In Medieval times, Islington was a village on the fringes of the city which was used as an overnight stop for cattle on their way to Smithfield Meat Market. The residential development of Islington began in the late 18th century with the building of the High Street and the squares and terraces of Barnsbury. The area slumped as the rest of London developed and the better off residents moved to more desirable areas or out of town completely.
Over the last thirty years, the area has seen a turnaround in fortune and reputation. Many City and West End workers have moved into the area and it is now thought of as a tasteful, upmarket part of London. Islington Council are trying to further improve the area by spending millions on refurbishing some of the estates.
The transformation of Islington has been rapid in recent years and the attractions of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues gives the area a boulevard feel, especially at night, as people stroll down the street to take in the atmosphere. This bar culture also attracts students so there can be quite a buzz in the evening (through to the early hours at the weekend). The borough is favoured by film makers of urban based dramas due to its diversity of neighbourhoods and the quality of its buildings.
Highbury is located just north of Islington and south of Finsbury Park. It has a pleasant high street and there is a good selection of pubs and restaurants in the area. Property prices are a big draw to the area. Another is Highbury Fields which has 29 acres of open space and facilities include tennis courts and a swimming pool. The area was well-known for being home to Arsenal Football Club which has since relocated and the old stadium, turned into a development of residential apartments.
|From Islington to...||By Car||By Train/Tube|
|Heathrow Airport||20 miles, 50 mins||60 mins (1 change)|
|Gatwick Airport||31 miles, 75 mins||50 mins (1 change)|
Types of Housing and Pricing
Islington has pockets of desirable and expensive living areas, though you can turn the corner from these and find yourself in a less attractive part of town. The streets tend to be lined with tall Georgian and early Victorian flat fronted terraces and cottages, some of which have now been converted in to apartments. There are also some very pretty Victorian garden squares where you will find famous residents have previously lived.
Barnsbury has the same type of housing as Islingotn. It is split in two by Caledonian Road which heads out of London to the north. The area to the East of the road is very desirable whilst the area to the West is not so and prices can vary greatly to reflect this.
Highbury is slightly cheaper still and has a mixture of Victorian terraces, many of which have been converted into flats, and mansion blocks. There are many residents controlled parking zones in the area and the parking permits are the most expensive in London.
|To Purchase||To Rent|
|Studio||£300,000 - £600,000||£200 - £600 per week|
|1 bed||£350,000 - £775,000||£300 - £700 per week|
|2 bed||£450,000 - £1,000,000+||£350 - £1000 per week|
|3-4 bed||£550,000 - £1,500,000+||£500 - £1500 per week|
|5+ bed||£1,500,000+||£1400+ per week|
Education in the UK is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. Many state-funded schools offer a nursery class from age 4 and independent nursery from as young as 6 months. There is also a choice of both state and independent schools that offer higher education to age 18.
The Local Authority (LA) for the area is Islington and it is responsible for state-funded schools, including their admissions.
Islington has a wide range of schools to choose from and the standards are continuously improving. Currently all nursery and primary pupils are provided with universal free school meals.
To view a map showing schools in the local area, please click the button below. Each school on the map can be clicked to show further information, including OFSTED ratings, exam results, age ranges and number of pupils.Schools Map
- Ranked in Top 10%
- Requires Improvement
- Primary and Secondary
- Independent School
We can help you to get round the nuances of the British schooling system with our school search services. We offer a range of programmes, from basic consultancy with one of our education specialists, to detailed reporting on every suitable school for your child or children, through to fully accompanied school inspections where we take you to see your top school choices.More Info
Local Authority, Taxation and Crime Rates
Islington Borough Council is the administrative authority responsible for the local area. They levy an annual charge known as ‘Council Tax’ for local services such as waste collection, street lighting, police and fire services. You should expect to pay Council Tax whether you are renting or buying.
The police authority for the area is Metropolitan. For non-emergency calls to the police, phone 101.
Your local Member of Parliament (MP) is elected by their local constituents to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.
A good source of information for crime rates in the area is ‘Illustreets’. The website has a great interactive map which provides detailed local statistics, including standards of living.
The main shopping area is Upper Street which runs from the Angel tube station in the south to Highbury and Islington station in the north. There are many individual gift shops, boutiques, booksellers and restaurants along Upper Street. This area is especially good for small, unusual shops, particularly furniture and interior design. There is also an indoor antique market located Camden Passage just off Upper Street. There is a shopping mall with an entrance on Upper Street called the Angel Central which has a small selection of high street chains. The London Farmers market sells meat, flowers, fruit and vegetables in Essex Road every Sunday, sold by the farmers who have grown it.
If you are looking for a night out on the town then you should once again head towards Angel Central and Upper Street. Whilst the area is busy during the day, at night the bars and restaurants are alive with groups of people, especially the younger generation.
There are five main supermarkets chains in the UK: Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose. However, they now face competition from other brands such as Aldi, Lidl, The Co-Op and Marks & Spencer. Most offer on-line shopping facilities as well as Ocado, which is the only completely online grocery retailer in the UK, that offers Waitrose quality produce.
Waitrose and Marks and Spencer offer higher quality produce with prices reflecting this. Sainsbury’s and Tesco offer good value for money for a weekly family shop and Asda, Morrisons and The Co-Op are competitively priced with a larger range of budget everyday items. Aldi and Lidl are German brands that stock produce typical to the UK. They are often referred to as discount stores and offer fewer products.
As part of our Home Search Programme, we will orientate you around your target areas and show you where the nearest shopping centres and supermarkets are.Home Search Programmes
Aquaterra - a charity which manages seven leisure centres for Islington Council. Archway Leisure Centre, Cally Pool and Highbury Pool all have swimming, sauna and gym facilities. Ironmonger Row Baths has these facilities as well as a spa.
Finsbury Leisure Centre - offers squash, badminton, football and exercise classes.
The Islington Tennis Centre - tennis and coaching as well as a gym, exercise studios and a sauna.
Sobell Leisure Centre - offers a wide variety of activities including ice skating and trampolining.
The Screen on the Green - at 83 Upper Street and is an independent single screen cinema showing arthouse and mainstream films.
Vue Islington - a multiplex cinema showing the latest film releases, the venue also has many restaurants and bars.
The Holloway Odeon - is multiplex cinema showing the latest releases, including RealD 3D films.
Islington Museum - next to the Town Hall and houses contemporary art exhibitions and displays on the history of Islington.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art - opened in London in 1988 and is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian building in Canonbury Square.
The London Canal Museum - housed in a former ice warehouse, built in the mid-19th century for an ice cream maker. It shows the history of the ice cream trade as well as the canals.
The Sadlers Wells Theatre - a world famous dance venue featuring tango to hip hop, ballet to flamenco and Bollywood to contemporary dance.
The Almeida Theatre - a small room with an international reputation, the Almeida began life as a literary and scientific society – complete with library, lecture theatre and laboratory. A diverse range of drama is produced here, with some of the successful plays being transferred to the West End Theatres.