Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

City & Clerkenwell

Two contiguous neighbourhoods, very different but with lots in common. The site of the original settlement of London, the City is arguably the biggest financial hub in the world being home to a multinational array of banks, insurance companies and financial institutions. As such, this is perhaps the most cosmopolitan and fast-changing district in what is by any standards a fast-changing and cosmopolitan city. Its architecture is high-rise, its streets mainly busy with suits, and there’s a weekday buzz to the area which is infectious. However, no one really lives here and its pubs and restaurants tend to close early and the place shuts down altogether at the weekend, which makes it a good time to explore what is still the capital’s most historic neighbourhood, with some of its most interesting churches, squares, nooks and corners, and as intriguing a set of street names as you’ll find anywhere.

Clerkenwell is by contrast a place of architects and media companies, having undergone a relatively recent transformation. The old warehouses are now loft apartments and there are also stunning Georgian and Victorian terraces with original lampposts and railings. There’s not a lot of green space but Smithfield Market, which for the moment is still London’s main wholesale meat market, means the restaurants in this area are outstanding, and the notion of the urban gastro-pub was arguably a Clerkenwell invention.

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City & Clerkenwell

Look sharp! London’s oldest districts are at the cutting-edge of business, fashion and food.
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