Holborn-Clerkenwell is a district in central London.
Holborn and Clerkenwell is in many ways a buffer zone between London's West End and the City of London financial district.
Holborn has long been associated with the legal professions, notably in the Lincoln's Inn area and was also a major centre of the old British newspaper industry before the advent of new publishing technology.
Clerkenwell is full of architects and publishers, and as a result many new bars and restaurants have cropped up, and continues to be a target for more development. The bars vary from family orientated wine bars, to huge clubs and cool underground bars, and it compares well to its more artistic, trendier neighbour, Shoreditch (in the East End).
The district is serviced by the following tube stations:
- Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines) is at the junction of High Holborn and Kingsway.
- Chancery Lane (Central line) is the best station for accessing Lincoln's Inn and the other Inns of Court.
- Farringdon (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines) is the best station for accessing most of Clerkenwell's nightlife.
- Farringdon station offers overland rail services to Brighton, Bedford, and direct connections to London Gatwick and London Luton airports.
- Buildings of High Holborn, High Holborn, WC2 (tube: Holborn). See the rare range of Tudor half-timbered buildings while opposite is a magnificent marble courtyard building which stands on the site of the former Staple Inn. One of Charles Dickens's homes was on the site.
- Gray's Inn of Court, Gray's Inn Rd, WC1 (tube: Chancery Ln), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7458 7801. One of the four Inns of Court in London who hold the exclusive right to call qualified legal professionals to the bar, i.e. to become barristers at law. The grand buildings housing the inns are arranged around lovely green gardens. There are records of Gray's Inns operating from this location since the 14th century.
- The Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3TL (tube: Holborn, Chancery Ln), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Like Gray's Inn, one the of the four societies of the bar. The wonderful old buildings here are arranged around the open spaces of Lincoln's Inn Fields and a walk around this area will give any visitor a real sense of the history and grand traditions of the legal profession in London.
- Myddelton Square Park, Myddelton Sq, EC1R (tube: Angel), ☎ . Nice shady park next to St Marks Church. Small children's playground.
- Royal Courts of Justice, Strand (tube: Holborn, Charing Cross), ☎ , fax: +44 20 3334 4087. M-F 09:00-16:30 (though Aug-Sept it's only 10:00-14:30). The building holds the High Court and the Court of Appeal, two of the highest courts in the United Kingdom, though only civil cases are heard here. Trials are open to the public, but tourists would probably be more interested in seeing the impressive entrance hall, and admiring the stunning Victorian Gothic exterior. Free.
- Temple Church, Inner Temple, Fleet St, EC4Y 7HL (tube: Temple), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7353 1736, e-mail: email@example.com. Has a history dating back to the 12th century with connections to the order of Templars. The chancel of the church was build by Henry III. The church still serves the members of Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn and has frequent service open to the public.
- Hunterian Museum, 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PE (tube: Holborn), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7869 6564, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. Inside the Royal College of Surgeons. Exhibitions on the history of surgery, including medicine, natural history and art. The museum was established by John Hunter (1728-1793), the founder of scientific surgery. Free.
- Islington Museum, 245 St John St, EC1V 4NB (tube: Angel), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M Tu, Th-Sa 10:00-17:00. Local history museum.
- Sir John Soane's Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3BP (tube: Holborn), ☎ . Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. The former home of architect Sir John Soane, the building has been converted into a museum, displaying some of the objects he collected during his lifetime, including the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, and paintings by artists including William Hogarth. There is a display of some of Soane's architectural plans on the upper floor. Be sure to wait in the picture room until the guides open the walls up to reveal further paintings behind. The museum is a little-known tourist attraction, but well worth a visit. Admission free (but you're encouraged to leave a donation).
- Somerset House, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA (tube: Charing Cross), ☎ . 10:00-18:00. Somerset House is home to three art galleries: The exceptional Courtauld Institute displays a collection of 19th and 20th century art, including well-known works by Degas, Matisse and Kandinsky; The Gilbert Collection presents a collection of decorative art; and The Hermitage Rooms, the most recent addition to Somerset House, hosts temporary exhibitions of works on loan from the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. The central courtyard is filled with fountains in the Summer, but in the Winter, an ice rink is installed, it is very popular, so visitors should book in advance, or expect to wait a long time to skate. £5 (admission fee to each of the three galleries).
- Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Sq, WC1R 4RL (tube: Holborn), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7242 8036, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Theatre and concert hall. Home of the National Secular Society and the South Place Ethical Society: often hosts lively debates on religion, politics and secularism.
