Old Street Roundabout is located at the heart of London’s technology startup scene, as the wider area is known as Silicon Roundabout.
Over the past few years there has been a major push to attract the best and brightest tech talent to the area, with the establishment of government-backed Tech City a perfect example of the progress being made.
But the location has more to offer than simply as a place for creative types to set up business, as there are plenty of things to see and do. Here’s a list of some of the best options:
Visit St Agnes Well
(St Agnes Well, London, EC1Y 1BE)
This shopping complex in the underpass at the centre of the roundabout is named after an old well that used to be located about 200 metres to the east. It houses a number of shops – including the Camden Locks Books store, Lennies Sandwich Bar and the London Florist shop – and caters for the vast majority of shoppers needs. The centre was redesigned in 2014 in order to give it a look more in keeping with its reputation as being at the creative and technological heart of the city.
Check out Old Street station
(Old Street, London, EC1Y 1BE)
Located at the junction of Old Street and City Road, just north of the City of London, Old Street Station is on the Northern line between Moorgate and Angel stations. There is no ground-level station building, giving it a unique feel. It handles over 20 million passengers annually and boasts a number of connection bus services for people looking to explore other parts of the city.
Go on the Tech City – London Walking Tour
Organised by Insider London, this walking tour gives people the chance to find out more about the area and see the best sights. Home to the third biggest startup tech cluster – only New York and San Francisco can boast more – the tour will give you an “eye-opening educational insight into how Shoreditch spawned a tech monster to rival San Fran’s Silicon Valley”. The walk sets off from Shoreditch Grind on Old Street, finishes at the Google Campus on Bonhill Street and lasts for two hours. One of the most interesting topics covered is the unique relationship between Silicon Roundabout’s tech businesses and the area’s artists and musicians. Perfect for those with a thirst for knowledge who are keen to see where killer concepts are born.
Go to the Electric Cinema
(64-66 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP)
This unique movie theatre shows a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters and European independents. The cinema is fitted out with individual armchairs, tables and lamps, so people can enjoy real comfort while watching films. Fans of cinema will enjoy the opulence, as there is nowhere else on London that offers an experience quite like this. Tickets are priced at £18, while mothers can bring their young children on Monday mornings for special ‘scream screenings’.
Attend the Ping Pong Fight Club
(68-80 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JL)
This mock-competitive midweek tournament sees some of the best and brightest from the tech companies battle it out over games of ping pong. There are 16 companies, 64 competitors and over 1,000 spectators at these events, which offer organisations such as Facebook the perfect opportunity to win yet another best in class title. While skill levels will vary, it does present people with a great opportunity to have a bit of fun and enjoy some light-hearted competition. First started in 2013, these events have become hugely popular since.
Visit the Signal Gallery
(32 Paul Street, London EC2A 4LB)
Founded in 2007, Signal Gallery looks to provide a home to contemporary painters, with a particular emphasis on figurative work. A number of urban and street artists are given the chance to showcase their creative talent alongside those from traditional art college, illustration and design backgrounds. Andrew Kinsman, David Le Fleming and Emma Tooth are among the artists to have displayed at the gallery, while the on-site shop gives visitors the chance to pick up some quality prints. Bael – the pseudonym of UK self-taught artist Michael James Bell – is one artist who has really caught the eye, and he has had three collections at the location and is becoming noted for his stark, haunting figurative paintings.