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Best Things to do in Farringdon: An Insider’s Area Guide

Best Things to do in Farringdon: An Insider’s Area Guide

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On the outer fringes of The City of London, Farringdon has a unique charm of its own. In Farringdon, the glass towers of The City proper give way to cool bars and restaurants, late night spots and more than a few historical gems.

Farringdon is still a part of London’s financial centre but is less brash and obnoxious.

We’ve worked in Farringdon for years and there’s a lot more to it than appears at first glance. It’s not a huge area (and the boundaries between Farringdon and its neighbouring areas of Clerkenwell, Blackfriars and Ludgate Hill are always up for debate) but it really does pack a punch. 

Just when we thought we’d seen everything, drank in every bar, eaten in every restaurant, we’d discover something or somewhere new. 

Ready to explore? Discover Farringdon with this insider’s guide.

Things to do in Farringdon

Delving into the spots you shouldn’t miss.

Postman’s Park & The Watts Memorial 

Watts Memorial Postman's Park

A small enclave of greenery surrounded by high rises, Postman’s Park would be a pleasant refuge even if it wasn’t one of London’s quirkier spots. In fact, if you’re not paying attention it doesn’t really look that special. 

Look again. 

Or, more specifically, head to the back and you’ll find The Watt’s Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice – a tragic memorial telling the tales of Londoners who died doing heroic deeds. 

The memorial details ghastly horrors through a series of ornate calligraphic plaques. 

Look familiar? It pops up at the beginning of the film Closer in a scene between Natalie Portman and Jude Law. 

St Bartholomew the Great

St Bartholomew the Great

St Bartholomew the Great is one of the most beautiful buildings in London, fact. Even better – it’s not one that many people know about. 

Although it was founded in 1123, much of the church you see today dates from the 15th and 16th centuries (although it underwent significant restoration in the 19th century too). 

The stately oriel windows and solid Romanesque pillars are beautiful – so much so that it has featured in a number of films including Four Weddings and A Funeral and Shakespeare in Love

Smithfield Market 

Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market (full name London Central Market) is the last wholesale market in central London, a nod to the times when markets formed the lifeblood of the city. 

The ornate structure dates back to 1868. Visiting its soaring arches and colourful decoration is a must when it comes to things to do in Farringdon, particularly in the early hours of the morning when the market is in full swing. 

It’s worth us mentioning that Smithfield has recently undergone some mega changes and is now part of the new Culture Mile, a huge destination for culture and creativity among the heart of London’s financial district.

The Charterhouse

The Charterhouse only opened to the public in 2017, which perhaps explains why not that many people know it’s there. 

The former Carthusian monastery turned boys school turned almshouse has opened its grounds to the public, along with a small museum that tells the building’s story and displays archaeological finds discovered during excavations for Crossrail nearby. 

Be sure to leave enough time to lounge in the gorgeous English country gardens after your visit too. 

Barts Pathology Museum 

The airy atrium of Barts Pathology Museum might look like an eccentric collection of oddities at first glance but look closer and you’ll understand why it’s been named as one of the most morbid museums in London. 

Pickled body parts, diseased cadavers and hollow skulls are just a few of the treats that await those lucky enough to visit on one of the museum’s relatively rare open days. 

Keep an eye on the schedule of events too, past talks have covered grimly interesting subjects like funerary cannibalism and the history of syphilis… because how else would you want to spend a Thursday evening? 

Golden Boy of Pye Corner 

Golden Boy of Pye Corner

Another of London’s unusual spots, you might never notice the golden cherub perched above eye level on a corner of Cock Lane if you aren’t looking for it. Yet there he is, The Golden Boy of Pye Corner short, squat, arms crossed and staring defiantly into the distance. 

The boy marks the spot where The Great Fire of London stopped – leaving a trail of destruction (though famously, very few deaths) in its wake. 

At first, no one actually knew how the fire started. It was only after they executed a few wrongful contenders that the City’s Elders found out it started at the bakers on Pudding Lane. So they chalked it up to the sin of gluttony and commemorated the fact with a fat little golden boy.

Old Bailey

Old Bailey

London’s uppermost criminal court has witnessed more than a few humdingers in its day. The 19 courtrooms inside have heard tales of crimes that would turn our hair white with fright just from listening. The Kray twins were tried here, as were other famous cases including Daniel Defoe, Oscar Wilde and Lord Haw Haw. 

The building sits on the site of the notorious Newgate Prison and execution site – rather fitting really.

Leather Lane 

No, it’s not in Farringdon proper but Leather Lane Market is one of the few traditional markets you can still find in the area. 

The leather is long gone, replaced by an eclectic mix of bog-standard market fare, a few artisanal gems and some cool street food stalls. It’s a refreshingly unpretentious market that reflects the area’s unique charms. 

