Tucked between the affluent areas of Islington, Highbury and Highgate, the densly populated area of Holloway has long been seen as a rather scruffy neighbour in North London. With the A1 running through the area as Holloway Road and the infamous Holloway Women’s Prison situated here, it gained a reputation for bad traffic and poor crime rates over the years.
But change is afoot in N7, with a massive amount of redevelopment and regeneration launched by the arrival of the new Arsenal football club in Ashburton Grove in 2006. New residential developments are being built, cool cafes and restaurants are arriving, and the area is finally starting to get noticed by young professionals who might previously have chosen to live in pricier pockets of North London.
Holloway is also popular with students, due to the North London campus of London Metropolitan University which is located here in a striking modern building. Families also settle here in the quiet leafy streets away from the A1, where pretty Victorian terraces can be found for much less than you’d expect to find in Zone 2.
Despite all this regeneration and gentrification, Holloway stills retain a certain retro charm, with old-fashioned markets, vintage shops, traditional cafes and even a Grade II listed Odeon cinema. The Piccadilly Line and Northern Line connections make it ideal for commuting into the City and Central London, and while there’s a lack of green space in the direct area, the open spaces of Highgate Cemetery and Finsbury Park are just a short journey away.
On a map
Holloway is located in the borough of Islington in North London. It sits to the east of Tufnell Park and south of Crouch End, and covers the postcode N7.
History of Holloway London
Holloway has existed in some form since the 1300s, when what is now the A1 was the Great North Road leading out of London. It was largely a rural area until as late as the 1800s, when development began in North London transforming Holloway into a transport hub with the junction at Nag’s Head, as well as a key commercial area with lots of shops. It was badly damaged during the Second World War, but later rebuilt.
The famous Holloway Prison was built in 1852, and was known for housing celebrated suffragettes such as Christabel Pankhurst and Mary Richardson during the early 1900s, aristocrat and facist Diana Mitford during the Second World War, and Oscar Wilde during the 1890s, when the prison was still used for both men and women.
Transport from Holloway London
Holloway has excellent transport links with Holloway Road Underground Station and Caledonian Road Underground Station on the Piccadilly Line and Archway Underground Station on the Northern Line. A trip to Piccadilly Circus takes only 12 minutes, while a trip to Bank takes 18 minutes.
The area is also served by Overground trains at Upper Holloway Station, for journeys further into North London and towards West and South London. There are also many bus routes travelling through Holloway.
Cost of living in Holloway London
Most of the available properties in Holloway are Victorian terraced houses, which have either been kept whole or divided into apartments. There are increasing numbers of new developments in the area, providing modern flats popular with young professionals, and some ex-local authority properties are also occasionally on the market.
Rental prices in the area are similar to those in Tufnell Park, and cheaper on average than Highgate and Highbury. As of April 2016, the average rental price for a two bedroom property in Holloway is £1900 per month, although similar properties can be found starting at £1300 per month.
Restaurants in Holloway London
Following an English Heritage restoration, this classic boozer has been transformed into a glorious gastropub complete with chandeliers, leather sofas and a gourmet menu including Cornish rock oysters, gazpacho soup and wild sea trout. The classy bar snacks (think pigs cheek, artichokes and breaded halloumi) are also worth a try if you’re just looking for some nibbles to have with a drink.
Address: 91 Junction Rd, London N19 5QU
Phone:020 7272 1587
Run by former Jamie Oliver chef Mario Magli, this tiny Italian restaurant more than makes up for its compact size with a bold, bright menu packed with delicious dishes. For a real variety of flavours try the Tagliere 500 to start, an array of their best appetisers including creamy mozzarella and cured meats, and make sure to save room for the famous tiramisu dessert too.
Address: 782 Holloway Rd, London N19 3JH
Phone:020 7272 3406
You’d be hard pressed to find a better coffee in Holloway than the serious cups on offer at The Spoke, a former pub transformed into a popular coffee, brunch and burger spot. Grab a spot by the large windows and spend a blissful Saturday afternoon with a breakfast burger, a double espresso and the weekend papers.
Address: 710 Holloway Rd, London N19 3NH
Phone:020 7263 4445
Shops in Holloway London
Procure a present for any occasion at this lovely independent gift shop, where you’ll find homewares, cards, wrapping paper, stationary and much more. They also sell Archway and Holloway branded items if you want to truly show your support for the neighbourhood!
Address: 93 Junction Road, Upper Holloway, London N19 5QX
Step into a bacchanalian dream at this wine merchant on Junction Road, which sells an impressive range of bottles from popular regions, talented small producers, and even countries such as Morocco and Georgia. Want to expand your grape knowledge? Sign up to one of their regular tasting events, which are arranged around different themes or grapes.
Address: 124 Junction Rd, London N19 5LB
Phone:020 3490 2147
Looking for something a little more retro than your usual fashion from the high street? Pop into Vivien of Holloway, which specialises in beautiful 1940s and 1950s style clothing made from vintage patterns. With everything from pin-up halter neck dresses to pleated pink petticoats, they’ve got something to flatter every figure.
Address: 294 Holloway Rd, London N7 6NJ
Phone:020 7609 8754
Things to do in Holloway London
A working city farm is the last thing most people expect to find in the heart of Holloway, but head to Freightliners on Sherinham Road and that’s exactly what you’ll see. Founded in 1973, this family-friendly farm is home to a wide variety of animals including rabbits, sheep and geese, as well as a cafe, a farm shop and active bee hives.
Address: Sheringham Rd, London N7 8PF
Phone:020 7609 0467
Dance the night away to house and techno at Egg London, one of the capital’s most popular warehouse-style clubs. With a regular schedule of world-famous DJs and a 24-hour licence its a true all-night party place, so make sure to wear something comfortable!
Address: 200 York Way, London N7 9AX
Phone:020 7871 7111
Support young creatives or even volunteer to get involved with the amateur dramatic scene yourself at the renowned Angel Shed Theatre on Camden Road. Creating high-quality drama workshops and productions for 5-16 year olds for more than a decade, they’ve become a key part of the community in Holloway.
Address: 444 Camden Rd, London N7 0SP
Phone:020 7700 8689