The lights may technically be out at London theaters, but the district has turned to the small screen, allowing you to stream musicals, plays, and cabarets from home. Stay entertained—and keep local performers in business—with recommendations from an actor and tour guide who knows the West End best.
The capital’s most densely populated district lies north of the City of London. Once an exclusive 16th-century suburb, Islington is now one of London’s most vibrant areas and home to a diverse community. From world cuisine to independent boutiques, historical architecture to lively nightlife, the cultural hub offers something for everyone.
Get a taste of London life as you explore the district’s diverse restaurants and cafés, or peruse the trendy retailers that line the High Street and Upper Street thoroughfares. Locally led tours allow you to personalize your itinerary to suit your interests, while culture vultures can take advantage of tours that include the area’s literary or musical landmarks, including the site where Pink Floyd recorded some of their most iconic work.
Things to Know Before You Go
Islington’s links to modern literature and classic British bands makes it a must for culture vultures.
History buffs will enjoy the district’s Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as its connection to modern politics.
Most of the area’s major attractions are wheelchair friendly; check specific arrangements ahead of time.
How to Get There
Islington is well-covered by London’s transport network. The Angel tube station serves its southerly border, while Highbury & Islington station marks the end of Upper Street. Several local buses also operate in the area.
When to Get There
Islington’s nightlife is particularly popular with capital dwellers, and its bars, clubs, theaters, and live music venues provide entertainment well into the early hours. Alternatively, early birds can seek out one of the area’s bottomless brunch venues for a typically London experience.
Islington and English Literature
Islington’s influence on English culture is clear in its literary links. George Orwell wrote part of 1984 while living in Islington, and Douglas Adams, author ofThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, often referenced his home town in his work. A fictional Islington street serves as the Order of the Phoenix headquarters inHarry Potter, and the area appears in many Charles Dickens novels, includingOliver Twist andNicholas Nickleby.
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