Locations

Clerkenwell Area Guide for Businesses

Clerkenwell, renowned for its historical reputation as a centre for political radicalism, and for being the ‘spiritual home’ of Italians in London, is now a vibrant and thriving hub for London’s creative industries.

Set in the heart of the Borough of Islington, Clerkenwell has undergone extensive renovation and gentrification over the last 30 years, boasting a fresh glittering reputation as a fashionable residential and business district.

With outstanding transport links and close proximity to central London and the West End, renting office space in Clerkenwell is an excellent choice for running a modern, successful company. The buzzing atmosphere of the area, combined with those all-important transport links and thriving business network, make Clerkenwell a desirable location to work. 

Clerkenwell Transport Links

Our Clerkenwell office space is situated just a short walk from Barbican, Farringdon and Old Street tube stations. We are also just a couple of minutes’ stroll from the junction of Goswell Road and Clerkenwell, from which regular buses run across the city.

Nearby Farringdon is a major rail interchange, where rail services further afield are regular and fast. Trains to Gatwick, Cambridge, Brighton and beyond are plentiful, making it ideal for commuters travelling in and out of Clerkenwell.

farringdon train station

Information for Businesses in Clerkenwell: Facts and Stats

No exaggeration: Clerkenwell is home to the most creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. It is, therefore, the most important place for designers and creatives to be.

As of 2019, there were 21,600 jobs in Clerkenwell for the total of 3,684 residents, meaning that the vast majority of workers in the area commute in. Clerkenwell accommodates for this daily influx well through its transport network, which scores 8/8 for quality.

The majority of working age residents in Clerkenwell are in the professional, scientific and technical activities industries, with top skills being noted as business, research and administration. This refers to those living in Clerkenwell, indicating that the huge bias towards design and creative industries in the area are principally staffed by those travelling into Clerkenwell for work.

Office space at 77 Bastwick Street

Office Space in Clerkenwell

Office space in Clerkenwell is considered prime London real estate, with prices tending to go for above the London average. The area’s elite status is certainly the major contributing factor here. That’s why it is hugely important, when seeking offices to rent in Clerkenwell, that you choose premises where your money goes far further.

Office space that is well-managed, with features such as showers and changing facilities, bike racks and air conditioning, but which do not come with an exorbitant price tag are like gold dust. Luckily, at Needspace? Clerkenwell, our 77 Bastwick Street offices come with all these features and more.

Networking in Clerkenwell

With such a thriving creative business community, Clerkenwell is – of course – home to some thriving networking groups. Becoming an active member of this business community is an important part of building your business and ensuring its success. So if you are basing your offices in Clerkenwell, adding the latest networking events to your calendar is a must:

Clerkenwell BMI

Peer: Farringdon and Clerkenwell

networking clerkenwell image of board game pieces

Also, the annual Clerkenwell Design Week is the perfect opportunity to get together with fellow creative and business professionals. Find out more on their website.

Where to Entertain Clients in Clerkenwell

Best Restaurants in Clerkenwell

Anglo

High end British cuisine to die for. Pared back interiors meet sumptuous meals that you’ll be fantasising about for weeks after. Highly rated and surprisingly reasonable in price, Anglo in Farringdon is an absolutely divine gastronomic experience.

Ask for Janice

Hipster-heaven interiors and a cracking cocktail menu, along with over 40 gins and pretty decent coffee, make Ask for Janice (named after a Beastie Boys track) one of the trendiest haunts in Clerkenwell.

The Coach

A well-known staple of the Clerkenwell/Islington set, The Coach is a traditional Victorian boozer that’s had a 21st century hipster makeover. Lots of passion in the food and laughter in the air make The Coach a relaxed, fun and flavourful place to share a meal or a few drinks after work.

Le Café du Marché

Just off Charterhouse Square in Smithfield, Le Café du Marché offers French provincial dishes accompanied with live jazz in the evenings. Very chic. 

Luca

An upscale Italian that calls itself ‘Britalian’, you can expect an interesting fusion of Italian dishes using British ingredients. Archetypically Clerkenwell, this is not your average trattoria.

Other Ideas for Client Entertainment in Clerkenwell

Exmouth Market

Throughout the week, you can find the bustling Exmouth Market in the heart of Clerkenwell. Food stalls compete with one another for the attention of your taste buds, and it’s safe to say that they’ll certainly be tingling once you get an eyeful of the mouthwatering treats to enjoy.

clerkenwell exmouth market

Little Italy

In the 19th century, Clerkenwell earned itself the nickname ‘Little Italy’, when an influx of 2,000 Italians set up home in the neighbourhood. To this day, the area around the south west corner of Clerkenwell is still home to lots of Italian-run shops and restaurants. There is even a Catholic procession, the Processione della Madonna del Carmine every year. Clerkenwell still has a community of Italian residents, who make up 5% of the area’s population.

little italy clerkenwell london

The Marx Memorial Library

If you’re looking for a way to entertain some left-leaning business contacts, what could be more left-wing than the Marx Memorial Library? A bit of an ‘out-there’ idea, no doubt, but for the politically-minded, this could be a really fascinating trip!

Marx Memorial Library - exterior

Fabric

The Mecca for clubbers, Fabric, is situated in Farringdon. World-famous DJs play regularly, and the club is open until 6am. If you’re in it for the long-haul, steel yourself – this could be a very bumpy ride!

fabric nightclub london

The Piano Works

The 400-capacity warehouse venue is an ideal place for a night out in Clerkenwell. Live piano and bands, accompanied by great food and drink served to your table, you could hardly ask for a more fun evening (which won’t keep you up till dawn!).

piano bar farringdon

Bounce

Ping-pong anyone? Yes, really. Just a short walk from our office space in Clerkenwell, you’ll find a great drinking den with the added bonus of the time-honoured art of, as PM Boris Johnson once called it, “wiff-waff”. Offering great cocktails, eclectic music, and fine dining as well as all that table tennis, Bounce is certain to raise a smile or two.

bounce farringdon

A Bit of Clerkenwell History

Well, we’ve touched on Clerkenwell’s ‘Little Italy’ persona, and a little on its long-standing rep for political activism. But its history goes back much further than that.

Clerkenwell took its name from the Clerks’ Well in Farringdon Lane. Lost for many years, this same well was rediscovered in the early 20th century, and is now visible to all, having been incorporated into a 1980s building called Well Court. 

While the London wall still stood, Clerkenwell was on the outside. Without the puritanical rule of the City fathers, the lawless Clerkenwell, with its poor and uneducated population, became a reputed den of iniquity, as it were. It was known for its brothels in the 15th century, which is hinted at in Shakespeare, even! 

By the 17th century, however, Clerkenwell had cleaned up its act and was now a fashionable little resort just far enough away from the centre of the city to offer the well-to-do a break. An abundance of natural chalybeate springs made Clerkenwell a spa spot for a time, with lovely little tea gardens and theatres to enjoy.

Come the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution, Clerkenwell underwent a drastic change from its 17th century iteration. Now it became home to breweries and distilleries, and to the printing industry. The Second World War saw drastic decline in the industries that had previously thrived in Clerkenwell and in the 1960s, a swathe of council housing estates went up. 

By the 1980s, however, gentrification came to Clerkenwell, and with it the resurrection of this area as a business and leisure hotspot. Now, it is one of the most trendy and creative areas of London, and long may it continue!

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