In the heart of London, nestled between the bustling streets of King’s Cross and the trendy vibes of Shoreditch, lies Angel. Angel is a gem of a district where old-world charm dances effortlessly with modern allure. What makes it special is how much residential area there is surrounding it: step just a street or two away from the High Street and you’ll be able to relax and feel a bit more like a local.
When considering things to do in Angel, you might be surprised at your options. From its historic theatres echoing with tales of yesteryears to chic boutiques offering the latest fashions, Angel is the perfect melange of London’s rich past and dynamic present. And let’s not forget its delightful array of cafes, pubs, and eateries.
So, whether you’re on the hunt for vintage finds or films, looking for a quiet place to relax near Central London, or craving a traditional British bite, Angel has a bit of the iconic and offbeat waiting just for you.
Editor’s Note: Angel was the first neighborhood in London I called home – and it’s a truly lovely spot to spend time during your London trip. While there might not be as many traditional attractions in Angel compared to more central areas, there’s still plenty to fill an afternoon or more. –Valerie
1. Walk along Regent’s Canal
One of the most underrated things to do in Angel, London, is to walk along Regent’s Canal and admire all the boats along the canal, which serve as permanent residences for some adventurous Londoners!
For the fit, you can stroll all the way from Angel to Narrow Street, a journey of 7.7km that takes an average of one-and-a-half hours to complete. The path is shared with cyclists and runners so do be careful as it’s not particularly wide. If you end up needing a toilet break or a bite to eat, there are restaurants along the way. (Remember not to feed the ducks and swans that you pass along the way.)
2. Relax on Islington Green
A small triangular open space situated in between two busy roads (Upper Street and Essex Road), Islington Green has trees that hark all the way back to 1808. It is home to a war memorial that was erected to honor those who died in the two world wars.
Funfairs are often held on the green and it’s also a great place to relax over lunch (which can be bought from one of the many eateries around Islington Green!)
3. Vintage Shop in Camden Passage
Photo courtesy of Garry Knight via Flickr
If you prefer small independent shops to huge commercial chains, Camden Passage is one of the best things to do in Angel, London.
A narrow pedestrianized 17th-century street lined with lovely boutiques, eateries, and even a fishmonger, there are also 15 shops selling a collection of antique and vintage items, ranging from clothing to porcelain and maps.
On market days, you’ll also find vintage stalls popping up on the cobblestones. It’s so well-known for its collectibles, that it’s regularly featured on TV shows such as “Cash in the Attic” and “Bargain Hunt.” Camden Passage runs parallel to the main road in Angel – Islington High Street –, so can feel like a secret you’ve discovered when you walk in.
4. Take in a Show at Screen on the Green
Photo courtesy of Screen on the Green via Instagram
Located a short walk from Angel tube station, Screen on the Green is an old-school cinema with comfortable couches that you can just sink into, as well as a full-size bar serving drinks. (There are two types of seats: the couch-like ones with footrests are the “premier” seats, not the standard ones.)
A branch of Everyman Cinema and one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in England, this is a single-screen venue that shows both independent and blockbuster films. The film selection changes regularly, and it’s possible to catch two different movies on the same day here.
In addition, the cinema also hosts live events and has a full-size stage in front of the screen. You can’t miss its lit-up arched signboard when walking down the street! (It’s just across from Islington Green.)
5. Attend a Performance at Sadler’s Wells
Photo courtesy of Sadler’s Wells Theatre via Instagram
For dance lovers, Sadler’s Wells Theatre is one of the most famous Angel attractions and one of the best places to catch an art performance. You can watch anything from modern dance to flamenco at this performing arts venue, which has a heavy emphasis on dance. The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and English National Opera all originated from Sadler’s Wells!
Located on Rosebery Avenue, it’s slightly away from the main Angel attractions, but only about a five-minute walk away from Angel Underground station.
6. Discover 12 Grimmauld Place
Photo courtesy of Shay Tressa DeSimone via Flickr
Fans of Harry Potter will recognise this address: it’s the Black family home which was left to Harry by his godfather (Sirius Black) and serves as the HQ of the Order of the Phoenix in the last three books.
In real life, 12 Grimmauld Place is actually 23-29 Claremont Square. The houses in this area were built between 1815 and 1828, with several being Grade II-listed buildings. (Note that only the exterior of 12 Grimmuald Place was filmed here, with the inside rooms filmed somewhere else.)
This is about a 6-minute walk from Angel Station, but it’s also only a 10-minute walk from King’s Cross Station – so fans can easily trek over after checking out the Harry Potter shop at the station.
7. Visit Culpeper Community Garden
Photo courtesy of Fin Fahey via Flickr
Culpepper Community Garden is a secret, beautiful oasis not far from Angel Tube station. This public park and registered charity is managed by locals and is home to an arbor walk, over 50 plots of colorful plants, and ponds. It’s a great place to get away from all the traffic in urbanized Angel and the perfect place to sip on a takeaway coffee or relax with a picnic lunch.
Every now and then, it also organizes a plant sale. Keep in mind that the garden only opens on weekdays, between 10am to 6pm. (Sometimes entry is only after 3pm in the summer.)
Do you have any other questions about the top things to do in Angel, or why to visit this London neighborhood? Let me know in the comments!