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Location of the Islington area in London

Islington is a district of north London covering much of the London Borough of Islington.


Typical Victorian architecture of Islington

The south of the district borders the City of London and Clerkenwell and was long seen as something of a poor relation to those two areas. That all started to change in the 1990s when the typical Victorian houses of Islington became very desirable and the area went through huge gentrification to become a highly fashionable address. The area around The Angel, Upper Street and Essex Road is of special interest to visitors; it is home to a number of interesting shops selling antiques and collectibles as well as art galleries.

Further north, the district becomes a little less grand and largely lower-end residential. Finsbury Park is an area in the north-east of the district which grew up around an important railway interchange at the junction of the London Boroughs of Islington, Haringey and Hackney. The park is a large important green space in an otherwise densely populated area.

In the north-west of the district its character changes again and Highgate takes on many characteristics of the neighbouring district of Hampstead.

Islington has long been known for its left-wing politics and in the 1980s the oft-used moniker of the Socialist Republic of Islington was not unwarranted. The legacy of that still remains: the borough's two MPs—including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn—and Council administration are all from the Labour Party, and a number of regular festivals of a distinctly left-wing nature are hosted here.

Islington is also known for being the place where writer and explorer Mary Kingsley was born.

Get in[edit]

By tube[edit]

Islington is served by the following Tube stations, in fare zones 1, 2 and 3:

By train[edit]

National Rail[edit]

The nearest mainline stations are 1 London King's Cross and 2 London St Pancras International in Camden.

National Rail stations within the borough include Highbury & Islington, Essex Rd, Canonbury, Finsbury Park and Upper Holloway.

London Overground[edit]

Islington has several London Overground stations with services to Stratford, Clapham Junction, Willesden Junction, Richmond, New Cross and West Croydon. All stations are in fare zone 2.

From west to east:

By bus[edit]

Bus routes 41, N41, 134, 390, 43, 17, C11, 4 and W5 serve Archway and the surrounding area.

Routes 29, 19, 4, 259, 253 and 254 connect Finsbury Park with the centre of London.

The Angel, Islington is served by the following routes: 19, 30, 38, 43, 56, 73, 153, 205, 214, 274 and 341.


  • 1 The Arsenal Museum, Emirates Stadium, Highbury House, 75 Drayton Pk, N5 1BU (tube: Arsenal  PIC ), +44 20 7619-5003. M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM; Su 10:30AM-4:30PM, closed match days. Impressive museum charting the history of the heralded football club. £7. Arsenal Football Club Museum (Q4796396) on Wikidata Arsenal Football Club Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 City Road Basin Plaza (Off City Rd next to McDonalds and Texaco. Tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7253-6512. A former industrial site which fell into decline in the 1950s and 60s. The site remained undeveloped and inaccessible to the public for many years. A multi-million pound project has created public access to the waterway (one of the largest open stretches of water in North London) complete with a newly landscaped public park facing onto the canal.
  • 3 Crafts Council, 44a Pentonville Rd, N1 9BY (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7278-7700, fax: +44 20 7837-6891. Tu-Sa 11AM-5:45PM; Su 2PM-5:45PM. This gallery promotes contemporary craftspeople working materials such as metal, glass, pottery and textiles but with a unique take on each medium. The work frequently strays into contemporary art and blurs the border between art and craft. The small shop inside provides individually crafted pieces, that are as expensive as you would expect. Free. Crafts Council (Q5180562) on Wikidata Crafts Council on Wikipedia
  • 4 Gillespie Park Ecology Centre, 191 Drayton Pk, N5 1PH (tube: Arsenal  PIC ), +44 20 7527-4374, . Daily except on Arsenal FC home match days. Award-winning education centre in this small park in a heavily built up area of the district. Managed habitats include woodland, wetland meadows and ponds. Free.
  • 5 London Canal Museum, 12/13 New Wharf Rd, N1 9RT (tube: King's Cross St. Pancras  CIR  DIS  H&C  NOR  PIC  VIC ), +44 20 7713-0836. W-Su 10AM-4.30PM and bank holiday Mondays. Exhibits explaining the history of London's canals, in the former Gatti's Ice House: it stored huge blocks of ice brought from Norway. There's additional material on the early history of ice cream in London. Adult £6, concession £5, child £3.
  • 6 Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Rd, N1 7RW (tube: Angel  NOR . Next door to Victoria Miro), +44 20 7490-7373. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Contemporary art gallery, which looks closed from initial appearances, but press the buzzer to have the door unlocked. Free. Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art (Q7135980) on Wikidata Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art on Wikipedia
  • 7 Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Rd, N1 7RW (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7336-8109. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM. An excellent contemporary art gallery in a converted Victorian furniture factory. Press the buzzer to unlock the door, it is not a typical Tate-tourist magnet. Free. Victoria Miro Gallery (Q7926872) on Wikidata Victoria Miro Gallery on Wikipedia


