I lived in Angel, Islington for over a year, and I worked there for almost three, so I know the place quite well. Islington is a London borough that was pretty well considered a no-go zone thirty years ago. My, how things have changed. In that time the property prices have shot up, the shopping has improved and there is now a really great social scene. Transport links are also amazing, with Angel, Kings Cross and Highbury and Islington tube/train stations being located quite closely together.
Islington is one of those places where the rich and poor really do live side-by-side. It is packed full of multi-million pound houses with 70's council flats right next door. It is not a very affordable place to live if you're a middle-wage earner. You either need to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford a decent flat/house, or you need to be so poor that you qualify for social housing. Anything in between, and the best you'll be able to afford is a grotty room in a flatshare or a studio flat over a kebab shop. Because of its mixture of residents, Islington has a lively and diverse feel to it. You get people from all walks of life around Islington, and although there is the odd beggar, the place feels quite safe to walk round.
Angel is really the main draw to Islington. It has the stylish N1 centre where you'll find a few chain stores (Oasis, HMV, Karen Millen & FCUK for example), restaurants (Yo! Sushi), the Vue cinema, a couple of pubs (inc. Wetherspoons) and the Carling Academy where they host gigs and nightclub events. Across the road is the antiques market where you can find anything from jewellery to furniture, and the quaint Camden Walk where you'll find a variety of shops selling things like rare art prints, to childrens clothes and general bric-a-brac. For a less commercial night out you can try the Screen on the Green cinema - a one-screen retro treat & a couple of quid cheaper than the Vue.
Food-wise, Angel has all the chains; Nando's, Pizza Express, Ask, Caffe Uno, MacDonalds, Domino's....the list goes on. If you go further along Upper Street Highbury and Islington you'll also find more independent pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as expensive retro furniture shops. There is also the Almeida Theatre about a five minute walk from Angel tube which is always showing something cultural/controversial for a reasonable price (tickets start at £8, although that is for a restricted view).
All in all it is very easy to spend your entire social life in Islington without ever feeling the need to leave. I absolutely love it - it's just a shame I can't afford to buy a flat there.
while i work in 24 hrs shop on caledonian road in islington and i can say this for sure that islington s the worst place to live in london. There is no control of council over under age people drinking. Police in that area is too relectant due to black gangs selling drugs and other rubbish. Prostitution is on high all the time and me being working at night time has loads of problems like that. A week before my shop was smashed by under age children as i refused to sell alcohol and there is no compensation from council and action on them at all. In other words i can say that Caledonian road is the worst place to be in Islington....any comments please email me as i dont really check these reviews email@example.com
Islington is a borough of London which is located just north of the city centre and is where Tony Blair and many of the new labour cronies were based in London before he was PM but don't let that put you off visiting what is a great little area of London if you are looking for a good night out. The main street sis known as Upper Street and this stretches from the Angel Islington tube station at one end to Highbury and Islington tube station at the other which means it can be accessed from either the Northern line or Victoria Line respectively.
While there are quite a few shops to be found it is the night life that has me visiting the most especially as it has some great pubs and restaurant as well. The Kings Head which featured in the last series of The Apprentice is a great place to visit as it has a stage area upstairs which hosts comedy shows and they also have live music, just over the road and you will find a top fish and chip restaurant which is well worth a visit.
A lot of the better pubs are located closer to the Angel end of Upper Street in my opinion and you will also find a wide variety of eating places to suit all budgets.
So if you want to get out of the more touristy centre of London then head up to Islington for a good night out.
I lived in London for three years whilst doing postgraduate studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS).For the first year I stayed with relatives in Belgravia and whilst I must admit it is a very elegant place, I felt it was not the ideal location for me. After deciding to get my own place a good friend of mine suggested I take more than a cursory look at Islington. He said it was a vibrant district,close to Bloomsbury and the West End and was generally pretty safe. Then I had a big stroke of luck for I managed to find a bed sitter under the auspices of London U. It was located just off the Liverpool Road, in one of those fine squares in Islington. It was very handy for Sainsbury's, Upper Strret and the Angel tube station. I soon settled in and really got to love Islington. Its never dull and whilst I could not afford to eat out that often, I soon discovered there was a plethora of fine eateries. Not all were expensive either. Another thing I really enjoyed about Islington were the fine walks. I enjoyed strolling through the elegant squares and,of course, the delights of Camden Town were not far away. Then I enjoyed doing inexpensive shopping in the street market and also found a number of good Charity shops where I was able to buy books and magazines at bargain prices. Islington is a thriving neighbourhood and what surprises a lot of people is just how close it is to the West End. A great location, a great place to stay, a wonderful district for eating out and Islington just has to be my favourite part of London.
