Your Guide to London Islington
Where is Islington?
Watch Arsenal play at the impressive Emirates Stadium, catch a new play at one of the pub theatres or take in world-renowned dance at Sadler's Wells - there’s something for everyone in Islington! This vibrant borough just north of central London is crammed full of unique bars and restaurants for you to try out, as well as being close to trendy Camden, minutes via tube from the West End and a mile north of The City. The congestion charge only applies to the south of the borough, but as Islington has two tube stations (Angel and Highbury & Islington in tube zones 1 and 2 respectively) you should park up your car and use public transport!
History of Islington
Islington has such an extensive history that it’s even mentioned in the Doomsday book at the end of the 11th century! In the Middle Ages most of the land belonged to religious institutions, but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries - instructed by Henry VIII - much of it was given to aristocratic families. The area grew slowly from a hamlet to a village and became famous for its dairy herds and produce. At one time, Islington was the dairy capital of Victorian London, but as London grew local farmers turned to manufacturing bricks and property development. With the introduction of the railways came industrial development and social decline, with Islington’s big houses and elegant squares falling into disrepair.
After World War II areas of the borough were rebuilt and over the last 30 years Islington has transformed into a really desirable location, with property prices rocketing to some of the highest in London. Islington is full of distinctive bars and shops and if you stay here you’ll experience the excitement of an up-and-coming area that’s home to people from a diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds. You’ll also find that it’s a really affordable place to stay and an ideal location from which to explore the whole of London.
The Positives of Islington
If you want to experience the vibrancy and diversity of north London then Islington’s the place to go! The borough buzzes with over 500 bars, restaurants and cafes with varied menus to suit everyone’s taste and budget. Islington is also really close the fabulous West End ‘theatre-land’ and even boasts 11 of its own theatres. A stay in Islington also makes a fantastic base for London exploration - and Europe too! You’ll find two tube stations in the borough and King’s Cross Train Station is only half a mile away, offering direct connections to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports. As the newly renovated St Pancras International is just over a mile away you can catch Eurostar trains to the continent too!
Need to Know Islington
Islington is an affluent pocket in north-east London and, as with most stylish city districts, evenings out can be pricey. The great thing about Islington though is the overwhelming choice, and many of Islington's restaurants will cater for those of you on a limited budget. Although Islington is a busy, chaotic area, Upper Street is less crowded than central London locations and still has some of the quaint little shops you would expect from a historic district. It’s a bustling, buzzing borough with everything you need on your doorstep and the excellent transport connections offer easy access to other parts of London.