One of London’s most exclusive ‘villages’ and long the domain of the city’s champagne socialists, Islington is an expensive and buzzing area of north London that is liberally scattered with independent boutiques and antique emporiums—most famously in Camden Passage—as well as smart cafés and pubs. These days it’s probably best known for its staggering number of restaurants featuring every sort of world cuisine—in fact, one of the borough’s main thoroughfares is Upper Street, famous for having more restaurants that any other road in London. It’s also revered for its stock expensive Georgian and Victorian townhouses lining leafy garden squares, which change hands regularly for extortionate sums of money. One such Georgian mansion on Canonbury Square hosts the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, where star pieces include sculptures by Marino Marini and paintings by the bad boy of Italian art, Amedeo Modigliani.
Islington is very much on the circuit for fans of nightlife too; it has several theaters, including Sadler’s Wells and The Almeida, and is close to the funky market and grungy pubs of Camden, where visitors can explore the favourite haunts of tragic singer Amy Winehouse. The Regent’s Canal winds its way through the borough, along which it’s a pleasurable walk to London Zoo and the London Canal Museum, located in a former 19th-century ice house on the bankside.
Islington, North London. Islington is served by several underground stations, including Angel (Northern Line), Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington; the latter two are both on the Victoria Line and also operate as main-line train stations. Around 20 bus routes also pass through the borough.