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Your Clerkenwell & Farringdon Area Guide

Clerkenwell

Where exactly is Clerkenwell? Borough-wise, the boundary between the City and Islington runs right down the middle of Goswell Road. It’s a happy medium between Soho and the east, blending the old and the new. The butchers of Smithfield and the jewellers of Hatton Garden work alongside architects, publishers and a new wave of post-Shoreditch tech companies.

It’s a design hub, too – creatives are drawn to the shadow of the mighty Barbican and the thrills of Clerkenwell Design Week, which fills the cobbled streets with installations and pop-ups every May.

Links to the West End and City are excellent, and when the Elizabeth line opens, Farringdon will be one of the best-connected stations in the country.


Highlights and hidden gems

We’ve wandered through Leather Lane market enough times to know you’ve got to be strategic – it’s easy to do six laps without making a decision. We like the King of Falafel for drama – no one commands 10 wraps in a row like this guy. And the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is the spot for breakout meetings and knockout flat whites. You’re spoiled for market dining round here: iconic Exmouth Market has epic lunchtime risottos, curries and pastas.

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Live Nation, the US firm behind Ticketmaster, is based in the famous Farmiloe Building (as mentioned above). LinkedIn lives at 119 Farringdon Road in a redeveloped building that was once home to The Guardian.

Lots of people know you can get a transcendent pork chop and glass of wine at Quality Chop House, but not everyone knows about the treasure they sell in the shop next door (fancy parmesan, pork pies and coffee beans). Upgrade your lunchtime Pret with one of the shop’s roast meat sandwiches. If you’ve got time for a long lunch and a carafe of wine, try another local icon: St John Smithfield, Fergus Henderson's original home of ‘nose to tail eating’. And if you need to duck out of bad weather, Zetter Townhouse is a Georgian townhouse hotel with a grand old cocktail lounge that does the best kind of meeting food.

We’ve been fans of Frame since their first fitness studio opened in Shoreditch in 2009, with classes like 80s aerobics, barre and dance cardio designed to make exercise fun again. Frame Farringdon is smaller than the original, but well located less than a minute’s walk from the station, with early morning and lunchtime class options. There’s also a Gymbox and a PureGym, and there’s a Virgin Active with a pool at Barbican.


Clerkenwell & Farringdon area prices

From

£700

Private office

£590

Fixed desks

£420

Hot desks

Guide prices are per desk per month. Correct as of March 2019.
Amanda Lim

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Did you know?
  • In Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, Clerkenwell Green is where Fagin and the Artful Dodger teach Oliver how to pick a pocket or two. Dickens knew the area well – he was a customer at the Finsbury Savings Bank on Sekforde Street.
  • Clerken was the Middle English plural of clerk or clerc, meaning literate person or clergyman. In the Middle Ages, the London parish clerks performed annual plays at the local well (where else?). You can still see part of the clerks’ well at Well Court on Farringdon Lane – look through the window to the right of the blue plaque.
  • The Farmiloe Building on St John Street has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Sherlock Holmes and Spooks. 

Nearby areas

Want to see what the wider neighbourhood has to offer? Why not read our guides for the nearby areas.

Amanda Lim

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