Islington is one of London’s most buzzing boroughs. With its prime location, unrivalled restaurant scene, and charming Victorian townhouses to contemporary apartments, it’s no wonder Islington is such a popular place to live. Bordered by Highbury to the north, and Hoxton to the east, fortunate residents have excellent transports links to central London, and everything else on their doorstep: world-class restaurants, the best gastro pubs, one of the capital’s best cinemas, theatres, independent shops and art galleries to outstanding schools. Islington is the second largest population under-40 in London, so it’s easy to why the area attracts a raft of high earners from families to couples and young professionals, with many settling here happily for years.
The best roads in Islington include the Alwynes, Canonbury Park North and South, Duncan Terrace, Highbury Place, Richmond Crescent — once home to Tony and Cherie Blair — and Thornhill Square. Up and coming in the area is De Beauvoir Town between Essex Road and Queensbridge Road, where large houses with big gardens, with trendy new stores and artisan cafés are opening all the time. Most restaurants are on Upper Street, the neighbourhood’s main drag that runs between the underground stations of Angel and Highbury & Islington. It’s a buzzing thoroughfare, packed with endless opportunities for shopping, dining and drinking, ranging from the compact Afghan Kitchen, known for its simple menu of warming dahls and stews, to the delicious grub at Ottolenghi.
Islington has a cultural life all to its own. It draws a nightlife crowd to its fridge theatres such as the King’s Head and Old Red Lion pubs, The Almedia Theatre, or Sadler’s Wells, London’s leading theatre for dance. There is entertainment galore here from the Screen on the Green to the O2 Academy for live music. The picturesque, pedestrianised Camden Passage retains a village-feel with its cheese shop, fishmonger, handful of cafés and restaurants, plenty of vintage shops and quirky boutiques. Just off Upper Street is the quieter, residential side of the neighbourhood, where the streets are lined with terraced Victorian townhouses, punctuated by small squares of greenery. The pretty Regent’s Canal is magnet during summer with people barbecuing and drinking. It’s a beautiful place to take a stroll any of time, and you’ll notice more residential development and conversions springing up.
The largest open green space in Islington is Highbury Fields, where there are 11 tennis courts and a weekly supervised 5km run every Saturday morning. One hidden gem is the Culpeper Community Garden, a small, yet tranquil well-kept community space, though Islington’s streets are distinctly green and leafy. For families, there are enough outstanding Ofsted schools to choose from such as the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, to Our Lady and St Joseph Catholic Primary or the Richard Cloudesley School, ensuring the borough continues to be highly attractive for raising children here.
Commuting to Islington is a breeze too, as the Victoria Line offers quick connections between Islington and central London or the Northern Line tube from Angel to reach the City within minutes. Overground trains at Highbury and Islington takes you to east and west London. Residents can also choose between ten daytime bus routes and four night buses, plus countless black taxis.