Islington is a thriving community of bustling streets dense with restaurants, theatres, cinemas, excellent transport links and wonderful period and contemporary architecture.
The borough of Islington comprises five distinct areas, Angel, Barnsbury, Canonbury, Highbury and Clerkenwell, each with their own character and eccentricities creating an eclectic and dynamic neighbourhood.
Clerkenwell is one of the most historic, creative and culturally rich districts in London; with Clerkenwell Green at its heart, it was once known as ‘Little Italy’, its warehouses are now design agencies and magazine headquarters while factories are home to some of the best restaurants in London, including St John, Moro, Bistro Loubet, & Club Gascon.
Clerkenwell has also provided the setting for many Charles Dickens novels; Oliver Twist first saw the 'Artful Dodger' in action whilst pick pocketing gentlemen who were browsing at a book stall in Clerkenwell Green.
Angel is the heart of the borough with Angel Tube station at the junction of City road and St John Street. Upper Street and Islington High Street are a paradise for the avid shopper with Chapel Market, Angel Central and Camden Passage offering something for everyone.
Historically, Islington had long supplied the City of London with water and the building of the Regents Canal in 1820 led to the construction of the headquarters for The New River Company - the predecessor to today’s Thames Water. Either side of the Regent’s Canal sit the stunning terraced houses of Vincent Terrace and Noel Road. While, on the canal itself, are moorings for a cornucopia of narrow boats, which celebrate yearly at The Angel Canal Festival. Angel was also home to the famous playwright Joe Orton (1933-67) who lived at 25 Noel Road from 1960.
Barnsbury lies to the west of Upper Street and is characterised by elegant Georgian properties, Victorian Squares and the charming streets around Thornhill Road. This beautiful part of the borough is extremely popular, with gastropubs such as the Drapers Arms on Barnsbury Street and The Albion on Thornhill road having become almost an institution for local residents.
Families are well catered for with local children enjoying Barnard Park Adventure Playground, in which children can play in a safe environment. There is also a football and basketball pitch, and firepit as well as an amphitheatre and arts and craft classes.
Canonbury sits between Essex road, Upper Street and Cross Street and is made up by the beautiful network streets adjacent to the New River Walk, which dates back to 1613 (The waterway was constructed to bring fresh drinking water from River Lea, from Amwell Springs, into London itself).
This picturesque enclave and the streets around Alwyne Road (1848 onwards) are almost entirely residential with Canonbury Square, Canonbury Park North and South and Grange Grove some of the most desirable in the area.
The proximity to the shops of Upper Street, transport connections at Essex Road and Highbury & Islington, yet the relative calm of its location make it very popular.
Highbury is for many the ideal family location with excellent recreational facilities on the 27.5 acres of Highbury Fields, which house a swimming pool, tennis courts, children’s playground and open parkland.
Highbury Barn lies just past the Clocktower at the end of Highbury Fields (constructed in 1897 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria). With its village-like atmosphere and shops such as La Fromagerie, the butcher Frank Godfrey, the friendly Italian Deli Da Mario on hand to supply delicious, artisan fare, Highbury Barn is, for many, the opposite of the hustle and bustle of Upper Street and Angel. The area offers a complete range of properties - from grand terraces and splendid semi’s to more modest houses and subtle contemporary developments. Highbury is also the home of Arsenal with the Emirates Stadium on Drayton Park and the original site now converted into luxury apartments.