- Gresham College. Attend a free public lectures, in Barnard's Inn Hall, renowned historic Inn of Court featured in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Likewise, the London School of Economics, hosts a prestigious public lectures programme, which is nearly always free to attend, but may require a ticket in advance for a lecture by a Head of State or Nobel Prize winner.
- The Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN (tube: Angel), ☎ . Attached to Sadler's Wells Theatre, primarily performances by students.
- Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, WC2A 2HT (tube: Holborn), ☎ . Booking M-F 08:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-17:00.
- Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN (tube: Angel), ☎ . Leading dance production theatre with an amazing history back to the 1690s. Everthing from classical ballet to hip hop. For ballet fans, you have often got a much better chance of securing a ticket here than in the Covent Garden venues.
- Somerset House Ice Rink, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA (tube: Charing Cross), ☎ . In the courtyard of Somerset House, this has become a Londoner's favorite, although how it will compete with the newcomers remains to be seen. It is preferable to visit at night, when the Christmas tree is lit up.
- History of Drinking Tour, ☎ . Guided walking tours covering the history of Britain's love affair with alcohol. Stops off at 4 attractive pubs over the course of two hours.
- A-Z Atlas Company Shop, 44 Gray's Inn Rd WC1 (tube: Chancery Ln. In the lower half of the road, opposite the Inns), ☎ . Retail showroom of the company that produce the world famous London A-Z Atlases.
- Exmouth Market, Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QA (tube: Farringdon, Angel). Area with lifestyle, fashion, health, book and interior shops.
- Hatton Garden, Hatton Garden EC1N (tube: Chancery Ln). The London jewellery trade centre and especially famous for diamonds. A lot of dealers and designers to chose from, both contemporary and traditional.
- Leather Lane Market, Leather Ln EC1N (tube: Chancery Ln). Not much leather sold here these days but worth a visit for some great cheap finds. Clothing, electrical goods, toiletries and food. Combines well with a visit Hatton Garden which is in the next street east.
- Magma Books, 117-119 Clerkenwell Rd, ☎ . M-Sa 10:00-19:00. A fine bookshop specialising in the graphic arts, as well as toys, for not-quite-grown-up boys. A good place to pick up foreign design titles, or simply waste an hour browsing through lots of pretty books. A valuable stop for graphic junkies.
- Smithfield Market, 225 Central Markets, EC1A 9LH (tube: Farringdon), ☎ . M-F 03:00-noon. Smithfield Market is London's largest wholesale meat market and hence a great source of fresh meat from Britain and around the world. Additionally, there are many good restaurants in the vicinity.
- The Old Curiosity Shop is the original shop immortalised in the Charle's Dickens novel by the same name. Nestled amongst the campus of LSE, it is worth a visit just the old Tudor design itself. As the name suggests, it sells some oddities and knick-knacks, but mostly shoes these days.
- Blue Lion, 133 Gray's Inn Rd, WC1X 8TZ (tube: Chancery Ln or Russell Sq, opposite the ITN building). Offers good food in an easy pub atmosphere.
- Wright's Bar at Houghton St, Clare Market. Excellent value little cafe with friendly Italian family serving, tasty sandwiches and coffee. Get's crowded with LSE students come lunch. While this can't be beaten for value in the area, a Hare Khrisna cart shows up on the edge of Houghtson St regularly on weekdays between 1-2pm offering free vegan food, if you don't mind the sogginess and queue. (Alt. there is a Hare Khrisna temple at Soho Sq if you like proper vegan curry).
- Cantina Augusto, 91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5BX (near the turning into Leather Ln), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7831 3962. M-W noon-22:00, Th F noon-22:30. An attractive Italian restaurant. Pizzas and pastas from around £8.
- The Three Tuns & Quad - LSE Student Union bars, which sell tasty lunchtime meals. £4-6. Also, King's College Strand Campus at Somerset House, the otherside of Aldywch has a few student priced places selling snacks, full-meals and drinks.
- Exmouth Market, Exmouth Market, EC1 (tube: Farringdon, Angel), ☎ =. weekday lunchtime. A wide variety of street food stalls, including Ghanaian, Thai, Mexican, Turkish, Jewish, Vegetarian, Spanish and Bengali cuisine. More stalls open Th-F, but there's something open every weekday. Most dishes around £5.
- L'Osteria 57, 57 Gray's Inn Rd, WC1X 8PP (tube: Chancery Lane), ☎ . Italian bistro with large range of pasta dishes and a carne menu. Inside and casual sidewalk seating. Mains £6-14.
