Area Guide

The Complete Farringdon Guide for Your London Trip

If there’s one question I receive more than any other, it’s about how to decide where to spend your time in London during a trip. London is a huge city compared to many North American cities, especially considering that you won’t be driving during your visit.

In an effort to help you make the most of your time in London, I’ve put together a series of guides about specific London areas and neighborhoods, including this Farringdon guide. These resources are meant to help you dive deep into a specific part of London that I love – and that I know well to ensure you have the best recommendations possible.

Farringdon Guide Hero

Farringdon, which means fern covered hill, isn’t exactly fern-covered anymore, but it is covered in lots of other things: great restaurants and pubs, cozy hotels, train and tube tracks, and the homes of many Londoners. If you’re looking for an area to stay in or explore that feels local, Farringdon is a great place to go.

Ready to learn everything you need to know about how to visit Farringdon? Let’s explore together!

Practical Tips for Visiting Farringdon

Let’s cover some basics quickly before diving deeper into the area. Farringdon is a place most people pass through, but it has to lot to offer if you decide to spend some time here.

📍 Location: Farringdon is northwest of The City of London (which itself is part of Greater London), right in the heart of Central London. It is bisected by the A201, a main north-south thoroughfare in this part of the city which follows the historic River Fleet and formed the western border of Roman London.

🏰 Landmarks: The main landmark in the Farringdon area – other than Farringdon station itself – is Smithfield Market (famous for provisions like meats, dairy, and oils), which dates back to the 10th century.

🏺 History: Farringdon is outside the historic Roman wall, but was one of the first areas developed after the Roman era. It rose to greater prominence in the 13th centur and later.

🚇 Public Transit: Farringdon has excellent transit connections thanks to its namesake station, which is connected to the Underground by the Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines, as well as the new Elizabeth line and Thameslink. There are also some buses that run on the main thoroughfares through the area, but the Tube is a more convenient choice.

✈️ Nearest Airport(s): Farringdon is far from the major London-area airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted), but is still convenient as it’s centrally located. If you’re coming into London via Heathrow, you can take the Elizabeth line direct from the airport, changing at Paddington.

Farringdon Guide Map

Farringdon Guide Map
Click to interact with the map.

Open this map to accompany the rest of my Farringdon guide – it features many of the activities, dining and drinking establishments, and the top hotels I recommend for the area.

Top 5 Things to Do in Tower Hill

For a small area in the grander scale of Greater London, Tower Hill sure packs a lot in. You can easily spend an entire day here – or several days of your trip! Tower Hill includes some of the city’s top sights, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the area and its importance to the city as a whole (it’s actually where London as a city began!).

1. Browse the Stalls at Smithfield Market 

Things to Do in Farringdon - Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market is one of the most famous institutions in the Farringdon area. Not just a wholesale meat market, it is housed in three historic listed buildings and has played an important part in British history. William Wallace (immortalized in the movie, Braveheart), for example, was dragged to his death from the Tower of London to Smithfield Market.

Sadly, you don’t have long to enjoy this famous market – Smithfield Market might be moving to Dagenham soon, bringing almost 800 years of history to a close! (source 1, source 2)

2. Visit Postman’s Park

Postman’s Park is a tranquil oasis in the heart of London. Despite being so central – it’s just behind St. Paul’s Cathedral – you can’t hear any traffic from within the park! Instead, you’re surrounded by the sounds of nature: the buzzing of bees and the trickling of water. Postman’s Park is not only beautiful, it’s also a meaningful place, with memorials for Good Samaritans who died saving others.

3. Admire St Bartholomew the Great

Photos courtesy of It’s No Game via Flickr

St. Bartholomew the Great is London’s oldest church. London is no stranger to historical places, but at 900 years old (in 2023), St. Bartholomew is not to be sniffed at! Although not as famous as Notre Dame in Paris, you may have seen this church even if you’ve not heard of it before. It was a filming site for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Spooks and many other shows!

4. Explore Barts Pathology Museum 

Photos courtesy of Andrea Vail via Flickr

Located in St. Bartholomew Hospital, Barts Pathology Museum has over 4000 medical specimens on display, with another 1800 either in storage or being used in teaching. No wonder it was named by CNN as one of the world’s ten weirdest medical museums! (The Hospital also has its own museum, which is different from Barts Pathology.)

5. Eat You Way through Leather Lane 

Photo courtesy of Mastermelt Group via Flickr

Leather Lane is a street in between Halton Gardens and Chancery Lane which houses a weekday market. A market has been held on-site since the 17th century, making Leather Lane Market one of London’s most established street markets and one of the most popular Farringdon attractions.

Unlike Borough Market and Smithfield Market, which are dedicated food markets, you can find anything from apparel to food at Leather Lane. It is not quite as posh as Borough or Exmouth Market – but also feels much less touristy! You’ll find a lot of office workers enjoying the variety of street food here. (It has everything from Korean to Middle Eastern; I recommend the falafel wraps!)

For more ideas, be sure to check my list of top things to do in Farringdon.

Where to Eat & Drink in Farringdon

If you’re hungry or thirsty before or after exploring Smithfield Market, admiring the churches or museums, or trying one of the other things I recommend in Farringdon, here are some tips for where to go!

If you’re starting the day in Farringdon, there are some excellent cafes and coffee shops in the area. Some of the best include Prufrock Coffee (an excellent independent coffee shop with locally-sourced breakfast options), Black Sheep Coffee (which was born out of a Kickstarter campaign), and cute little Beppe’s (conveniently across from the Premier Inn Farringdon).

For food, Farringdon is a hidden gem area – some of the city’s best restaurants are here, though most visitors would never know it! Michelin-star awarded St. John is hands-down your best option; it was beloved and visited many times by Anthony Bourdain during his visits to the city. Exmouth Market (at the north end of Farringdon) – and especially Pizza Pilgrims therein – is also delicious. For more far-flung flavors, Shawarma Bar is also popular and delicious. As already mentioned, Leather Lane is another good spot to find lots of food options.

Lastly, pubs are an important part of British culture and should definitely be on your list while exploring London. In the Farringdon area, The Holy Tavern is a small but magnificent example of British history and is just a minute’s stroll from Farringdon Station. The Fox and Anchor also feels like stepping back in time, whereas The Eagle Farringdon is a good example of the modern British gastropub.

As you can tell, there are lots of great options for eating and drinking every time of day when exploring Farringdon.

Where to Stay in Farringdon

If you’re sold on visiting Farringdon, you might also wonder about just staying there; this is what I did during my August 2023 trip, which was very convenient for exploring the entire rest of the city. There are some lovely hotels in the area, and it’s really a matter of what your budget allows and your travel style. Some of my personal favorites are:

  • The Clerk & Well Pub and Rooms was my local pub when I lived in London, and they’ve since opened rooms above the pub. They’re expensive but very luxurious for the price. (Book on Booking.com or Hotels.com)
  • The Rookery is housed in two adjoining 18th Century homes and allows you to steep yourself in the history of London every time you return to rest at the end of the day. (Book on Booking.com or Hotels.com)
  • The Coach is very small – just four rooms in total – but is quiet and quaint; there’s an adjoining gastropub with incredible food, making it worth a visit even if you’re not staying here. (Book on Booking.com)

Check out my full list of recommended hotels in Farringdon, if these sound good but aren’t quite right for your travel dates, budget, or style.

Other Resources about Visiting Farringdon

Want or need even more information about visiting the Farringdon area? Each of these articles dives into the area in even greater detail to help you have an incredible time.

Have any more questions after reading my Farringdon guide? Let me know in the comments below – I can add more info to this guide or write a whole new article to help you!

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Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.

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