Islington Area Guide
Upmarket, thriving, rich in culture and targeted by city workers and the creative alike. Once a neglected inner-city spot Islington is now one of the capital’s most fashionable places to live with trendy bars, shops, restaurants and nightlife surrounded by beautiful nineteenth century terraces.
Islington encompasses Angel, Barnsbury, Canonbury, Higbury, Holloway and Kings Cross. The latter benefits from euro links to France and Brussels and furthermore Kings Cross is already starting to benefit from the ongoing £500m plus regeneration project scheduled to finish in 2015.
Islington has a rich and diverse mix of residents that gives its individual and hip vibe. City workers, wealthy young couples, first time buyers and creative live alongside students and pensioners and there is a high proportion of social housing in the area too. Younger residents love the social side of Islington and that it is so easy to get into the City and West-end
Property in Islington
Islington has a varied mix of architectural styles. Some of its most historic includes flat-fronted Georgian and early Victorian terraces – Colebrook Row is one of the most picturesque Georgian rows and consequently one of the most sought after addresses in London.
The best of Islington
• Shopping in Islington High Street and Upper Street – supermarkets, chains and independent shops and a great street market every Wednesday
• Camden Passage antiques village - world famous for its huge range of shops, arcades and markets
• Chapel Market – variety of delis, clothes and bric-a-brac plus the Islington Farmers’ Market on Sundays
• Shops and boutiques along St Paul’s Road include lifestyle boutique Pixie Moon, delis and a good independent butcher, Canonbury Butcher.
Activities in Islington
• There is a varied cultural scene in Islington with four local theatres. The Almeida Theatre has a reputation as a ‘local theatre with a world profile’ producing British and international drama. The King’s Head Theatre and Pub – first pub theatre founded in England since the days of Shakespeare. The Tower Theatre – full-time non-professional company that since its formation has played in public theatres, and stages up to 18 productions a year and Sadler's Wells - the UK's leading dance house for the best of international and UK dance and ballet
• Estorik Collection of modern Italian art –one of the finest collections of early 20th Century Italian art in the world. Contains six galleries, an art library, cafe and bookshop
• Cinema – Screen on the Green
• Union Chapel – catch great bands in this intimate former chapel
• For fine dining, Almeida - traditional French neighborhood restaurant opposite the Theatre, serving classical French dishes with Michelin trained Head Chef Alan Jones in charge. Frederick’s is very popular with locals.
• Islington’s restaurants cater for an international palate, including Japanese, Spanish, French and the acclaimed Rodizio Rico – serving Brazilian food with passadors (meat carvers) passing from table to table slicing different cuts of meat from skewers onto your plate
• The Castle is a relaxing pub popular with local workers and loyal regulars who enjoy freshly prepared sandwiches and daily specials at lunchtime and come back in the evening. On a fine day or evening you can sit on the lovely rooftop terrace.
Islington is one of London’s most built up environments, but there are great local green spaces, if you know where to look.
• The largest park is Highbury Fields - a calm oasis of almost 30 acres, tucked away behind the exceedingly busy Highbury Corner. Beautiful walks, tennis courts and an award-winning children's playground.
• Ecology Centre and nature reserve at Gillespie Park - a seven acre nature reserve with 244 species of plants, 94 species of birds and 24 types of butterflies. Open to visitors with advice on wildlife gardening and sustainable living
• Islington Green – a small triangle with sculptures and seating in Angel
• Barnard Park – with an adventure playground
• New River Walk - neither new nor a river it was an aqueduct commissioned in 1613 to bring water from Hertfordshire into central London. The aqueduct still supplies water, accounting for eight per cent of London’s consumption, and though it now ends at Stoke Newington the rest of the path is preserved as a nature trail and good for bird watching