Farringdon Area Guide
Centrally located, convenient transport links, and bustling markets – it simply doesn’t get more ‘in the thick of it’ than Farringdon.
As one of the more established sections of the city, Farringdon has a slightly more mature feel than Shoreditch, yet still maintaining the same rustic quality you’d expect from an area like Camden.
It’s old mixed with new, smart mixed with casual – and although the area itself is only limited to a handful of streets, it still stands out with its own sense of uniqueness.
Once part of an industrial area, Farringdon is now a trendy place to be, with old warehouses being transformed into offices hosting design agencies and magazines and factories becoming stylish bars and restaurants.
Anyway, Farringdon is definitely worth exploring if it’s an area you’re unfamiliar with at present. In which case, keep scrolling down to learn more…
Where is Farringdon?
Farringdon sits comfortably between Clerkenwell and the Barbican Estate, north of the Thames.
Locally, Farringdon is known especially for its train station of all things – which is one of the key central London stops on the Thameslink rail network running from Bedford down to Brighton.
The station also doubles-up as an underground station serving the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.
So, as you can probably gather – finding Farringdon is pretty straightforward.
In terms of getting around by foot, the area is bordered by Clerkenwell Road to the north and Holborn to the south, and lies down in the shadow of the city of London, with all the notable high-rise buildings you simply can’t miss.
Follow Farringdon Road down to the south, you’ll walk past St Paul’s and end up by the banks of the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge in a matter of minutes. Walk north for a while and you’ll find yourself round the back of Kings Cross St Pancras.
Things to do in Farringdon
A day spent in Farringdon is easy to fill with sightseeing, eating, drinking and a range of other activities to suit all wants and needs.
If culture is your thing – Farringdon is the place to be. With the Museum of London on your doorstep, you’d be foolish to not at least check it out. Especially since it’s completely free of charge to do so.
It’s a truly unique way to discover London’s vibrant and colourful history and a nice place to walk through at your own pace.
Then there’s the Barbican Centre. From classical theatre to dance shows, contemporary music, art and design – the Barbican really does have something for everyone.
In fact, the Barbican is widely recognised as the largest performing arts centre of its kind in the whole of Europe – so again, it’s definitely a must-see if you’re in the area.
St Paul’s Cathedral is also in close proximity by foot or via tube if you wish. Obviously you can take as many pictures as you like from outside the cathedral but if you want to get up close and personal and actually go inside, you can buy a ticket for your own guided tour.
This is the perfect opportunity to get a proper feel for one of the world’s most famous religious landmarks.
Shopping in Farringdon
As far as meat markets go, they simply don’t come much bigger and better than Smithfield Market.
In fact, Smithfield Market is probably the holy grail of food markets in London – the largest wholesale meat market in the UK.
Here you’ll find a hive of activity, from chirpy market traders to excitable hordes of tourists keen to absorb the carnival atmosphere that exists here on a daily basis.
Smithfield is the perfect blend of shopping and eating, and is definitely characterised by the people who bring it to life – its managers, its traders, the buyers and visitors.
There’s always a freebie taster on offer somewhere, so you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice by the sheer amount of different market stalls patiently waiting for you to pass by.
If you want an alternative to Smithfield, Exmouth Market is a semi-pedestrianised street filled with independent design shops, fashion and lifestyle boutiques, gift and book stores and a unique mix of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Besides the boisterous market areas – there’s plenty of high-street shops you can also check out while you’re in the area.
Holborn is your best bet. That’s the busy main road that runs from Farringdon down to St Paul’s.
Places to Eat in Farringdon
Farringdon restaurants are famed for the sheer amount of choice concentrated into a relatively small area.
Take the Hix Oyster & Chop House, for instance. British food – with a European twist.
Then there’s Lazybones. You want American-style comfort food, then this is the place. This classic diner is the perfect setting to enjoy spicy wings and popcorn with a gang of friends. The bottled beer collection isn’t bad either.
For more sophisticated fare, Comptoir Gascon on Charterhouse Street is ideal for a more low-key sit-down meal. They’re open for lunch and dinner separately – and even open as a delicatessen and wine shop four days per week.
If you’re after a real taste of Farringdon, then head towards the market. Smiths of Smithfield has great views of St Paul’s and boasts four floors of a classic grade II listed building. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a quick bite to eat if you’re passing through.
The Castle is also a great place to enjoy some quintessentially classic Farringdon pub grub.
As soon as you step foot outside Farringdon station, you’re greeted by a variety of local pubs, wine bars and craft beer houses.
It all depends on what sort of setting you usually enjoy, but you won’t have to walk far to find a busy (or quiet) place to socialise over a drink.
For a traditional real ale pub, look no further than Ye Olde Mitre. Perfectly positioned on the corner where Holborn meets Charterhouse Street – the pub is a regular watering hole for office workers through the week and tourists at the weekend.
For something a little quirkier – Bounce Farringdon is a ‘50’s-style cocktail bar where you can play as much ping pong as you desire. You can eat pizza, drink cocktails and challenge your friends at the table all under one roof at Bounce.
And, of course it wouldn’t be worth taking about Farringdon nightlife without mentioning Fabric. London’s most iconic nightclub has played host to some of the most famous faces in DJ’ing over the years – and people from all over the world come to Farringdon to sample the Fabric experience first-hand throughout the year.
Hotels in Farringdon
Farringdon’s central location makes it a popular place for tourists to come and stay – and there are more than enough hotels in the area to accommodate them all.
The list of options caters for both budget and luxury options, so there’s plenty of choice (provided you don’t leave it too late to make a room reservation before you arrive).
The Rookery townhouse is a stone’s throw from Farringdon station of you’re more interested in something convenient.
Failing that, The Bryson on Clerkenwell Road is also just around the corner. This four-star hotel has a variety of different suites on offer to suit different requirements – whether that’s a romantic getaway or a one night stay on business.
For something a little more quaint and low-key – The Fox and Anchor has reasonably priced rooms above the pub and restaurant area you could try. This is literally around the corner form Smithfield Market – so just bear in mind that it could get noisy early in the morning when the stalls start to open.
Living in Farringdon
The demand for living space in Farringdon is high for many reasons.
The main reason is arguably the area’s location within central London. It’s well connected by the train and underground station – but it’s also a well-respected neighbourhood with plenty going on for all residents to enjoy.
Farringdon has a mature and sophisticated quality that business professionals enjoy. But, it also has the unique stamp of a London borough – with bustling markets mixed with cultural showpieces like the Barbican and St Paul’s.
These qualities combined make it an exciting place to live. And, if anything epitomises living in Farringdon – it’s the Barbican estate.
The Barbican is grade II listed post-war complex that really stands out. This community is built out across a variety of flats and apartments looking out on the city of London.
With grasslands and waterside terraces, there’s a sense of peaceful tranquillity here that’s sometimes hard to find when you live in this central part of the city.
Beyond the Barbican, the streets are lined with old Georgian and Edwardian townhouses renovated with modern living spaces. Clerkenwell Road is a good location for those looking to pitch up in a convenient location that doesn’t have too much tourist footfall.
Working in Farringdon
Farringdon has a busy and energetic buzz that makes it an easy place to work.
Because the area is so active, you’ll naturally inhibit the work ethic that makes this community tick each and every day.
From the market traders and bar tenders to the bankers and young entrepreneurs that make up the working population here – it’s easy to settle in Farringdon.
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Feel free to get in touch today and we’ll help you find a serviced office in London that you can be proud of.