Blink, and you’ll miss Barnsbury, which is a small North London neighbourhood nestled between Islington and King’s Cross. It’s a quiet suburb with a real residential flair that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of its surrounding areas.
Yet, you’re still close enough to the action, with the delights of Upper Street just a hop and a skip away. Then there’s King’s Cross, which has undergone significant regeneration and has trains abroad in just a couple of hours. So when you think about it, you can sort of claim that Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam are your neighbours.
So what’s it really like living in Barnsbury? In this London guide, we’re spending some time in the area to discover everything from its homes to the things to do and see. So read on and learn everything you need to know about the N1 postcode.
Barnsbury on a map
Barnsbury is an area of North London and falls under the London Borough of Islington. It features N1 and N7 postcodes and is located nearby Islington, King’s Cross and Camden. Charing Cross is just over three miles away.
Barnsbury’s name is a syncopated form of Bernersbury, which is a name derived from the Berners family. They were powerful medieval manorial lords who gained ownership over the majority of Islington after the Norman Conquest.
Up until the early 19th century, Barnsbury was a rural area. However, by the end of the 18th century, it started to transform into an attractive suburb with wealthy people who wanted to move out of the City of London.
Who lives there?
Barnsbury has remained an appealing place to live to this day. It’s particularly popular with families who want to lay down roots, though the number of single professionals moving in has increased over the years.
Renting in Barnsbury
Much like Islington, Barnsbury has a strong collection of period homes in the form of Georgian terraced houses. Many of these have been converted into apartments; however, some still remain as large family homes.
Expect to pay around £1,700 per month for a one-bedroom home in Barnsbury, with a two-bedroom apartment achieving in the region of £2,200 per month. A three-bedroom property fetches around £2,875.
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury is the closest transport hub in the area. It’s situated on the Overground line and has services to Stratford, Hackney and Dalston in East London and Camden and Highbury & Islington in North London. Barnsbury is located in travel Zone 2.
Little Georgia Islington
Head to Little Georgia Islington for a rustic-style restaurant with wood tables and vintage artefacts. It’s one of the best spots in London for authentic and classic Georgian dishes with favourites like Lamb Chackapuli, Baje and Chkmeruli all on the menu.
Get yourself down to Merkato and soak up the buzzing vibes at this cafe bar serving delicious Ethiopian cuisine. There are vegetarian options, too, plus regular live music that you can enjoy while chowing down on your tasty meal.
The Drapers Arms
One of the finest gastropubs in the Islington area, The Drapers Arms features a green-hued look with high ceilings, chandeliers, checkerboard floor and an upstairs dining room for upmarket meals. Down in the pub, you can enjoy all things pub grub.
Things to do and see in Barnsbury
There’s no escaping the transformation of King’s Cross, which has gone from an industrial wasteland to a hub of offices, shops, restaurants and a place of culture. Dine-in one of the many restaurants, or head to St Pancras train station, which has stylish shops that rival most high streets.
London’s smallest nature reserve, Barnsbury Wood is just 0.35 hectares in size but offers an escape from the noise of the city. It’s also a site of Borough Importance for Nature Conversion and is Grade-I listed.
The Pleasance Theatre
Watch a show at The Pleasance Theatre, which is a fringe venue with two theatres. There are a variety of programmes on the bill at the theatre, including performing arts and comedy gigs.
Moving to Barnsbury
Barnsbury is the type of place you’ll move to and never want to leave with its pretty period buildings, quaint restaurants and excellent connectivity. You’re never far from the action in Barnsbury, but sometimes it can feel like you’re a million miles away. It’s the perfect blend of the best of both worlds.