Things To Do & See In Clerkenwell

Alice Burns

Clerkenwell is mainly known for its abundance of wonderful places to eat and drink, but there is also a variety of interesting things to do and see in this central neighbourhood. What makes this part of the city such a noteworthy place to visit is the wealth of history that its cobbled streets hold.

Photo courtesy of Siobhan Doran Photography

Book a History Lesson

A fascinating place for historians is the Museum of the Order of St John. Dating back to the sixteenth century, St. John’s Gate once formed the entrance to the Priory of Clerkenwell, which dates back even further, to the eleventh century. This was the headquarters of the ancient Order of St. John, where knights would set off to Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, and Malta. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 5PM, but a tour is recommended (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) for an informative and educational visit.
For more of a literary experience, The Charles Dickens Museum is just down the road. Visit the author’s beautiful townhouse on Doughty Street for an insight into his life and the inspiration behind his famous works.

Browse for knick-knacks at Clerkenwell’s independent shops

If it’s good shopping that you look for in an area, the small-village feel of Clerkenwell adds charm to its array of delightful independent shops. Design specialist Magma, on Clerkenwell Road, shouldn’t be missed; it has a diverse collection of magazines, DVDs, toys, pinhole cameras, and a series of limited-edition posters. Exmouth Market is a must for gift shops; head to In With The Old for some lovely stocking fillers this Christmas.

Eat all day at the markets

London is hardly short on food markets as it is, but Clerkenwell has three of the best in the city. Famous Smithfield Market, a Grade II listed building, was designed by a Victorian architect in the nineteenth century. It is not only the design of this market that is fascinating, though; Smithfield is now the city’s main wholesale market, known mainly for its daily cuts of exquisite, quality meat.
For a quick market lunch, don’t miss Leather Lane, historically a bric-a-brac market, but now the epicenter of street food in central London, with stalls serving cuisine from Mexico, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Greece, among other nations. Exmouth Market is a calmer option during the midweek lunchtime rush; Culture Trip advises trying Hummus Bros for a delicious Levantine lunch.

Be an Italian in London – Discover Little Italy

Once home to hundreds of Italian families that migrated to London in the 1870s, Clerkenwell still has the Italian charm that was brought to it all of those years ago. The city’s oldest Italian delicatessen is situated on Clerkenwell Road, next to the beautiful St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. Terroni is the perfect place to pick up cured meats, cheese, and pasta or just grab a coffee in a unique, continental setting.

Dance all night at Fabric

It is no secret that tourists flock to Farringdon station on the weekend, making their way to London’s most famous nightclub. Fabric hosts world famous DJs and is open until 6AM, giving its guests the opportunity to literally dance all night.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.