Caledonian Road, more locally known as “The Cally”, stretches from Holloway Road in the north to King’s Cross in the South and, at its centre, is the Cally bridge, an iconic and much-loved focal point for the area that dates back to 1852.
It is one and a half mile (2.4 km) road with a diverse range of shops, bars and restaurants with cuisines from across the globe. You can find charities, community organisations and many shops including several specialising in ironwork, glass, paint and second-hand furniture.
Caledonian Road opened in 1826 to link King’s Cross with Holloway Road to provide a new route to the centre of London. Originally known as Chalk Road, its name was changed after the Royal Caledonian Asylum opened in 1828 for the orphans of Scottish soldiers killed in the Napoleonic Wars.
The road is full history: Cally baths (1892/1985), the railway (1852) and tube (1906) stations, Regent’s Canal (1820), Pentonville Prison (1842). Cally Road even had its own cinema – the Mayfair, later Essoldo, (1937-65).
To the west is Caledonian Park, which has been a playground, sports field, meeting point (including for the Tolpuddle March), cattle market and is home to the recently renovated Cally Clock Tower which has one of the best views in London.
Traditionally, the Cally is transformed once a year into the biggest annual festival in Islington with nearly 10,000 people descending on to the street enjoying the food stalls, music and local wares. The essence of the area is truly summed up whilst bringing the community, businesses and visitors together to celebrate all that is good and great about the Cally.
The Cally has distinct communities and an extraordinary past and is now the focus of the ‘We are Cally’ programme, a £1.6million project to create new opportunities, improve local facilities and unlock the potential in the Cally area for thousands of residents.
Discover more about the Cally
Read about the history of Barnsbury & Caledonian Road
Read our blog about Copenhagen food bank