North London overview
Vibrant communities and appealing urban villages
Taking in the bustle of Islington, leafy Alexandra Palace and wonderful views of the city from Highgate Hill, North London includes some of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods and attracts a creative crowd.
Although just a few miles from the city centre, The Angel Inn that stood on the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road was once the first stop for stagecoaches travelling north out of London, and a busy dwelling place developed here from the 17th century. The pretty Georgian homes and garden squares of Islington and Highbury give way to Victorian terraces towards Newington Green and Stoke Newington. The area that once attracted artists and radicals – many of whom are buried in historic Abney Park Cemetery – has mellowed but remains a haven for left leaning creatives and is abuzz with cultural activity. There are four theatres, including the world renowned dance venue Sadler’s Wells and the Almeida theatre, and Stoke Newington hosts its own summer literary festival. Islington was also home to London’s first farmers’ market, and good food abounds from the trendy chains and independents along Upper Street to the unassuming yet excellent local restaurants of Stoke Newington. The many Turkish shops and restaurants that spread across Stoke Newington, Finsbury Park and Holloway Road provide another rich source of culinary delight. Between them, Highbury Fields and Clissold Park offer an abundance of open space and leisure opportunities. Property in some parts of this area is at a premium, but good value options can still be found in Tottenham and around Holloway, where you'll also find the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club.
Clustering around Alexandra Palace and Highgate Cemetery, Crouch End, Highgate, Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green have undeniable family appeal and offer top notch amenities, good state and private schools and lovely high streets. Commanding views over London, red brick Edwardian houses and a distinct village atmosphere characterise the area as a whole. Sought after Georgian and Victorian homes, 1920s and 1930s Art Deco properties and listed Modernist developments are also in the mix. Families and young professional couples have been putting down roots here since the opening of Alexandra Palace and the arrival of the railways 150 years ago. This part of North London has lost none of its attraction, partly due to wonderful green spaces from Alexandra Palace to Highgate Woods and Cemetery. It’s not all suburban charm though and, like much of North London, these areas are known for their artistic ways and left-leaning politics. Indeed, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived here and socialist theorist Karl Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery. It’s estimated that up to 40% of the population of Crouch End work in creative industries, while iconic London band The Kinks hail from nearby Muswell Hill.
On the northernmost edge of London, Finchley, Southgate and Palmers Green are well positioned to offer a soothing alternative to inner city living. They have easy access to some of London’s most attractive woodland parks and excellent golf courses, as well as to the North Circular road, making both areas enormously popular with those who commute by car. At the same time it’s only half an hour on public transport to the heart of London, although thriving local communities and high streets mean locals have access to excellent amenities on their doorstep. Finchley has some simply stunning multi million pound mansions and many large Victorian and Edwardian homes on leafy streets. Both areas have many 1920s and 1930s properties, ranging from grand detached houses to mock Tudor semis and modest terraces. Residents include older couples downsizing, families looking to settle down and first time buyers, plus a longstanding Jewish community.