Sophisticated, Characterful, Charming
Idyllic Islington is networked by cobbled alleys, pretty markets outside charming boutiques and winding canals. Enjoy a show in local theatres or sip on a bespoke cocktail in trendy bars. There are numerous exciting contemporary art galleries, lovely garden squares and more restaurants than days of the year here.
Here is a suggested itinerary to allow you to experience as much of the area in a few hours. After booking we can adapt the tour to suit your interests and preferences.
Enjoy great all-day breakfast along with vibrant and artsy crowds
Located off an adorable cobbled back alley, this ideal breakfast spot continuously has a queue and you can’t book in advance but trust us it is always worth the wait. Though breakfast food is the order of the day, this venue serves up its incredible, visionary breakfasts all day long and well into the night when there is a live DJ set and strobe lights. The restaurant also has lunch and dinner menus, but the stacks of pancakes topped with bacon and smothered in maple syrup are irresistible! The trendy restaurant has quirky décor and zany artifacts to admire. There is a pinball machine, a football table and a large bar that is famous for making the quaffable hard shakes to enjoy with your breakfast.
Join a local to discover the charming cobbled alleys and the picturesque canal
Wander down the sunny lanes of the Islington canal, past houseboats and boat-restaurants. Here you can pause to take in the tranquility of the scene and enjoy a coffee from a friendly cafe barge. The walkway is normally bustling on the weekends, with face-painters, buskers, joggers, families, cyclists and sightseers. There is plenty to see and lots of canal to explore. If you are so inclined you can walk all the way to the Thames!
A sophisticated gallery representing Italian modern art
Located in a fitting detached manor home of north London, this sophisticated gallery hosts the best collection of Modern Italian art in the UK. Known especially for its wide array of futurist works, by illustrious artists such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, amongst many others. Most of the figurative art dates from 1890 through the 1950s and is spread over the three stories of the large and spacious former estate. There is a back garden with a small café and bar where you can enjoy an afternoon aperitif under the shade of the several oak trees before you continue your viewing.
Explore Islington’s most exciting street with a Local
A famous cobbled alley, laden with idyllic boutiques and cafes. Stroll along and explore the trinkets of the market that stretches all along the lane or stop to enjoy a coffee and cake.
About this tour
Discover Islington like a Local Host, with its chic shops and boutiques and accessible community feeling. Islington is home to more independent restaurants than days of the year alongside of dozens of antique dealers, trendy furniture shops, cafes and bars, so that there is never a shortage of places to go. Exciting and up-and-coming gastropubs are regularly featured in London’s top newspapers and magazines. Islington’s vibrant nightlife attracts a younger, and often intellectual crowd who are drawn into the community to experience some of the most provocative and stimulating theatre productions, and contemporary art exhibits in the city.
- £150 per tour
- Max 6 people per tour
- 4,5 hours with one of our Local Hosts who is very familiar with the area
- Additional time with our Local Host if you have added any extra time
- Planning of a personalised itinerary
- Food & drinks
- Any transport other than walking (although this can be organised at additional cost)
- Tickets to venues if you have selected any (can be organised if required)
Who are the Local Hosts
Your Local Host will meet you at Angel tube station to lead you down a famous cobbled alley, laden with idyllic boutiques and cafes. Wander along the sunny lanes of the canal past houseboats. Here you can pause to take in the tranquility of the scene before heading to an exciting contemporary art gallery. Then leave Angel to walk up the prominent street that leads to Highbury and Islington--this is a restaurant goer's paradise as there are more independent restaurants than days of the year! Pass through an old churchyard and down a lane covered by a flowery canopy overhead, you will pass a neo-gothic chapel, distinct for being the best neighbourhood venue to see live music. In Highbury and Islington your Local Host will lead you past another gallery, in a manor house. Spread over three floors, with a summer garden cafe this is a delightful final stop on your Islington exploration.
