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Britain and Ireland : United Kingdom : England : London : Holborn-Clerkenwell
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Holborn-Clerkenwell is a district in central London.


Lincoln's Inn law chambers, Holborn

Holborn and Clerkenwell is in many ways a buffer zone between London's West End and the City of London financial district.

Holborn has long been associated with the legal professions, notably in the Lincoln's Inn area and was also a major centre of the old British newspaper industry before the advent of new publishing technology. Administratively, Holborn was once a London borough in its own right until 1965 - some older street signs which haven't been replaced still state the now defunct Borough of Holborn; today the district straddles the Borough of Camden and the City of Westminster.

Clerkenwell is full of architects and publishers, and as a result many new bars and restaurants have cropped up, and continues to be a target for more development. The bars vary from family orientated wine bars, to huge clubs and cool underground bars, and it compares well to its more artistic, trendier neighbour, Shoreditch (in the East End).

Get in[edit]

By tube[edit]

The district is serviced by the following tube stations:

  • Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines) is at the junction of High Holborn and Kingsway.
  • Chancery Lane (Central line) is the best station for accessing Lincoln's Inn and the other Inns of Court.
  • Farringdon (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines) is the best station for accessing most of Clerkenwell's nightlife.

By train[edit]

  • Farringdon station offers overland rail services to Brighton, Bedford, and direct connections to London Gatwick and London Luton airports.

See[edit][add listing]


  • Buildings of High Holborn, High Holborn, WC2 (tube: Holborn). See the rare range of Tudor half-timbered buildings while opposite is a magnificent marble courtyard building which stands on the site of the former Staple Inn. One of Charles Dickens's homes was on the site.  edit
  • Gray's Inn of Court, Gray's Inn Rd, WC1 (tube: Chancery Ln), +44 20 7458 7800 (fax: +44 20 7458 7801), [1]. One of the four Inns of Court in London who hold the exclusive right to call qualified legal professionals to the bar, i.e to become barristers at law. The grand buildings housing the inns are arranged around lovely green gardens. There are records of Gray's Inns operating from this location since the 14th century.  edit
Gateway to Lincoln's Inn
  • The Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3TL (tube: Holborn, Chancery Ln), +44 20 7405 1393 (), [2]. Like Gray's Inn, one the of the four societies of the bar. The wonderful old buildings here are arranged around the open spaces of Lincoln's Inn Fields and a walk around this area will give any visitor a real sense of the history and grand traditions of the legal profession in London.  edit
  • Myddelton Square Park, Myddelton Sq, EC1R (tube: Angel), +44 20 7278 6075. Nice shady park next to St Marks Church. Small children's playground.  edit
  • Royal Courts of Justice, Strand (tube: Holborn, Charing Cross), +44 845 4568770 (fax: +44 20 3334 4087), [3]. M-F 09:00-16:30 (though Aug-Sept it's only 10:00-14:30). The building holds the High Court and the Court of Appeal, two of the highest courts in the United Kingdom, though only civil cases are heard here. Trials are open to the public, but tourists would probably be more interested in seeing the impressive entrance hall, and admiring the stunning Victorian Gothic exterior. Free.  edit
  • St Clement Danes Church, Strand, London WC2R 1DH (tube: Temple), +44 20 7242 8282 or +44 20 7242 2380 (, fax: +44 20 7404 2129), [4]. An attractive church dating back to the 9th century situated on an island in the Strand. The current building was designed by Christopher Wren. Following bomb damage, the church was restored and since 1958 has been the RAF's church. It has frequent services open to the public.  edit
  • Temple Church, Inner Temple, Fleet St, EC4Y 7HL (tube: Temple), +44 20 7353 3470 (, fax: +44 20 7353 1736), [5]. Has a history dating back to the 12th century with connections to the order of Templars. The chancel of the church was build by Henry III. The church still serves the members of Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn and has frequent service open to the public.  edit


