The report of The Evening Standard on 18.07.2012 gives a very good overview of suitability of various London areas for people of different ages. Our interest is the first column, which rates places for adults with no children, presumably students and young professionals. I myself live in the Borough of Islington for more than a year already, and although it is rated #5 in this list, I would consider it among top 3 (between Westminster and Camden) for a number of socio-economic reasons.
Location and population
First of all, although located in Central London, mainly zone 1, Islington still avoids most touristic crowds as it is mainly a residential rather than entertaining area. As a result, it is much safer and calmer than Westminster, for example. The number of youngsters living there is quite high though, 53% of its population is less than 34 years old. So don’t worry to be bored and missing social life there. It’s actually quite vibrant there.
Such stations as King’s Cross St. Pancras, Anglel, Old Street, Farringdon, Caledonian Road, Barbican constitute its wide transport system. Nothern, Picadilly, Victoria, and Metropolitan (to name just a few) are the lines that connect Islington-ers with other parts of London. At the same time four train stations allow reaching any part of the UK. The upcoming Crossrail will also go through Islington (Farringdon station). In 2018 there will an opportunity to reach Heathrow in less than half an hour, which is definitely worth consideration. It’s good for cyclists as well; basically the only cycling line I’ve so far seen in London was near Old street.
Rooms and flats are reasonably priced, which is a rare case for Central London. One can find a room for a flat share in the range of £600-£700 per month with all bills and utilities included. Studios for rent will start from £1000 p/m.
Recommended letting and estate agencies to search rooms/flats in this area:
Located couple of stations from Shoreditch – the most famous party scene in East London, Islington attracts more and more versed partygoers, who get tired of East London style. It manages to balance between traditional pub life, hipster culture and glamorous night clubs catering all types of partygoers. In particular Angel area hosts a lot of pubs, night clubs and small restaurants, which aren’t pricey and one can find a very warm welcome there.
My choice is the Slim Jim’s Liqueur Store, which is a mix of a whiskey bar and rock-n-roll club. They certainly have a great selection of both: whiskey and music. A bonus is an unusual interior – don’t forget to look at the ceiling when you are there, you will be surprised. And arrive there early, it gets extremely packy after 10 ;)