Meet our Local Hosts that love & know Islington
I am a History student at Goldsmiths college and, having lived in London my whole life, I want people to fall in love with the city just as much as I have!Languages
Museum, Concerts, Historical, TalksLocations
Central, Brixton, Greenwich, Hampstead
I am an Architecture BA (Hons) graduate. Going to the gym, exercising and staying fit is one of my favourite hobbies; I enjoy working out similar to body building and trying to stay healthy. I also enjoy Mixed Martial Arts. Art is also a big interest of mine and in my spare time I produce my own to try and keep my artistic skills sharp.Languages
I am a West London based Musician and Stage Manager, who enjoys all the cultural and artistic events London has to offer.Languages
Art, Food, Music, DrinkingLocations
Central, Barbican, Belgravia and Knightsbridge, Brick Lane, Camden, Chelsea, Chiswick, City of London, Covent Garden, Dalston, Earl's Court, Fitzrovia, Fulham, Hammersmith, Hampstead, Highbury, Highgate, Hoxton and De Beauvoir, Islington, Kensington, Little Venice, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Pimlico, Putney, Richmond, Shepherd's Bush, Shoreditch, Soho, South Bank, South Kensington, St John's Wood and Primrose Hill, Victoria, West Kensington
An innovative, enthusiastic, fun, friendly, hardworking and passionate individual who actively seeks out new opportunities.Languages
My name is Holly and I'm a 24 year-old actress and musician. Music and theatre are my two main passions and my work takes me to the best dive bars, pub theatres, hidden gems of converted spaces, famous buildings and arenas all over the city. If you want to explore the trendiest neighbourhoods in London and discover the music and artistic scene of the city, from jazz, to rock and opera, I would love to show you around. I know Shoreditch and East London very well and I would be great company on an unscripted walk-around the area.Languages
Food, Culture, Music, Nightlife, Theatre, Gigs, Concerts, Music, Zoo, Festivals, Spirits & Wine, Musicals, Opera, Drinking, Pubs, Jazz, Rock, Football (Soccer), CaribbeanLocations
Central, Barbican, Brick Lane, Camden, City of London, Covent Garden, Dalston, Farringdon, Finsbury Park and Manor House, Greenwich, Hackney, Haggerston, Hampstead, Highbury, Holloway, Islington, Kensington, Kentish Town, Kilburn, King's Cross, London Bridge, Marylebone, Olympic Park, Shoreditch, Soho, South Bank, Spitalfields, Stoke Newington, Stratford, West End, West Kensington, Westminster
I consider myself to be a true lover of London. After finishing my degree in History, I moved to the City as I could no longer live in Babylon or Rome.Let me show you the best side of London!Languages
Art, Food, Culture, Shopping, Music, Outside Spaces, NightlifeLocations
Central, East, Borough, Dalston, Farringdon, Hackney, Haggerston, Shoreditch, South Bank
I am currently a university student in London who is balancing studies with London life. I love to explore and enjoy everything this city has to offer but still have much more to discover! I am a friendly and social person and enjoy spending my time with friends.Languages
Food, Culture, Live EventsLocations
Central, North, West
I am an experienced tour guide, artist and designer, with a passion for London. I was born and brought up here in London, which is the most vibrant mix of old and new. It has three thousand years of history, yet is always re-inventing itself. So it remains the most contemporary and cosmopolitan in the world, brim full of art, design, architecture, theatre and music. My interests are mostly based around, and my background is largely in; the Arts. Particularly fine art, pop art, graphic art, street art and architecture. I have a university BA Hons degree in Art and Visual Communication and I am also a designer and artist. There are many human stories to tell, behind London, behind it's history and behind it's art.Languages
Central, City of London, Covent Garden, Richmond, Soho, South Bank, West End, Westminster
I moved to London because of London's non-stop and vibrant music scene, and I love it here. I currently work at the Natural History Museum and I am a lover of history and culture. I also love trying out new places to eat and I know some great street food spots.Languages
English, Spanish, ItalianPassions
Art, Food, Culture, Shopping, Music, Wellness & Beauty, Outside Spaces, Nightlife, Sports, Restaurants, Independent Galleries, Cinema, Live Events, Museum, Gigs, Concerts, Historical, Canals, Rivers, Lakes, Talks, Clothing, Books/Stationery, Pop-up, Performances, Contemporary, Gym, Music, Markets, Food, Wellness Classes, Fitness, Beauty, Musicals, Sports, Street Tours, Drinking, Cafes, Bars, Pubs, Electronic, House, Blues, Rock, Folk, Techno, Reggae, Pop, Hip hop, Soul , Major Galleries / Museums, Walking ExplorationsLocations
Central, North, West, Brick Lane, Brixton, Camden, Canary Wharf, City of London, Covent Garden, Dalston, Greenwich, Highgate, Holborn, Holloway, Kensington, King's Cross, London Bridge, Notting Hill, Olympic Park, Shoreditch, Soho, South Bank, Spitalfields, St John's Wood and Primrose Hill, Victoria, West End, Westminster, Whitechapel
I'm a writer and former journalist who has lived in London for more than 30 years. I love meeting new people and showing them the most fun and exciting places that this city has to offer.Languages
Art, Food, Culture, NightlifeLocations
South West, Borough, South Bank, Westminster
I am a recent graduate from the University of Kent, having specialised in Law and English Literature. My interests include travelling (I travelled across eastern Europe), golf, history and Game of Thrones. Having lived in London my whole life, I have a thorough knowledge of the city!Languages
English, Hindi, PunjabiPassions
Art, Food, Culture, Nightlife, Live EventsLocations
Borough, Greenwich, London Bridge, Shoreditch
Great if you like restaurants!By Amanda F. on 17 Dec 2015
Islington is very cute and we definitely want to come back to this area in the summer because frankly it was a bit too cold for the canal walk but luckily there was a cosy pub where we stopped for some mulled wine. Lea was very nice and knew the area like the back of her hand, so she was able to lead us to places we would never have been able to find on our own. My partner and I would recommend the tour, the area and Lea as a Local Host.
Islington was quintessentially BritishBy Margot L. on 23 Dec 2015
My boyfriend and I fell in love with Islington, which this tour was perfect for because it's a bit farther out than I think we would have ventured if we were on our own--and it was so worth it. It was perfect for us because it was decorated for the holiday's and there were lots of cafes and cute shops where we got basically all of our Christmas gifts. There is really beautiful and handmade merchandise available, so we were able to get some lovely keepsakes for ourselves as well.
Angel is so much funBy Bex M. on 05 Jan 2016
My friends and I had a proper English cream tea booked here for our tour and it was perfect. We were in London for a hen do and Yunna told us about a karaoke bar that had a birthday party at, and so that's where we ended up at the end of the day! Thank you Yunna!