  • 1 Almeida Theatre, Almeida St, N1 1TA (tube: Highbury & Islington  VIC ; just off Upper St), +44 20 7359-4404. Theatre with a reputation for daring and innovative productions. Almeida Theatre (Q2839111) on Wikidata Almeida Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 2 Arsenal FC, Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Rd N7 7AJ (tube: Arsenal  PIC ), +44 20 7619-5000 (customer service). Arsenal play in the Premier League, the top tier of English football: they're one of the leading clubs and routinely qualify for European tournaments, and also hold the record for most number of consecutive seasons in the top division. Their home ground is Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,000) and they play to near-capacity crowds, especially against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Their women's team plays in the Women's Super League, with home games at Borehamwood. Arsenal F.C. (Q9617) on Wikidata Arsenal F.C. on Wikipedia.
  • 3 Everyman Screen on the Green (formerly Screen on the Green), 83 Upper St, N1 0NU (tube: Angel  NOR , 5 min walk up Upper St). One of the leading art house cinemas in London. Refurbished. Screen On The Green (Q7762705) on Wikidata The Screen on the Green on Wikipedia
  • 4 Vue Islington, 36 Parkfield St, N1 0PS (tube: Angel  NOR , 1F of the N1 shopping centre), +44 8712 240 240. Multiplex cinema.
  • 5 The Bill Murray, 39 Queen's Head St. Comedy club.
  • 6 Union Chapel, 19b Compton Terrace. Voted London's Best Live Music Venue by readers of Time Out magazine in 2002, 2012 and in 2014. Union Chapel, Islington (Q7885481) on Wikidata Union Chapel, Islington on Wikipedia


Camden Passage - one of the leading antique centres in London
  • 1 Camden Passage Antiques Centre, Camden Passage, N1 8ED (tube: Angel  NOR ). One of London's leading antique and collectible centres for the past 40 years. The complex is home to dealers in a wide variety of fields and is a must for any visitor to London interested in antiques. Controversially, the main arcade has now become another branch of Jack Wills, but many dealers remain in the area.
  • 2 Get Stuffed, 105 Essex Rd, N1 2SL (tube: Angel  NOR ; rail: Essex Road), +44 20 7226-1364, fax: +44 20 7359-8253, . Open by appointment. Taxidermy shop offering a stock of stuffed animals and bones, for an unusual purchase, and service for preparing your own specimens.
  • 3 Map, 93 Junction Rd, Upper Holloway, N19 5QX (tube: Archway  NOR ). M–Sa 10AM–6PM. Trendy gift shop with cool products. Much too nice to be in Archway!
  • 4 New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EN, +44 20 7272-4889. A bookshop and publisher founded in 1966, specialising in black literature, including African, Caribbean, African-American, and Black British books. New Beacon Books (Q7005447) on Wikidata New Beacon Books on Wikipedia
  • Stroud Green Farmers Market is every Sunday north of Finsbury Park station.


Diners are spoiled for choice in Islington, especially the Upper Street area between Angel and Highbury & Islington tube stations. A wide variety of cuisine and price ranges are available. Mediterranean food dominates but with options like Indian, Afghan, Italian, French, Thai, and South American there is food for all tastes.

A few minutes' walk from Archway station up Highgate Hill will lead you to Highgate, the upmarket end of Archway. There are a selection of nice cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from. Swain's Lane, five to ten minutes walk from Archway station just near Hampstead Heath, has a few nice places to eat.

Angel to Upper Street can be a diner's paradise if you know where to go. Close to Angel places are geared towards the daytime sandwich eaters and coffee drinkers. From Islington Green on you will generally find nicer restaurants at better value. As a rule, the further towards Highbury & Islington the cheaper the restaurants, although the quality does not necessarily decline. Take a walk down the side-streets too as they hold some of the best restaurants, pubs, and bars.

In Archway, coming out of the Tube station you will see two kebab houses on Junction Road, neither of which are anything special, but rather comically one carries the slogan "best kebabs in UK" while the other says "best kebab in world"; these are not to be believed. You may find other interesting little restaurants down Holloway Road.

The Finsbury Park area is home to many minority groups such as Algerians, Greeks, Turks, and sub-Saharan Africans and as such has some of the most diverse range of restaurants available in London. Down Blackstock Road, a locals' favourite is Sim Sim. Just outside the station on Seven Sisters Road, The Red Zone offers cheap but good food.