  • Hunterian Museum, 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PE (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7405 3474 (, fax: +44 20 7869 6564), [6]. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. Inside the Royal College of Surgeons. Exhibitions on the history of surgery, including medicine, natural history and art. The museum was established by John Hunter (1728-1793), the founder of scientific surgery. Free.  edit
  • Sir John Soane's Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3BP (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7440 4263, [8]. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00. The former home of architect Sir John Soane, the building has been converted into a museum, displaying some of the objects he collected during his lifetime, including the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, and paintings by artists including William Hogarth. There is a display of some of Soane's architectural plans on the upper floor. Be sure to wait in the picture room until the guides open the walls up to reveal further paintings behind. The museum is a little-known tourist attraction, but well worth a visit. Admission free (but you're encouraged to leave a donation).  edit
  • Somerset House, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA (tube: Charing Cross), +44 20 7845 4600, [9]. 10:00-18:00. Somerset House is home to three art galleries: The exceptional Courtauld Institute displays a collection of 19th and 20th century art, including well-known works by Degas, Matisse and Kandinsky; The Gilbert Collection presents a collection of decorative art; and The Hermitage Rooms, the most recent addition to Somerset House, hosts temporary exhibitions of works on loan from the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. The central courtyard is filled with fountains in the Summer, but in the Winter, an ice rink is installed, it is very popular, so visitors should book in advance, or expect to wait a long time to skate. £5 (admission fee to each of the three galleries).  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Sq, WC1R 4RL (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7242 8032 (, fax: +44 20 7242 8036), [10]. Theatre and concert hall. Home of the National Secular Society and the South Place Ethical Society: often hosts lively debates on religion, politics and secularism.  edit
  • Gresham College, [11]. Attend a free public lectures, in Barnard's Inn Hall, renowned historic Inn of Court featured in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations  edit Likewise, the London School of Economics, hosts a prestigious public lectures programme, which is nearly always free to attend, but may require a ticket in advance for a lecture by a Head of State or Nobel Prize winner.[12]
  • The Lilian Baylis Theatre, Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN (tube: Angel), +44 20 7863 8000. Attached to Sadler's Wells Theatre, primarily performances by students.  edit
  • Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, WC2A 2HT (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7492 1593, [13]. Booking M-F 08:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-17:00.  edit
  • Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN (tube: Angel), +44 20 7863 8000, [14]. Leading dance production theatre with an amazing history back to the 1690s. Everthing from classical ballet to hip hop. For ballet fans, you have often got a much better chance of securing a ticket here than in the Covent Garden venues.  edit
  • Somerset House Ice Rink, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA (tube: Charing Cross), +44 20 7845 4600, [15]. In the courtyard of Somerset House, this has become a Londoner's favorite, although how it will compete with the newcomers remains to be seen. It is preferable to visit at night, when the Christmas tree is lit up.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • A-Z Atlas Company Shop, 44 Gray's Inn Rd WC1 (tube: Chancery Ln. In the lower half of the road, opposite the Inns), +44 20 72429246, [16]. Retail showroom of the company that produce the world famous London A-Z Atlases.  edit
  • Exmouth Market, Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QA (tube: Farringdon, Angel), [17]. Area with lifestyle, fashion, health, book and interior shops.  edit
  • Hatton Garden, Hatton Garden EC1N (tube: Chancery Ln), [18]. The London jewellery trade centre and especially famous for diamonds. A lot of dealers and designers to chose from, both contemporary and traditional.  edit
  • Leather Lane Market, Leather Ln EC1N (tube: Chancery Ln), [19]. Not much leather sold here these days but worth a visit for some great cheap finds. Clothing, electrical goods, toiletries and food. Combines well with a visit Hatton Garden which is in the next street east.  edit
  • Magma Books, 117-119 Clerkenwell Rd, +44 20 7242 9503, [20]. M-Sa 10:00-19:00. A fine bookshop specialising in the graphic arts, as well as toys, for not-quite-grown-up boys. A good place to pick up foreign design titles, or simply waste an hour browsing through lots of pretty books. A valuable stop for graphic junkies.  edit
  • Smithfield Market, 225 Central Markets, EC1A 9LH (tube: Farringdon), +44 20 7248 3151, [21]. M-F 03:00-noon. Smithfield Market is London's largest wholesale meat market and hence a great source of fresh meat from Britain and around the world. Additionally, there are many good restaurants in the vicinity.  edit
  • The Old Curiousity Shop is the original shop immortalised in the Charle's Dickens novel by the same name. Nestled amongst the campus of LSE, it is worth a visit just the old Tudor design itself. As the name suggests, it sells some oddities and knick-knacks, but mostly shoes these days.