Islington is an affluent pocket in north-east London, surrounded by areas probably best stayed away from - Hackney, Kings-Cross, Highbury and such. Islington itself though is lovely, especially in the summer. Pay a visit to the huge number of bars on Upper Street - the main thoroughfare through Islington, on the A1 road out to north London, and you get a reasonable impression of how swanky the area is. Drinks will, in most cases, cost you a fortune. Stay in the Wetherspoon's!!. The bars and pubs are all very nice, though, and you can at least pretend you are living the high life (if you are like me a poor student!). Similarly, Islington's restaurants are classy, but very pricey. Clublife is limited, but The Elbow Rooms in Chapel Market, a bar/pool/club type effort, is worth a visit, it's extremely chilled inside. In terms of shops, Islington has the usual bunch - Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer, Boots. Chapel Market concentrates on more independent stores, along with a daily market, which helps to add to the buzzing atmosphere on a nice day. Further indication of the wealth of the area is the huge antiques market, which appears to be very selective in its opening, and large number of antiques shops on the far side of Upper Street, a must-visit for antique collectors visting London, but an inessential element to the area for most others. Islington's quite easily reached from Central London, being in zone1. The most central tube station is Angel (Northern Line changing at Kings Cross-St.Pancras), or for the northernmost part of Islington, Highbury & Islington (Victoria line). Highbury being of course the famous home of Arsenal FC, so avoid that one on a Saturday if you're not a football fan. Generally speaking then there's few complaints about Islington. As with north London as a whole, being out alone at night is ill-advised, but in the daytime, and before closing time at the pubs (Islington has a distinct lac
k of clubs) it's a vibrant, if pricey, place.
Calls have been made to move The Angel Islington up the Monopoly board, I say no, because every time I buy it I feel as though I have got a real bargain. Islington spans a huge area of London from Archway to Kings Cross, touching parts of Camden and Hackney also. Although, the area's that most people see, if they are not residents, are The Angel and Highbury. I live at The Angel and I marvel at how it is constantly changing, becoming the restaurant capital of London, and attracting lawyers, doctors and actors into it's overpriced housing. Islington has been a fashionable area of London for some years now, and house prices reflect this. The average price of a house in Islington is £350 000, although Tony Blair's house sold for a massive £750 000. Most of the houses are Georgian is their architecture, but if you look you'll see factory's being made into luxury flats popping up all over. As I see it things started to change in Islington with the opening of the Royal Bank of Scotland head offices. This brought a sudden influx of hungry lunchtime traffic and the shops gladly accommodated this. A couple of years later a rich business man saw the potential of The Angel and bought The Blue Hall, a dilapidated entertainment building, and turned it into The B usiness Design Centre. Suddenly Islington had conference traffic, and Stakis built a hotel next to the Design Centre. London Underground saw the extra commuters travelling into The Angel, and renovated The Angel Tube station. The station was decorated with they style of the new Jubilee Line, and has the longest escalator in Europe. London Underground probably saved lives in doing this, as they took away the horrific single platform popular with suicides. New restaurants and shops opened to cope with the ever-increasing traffic and now Islington is a busy, bohemian area, populated by people from many different backgrounds and cultures.
Although there seems to be a slump in house prices London wide, and Islington is not immune from this, the building in Islington continues. Due to open this year is a huge shopping complex, which locals fear will take trade away from Chapel Market. The complex is planned not only to have shops, and even more restaurants, but a five-screen cinema too. Somebody commented to me the other day how we know that Islington is a major player within London now. The Hilton bought The Stakis and The Angel is now one of the few boroughs to have it's very own Hilton. They are probably right, Islington is set to grow and grow, and with funding and belief the sky's the limit.