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Area guide for Finchley

Finchley overview

What’s it all about?

Finchley residents enjoy a calm and soothing environment made up of quiet leafy streets lined and picturesque period homes. Its well positioned location allows access to several beautiful woodlands, a far cry from the landscaped parks of central London. Finchley is the perfect location for those who commute by car, as several major roads pass through the area, linking to the M1 and North Circular Road. Even those who don’t drive are rarely short of transport options, as the area is served by the Northern Line and is the nexus of many bus routes.

Finchley has attracted artistic and intellectual luminaries for centuries, with such diverse talents as Charles Darwin and Spike Milligan writing some of their greatest works from secluded homes in Finchley. It is as popular as ever with the people working in the arts, but Finchley residents are an increasingly mixed bunch, varying from families who are looking to join a stable community to young singles and professional couples who come both to rent and buy. The area also attracts older couples who have sold their family homes and downscaled to the area's luxury flats. There is also a strong Jewish community with a number of synagogues and a cultural centre in the area. 

Fact file 

  • Finchley was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary constituency between 1959 and 1992.
  • Historically St Pancras and Islington Cemetery is one of London's most important burial grounds. It's poignant mix of old and new graves also make it one of the most beguiling, and several parts are Grade II listed. Henry Croft, the Capital's first Pearly King, is buried here.
  • Draughtsman Harry Beck, who came up with the original version of the iconic Tube map in 1931, lived in Finchley. A copy of which can be found alongside a plaque on the southbound platform of Finchley Central Tube station.

Architecture and property

Property in Finchley is remarkably diverse, encompassing a huge range of architectural styles, from the grand houses of Hampstead Garden Suburb to the more modest terraces in West Finchley. Nowhere is this diversity more prominent than in East Finchley, where multi million pound mansions on The Bishop's Avenue are just around the corner from three incongruous 11 storey blocks of flats on Prospect Ring. Built to replace the area’s cottages after they were severely damaged in World War II, today they are highly sought after. Large Victorian and Edwardian homes line the streets of Central Finchley, while 1920s and 1930s properties dominate in West Finchley.

For house price information please visit the sold data tab.

Going out

Eating: Finchley is a centre of culinary delights with restaurants serving food from every region and culture, and it’s never difficult to find a kosher or halal eatery. A perfect example of the area’s unique and diverse dining scene is La'zeez on North Finchley’s busy High Road, a vegetarian restaurant with an Indo Oriental concept. Meat eaters love the chicken dansak at Bengal Bertie's, while the Greek Genzo is regularly named one of the best restaurants in East Finchley. For more traditional British fare, try the Two Brothers fish restaurant.

Drinking: The Old White Lion pub is perfect for a pint or two after a walk on Hampstead Heath, offering a selection of real ales as well as excellent pub grub. In summer, the garden at gastropub The Bald Faced Stag is filled with locals.

Arts: Artsdepot on Tally Ho Corner is a multi purpose community arts centre, comprising theatre spaces, dance and drama studios, gallery and cafe. JW3 on Finchley Road is London’s pre eminent Jewish community centre and arts venue, offering a busy schedule of film screenings, exhibitions, performances, talks and classes. 

Cinema: The Phoenix Cinema is one of the oldest purpose built cinemas in the UK and plays a mix of new releases, classic and arthouse films. Uniquely, it is run by a charitable trust for the community that saved the cinema from closure in 1985.

Local amenities

  • For shopping, locals make for the High Road and Ballards Lane, which are packed full of high street shops, locally owned boutiques, specialist food stores and supermarkets. Branches of Waitrose, Aldi and Sainsbury’s are all located around the junction of these roads. For serious retail therapy, the vast Brent Cross shopping centre is only a 10 minute drive away.
  • Finchley’s location on the northernmost edge of London grants it great access to several golf clubs, including the Mill Hill Golf Club and Metro Golf Centre. If you’re looking for a challenge head to the local Finchley Golf Club, deemed to be one of the trickiest courses in London.
  • The area has several gyms and leisure centres, as well as excellent yoga studios like The Iyengar Yoga Studio. Finchley Lido Leisure Centre has two swimming pools, indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, a sauna and a dance studio.
  • Opposite East Finchley’s award winning allotments lies the public library, situated in a beautiful Art Deco listed building. It is a cornerstone of the community and is supported by the East Finchley Library Users Group.
  • Car parks are much more easily located in Finchley than in many other areas of London, some of which are free. Both East Finchley and Finchley Central station have car parks. 

Green spaces

While much of Finchley retains an urban feel, its surrounding areas have some of the most picturesque green spaces in London, many of which are just a short drive away. To the north west, Mill Hill Park has sports and recreation facilities, while to the south lie leafy Highgate Wood and Hampstead’s beautiful Kenwood House. For those who don’t want to travel, Finchley boasts several of its own smaller parks such as Coldfall Woods, Cherry Tree Wood and Woodside Park. Victoria Park is a favourite for families, with play areas for children and a lovely cafe.

Changing times

Finchley has benefited from a swathe of new property developments in recent years, with apartments and homes being built to suit individuals and families of all sizes. A development at Imperial Square has a selection of impressive homes.

Transport

Tube: Finchley has four Underground stations, all on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line. East Finchley is in Zone 3, and Finchley Central, West Finchley, and Woodside Park are in Zone 4.

Bus: Several routes run through the area to all corners of North London, as well as the West End. Tally Ho Corner is a particularly busy hub. There are also two night buses: N13 (to Aldwych) and N20 (to Trafalgar Square).

Road: Henlys Corner marks the junction between the A1 and the North Circular (A406), and from which the M1 is six minutes away.

Cycle: Enjoy the downhill cycle into central London. It’s possible to reach London Bridge in under an hour, but be prepared for the uphill return journey.

Education

Given the large area Finchley covers, it’s no surprise that the area boasts education options to suit every family. Primary schools include Manorside Primary School and Moss Hall Infant School, while St. Michael's Catholic Grammar School ranked in the top 20 state secondary schools in 2014.

Please see our schools tab for more information on schools in this area.

 

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