Eat[edit][add listing]


  • Blue Lion, 133 Gray's Inn Rd, WC1X 8TZ (tube: Chancery Ln or Russell Sq, opposite the ITN building). Offers good food in an easy pub atmosphere.  edit
  • Wright's Bar at Houghton St, Clare Market. Excellent value little cafe with friendly Italian family serving, tasty sandwiches and coffee. Get's crowded with LSE students come lunch. While this can't be beaten for value in the area, a Hare Khrisna cart shows up on the edge of Houghtson St regularly on weekdays between 1-2pm offering free vegan food, if you don't mind the sogginess and queue. (Alt. there is a Hare Khrisna temple at Soho Sq if you like proper vegan curry).
  • Cantina Augusto, 91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5BX (near the turning into Leather Ln), +44 20 7242 3246 (fax: +44 20 7831 3962), [22]. M-W noon-22:00, Th F noon-22:30. An attractive Italian restaurant. Pizzas and pastas from around £8.  edit
  • The Three Tuns & Quad - LSE Student Union bars, which sell tasty lunchtime meals. £4-6. Also, King's College Strand Campus at Somerset House, the otherside of Aldywch has a few student priced places selling snacks, full-meals and drinks.
  • Exmouth Market, Exmouth Market, EC1 (tube: Farringdon, Angel). weekday lunchtime. A wide variety of street food stalls, including Ghanaian, Thai, Mexican, Turkish, Jewish, Vegetarian, Spanish and Bengali cuisine. More stalls open Th-F, but there's something open every weekday. Most dishes around £5.  edit
  • L'Osteria 57, 57 Gray's Inn Rd, WC1X 8PP (tube: Chancery Lane), +44 20 7430 1990, [23]. Italian bistro with large range of pasta dishes and a carne menu. Inside and casual sidewalk seating. Mains £6-14.  edit
  • Necco, 52-54 Exmouth Market, +44 20 7713 8575, [24]. M-Sa noon-21:30. Japanese cafe bar with home-made sushi and a range of bento-box combinations. Friendly staff. Lunch around £5.  edit
  • My Old Dutch pancake house, along High Holborn offers a £5 for any pancakes, but only on Monday. Otherwise, standard prices between £4 and £10. Nice selection of Dutch and European beers.


  • The Green, 29 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU (tube: Farringdon), +44 20 7490 8010 (), [25]. Easygoing gastro-pub with good quality, reasonably priced lunch menu, and tapas in the evening. £10-15 mains.  edit
  • Lingotto Restaurant, 45 Red Lion St, WC1R 4PF (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7405 6830 (, fax: +44 20 7405 1142), [26]. M-F noon–14:30, 18:00–22:30, Sa 18:00–22:30. Italian restaurant. Mains £15.50-21.50.  edit
  • Little Bay Farringdon, 171 Farringdon Rd, EC1R 3AL (tube: Farringdon), +44 20 278 1234 (), [27]. M-Sa noon–midnight, Su noon–23:00. European restaurant. Three-course meal £11.00-16.00.  edit
  • Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE (tube: Angel, Farringdon), +44 20 7833 8336 (), [28]. M-Sa 12:30-22:20 (14:30-19:00 tapas only). Offering North African/Spanish cuisine and serving the best tapas in the city. While there are endless options for meat eaters, there are also some tasty delights for vegetarians. Mains £18.50.  edit
  • Sakun Thai, 71 Red Lion St, WC1R 4NA (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7831 8488, [29]. Modern Thai restaurant. Set menus from £19.50.  edit
  • Thai Square - Southside of the Aldywch, offers decent Thai fayre. Likewise, Sitar next door is a good Indian resturant and Pizza Express does pretty good Italian stuff.