  • 1 The Afghan Kitchen, 35 Islington Green, N1 8DU (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7359-8019. Tu–Sa noon–3:30PM & 5:30–11PM, closed Su M. One of the best cheap eats in London. Authentic Afghan food which is a hugely better than you expect when looking at the place!
  • 2 Gallipoli Cafe & Bistro, 102 Upper St, N1 1QP (tube: Angel  NOR , tube: Highbury & Islington  VIC ), +44 20 7359-0630, . M Tu 11AM–10PM, W–F 11AM–11PM, Sa 9:30AM–11PM, Su 9:30AM–10PM. Well known and serve great Turkish meals, for very reasonable prices. Another branch nearby.
  • 3 Le Mercury, 140a Upper St, N1 1QY (tube: Highbury & Islington  VIC ), +44 20 7354-4088, . Daily noon–9PM. Cosy, romantic French restaurant split amongst three floors. Typical French cuisine at low prices. Mains around £6.
  • 4 Tortilla, 13 Islington High St, Angel, N1 9LQ (tube: Angel  NOR , opposite the station), +44 20 7833-3103, . Daily 11AM–10PM. Californian and Mexican take-away, serves fajitas/burritos/etc and Mexican beers. The food is fresh and mostly organic. Well priced, very friendly staff, open kitchen. Small number of benches for eating in. £5.


  • 5 Cookies and Scream, 130 Holloway Rd, Highbury East, N7 8JE (tube: Holloway Road  PIC ). F-Su: noon-6pm, M-Th: Closed. Vegan and gluten-free cafe. It's a bit pricey though cakes are delicious and without compromise, despite the limitations.
  • 6 Iberia, 294-296 Caledonian Road, N1 1BA (train: Caledonian Road & Barnsbury  OGD , bus: 91 from King's Cross), +44 20 7700-7750, . Tu-F 6PM-11PM, Sa 1PM-11PM, Su 1PM-9PM. Charming Georgian restaurant serving unsophisticated, but incredibly tasty, national cuisine: stews, pies, dumplings, breads. An all-Georgian wine list, with the bottles stacked cellar-fashion (floor to ceiling) against the back wall, complete the experience. The slow pace of dining, either inside or on the terrace, is a welcome deviation from the London norm. Mains £10-£15.
  • 7 Kalendar, 15A Swain's Ln, Highgate, N6 6QX (tube: Archway  NOR  and 15-20-min walk), +44 20 8348-8300. M–F 8AM–10:30PM, Sa 9AM–7PM, Su 9AM–10PM. Stands out as a bohemian deli/cafe with beautiful if not cheap food. Excellent for brunch/long weekend lunches. Chunky rustic furniture, specials on blackboards, free newspapers. Quite child friendly.
  • 8 Masala Zone, 80 Upper St, N1 0NU (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7359-3399, . M–F 5:30–11PM, Sa Su 12:30PM–11PM. This hip Indian restaurant chain's Angel branch. Good value Indian food, try a Thali for a good sized meal with a variety of flavours. Mains around £8.
  • 9 Mem & Laz, 8 Therberton St, N1 0QX (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7704-9089, . Su–Th 11AM–11PM, 11AM–12:30AM. Large menu of great Mediterranean food, friendly staff, very reasonably priced. Their lunchtime two-course special around £7 is available to 6PM, an excellent option for an early dinner.
  • 10 St. John's Tavern, 91 Junction Rd, N19 5QU (tube: Tufnell Park  NOR ), +44 20 7272-1587. Expensive gastro pub. Quite pleasant.
  • 11 Sunderban, 50 Blackstock Rd, Finsbury Park, N4 2DW (tube: Finsbury Park  PIC  VIC ), +44 20 7359-9243, . Daily 5:30–10:45PM. Delicious North Indian/Bangladeshi cuisine and a good value. One of the best curries in London. Starters £1.75-4.45, Mains £3.25-11.50.
  • 12 Sweet Handz, 217 Holloway Rd, N7 8DL, +44 20 7700-6427. Tu–Sa 1PM–11PM, Su 3PM–midnight. Delicious Ghanaian food.
  • 13 Laza, 41 Newington Green Rd N1 4Q, +44 20 3759-4149, . M–Th 4–10PM, F–Su 11AM–11:30PM. Generous servings of Eritrean food with warm, friendly service. Like the cuisine of neighbouring Ethiopia, Eritrean food is served on injera flatbread and eaten with the fingers. Good vegetarian and vegan options. £13–17.
  • 14 Kipferl, 20 Camden Passage, N1 8ED (Tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7704-1555. Austrian restaurant and patisserie. Vegetarian/vegan options available. Try the Sachertorte!
  • 15 Mildreds, 200 Pentonville Road, N1 9JP (tube: King's Cross St. Pancras  CIR  DIS  H&C  NOR  PIC  VIC ), +44 20 7278-9422. 10AM-10PM. International all plant based menu, can be busy. Part of a small chain. mains around £15.



