London N6. Camden, Harringey, Islington. London Property Area Guide.
It’s got Star Quality!
Kate Moss and husband, Jamie Hince moved into a lovely seven-bedroom home in Highgate last year. Local residents feared the demise of their sleepy, established enclave – are the pretty cobbled Highgate streets about to get a little lively!?! Time will tell, but I’m sure Kate, like many others (who can only afford to admire), fell in love with it’s old-world village charm and would love to see Highgate stay just as it is, forever more.
Quainter than the Cotswolds
Parts of Highgate seem almost unreal – too cute for a London suburb – The Cotswolds aren’t even this quaint!
Highgate High Street is smallish, sweet but actually pretty useless for a decent shopping trip. There are pubs, a smattering of high-end chain restaurants, a well stocked and popular local newsagent, bakery, flower stall and some charity shops. Yet shopping isn’t really the big draw here. It’s all about the charming feel of the surrounding roads, the expansive local parks and cosy country-style pubs.
The Grove and South Grove are possibly two of London’s most important streets with an entire terrace of early 18th Century buildings located opposite a small green, village Church and popular local pub, the Flask. These houses form the most desirable part of Highgate and encapsulate the real Village. Whereas most London areas have rebranded their central streets as a ‘Village’ to identify the cutest shops and most desirable properties, this part of Highgate really does look and feel like one. Take a picture of that Village Green and post it on Facebook – all your friends will bet their bottom dollar you are in the English Countryside! Locals loiter among the streets leading to the Green in summer then descend on the Flask, especially for sunny weekends when the barbecue roars and the atmosphere is super friendly.
English and Maths
Highgate School, one of London’s leading public schools has played a paramount role in the life of the village, existing here for over 400 years. It boasts extensive playing fields, it’s chapel of St Michael, plus an attractive Victorian red brick building that stands at a prime spot in the village. Parents often buy up the houses leading upto Highgate Village from the tube station (a good 20 minute walk) then plant their offspring at the school. Highgate is also home to Channing School for Girls – regarded as one of the most popular and competitive in London.
Highpoint was the first of two apartment blocks erected in the 1930’s by Russian architect, Lubetkin and is a notable focal point in the area. When Corbusier visited Highpoint in 1935 he said, “This beautiful building at Highgate is an achievement of the first rank”. Lubetkin’s second Highgate building, Highpoint II went up soon after.
Prominent properties, like Highpoint and the Village area will remain treasured and protected by the The Highgate Society. Set up to preserve and protect the areas character and enhance the future of the area. Another hint that there is a strong sense of community spirit and appreciation for the preservation of the essence of Highgate.
Highgate is blessed with Hampstead Heath on it’s doorstep and magnificent Kenwood House is just a short walk away and perfect place to spend many weekends and bright evenings. The parks, prosperous suburban feel and good local schools make Highgate a top choice for families. Given costs are still high, established middle class families, City traders and older couples who settled here long ago are the mainstay of Highgate residents.
Most of the properties in Highgate are entire houses or flats within converted houses. Other than Highpoint there are blocks of flats along North Road and North Hill.
Heading off Highgate High Street, arranged around the Pond are a smattering of Georgian townhouses, especially along South Grove. Dotted in between is the odd ultra-modernist house (usually hidden by high walls and trees) or the occasional conversion into flats. The Most prestigious are houses along the Grove, a quiet lane running alongside the busier thoroughfare which leads drivers from Highgate and Hampstead, down the slope to Parliament Hill.
Southwood Lane leads down towards Highgate underground station (Northern Line) and presents new residents with a choice of well kept smaller apartment blocks. Houses line the roads, leading away from here – providing shelter for Investment Bankers who scurry to the station at dawn and return at dusk. Spreading North West towards Highgate golf club along Hampstead Lane, Highgate merges into Kenwood (actually the name of the extension to Hampstead Heath) and then Hampstead itself when you arrive at the Bishops Avenue. Before reaching the home of the Oligarchs, several roads shoot off Hampstead Lane to each side carrying multi-million pound, often detached, homes. Here you will find a couple of Private Roads – highly sought after by foreign nationals who pay significant premiums for the benefit of a gated entrance and full time security guard. The likes of Bishopswood road, Broadlands road and View road exemplify some of the best properties here.
Tracking back on yourself, to the other side of the High Street you will find Highgate Hill. This busy route takes buses and cars down into Archway and the Holloway Road. Branching out along the way are several roads such as Hornsey Lane and Cromwell Road providing flats and mid-size terraced houses. Parking can be a problem, but buses connect you to Archway station or take you down into Angel Islington and then the City or West End.
Finally, the streets surrounding Highgate Tube station itself provide mostly flats. This location is often ignored, yet highly connected (several buses run along the Archway Road outside the tube station). Here properties are cheaper given their distance to the Village. In fact they have a hidden charm in that these properties sit in between Highgate Village and the more useful shops and many restaurants and bars of Muswell Hill Broadway. On your doorstep is Highgate Wood, great for walks, rambling and excellent for those with a dog to exercise.
Starspotting in a idyllic local: The Flask, 77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU
Superb Sunday Lunch: The Angel Inn, 37 Highgate High Street, N6 5JT
Pay respects to Karl Marx, Christina Rossetti and Lucian Freud and other greats at: Highgate Cemetery, Swains Lane, N6
Pick up a bun at: The Highgate Pantry, 57 Highgate High Street, N6
Delightful Highgate tea shop, High Tea of Highgate, 50 Highgate High Street, N6
Top local music venue: The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Road, N6
Long standing local arts are at Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, N6
+ Green space and parkland galore with Hampstead Heath on the doorstep
+ Quiet village feel yet with the benefits of being close to Central London
+ Attractive restaurants and pubs
+ Good local schools
+ Strong sense of community spirit
+ Good for families
– Many parts of Highgate are a long (and hilly) walk from the tube station
– Lack of affordable housing
– Lack of useful shops
Archway Road and Sheldon Avenue on the North
Archway Road to the East
Courtenay Avenue at Hampstead Lane to the West
Langbourne Avenue to the South
View Larger Map
Highgate Primary School, North Hill, N6 4ED
St Michael’s CofE Primary School, North Road, London N6 4BG
St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Highgate Hill, N19 5NE
Avenue Nursery and Pre-Preparatory School, 2 Highgate Avenue, N6 5RX
Channing School for Girls (Private), Highgate, N6 5HF
Highgate School (Private), North Road, N6 4AY
St Aloysius RC College (boys), Hornsey Lane, N6 5LY
La Sainte Union Convent School (Girls)(RC), Highgate Road, N5 1RP
William Ellis School for boys, Highgate Road, NW5 1RN
Highgate Station on the Northern Line
143 Archway to Brent Cross
210 Brent Cross to Finsbury Park
214 Highgate Village to Liverpool Street Station
271 Highgate Village to Moorgate
603 Muswell Hill to Swiss Cottage (Mon-Fri peak times only)
Kate Moss, Jamie Hince, George Michael, Sting, Annie Lennox