City Guides

LONDON AREA GUIDE: CLERKENWELL

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Characteristics:

Clerkenwell, mentioned in Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, has always been a hive of creativity and used to be a part of London’s industrial heartland. Now, the warehouses are home to design agencies, the factories have become exclusive bars and restaurants, and the slum housing has been turned into exclusive flats for trendy professional twenty-somethings. . Catering to this demographic, the property in Clerkenwell is mostly made up of modern, high end flats and apartments, many of which boast stunning views over London’s skyline. Despite this central location its proximity to Farringdon station means a quick weekend getaway is always an option making it a great place to stay. Furthermore the area is home to many of London’s oldest and best gastropubs most of which are supplied with top quality ingredients by Exmouth and Smithfield Markets.

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Price:

A studio in Clerkenwell can range from £1,150pcm to £2,800pcm and a room in a flatshare will set you back roughly £480pcm to £1,935pcm.

Things to do:

Clerkenwell is one of London’s more interesting historical quarters, and its streets are overflowing with historical and literary references. Sadlers Wells Theatre (Roseberry Avenue; Sadlerswells.com) is London’s leading venue for international dance and regularly attracts all of the big names from around the world. Exmouth Market is located in the heart of Clerkenwell, along a street lined with trendy cafes and restaurants. The Leather Lane Market is home to a diverse array of stalls, selling everything from handbags to freshly squeezed juices and last but not least there’s Smithfield Market. This is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK and for a true Smithfield experience you should visit early in the morning as the traders set up shop. In terms of parks, Clerkenwell might be an urban neighbourhood but there are green spaces to be found if you just know where to look. Spa Fields which is tucked behind Exmouth Market, is a busy park with an unusual adventure playground and there are several other small gardens in the area, such as Myddelton Square Gardens and St James.

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Restaurants, pubs, clubs:

Residents of Clerkenwell are most certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants. The area has a thriving international food scene and restaurants like Polpo, St John Bar and Restaurant and Sushi Tetsu are rightly classed as some of the best in the Capital. Furthermore the Exmouth Market is lined with excellent dining options, like Medcalf which serves fantastic meat-focused, food in a cool, buzzy space and The Ambassador which specialises in decent bistro-meets-classic-British fare in simple and slightly retro surroundings to mention just a few. When it comes to drinking the area is filled with both gastropubs and regular pubs. The Three Kings is a quirky little place in the shadow of the handsome St James Church. If that’s full, head across the road to The Crown. The Harlequin is a tiny old pub with sofas, an open fire, a small garden out back, and a generally very welcoming atmosphere. Over on Exmouth Market, the buzzing Café Kick is a European-style neighbourhood bar which serves nice mezze/tapas-style nibbles and gorgeous cocktails to a largely media crowd.

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Transportation:

Farringdon station is the closest Tube station to Clerkenwell, although Angel, King’s Cross, Chancery Lane and Barbican stations are all nearby. In addition to the tube, Clerkenwell’s central location means it has many bus routes running through it making it easy to get both from and to. From Farringdon station there’s also the railway taking you to destinations like Bedford, Brighton, Luton and Sutton.

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