stoke Newington, this chilled out café is a perfect place to stop by with pooch after stocking up at ours...

Head to Paws&Purrs for Hackney’s best range of stylish dog collars and collars, tasty treats, tough toys, comfy beds and much more. Established in 2011 at Broadway Market before moving to Stokey, we offer a handpicked range of high quality dog and cat products and gifts for humans too – the majority of which are made in England, and many in East London itself! We also offer grooming by our experienced and caring stylists and a range of high quality shampoos and other products.

Betty is on hand to advise on all of our products! She isn’t the only shop dog in Hackney though. Check out our guide to the other woofing welcome-waggers in the borough, including Archie from HUH and Mervyn at Beach London.

Betty’s favourite shop after our own is the Stoke Newington Bookshop. One of the best independent bookshops in London and staffed by friendly and knowledgeable staff who also love dogs. Follow their Facebook page to see their dogs of the day.

And her final top shopping tip is Meat N16 where she is frequently gifted a bone that’s bigger than she is!


Most of the Hackney pubs welcome dogs at any time of the day and so it’s not unusual to see a French Bulldog or a Staffie rocking it out until the small hours in the Hand of Glory, Ryan’s Bar or cocktail bar the White Rabbit


Betty and her bestie Coco the sausage dog are fans of the Jolly Butchers, a craft beer house with dog friendly staff and customers and plenty of tables to people watch from. And the Rose and Crown is another favourite, situated right next to Clissold Park and purveyors of excellent roasts (= plenty of tit bits and crumbs to hoover up).


In March, Paws&Purrs will be showcasing the best of dog-friendly Hackney through a range of events and their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts so go give them a follow. Watch out for their dog-friendly Hackney stickers in participating businesses. Visit Pawsandpurrsonline.co.uk to shop their online store.

Enjoy and please report back on your Hackney-hound adventures! We promise to bring you another dog-friendly neighbourhood post soon. 

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