Clerkenwell is the London neighbourhood whose borders melt into the equally mysterious province of Finsbury and the more known Farringdon, and is home to a plethora of fine restaurants, boutique hotels, interior design shops and hip bars. It’s attractive and lively and also packed with history to walk around and get lost in. On the edges there’s Sadler’s Wells theatre for all things dance and culture, City University packed with media students, and Exmouth Market for all things foodie, deli and drinks. But it’s down St John’s street that Clerkenwell comes into its own bordered by Farringdon Road to the west and Smithfield meat market to the south, following Clerkenwell Road east towards Old Street. It was once an area of proper tradesmen – jewellery makers, clock and watch makers, furniture makers and indeed the heart of the printing trade before it was killed off by the rise of the Internet. Most of the former warehouses and workshops have been converted into luxury flats but there remain some of old trades continued in spaces run by the Clerkenwell Green Association, which provides affordable studios for small crafts businesses. Clerkenwell Green itself is a pretty focal point while other highlights of the hood revolve around nightlife and food – the famous Fabric nightclub on Charterhouse Street and the legendary St John restaurant on St John Street attracting hundreds of punters daily, to name just two.
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