Angel and Highbury areas[edit]

  • 1 The Nag's Head, 12 Upper St, N1 0PQ (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 8721 077 077.
  • 2 The Islington Town House (Round Midnight), 13 Liverpool Rd, N1 0RW. M 3:30PM-11:30PM, Tu-Th 3:30PM-12:30AM, F 4PM-1:30AM, Sa 3PM-1:30AM, Su 3PM-11:30PM. Jazz and blues bar.
  • 3 69 Colebrook Row (The Bar With No Name), 69 Colebrook Row N1 8AA (5 minute walk north from Angel Station), +1 7540 528593, . Su-W 5PM-midnight; Th 5PM-1AM; F Sa 5PM-2AM. Exceptional seasonal cocktails in a quiet, intimate setting from famous mixologist Tony Conigliaro. You'll need to book ahead. Their barrel-aged Negronis are particularly good. £££.
  • 4 The York, 82 Islington High St, N1 8EQ (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7713-1835. M–Sa noon-11PM, Su noon–10:30PM.


There are plenty of pubs in the area, some of them managing to be slightly more lively or more stylish than the typical local boozer.

Finsbury Park[edit]

There are many pubs in the area.

  • 9 The Twelve Pins, 263 Seven Sisters Rd, N4 2DE (tube: Finsbury Park  VIC  PIC ), +44 20 8809-0192. M–Th 3PM–midnight, F Sa noon–1AM, Su noon–midnight. Irish pub which gets very busy on Arsenal match days.
  • 10 The Faultering Fullback, 19 Perth Rd, N4 3HB (tube: Finsbury Park  VIC  PIC ), +44 20 7272-5834. Daily noon–11PM. Beautiful pub, popular with locals watching football and eating their Thai Food. Since the smoking ban, a lot of money has been spent on the beer garden at the rear, which now offers a wooden mezzanine floor.
  • 11 T-Bird Bar, 132 Blackstock Rd, N4 2DX (tube: Finsbury Park  VIC  PIC ), +44 20 7503-6202, . Tu–Th 5PM–midnight, F Sa 5PM–1AM, closed Su M. Open mic night on Thursdays and a free jukebox on Mondays.

Holloway area[edit]

  • 12 The Coronet, 338-346 Holloway Rd, N7 6NJ (tube: Holloway Road  PIC ), +44 20 7609-5014. A large and unusually nice Wetherspoons pub with a wide range of cheap drinks, including guest ales, and reasonably price food. Does tend to get busy on Arsenal home matchdays. The Coronet (Q30780845) on Wikidata
  • 13 Big Red, 385 Holloway Rd, N7 0RY (tube: Holloway Road  PIC ), +44 20 7609-6662. A biker-themed pub with several pool tables and live music some nights. Normally quite busy on Friday and Saturday evenings.



  • 1 London City Apartments, 104 Offord Rd, N1 1PF (tube: Highbury & Islington  VIC ), +44 7510 062 715. Budget studio apartments with kitchens. Maximum 2 person occupancy. From £44.
  • 2 Pembury Hotel, 326-328 Seven Sisters Rd, N4 2AP (tube: Finsbury Park  VIC  PIC ). Budget hotel opposite Finsbury Pk Stn. Popular with football fans as it is close to the Emirates Stadium. Cheap, clean and noisy. From £50.


  • 3 Hilton London Angel Islington, 53 Upper St, Islington, N1 0UY (tube: Angel  NOR ), +44 20 7354-7700. Next door to the Business Design Centre. From £125.





Go next[edit]

Routes through Islington
ENDNorth London ← Mill Hill East and High Barnet branches ←  N  S  → Mill Hill East and High Barnet branches → CamdenBloomsbury
North LondonBloomsbury ← Bank branch ←  N  S  → Bank branch → Holborn-ClerkenwellThe City
BloomsburyCamden  S  N  North LondonEND
BloomsburyCamden  S  N  North LondonEast London
END ← East London Line ←  N  S  → East London Line → HackneyEast End
Richmond-KewCamden ← North London Line ←  W  E  → North London Line → HackneyEast London
ENDHampstead ← Gospel Oak to Barking Line ←  W  E  → Gospel Oak to Barking Line → North LondonEast London

Routes through Islington
WatfordHighgate  NW  SE  ClerkenwellThe City

This district travel guide to Islington is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.