- Necco, 52-54 Exmouth Market, ☎ . M-Sa noon-21:30. Japanese cafe bar with home-made sushi and a range of bento-box combinations. Friendly staff. Lunch around £5.
- My Old Dutch pancake house, along High Holborn offers a £5 for any pancakes, but only on Monday. Otherwise, standard prices between £4 and £10. Nice selection of Dutch and European beers.
- Tinseltown, 44-46 St John Street, EC1M 4DF (tube: Farringdon or Barbican), ☎ . M-Th noon-05:00; F-Sa noon-04:00; Su noon-03:00. Halal American-style diner, serving burgers, steaks, and grills. Good for muslims on a budget and hungry, early-morning clubbers. Burger and side dish from £6.99.
- The Green, 29 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU (tube: Farringdon), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Easygoing gastro-pub with good quality, reasonably priced lunch menu, and tapas in the evening. £10-15 mains.
- Lingotto Restaurant, 45 Red Lion St, WC1R 4PF (tube: Holborn), ☎ , fax: +44 20 7405 1142, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F noon–14:30, 18:00–22:30, Sa 18:00–22:30. Italian restaurant. Mains £15.50-21.50.
- Little Bay Farringdon, 171 Farringdon Rd, EC1R 3AL (tube: Farringdon), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-Sa noon–midnight, Su noon–23:00. European restaurant. Three-course meal £11.00-16.00.
- Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE (tube: Angel, Farringdon), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 12:30-22:20 (14:30-19:00 tapas only). Offering North African/Spanish cuisine and serving the best tapas in the city. While there are endless options for meat eaters, there are also some tasty delights for vegetarians. Mains £18.50.
- Sakun Thai, 71 Red Lion St, WC1R 4NA (tube: Holborn), ☎ . Modern Thai restaurant. Set menus from £19.50.
- Thai Square - Southside of the Aldywch, offers decent Thai fayre. Likewise, Sitar next door is a good Indian restaurant and Pizza Express does pretty good Italian stuff.
- Holborn House Restaurant, 266 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE (tube: Holborn), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-F noon-22:00. Modern European. Three course-menu approximately £35.
- Pearl Restaurant, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN (tube: Holborn), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F noon-14:30, 18:00-22:00, Sa 18:00-22:00. Modern international. Two course-menu £47.
Pubs and bars
- Holborn House, 266-267 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Monday to Friday Noon - 02:00. Holborn House (HH) is intended to be a home from home, providing comfort, fraternity and a familiar place to relax and unwind.
- Ye Old White Horse, 2 St. Clements Ln, ☎ . M-Sa 11:00-23:00. Great little Victorian pub adjacent to the LSE campus. "The Horse" is one of the last remaining little boozers of its kind; a true throwback. Warm, welcoming, well-preserved interior, well-kept real ales, and a low-priced selection of sandwiches and pub meals make this place worth a visit while passing through Holborn. George IV is a LSE owned-pub, part of the same small block. You could also try the Three Tuns complex, part of the LSE Student Union, on Houghton St, which hosts cheap, student club nights on the weekend (Crush on F 21:00-03:00 and After-Skool Club, Sa 22:00-03:30).
- Jerusalem Tavern of Clerkenwell, is a converted Georgian coffee shop, which sells the Norfolk beer, St. Peters. Well worth a visit but after 17:00 on weekdays, it gets flooded with City workers.
- Bar Kick, 43 Exmouth Market, ☎ . noon-23:00 daily (Su 22:30). Hidden down a backstreet away from the busier parts of Clerkenwell, lies a cosy little bar crammed with several table football machines, and a good selection of cocktails. In the summer people spread out onto the pedestrianised street and chat in the sun. Happy hour 16:00-19:00 daily.
- Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Rd. Live music in the cellar every Friday. Venue is like a very small dungeon, but they know what is good music.
- Fluid, 40 Charterhouse St, ☎ . Tu W 19:00-midnight, Th-Sa 21:00-02:00. A stylish loosely Japanese themed bar upstairs (they serve sushi), with a more spread out dance floor down a spiral metal staircase. Plenty of sofas everywhere, although on the weekends you will have to get down early to slump in a chair. Bottled beers £2.90+, cocktails £6+. Free entry, except F Sa 21:00-22:00 £3, after £5.
- Hat On Wall Bar, 20 Hatton Wall, ☎ . W-F late. A secret little bar hidden in a block of studios/media offices. You ring a buzzer to enter (it is directly opposite Clerkenwell House) and wander upstairs to the small bar. There are good DJs and it has a private party feel, they also have upside down buckets as lamp shades. A worthy find. Free entry.
