Welcome to the last Clerkenwell & Islington Guides newsletter of 2023, with a selection of walks to tempt you out during the final month of the year, starting with:


A weekday winter’s morning canal walk, strolling east from the Angel and ending near Hoxton. A mix of canal history, horse stables, trendy apartments, cafes, tranquil basins and wildlife at a time of year when the towpath is usually relatively quiet.

This walks takes place on the Wednesday December the 6th and can be booked at this link.


A stroll through more than 100 years of Islington cinema-going; all between Angel and Essex Road stations. We’ll encounter Victorian showmen, architectural wonders and tales of bad behaviour in the stalls. Come to discover hidden gems and hear what a night ‘at the flicks’ was like decades before multiplexes.

In addition to such landmarks as the Screen on the Green, you’ll see some buildings that were once cinemas as well as a few intriguing places where all trace of their cinematic past has vanished.

The walk takes place on Saturday the 9th of December and can be booked here.


Angel and the heart of Islington at Christmastime.

Angel, Islington. The festive spirit is in the very name of this part of London!

Discover the history of the area – for centuries famed for its pastures, dairies, fresh water wells and pleasure gardens – and some of its associations with Christmas.

Upper Street, Islington’s main road and liveliest thoroughfare, is particularly magical in the build up to Christmas. Delve into its colourful past and enjoy its equally vibrant present through its eclectic range of shops, restaurants, theatres, pubs and cafes.
After the walk, please join me for a drink in a nearby pub if you have the time (not included in the price of the walk ticket!).
The walk lasts approximately two hours. It will take place come rain or shine, so please be prepared for all weather conditions!

Start: Outside Angel tube station, Islington High Street, N1 8XX.
Finish: a short walk from Highbury & Islington tube station.

The walk takes place on Saturday December the 9th and can be booked at this link.


Since the middle-ages, when religious pageants were held on the banks of the River Fleet and entertainers performed at the annual Bartholomew’s Fair, Clerkenwell has been a part of London steeped in cultural history.

Theatre, literature, music, film, architecture, food, sculpture and visual art spanning the last 900 years are all covered as we wander the streets and alleys of this atmospheric neighbourhood.

In addition to following in the footsteps of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, along the way you’ll hear how William Morris, Agatha Christie, Vladimir Lenin, William Hogarth and Benjamin Franklin have all left their mark on Clerkenwell.

In London’s oldest parish church you’ll see a striking sculpture by one of Britain’s most controversial artists. Down hidden alleyways you’ll find out about one of London’s great 17th-century theatres, a pioneering architectural partnership and an unsung champion of classical music. You’ll also see why this historic area has been a location for some of Hollywood’s biggest movies. And you’ll get the chance to see close-up the site that gave Clerkenwell its name.

The tour lasts about 2 hours. It starts outside Barbican underground station (Hammersmith & City line) and ends at Farringdon station.

The walk takes place on Saturday the 9th of December and can be booked at this link.


Discover the history of Islington’s first parish church and enjoy a panoramic view across London from its 18th-century tower.

St Mary’s, Islington on Upper Street has played a central role in the history of Islington for a thousand years. During this time several different churches have stood on the site, leaving an eclectic range of architectural styles.

On this 90-minute guided tour you’ll learn about the 12th-century Norman church and its 15th-century medieval successor. In the 18th century it was completely rebuilt, lasting until 1940 when St Mary’s became the first London church to be destroyed in World War II. Only the tower and steeple survived the bomb; the main body of the church was rebuilt in 1956, a fascinating example of post-war reconstruction and design.

As well as providing a glimpse into the history of St Mary’s and how it has influenced Islington today, you’ll also have the opportunity to climb the 120 steps to the top of tower, giving you a bird’s-eye view over London.

This tour is now booking on dates in December, and tickets can be found at this link.


Discover how Islington developed from a rural settlement and centre for dairy farming into the diverse, bustling area it is today.

In 1086 the Domesday Book reported that Islington contained just 27 households. Today its quarter-of-a-million residents live in an area that boasts world-class cultural venues but also less green space than any other London borough.

The story of how Islington developed over the centuries provides many tales of social, cultural and political history. The walk takes in many of central Islington’s most fascinating sites – some well-known and others even locals may not be familiar with.

You’ll see a Tudor house that’s been in the same family since the 16th century, the first church bombed in World War II and some of the pioneering homes built in the early 20th century as Islington’s population boomed. You’ll also find out how the world-famous Union Chapel got its name and why you should never graffiti in a library book…

The tour lasts about 2 hours. It starts at Highbury & Islington station (we’ll meet at the round benches near the station) and ends in Islington Square off Upper Street, a 10-minute walk from the Angel.

The walk takes place on Friday January the 12th and can be booked here.

Our next newsletter will be on the first Sunday of January, 2024.