  • Holborn House Restaurant, 266 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7242 4350 (), [30]. M-F noon-22:00. Modern European. Three course-menu approximately £35.  edit
  • Pearl Restaurant, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN (tube: Holborn), +44 20 7829 7000 (), [31]. M-F noon-14:30, 18:00-22:00, Sa 18:00-22:00. Modern international. Two course-menu £47.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Pubs and bars[edit]

  • Holborn House, 266-267 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE, +44 20 7242 4350 (), [32]. Monday to Friday Noon - 02:00. Holborn House (HH) is intended to be a home from home, providing comfort, fraternity and a familiar place to relax and unwind.  edit
  • Ye Old White Horse, 2 St. Clements Ln, +44 20 7242 5618, [33]. M-Sa 11:00-23:00. Great little Victorian pub adjacent to the LSE campus. "The Horse" is one of the last remaining little boozers of it's kind; a true throwback. Warm, welcoming, well-preserved interior, well-kept real ales, and a low-priced selection of sandwiches and pub meals make this place worth a visit while passing through Holborn.  edit George IV is a LSE owned-pub, part of the same small block. You could also try the Three Tuns complex, part of the LSE Student Union, on Houghton St, which hosts cheap, student club nights on the weekend (Crush on F 21:00-03:00 and After-Skool Club, Sa 22:00-03:30).
  • Jerusalem Tavern of Clerkenwell, is a converted Georgian coffee shop, which sells the Norfolk beer, St. Peters. Well worth a visit but after 17:00 on weekdays, it gets flooded with City workers.
  • Bar Kick, 43 Exmouth Market, +44 20 7837 8077, [34]. noon-23:00 daily (Su 22:30). Hidden down a backstreet away from the busier parts of Clerkenwell, lies a cosy little bar crammed with several table football machines, and a good selection of cocktails. In the summer people spread out onto the pedestrianised street and chat in the sun. Happy hour 16:00-19:00 daily.  edit
  • Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Rd, [35]. Live music in the cellar every Friday. Venue is like a very small dungeon, but they know what is good music.  edit
  • Fluid, 40 Charterhouse St, +44 20 7253 3444, [36]. Tu W 19:00-midnight, Th-Sa 21:00-02:00. A stylish loosely Japanese themed bar upstairs (they serve sushi), with a more spread out dance floor down a spiral metal staircase. Plenty of sofas everywhere, although on the weekends you will have to get down early to slump in a chair. Bottled beers £2.90+, cocktails £6+. Free entry, except F Sa 21:00-22:00 £3, after £5.  edit
  • Hat On Wall Bar, 20 Hatton Wall, +44 20 7242 9939. W-F late. A secret little bar hidden in a block of studios/media offices. You ring a buzzer to enter (it is directly opposite Clerkenwell House) and wander upstairs to the small bar. There are good DJs and it has a private party feel, they also have upside down buckets as lamp shades. A worthy find. Free entry.  edit
  • Horseshoe, 24 Clerkenwell Close, +44 20 7253 6068. Irish pub where they play live Irish music every Thursday at 20:00 (check it on the net!). But, be there in due time, else you risk house full!  edit
  • The Knights Templar, Chancery Ln. Part of the JD Wetherspoon chain, former bank, has nice high-vaulted ceilings. Other Wetherspoons are The Pendral's Oak on High Holborn and around the corner on Kingsway, The Shakespeare's Head. Cheap-moderate.  edit
  • Water Rats Pub, Gray's Inn Rd (Upper part near King's Cross). Has regular live bands.  edit
  • Citty of Yorke and Princess Louise are both quaint charming pubs on High Holborn, that serve a good range of ales and lagers.
  • The Sqaure Pig, can be pricey and crowded too, but that's because its used for large language-exchange and online meet-ups.


