London/Islington

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England London London/Islington

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Introduction

The friendly face of Islington is an interesting, approachable and genteel district of Inner London. Stretching from Farringdon on the edge of the City of London to Highgate and Archway in the North, with the prized areas of Angel, Highbury and Canonbury in between, there is plenty here to attract a visitor, day or night. Islington has a darker side - statistically one of the most deprived areas in England despite the million pound apartments near the city - but as a traveller you'll experience little trouble here.

For lovers of Charles Dickens, the area holds a particular interest, as the area inspired much of his London writings and there are some splendid examples of Victorian architecture (particularly huge, imposing schoolbuildings) in evidence today.

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Sights and Activities

  • Shops and restaurants in Angel - one of London's prime shopping areas outside of the City and Westminster, and more laid-back than these areas.
  • The Almeida Theatre.
  • Finsbury Park.
  • The Emirates Stadium, the spectacular new home of Arsenal FC.
  • The London Canal Museum.
  • St Pancras Station - a restoration project so beautifully conceived it's worth a visit in its own right.

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Getting There and Around

Tube Stations

  • Angel - for shopping, eating and drinking at Angel.
  • Caledonian Road
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Finsbury Park - for the park itself.
  • Holloway Road - for the Emirates Stadium.
  • Archway - for Highgate Village.

By Train

Kings Cross and St Pancras mainline stations are in the Borough - Euston station is just outside.

Highbury and Islington, Caledonian Road and Barnsbury and Upper Holloway stations are on the London Overground system.

By Bus

A large number of bus services travel through Islington, with hubs at Angel, Highbury, Nag's Head (Holloway) and Archway.

By Bike

All of the Borough's bus lanes may be used by cyclists, also the towpath of the canal doubles as a cyclepath.

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Eat and Drink

The most noteable restaurant in Islington is Morgan M in Barnsbury. The Almeida restaurant under the theatre of the same name also has an excellent reputation.

Upper Street in Angel also has a number of worthwhile eateries, including Cuban food at Cuba Libre, good value French cooking at Le Mercury, trendy seasonal cafe food at Ottolenghi and excellent value, tasty Kurdish food at Gem.

There are a large number of 'Gastropub'-type establishments, serving restaurant quality food (at restaurant prices) in a pub setting. A cluster of pubs at the top of Stroud Green road (near Crouch Hill station) serve good food, beer and wine - the Old Dairy (in a historic dairy building), The Noble and The Larrik . Other notable options include The Landseer (a haven just off scruffy Holloway Road), The Palmerston and St John (both near Archway), and The Barnsbury (in Barnsbury).

If you're after a more traditional pub, the Compton Arms just off Upper Street near Highbury & Islington station is an old-fashioned boozer that keeps beer well. The Hen & Chickens on Highbury Corner is another laid-back place, and has it's own theatre upstairs.

For live music, the Hope and Anchor is the Islington stalwart, with bands of varying quality (all the way from dire to excellent) playing most nights of the week. The Carling Islington Academy near Angel station is a big venue sometimes hosting A- and B- list bands.

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Sleep

Budget

St Pancras Youth Hostel is a YHA-affiliated Youth Hostel opposite St Pancras station. Another hostel option is Journeys - Kings Cross .

Mid-Range

There are a number of Mid-Range hotel options near the stations and on Pentonville Road, including Premier Inn, Jury's Inn and Travelodge. Also in this price bracket is one of London's most acclaimed B&Bs, 'Arlington Avenue'.

Note that most of the shabby guesthouses in the Finsbury Park area are best avoided - you'd be better off in one of the hostels than these.

Upscale

There are a number of 4 star+ options in the South of the borough, including the Hilton Islington and the Zetter Hotel.

London/Islington Travel Helpers

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This is version 12. Last edited at 9:47 on Mar 30, 08 by magykal1. 3 articles link to this page.

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