Written by Sabrina Andrea Sachs and Mandy Lutman
Islington is one of London’s coolest and most underrated neighbourhoods. Located just minutes from central London, Islington is an ideal location for professionals, students, and, of course, tourists that want to experience a quirky neighbourhood with a strong community bond. It's a fresh and young area, famous for its nightlife, but also for its impressive choice of entertainment, including bars and restaurants, theatres and live music venues and of course museums and bookstores. It’s one of the most populated areas of London - and there’s a good reason behind it!
Important Buildings and Parks in Islington
London Metropolitan University
One of the reasons why Islington is perfect for students is because it’s close to several universities, including the London Metropolitan University, which is one of London’s oldest educational institutions.
Address: 166-220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB
O2 Academy Islington
If you’re a frequent concert goer, the O2 Academy will become your favorite place in London. The venue has two rooms where you can frequently listen to all your favorite artists - and you'd be surprised by how many of your faves actually perform here!
Address: 16 Parkfield St, London N1 0PS
Are you a football fan? You absolutely have to put an Emirates Stadium game on your bucket list and cheer for your favorite team with 60,000 others!
Address: Hornsey Rd, London N7 7AJ
Islington’s largest park is a perfect place for family fun or a relaxing day away from the city buzz. The park also offers plenty of sports activities, and 11.75 hectares of nature!
Address: Highbury Cres, Highbury East, London N5 1AR
Caffeine and Food in Islington
Not only great beans, but also delicious brownies: sea salt caramel is my favourite.
Address: Angel House, 26 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9HJ, UK
Perfect for long, lazy Sunday brunches, Ground Control is already very popular so make sure to go there early.
Address: 61 Amwell Street, Islington, London, EC1R 1UR
The Breakfast Club
Let’s start with the most important meal of the day. The Breakfast Club was inspired by no other than the American-style diners. This community-oriented business serves some of the most delicious American classics. And the best news is, it offers lunch, too!
Address: 31 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA
This is the brunch place everyone always raves about! Bellanger is perfect for anyone that loves French cuisine. The old-fashioned style is extremely inviting, but the traditional Parisian food is what makes people come back for more.
Address: 9 Islington Green, London N1 2XH
Little Georgia Islington
This rustic-style restaurant is praised for its delicious Georgian cuisine. You can truly find cuisine from just about anywhere in the world when you’re in Islington!
Address: 14 Barnsbury Rd, London N1 0HB
Four Sisters is a perfect bar for after-work hangouts! If you’re picky about your cocktails and expect the best of the best quality, Four Sisters is the place to be! The 1822 cocktail is very much recommended - just trust us on this one.
Address: 25 Canonbury Ln, Islington, London N1 2AS
Photo by Fifteen
Fifteen is Jamie Oliver’s experiment to scout hidden talents in young future chefs. It is now a well-loved restaurant which donatates all profits to unemployed youth.
Address: 15 Westland Place, London, Islington N17LP
The Proud Archivist
Photo by The Proud Archivist
This is not only a café and a bar, it's also an art gallery, a library, and an events space right on the edge of the Regent’s canal. It offers great views (a bit like Venice, nope I'm only kidding, but it's great) and superb food. Come in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a drink while riding your bike along the canal and soak up the sun and the arty vibes during summer.
Address: 2-10 Hertford Road, London, Islington N1 5ET
Photo by Ottolenghi on Instagram
Nightlife in Islington
If you're in the mood for dancing, The Old Queens Head Pub puts on great tunes every Saturday night. If you wish to hear some great Jazz and Blues, then 'Round Midnight is your place. Otherwise, if you are out on a date, then head to The Bar With No Name, a chic and stylish cocktail bar that is sure to impress your gal/boy. PS: you and your lucky date can even learn how to mix your own fancy cocktails by taking one of their master classes. S/he gonna merry ya.
Photo by Shangyou Shi on Unsplash
You’ll need at least two days to fully explore this quirky neighbourhood! Don’t forget to stop by the Little Italy and Little Ireland, areas dedicated to Italian and Irish communities!
Shopping and Markets in Islington
Camden Passage Market
This is probably London’s most thriving antiques village, world famous for its enormous range of shops, arcades, malls and markets. It used to be my favourite bargain hunt ground for antiques dealers, interior design pieces and more for my London flat. It's also scattered with retro clothing, independent cafés and bars amongst the stores, so it's the perfect place for a stroll on a Saturday.
(Open Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am-6pm)
- Address: Camden Passage, London, Islington, N1 8EF
Camden Passage Sunday Market
On Sunday instead, on the same premises, the Camden Passage market features crafts, gifts and food including cake stands, handmade cushions, Indian jewellery, furnishings and fresh pasta. (Open 10am-4pm).
- Address: Camden Passage, London, Islington, N1 8EF
Photo by Johnny Martinez on Unsplash
Why not make a day of it, buy some fruit and veggies and check out the nearby Chapel Market where street and farmers’ markets meet every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday? (Tuesday-Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday 8.30am-4pm).
If you read this guide, you know that in London, you are never too far from a farm. And Islington is no exception since Freightliner's Farm is the perfect place to hang out wiht goats, guinea pigs and a wide range of bird life. The best part is that it's a community project which provides opportunities for schools to learn more about the nature and agriculture. You can also pop in for a coffee or lunch at their vegetarian café.
- Address: Sheringham Road, London, Islington N7 8PF
Everyman Screen on the Green
Sometimes I can't really choose only one movie I want to choose, that's why I often let the cinema choose for me. This was the case when I was meeting my friends at this single screen theater in Islington to see mainstream, art house as well as classic films. PS: you can also sip on great wine while watching the show.
- Address: 83 Upper Street, London, Islington N10NP
Transport in Islington
Islington Borough is really well connected by the Underground: there are ten tube stops near the Islington area including Angel, Farringdon and Arsenal.
Islington is also really close to King’s Cross/St. Pancras, from where you have access to the Circle, Hammersmith and City, Northern and Metropolitan Underground lines, not to mention the Eurostar, Thameslink, East Midlands Trains and Southeastern.
Heathrow Airport: 81 minutes on the tube
Gatwick Airport: 70 minutes by tube and train
Much like many other London neighbourhoods, the prices vary depending on the location and your lifestyle. Luckily for you, Islington offers luxury and budget-friendly lifestyle options.
That's it on our neighbourhood guide to King's Cross! If you have any tips on favourite places, make sure to share them below!
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