Pasta Academy

We love pasta, we love cooking, so heading to the Pasta Academy in Farringdon to learn how to make the perfect hand-made pasta is an absolute treat.

Pasta Evangelists are exactly that, passionate about all things pasta, so much so, that they’re only too willing to share the love.

Led by expert Italian chefs, you can learn how to make pasta from scratch, with nothing more than flour, egg, and water. From linguine to spaghetti, ravioli to lasagne shells, this social event is fun, tasty, and, even better, comes with unlimited prosecco.

Bubbles and brilliant cookery skills? Sign us up!

Bounce Ping Pong


Not far from Farringdon Station, Bounce Ping Pong is the perfect spot to add a little competitive back-and-forth to your evening out, whether you’re with friends, work colleagues, or want to add a little wager to a promising date night.

With several table tennis tables you can book by the hour, or for longer if you’re feeling like a long distance wiff-waff marathon is in order, we love the cool vibe of this venue that also serves awesome drinks and food while watching sporting action on the live screens.

If you’re organising a bit of a party, they have an exclusive private room that you can use for pretty much any event you can imagine, including their hugely popular bottomless brunches.

Brunches, bats, balls, and beers – that’s a quality day out in our view!

St John’s Gate

St John’s Gate has had an incredibly rich history, much of which has been chronicled in a quiet, and much-overlooked museum.

The museum tells the story of the ancient religious military order of St John that began by caring for pilgrims in the 11th century in Jerusalem. This body went on to become the world-famous St John’s Ambulance.

In addition, St John’s Gate has a rich literary past, being the former workplace of Dr Samuel Johnson, famed by creating the English dictionary, and a former social hotspot for the likes of Charles Dickens.

Rarities amongst its exhibits include a bronze cannon given by Henry VIII, rare coins, and if you join one of their tours, you can explore a 12th-century crypt underneath the priory church.

Eating & Drinking in Farringdon

My favourite places to eat and drink around Farringdon.


Fabric is one of the last of the London greats, the mega-clubs that used to beat as the heart of London’s late night scene. 

We’ve had so many brilliant nights there, sound booming and ground vibrating as collective euphoria swept through the crowds before we stumbled bleary-eyed into the pale light of dawn the next day. 

Thankfully, Fabric managed to come through the pandemic and is as strong as ever, with its weekend line-up full of everything fans of banging dance tunes and epic electronic beats could wish for.

St John

When Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver opened St John in 1994 the area was a bit of a dive and no one had even heard of the phrase nose to tail eating.

How times have changed.

We hate to sound gushy but you cannot underestimate the role the two played in revolutionising London’s culinary scene… which perhaps explains why I fell to pieces and fangirled in the most embarrassing way when we happened to bump into Henderson one day on the way to a work do #awkward. 

Anyway, today, the restaurant is as good as ever – if you’ve never eaten there before, do. It really is that simple. 

Jerusalem Tavern

Jerusalem Tavern

Farringdon has a surprising number of ye olde pubs secreted amongst its streets and the Jerusalem Tavern is often named as the best of them… which is funny given the pub only opened in the 1990s. 

Fake history aside, this quaint watering hole from the Suffolk-based St Peter’s Brewery is one of the area’s nicest pubs if you’re lucky enough to be able to score a table in the minuscule interior.

If not, there’s plenty of standing room outside.

Cowcross Yards

Of course, no part of London in its right mind could be without a street food market and luckily, Farringdon ticks that box with Cowcross Yards, just a couple of minutes from Farringdon Station.

This cool London street food hangout has recently undergone a revamp and reopened in September 2023. The line-up changes every week, serving the city’s hungry tummies during lunchtimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Choose from the likes of quality wood-fired pizza from Good F’ing Pizza (they live up to their name, believe us.) to awesome falafel wraps, chicken wraps, and Maqluba from Bisan Bites. Alternatively, grab a Turkish twist on the Philly cheesesteak sandwich with Philly Philly or try out some mega Ethiopian tastes with Fikir Ethio Kitchen and their tangy Zihini stew.

The Piano Works

Okay, we love the Piano Works for its food, we adore it for its commitment to playing the music you want to hear on your night out while you eat.

They do a really good 2-course pre-theatre set meal, that includes a glass of something pink, bubbly, and boozy. However, if you’re not on a schedule, we suggest taking advantage of their awesome a-la-carte dining options.

We love their ham hock terrine starter and naked fish and chips (all of the taste, none of the guilt). While their choice of steaks is to absolutely die for, if you’re that way inclined.

Be sure to bring your favourite playlist of dinner-time tunes for the awesome in-house band to play.

Discover The Best Bars in Farringdon & Clerkenwell

Discover The Best Pubs in Farringdon & Clerkenwell

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What to do, where to drink and where to eat….

Map of Farringdon

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