  • Holborn House, 266-267 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE, +44 20 7242 4350 (), [37]. Saturday 22:00 - 03:00. Holborn House mainly operates for members or by reservation.  edit
  • Fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, +44 20 7336 8898, [38]. Th-Sa times vary (check listings). A massive club (think cathedral scale) that provides a more underground version of Ministry of Sound and hosts some of the biggest names in dance music, from Goldie to David Holmes to the Scratch Perverts. There are always big queues, so get down early if you can. Entry £12-18, discount for NUS.  edit
  • SOSHO, 2 Tabernacle St, +44 20 7920 0701, [39]. Tu noon-midnight, W Th noon-01:00, F noon-03:00, Sa 19:00-04:00, Su 21:00-06:00. Sosho is a former photographic studio and warehouse space converted into a two floor restaurant, bar, lounge and club with a 24 hour licence, midway between the city and central Shoreditch. Sosho is light and airy during the day time, candle lit and loungey in the evening. Serve carefully sourced and proper food, with world class cocktails and great music on one of East London's best sound system. With a 24 hour licence it is a late night drinking and DJ bar during the week and a cutting edge clubbing venue at the weekend.  edit
  • Tabernacle, 55-61 Tabernacle St, +44 20 7253 5555, [40]. M-Th noon-midnight, F noon-01:00, Sa 18:00-01:00, Su 11:30-22:30. Nice, stylish lounge bar for the urban 20- to 30-something. Good atmoshpere. Good selection of drinks. For a nice, smoothing choice ask for Apple and Cranberry sling. There is dancing in the basement. Make sure to get there before doors close at midnight.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are not too many hotel options in this district and visiotrs are better off looking in neighbouring Bloomsbury.


  • London School of Economics (during vacations), [41]. Single from £32, twin from £50, triple from £64.  edit
  • Swinton Hotel, 18-24 Swinton St WC1X 9NX (tube: Kings Cross), 44 20 7837 1451 (), [42]. Good value bed and breakfast in the north west of the district. From £55.  edit


  • MiNC Eagle Court, Eagle Court 10-11 Britton St, EC1M 5QD (tube: Farringdon), +44 20 7397 1325 (), [43]. Studio, one and two bedroom service apartments. Very modern and nicely appointed. From £99.  edit
  • Hotel Strand Contiental is excellently-located on southside of the Aldywch, straddling Westminster and the City. While it could be noisy at night and it appears small and grimy from the outside, there is a superb Indian resturant on the 2nd floor.
  • Novotel London Blackfriars, 46 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NZ (tube: Blackfriars), (+44)2076600834, [44]. The Novotel London Blackfriars is a stylish and contemporary hotel with 182 rooms. The 4 star London hotel offers free Wi-Fi, and innovate features such as self check-in and check-out, and an ipad dining table.  edit


  • Malmaison London, 18-21 Charterhouse Sq, EC1M 6AH (tube: Barbican), +44 20 7012 3700 (), [45]. Doubles from around £200.  edit
  • Renaissance Chancery Court London, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN, +44 20 7829 9888, [46]. Try this Marriot hotel for a very upscale experience. It is in an older building that has been beautifully renovated(formerly HQ of Pearl Assurance). There is high-speed internet, but the charge is £15 per day. The hotel is air-conditioned. The staff is very helpful. A great experience, if you can pay the rates. Doubles from £204.  edit
  • The Rookery, Peter's Lane, Cowcross St, EC1M 6DS (tube: Farringdon), +44 20 7336 0931 (), [47]. An atmosphere and decor that more recalls a private gentleman's club than a hotel. From £149.  edit


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