Clerkenwell is a central London neighbourhood filled with history and vibes. That means it's a place loved equally by culture vultures and all-night partiers. A medieval town that is living its best life in the 21st century, if you will.
From bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants to cobbled alleys and old converted warehouses, Clerkenwell really does have a bit of everything. And with neighbouring postcodes that include Islington & Angel, Farringdon and The City, those living in Clerkenwell are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do and see.
If Clerkenwell sounds tempting and you're thinking of making a move here, you've come to the right place. In this London guide, you'll learn everything there is to know about this trendy neighbourhood, from rental prices to the best spots around.
On a map
Clerkenwell is a central London district that falls under the London Borough of Islington. It shares postcodes with EC1 and WC1 and is less than two miles from Charing Cross.
There's a ton of history in Clerkenwell, and it's Islington's oldest residential and business district. The name Clerkenwell is derived from the Clerks' Well, which was a 12th-century water source that adjoined a religious order called Mary's Nunnery.
Clerkenwell was the favoured place to build monasteries, thanks to its supply of fresh air, vast green spaces and open fields, and proximity to The City. The Dissolution of the Monasteries took place between 1536 and 1541, but St. John's Gate is one of the few tangible remains from Clerkenwell's monastic past.
By the 17th century, Clerkenwell had become a fashionable residential area and was the home to Oliver Cromwell. The Industrial Revolution changed the neighbourhood once more, with breweries and distilleries setting up shop. Many of these are now converted warehouses.
Who lives there?
Clerkenwell has a population of around 2,000 and a median age of 29. It's a popular spot with City professionals who prefer the low-key settings compared to the big skyscrapers found in The City.
Renting in Clerkenwell
Period houses are the order of the day in Clerkenwell, with charming Georgian and Victorian homes making up the crux of the property scene. However, there is a growing number of new builds for those who like their living quarters ultra-modern.
Expect to pay around £1,800 for a one-bedroom apartment in Clerkenwell and £2,200 for a two-bedroom home. Three-bed-and-up options go on the market from about £3,000 per month, rising to £5,000-plus for larger houses.
Farringdon is the primary transport hub for Clerkenwell with its train and tube station. The underground is on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, while the train station is set to feature the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) when it finally opens (currently scheduled for 2022). Clerkenwell is located in travel Zone 1.
Dine in the marble and wood settings at Club Gascon; a Michelin starred French restaurant. Sample a range of imaginative plates that are inspired by the mouth-watering cuisine of southwest France.
Restaurant Dans Le Noir
Eat in the dark at Restaurant Dans Le Noir, where blind waiters serve your food. Enhance your taste buds as you try a range of foods that include fish, meat, vegetarian and menu surprises, all while being completely in the dark.
An ex-smokehouse where Fergus Henderson pioneered the resurgent interest in offal dishes, St. John has been going strong for more than 20 years. Another Michelin starred gem; there's a casual feel here where you can kick back and enjoy great native produce.
Things to do in Clerkenwell
Charles Dickens Museum
Discover everything there is to know about Charles Dickens, the legendary writer, through his personal belongings, paintings and his timeless writing. Embrace history at the Charles Dickens Museum.
Browse Exmouth Market and sample the great street food on offer. It's a mixture of food market that offer quick bites and permanent restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes.
One of London's most well-known nightclubs, Fabric is a place where you can party until the sun comes up. It has three huge spaces and hosts a range of DJs who play everything from dubstep to house and techno.
Moving to Clerkenwell
Clerkenwell's residential feel creates a sense of community, and you can dine in local, quiet restaurants one minute and party to the max the next. Its uniqueness is what makes the area so sought after, and living here offers you the chance to embrace a central-London lifestyle with a twist.