- Horseshoe, 24 Clerkenwell Close, ☎ . Irish pub where they play live Irish music every Thursday at 20:00 (check it on the net!). But, be there in due time, else you risk house full!
- The Knights Templar, Chancery Ln. Part of the JD Wetherspoon chain, former bank, has nice high-vaulted ceilings. Other Wetherspoons are The Pendral's Oak on High Holborn and around the corner on Kingsway, The Shakespeare's Head. Cheap-moderate.
- Water Rats Pub, Gray's Inn Rd (Upper part near King's Cross). Has regular live bands.
- Cittie of Yorke and Princess Louise are both quaint charming pubs on High Holborn, that serve a good range of ales and lagers.
- The Square Pig, can be pricey and crowded too, but that's because its used for large language-exchange and online meet-ups.
- Holborn House, 266-267 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Saturday 22:00 - 03:00. Holborn House mainly operates for members or by reservation.
- Fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, ☎ . Th-Sa times vary (check listings). A massive club (think cathedral scale) that provides a more underground version of Ministry of Sound and hosts some of the biggest names in dance music, from Goldie to David Holmes to the Scratch Perverts. There are always big queues, so get down early if you can. Entry £12-18, discount for NUS.
- SOSHO, 2 Tabernacle St, ☎ . Tu noon-midnight, W Th noon-01:00, F noon-03:00, Sa 19:00-04:00, Su 21:00-06:00. Sosho is a former photographic studio and warehouse space converted into a two floor restaurant, bar, lounge and club with a 24 hour licence, midway between the city and central Shoreditch. Sosho is light and airy during the day time, candle lit and loungey in the evening. Serve carefully sourced and proper food, with world class cocktails and great music on one of East London's best sound system. With a 24 hour licence it is a late night drinking and DJ bar during the week and a cutting edge clubbing venue at the weekend.
- Tabernacle, 55-61 Tabernacle St, ☎ . M-Th noon-midnight, F noon-01:00, Sa 18:00-01:00, Su 11:30-22:30. Nice, stylish lounge bar for the urban 20- to 30-something. Good atmosphere. Good selection of drinks. For a nice, smoothing choice ask for Apple and Cranberry sling. There is dancing in the basement. Make sure to get there before doors close at midnight.
There are not too many hotel options in this district and visiotrs are better off looking in neighbouring Bloomsbury.
- London School of Economics (during vacations). Single from £32, twin from £50, triple from £64.
- Swinton Hotel, 18-24 Swinton St WC1X 9NX (tube: Kings Cross), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Good value bed and breakfast in the north west of the district. From £55.
- MiNC Eagle Court, Eagle Court 10-11 Britton St, EC1M 5QD (tube: Farringdon), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Studio, one and two bedroom service apartments. Very modern and nicely appointed. From £99.
- Hotel Strand Contiental is excellently-located on southside of the Aldywch, straddling Westminster and the City. While it could be noisy at night and it appears small and grimy from the outside, there is a superb Indian restaurant on the 2nd floor.
- Malmaison London, 18-21 Charterhouse Sq, EC1M 6AH (tube: Barbican), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Doubles from around £200.
- Renaissance Chancery Court London, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN, ☎ . Try this Marriot hotel for a very upscale experience. It is in an older building that has been beautifully renovated(formerly HQ of Pearl Assurance). There is high-speed internet, but the charge is £15 per day. The hotel is air-conditioned. The staff is very helpful. A great experience, if you can pay the rates. Doubles from £204.
- The Rookery, Peter's Lane, Cowcross St, EC1M 6DS (tube: Farringdon), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An atmosphere and decor that more recalls a private gentleman's club than a hotel. From £149.
The only real way to connect is to be inside a business that has Wi-Fi.
|Routes through Holborn-Clerkenwell|
|Bloomsbury-Soho ← Covent Garden ←||W E||→ The City → East London|
|Mayfair-Marylebone ← Bloomsbury-Camden ← north side of loop ←||W E||→ north side of loop → The City → Continues on south side of loop|
|Westminster ← Covent Garden ← south side of loop ←||W E||→ south side of loop → The City → Continues on north side of loop|
|Westminster ← Covent Garden ←||W E||→ The City → East London|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← Bloomsbury-Camden ←||W E||→ The City → East London|
|North London ← Bloomsbury-Camden ←||W E||→ The City → END|
|Bloomsbury ← Islington ←||N S||→ The City → South London|
|Westminster-Mayfair-Marylebone ← Covent Garden ←||W N||→ Bloomsbury → North London|