Things to see and do in Islington

Food & drink, Gardens and green spaces, London's top walks, Markets, Shopping

Trendy, creative and decidedly posh, the north London borough of Islington is the go-to place at any time of day or night for shops, bars and restaurants.  On the main Upper Street and at nearby Exmouth Market, foodie treats include Ottolenghi’s dazzling salad displays and Dirty Burgers.  For shoppers, there’s the luxury of having all the main retail fashion names in one street, without the West End crowds.

Join the locals lingering over their Saturday morning brunch before rummaging through the vintage clothes and jewellery shops. Then make tracks for the Regent’s Canal, where cyclists and runners vie for space along the towpath.

Need any more reasons why we love Islington? These are just a few.

Join the Breakfast Club

Slip behind Upper Street into Camden Passage and make the Breakfast Club your first stop. Yes, there’s always a queue but it moves fast and is worth the wait. Not sure what to eat? Go for a Full Monty (the works) or a more modest Posh Sausage Sandwich.

Explore the boutiques and cafes in Camden Passage, Islington
Camden Passage, Islington

Vintage shopping in Islington

Stay in Camden Passage and spend time flicking through the rails of vintage clothes at Cloud Cuckoo Land and the second-hand treasure troves of jewellery, china and other knick-knacks. Elsewhere in the street, there are award-winning chocolates at Paul A. Young, Japanese art, antique watches and art deco glass.

Browse through antiques and vintage jewellery in Islington's Camden Passage
Antiques and vintage jewellery in Camden Passage

Green space in Islington

It’s not all about shops. Get behind the scenes to discover some of Islington’s loveliest garden squares such as Lonsdale Square, overlooked by tall brick town houses with steep gables, mullioned windows and black railings.

The Regent’s Canal

Just five minutes from Upper Street, the Regent’s Canal takes you into a whole new rapidly-changing world. Brightly-coloured barges still line this stretch of the canal, restaurants and cafés are popping up along the canal and community gardens are transforming forgotten corners of the city into much-loved green spaces. Walk for around 45 minutes from Islington and you eventually reach the Broadway Market. Nestled in the heart of Hackney, the market is a popular Saturday spot for foodies.

The Regent's Canal is a lovely place for a walk
Take a stroll along north London’s Regent’s Canal

Family favourites in Islington

Puppet shows at the Little Angel Theatre and tours of the Emirates Stadium are guaranteed to be winners with younger members of the family. Sadlers Wells Theatre is a great option for anything dance related, with performances by the English National Ballet, the fabulous BalletBoyz and Havana-based Acosta Danza.