Living in Islington
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
Did you know?
- Canonbury has Islington’s only remaining Tudor building, Canonbury Tower, which housed Thomas Cromwell (Henry VIII’s Lord Privy Seal) from 1533 until he was executed in 1540 for treason charges.
- Islington is the most densely populated local authority in England, with 13,875 people per square km, almost 3 times the London average.
- The Kings Head Theatre and Pub in Islington is the first pub theatre founded in England, and has been in existence since the days of Shakespeare.
- Angel tube station is home to the longest escalator in London, and third longest in Europe, at 60 metres long with a vertical rise of 27.5 metres.
Architecture & Properties in Islington:
The London Borough of Islington of today was created in 1965, when the former Metropolitan Boroughs of Islington and Finsbury were united making Islington the third smallest local authority in the capital, covering an area of just over six square miles.
The borough was badly damaged during World War II; in 1944 a V-1 destroyed Highbury Corner that once housed an impressive station and hotel.
Post World War II rebuilding and later gentrification has transformed the area into one the most popular districts of London, with many well known actors, writers and politicians calling Islington their home.
The property types available in Islington are extensive, however, Georgian classical architecture dominates the area with its beautiful proportions and symmetry. There is, of course, a great deal of Victorian housing available; an excellent example of this is the Gothic revival inspired architecture of Lonsdale Square and St Pancras Chambers (Kings Cross). Islington has also seen a huge increase in new developments using modern materials and construction techniques.
Who lives here?
Islington attracts a large variety of people, ranging from high-end writers and creative types, to smart City workers, through to students and young trendy families, Islington is known for its cool and chic atmosphere, with just the right amount of fancy.
Islington was once home to former Prime Minister Tony Blair before his move to Downing Street. Other famous names to have resided in the streets of Islington include Boris Johnson, Emma Watson, Lily Allen, George Orwell and Oscar Wilde.
Where to eat:
Sunday Roasts: The Pig & Butcher, The Albion, The Duke Of Cambridge, Smokehouse and The Drapers Arms just to name a few where you can guarantee the perfect roast, something that Islington seems to cater so well for.
Lunch time quick bites: Pistachio and Pickle, Euphorium Bakery, Vevo, Afghan Kitchen
Burgers and carb overload: Meat Liquor, Meat People, Byron
Finer Dining: Galley, Fredericks, and Bellanger
Great on a budget: La Divina, Mem and Laz, Gallipoli, Le Mercury
Where to drink:
The Coffee Works Project: family run independent coffee shop in the heart of Islington, with a one of a kind espresso machine with pure mechanical coffee power
Kipferl: A beautiful and authentic old-school Viennese coffeehouse filled with delicious sweet treats and all kinds of cream filled coffee
The London Cocktail Club: A medically inspired speakeasy hidden behind a ‘Apothecary Off-Licence’ shop front and a ‘Staff Only’ door. Once you have found your way in you will be able to choose from an array of different concoctions including a Bacon and Egg Martini, to a Spicy Pot Noodle
The Earl of Essex: Excellent craft beer pub with its own on site brewery
The Winchester: Gastro pub and late night cocktail bar with a unique homely feel. Open until 2am…
69 Colebrooke Row: packed out most nights with people wanting to sample to expertly crafted cocktails they have to offer, boasting a film noir theme.
The Island Queen: A cosy, eclectic pub with a tropical feel with a brilliant selevtion
Islington is spoilt for choice with various theatre pubs, some of the most popular are the Old Red Lion Theatre, the Pleasance Theatre and The King’s Head Theatre which has helped launch the careers of a large number of stars including Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and Joanna Lumley.
One of the best comedy nights in London is run from the Camden Head pub just off Camden Passage, completely free of charge with some of the best household name stand-ups dropping by to test new material. Make sure you arrive early to avoid disappointment.
The Screen on the Green in Islington is one of the country’s oldest cinemas, it opened in 1913 and has been a single screen cinema ever since. Offering a variety of comfort, including sofas with footrests, and a bar readily available this is well worth a visit to catch anything from an up and coming blockbuster, to an old classic movie.
Sadler’s Wells located in Islington is renowned as one of the world’s leading dance venues bringing all forms of dance to London audiences.
Sports & Leisure:
Islington offers a large number of gyms and leisure centres, including Fitness First, Virgin Active, 24 hour gyms, and a number of more independent classes and studios offering bespoke personal training sessions, and unique ways of working out.
Islington’s main shopping area Upper Street is lined with independent shops and stylish boutiques, along with many familiar brand fashion stores, making it easy to spend hours browsing what is on offer.
Camden Passage known famously for its antique shops now hosts an array of small quirky boutiques and cafes.
The N1 centre located just off Upper Street has a vibrant and stylish collection of high street shops, popular restaurant chains, cinemas and music venues all under one roof.
Parks & Green Spaces:
Regent’s canal can be found just off the main roads, offering peace and tranquillity, and a leisurely stroll down to Victoria Park.
There are a number of green spaces in Islington, the largest being Highbury Fields, offering 29 acres of open space, tennis courts, football pitches, and a pool. The ever popular Park Run, a 5km weekly timed run free to all, also runs from here. Islington Green is a great spot for a sunny lunch break, and there are a number of nature reserves in Islington, Gillespie Park and Barnsbury Wood being just two.
Getting to and from Islington is very simple thanks to a large number of bus routes and nearby tube stations.
Angel Underground Station (zone 1) is serviced by the Northern Line, travelling direct to Kings Cross St Pancras Station and Euston Station (5 minutes), with Central London also very easy to reach.
Highbury & Islington Station (zone 2) is serviced by the Victoria Line, with direct routes to Kings Cross St Pancras, Euston, and Oxford Circus (10 minutes)
London Overground Services run from Highbury & Islington, running to Richmond to the West, and Stratford to the East.
National Rail Services also run from Highbury & Islington
Numerous bus routes from Upper Street run into Central London, and South of the River. 4 to Waterloo, 38 to Central London and Soho, and 43 to the City and London Bridge are just a few of the routes available.
Islington lies North of London, with the A1 being easily accessible, leading to the M1 providing a number of connections to the rest of the Country.
Primary: 5 star Offsted rated St John Evangelist RC located on Islington High Street is the most popular state primary school in the area, followed by St Andrew’s Church of England located on Matilda Street, also carrying a 5 star Offsted rating. There are a large number of alternative primary schools in the area with the majority of them carrying a ‘good’ rating from Offsted.
Secondary: Highbury Grove School located on Highbury Grove is a mixed school with a 5 star Offsted rating. Also with a 5 star rating, located on Donegal Street, is Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language College, specialising in languages. There are a number of alternative schools in and around the area, with a variety of specialist departments, and religious areas covered.
City & Islington College has a number of sites within the area, a further education college offering a large number of courses.
Islington is represented by Islington Council
Islington Council tax rates
Council Tax Charge