With its village vibes and character-filled industrial buildings, this historic pocket of London sandwiched between the City and the West End has been a magnet for the young and upwardly mobile as well as the established and design savvy for the last few decades.
And those that aren’t aware of Clerkenwell’s charms soon will be with Farringdon set to become one of the best connected stations in the Capital, connecting Tube, Thameslink and Crossrail services to provide links with outer London, the City, Canary Wharf and three airports from December.
Once home to London’s clockmakers and bookbinders, the regeneration of its pre-Victorian warehouses has attracted a new wave of architects, designers and media agencies to form what is reportedly one of the greatest concentrations of creative businesses in the world.
But there remains a strong sense of community within these winding streets and alleyways outside office hours as Clerkenwellians venture out to enjoy the spoils of trendy restaurants, art galleries and independent boutiques. At the end of the day, it is the locals that have really EC-won.
What properties are on offer?
A mix of warehouse conversions, Victorian and Georgian houses interspersed with a smattering of postwar council blocks and an increasing number of new builds gives buyers plenty of choice, but most will come with a hefty price tag.
One-bedroom apartments will set you back between £500,000 and £600,000, while two-beds start at around £780,000 and can reach as high as £1.3million.
Tom Willing from estate agent Currell says Georgian homes around the Lloyd Baker Estate west of Amwell Street are particularly popular with families at the top end of the market and fetch upwards of £3m.
Meanwhile developments like Brewhouse Yard in St John Street appeal to professionals for their proximity to Old Street’s Tech City.
“The eastern part of Clerkenwell used to be a little bit less desirable, but there are lots of new developments pushing people further east towards City Road and doing quite well because of their proximity to Shoreditch,” he says.
Dream Home: The Clockhouse, a one-of-a-kind 4,600 sq ft four-bedroom house converted from the mid-19th century former Brewery Yard Offices is currently on the market with Currell for a mere £4m.
Creative types might flock to Clerkenwell’s warehouse studios, but according to Tom the residential population is primarily City workers keen for a place within walking distance of the office. Smaller one-bed apartments in new builds are often snapped up as pieds-à-terres for workers based out of town.
Buy-to-let investors have backed off on the back of stamp duty changes, but Tom says the area will see renewed interest from a new market once Crossrail opens at the end of the year.
“Farringdon station will have direct links to Heathrow and Canary Wharf so I think we’ll see a lot more buyers who work in Canary Wharf and want a quick 20-minute commute.”
We have waxed lyrical about what Crossrail will do for Farringdon’s standing amongst mainline stations come December, but for now the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines and Thameslink have locals pretty well sorted. Angel and Kings Cross stations are also within walking distance, and buses service Clerkenwell Road and Rosebery Avenue.
Exmouth Market is a perennial favourite for dining in EC1, whatever you’re in the mood for. Breakfast on smashed avocado and excellent coffee at Antipodean all-day restaurant Caravan, tuck into tacos at Mexican eatery Cielo Blanco at lunch, then linger over Spanish and North African tapas and rioja by the bottle at Moro in the evenings. On weekdays, there is also a cracking street food market.
Arts & Leisure
Sadler’s Wells Theatre is one of the Capital’s premier performance venues for dance, while the Old Red Lion presents regular fringe acts in a small theatre above the pub. The Barbican Centre and Museum of London are also close by, increasing the cultural offering.
The playground at Spa Fields Park is popular with families, while local workers seek refuge from the office in the church gardens of St James and St Andrews. Towards Shoreditch, Bunhill Fields Burial Ground is also packed during the summer months.
Clerkenwell Parochial C of E Primary School, Hugh Myddleton Primary School, Moreland Primary School, St Peter & Paul Catholic Primary School and Christopher Hatton School. The City of London School for Girls is also nearby in the Barbican Estate.