Idasons

overview

What's it all about?

Lofty and Leafy, situated on one of London’s highest peaks, this area sits above the notoriously flat London. From the village, the luscious, expansive greenery of Hampstead is visible, along with the flat ever upward climbing skyline of Central London. Like nearby neighbouring Hampstead, locals enjoy a tranquil, village like atmosphere nestled in amongst tree lined streets. Teenagers, parents and the elderly all meet up in their respective groups on the High Street, the area’s primary social hub to gossip or relax and watch the day roll past whilst enjoying a coffee and cake. Residents can often forget that all this peace is just a 20 minute Tube Journey away. The area has an exclusive reputation, and the prices and the life the area provides reflect this. With property styles varied to cater to a diverse market, Highgate is a prime north London property hotspot which has much to offer to those who want it.


Fact file

Highgate has critical acclaim with the deceased, with many influential figures in human history being buried in its Grade I listed cemetery where Karl Marx co author of the Communist Manifesto is buried, alongside writers George Eliot and Christina Rosetti are also buried.

Highgate used to have some rather odd quirks in the recent past, during the 19th, 18th and even 17th centuries, visitors of Highgate pubs would be required to undertake a comical custom of ‘Swearing on the Horns’ to ‘confirm’ their commitment to debauchery that they were about to embark on in the establishment. It was said that a clerk would read an oath, which pubgoers would agree on and then either kiss or salute a set of horns.

Highgate also has claim to an important transportation milestone, with the first European cable car operating within its streets. It was said that starting in 1884 on Highgate Hill was the scene of the route that linked Archway and Highgate village to each other. The route was successful, operating for 25 years, closing in 1909.


Architecture and property

The village of Highgate dates all the way back to the 14th century, with historians approximating it to the year of 1354. It is said it was originally part of the Bishop of London’s hunting estate (an idea of how old Highgate is, it was around when there was hunting estates owned by Bishops). From the 16th century onwards, grand homes were built along Highgate Hill, with the area becoming popular in Georgian times as a country retreat for wealthy City workers, a trend which is still reflected in the demographic today. Although Highgate suffered bomb damage in World War II like much of London, that only goes part way to explaining its range of property styles. Victorian mansions survive to this day, with modest flats being found in the likes of Holly Lodge Estate. Still standing strong are the elegant Georgian homes which are highly sought after, with Highgate hosting Berthold Lubetkin’s modernist Highpoint development, Grade I listed with communal gardens, tennis courts and a heated outdoor swimming pool.

Going out

If there’s one thing that Highgate knows how to do, it is afternoon tea. High Tea of Highgate, this petite café hosts a large range of tea, cake and scones. Frequented heavily, but it is worth the queue. The Gatehouse is a recently refurbished, independent local pub which has a strong Spanish influence within its theme, focusing on high quality fresh food, it’s a popular choice for locals and those from surrounding areas. Slightly further afield, locals travel to the diverse culinary delights of Holloway Road and Junction Road, Loving Hut, an all vegan Chinese restaurant and the gastro pub St John’s Tavern.

Culture:

Jacksons Lane is a creative and culture hub which is over 40 years old based in theWesleyan Methodist Church, a Grade II listed Gothic church conversion which is a multi arts venue. An arena of theatrical performances. Fans of Classical music will enjoy The Red Hedgehog, an 100 seat concert hall, parallel to Highgate Tube station.

Light entertainment can be found be found Upstairs at The Gatehouse, a thrilling fringe theatre. The Central Pond Square is a communal space for events, such as the Summer Fair or the Christmas Carol concert.


Drinking:

Many of Highgate’s social gatherings take place in its traditional-style pubs. The Red Lion & Sun and The Flask are reliable options, but first prize goes to The Wrestlers, a beautiful pub in the heart of the village, occupying the same site since 1547. A real fireplace, vintage wooden furniture and stained-glass windows ensure its authenticity while its extensive menu keeps the locals returning.

Local amenities

The numerous parks and outdoor space provide adequate opportunity for locals to exercise in, however just down the hill, Archway leisure centre

Most locals find that the numerous parks and outdoor spaces provide ample opportunity for exercise, but just down the hill Archway Leisure Centre has a pool, sauna and gym.

Highgate High Street is lined with exclusive one-off boutiques and children’s stores. One of the best is notsobig, named after an imaginary crocodile in a Roald Dahl book, it's full of designer offerings for tots and young teens.

Highgate Cemetery has become a tourist destination in itself and one can easily lose an afternoon admiring its beautiful Gothic architecture.

Highgate Library is a community hub, located in a striking Edwardian building. It is supported by a group of residents called Friends of Highgate Library, which organises talks by writers and promotes use of the library.

There’s a strong social scene at Highgate Golf Club, and many of the area’s keen sporty types are members.

The handy Tesco Express on the High Street can satisfy most daily needs, but locals can also call on organic grocery stores or Highgate Butchers. For a big shop, it’s only a short drive to Morrisons or Waitrose on Holloway Road. Gail's Bakery and Limone Fine Food, a gourmet delicatessen, are both popular amongst the local.

Residential parking restrictions are in place from 10am-12pm, meaning visitors can often find somewhere to park for free. The quaint size of the village itself means residents usually walk to the Tube, but there is also a car park with 29 spaces for those who’d prefer to drive.

Highgate Society prides itself on making Highgate and its neighbourhood a better place in which to live and work


Green spaces

Highgate not only has broad swathes of its own woodland, but it is also within walking distance of some of London’s most stunning landscapes. Locals take their pick of Hampstead Heath, Queen’s Wood, Waterlow Park or Highgate Wood, and everyone will have their own favourite outdoor spot. For picturesque walks, the 70 acres of ancient woodland in Highgate Wood is a must. Music enthusiasts might like to stroll past Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath in the hopes of overhearing rehearsals for the summer concerts. Families often stop off at Waterlow Park, a friendly neighbourhood space given to the public by Sir Sidney Waterlow as a ‘garden for the gardenless’ in 1889.

Changing times

Several new property developments are underway in Highgate. Vantage Point is a development of 118 high-quality apartments to rent. The penthouse floors are communal spaces featuring lounges, dining areas and a landscaped garden

Transport

Tube: Underground services from Highgate station in Zone 3 take just 20 minutes to Bank. Some locals choose to walk to nearby Archway as it is in Zone 2, one stop south of Highgate on the Northern line.

Buses: Local bus routes include numbers 143 (to Brent Cross), 210 (to Finsbury Park), and the 603 (to Muswell Hill). Both buses 214 and 271 (to Moorgate) operate 24 hour services.

Cycle: The City is only about half an hour's ride away, although it might take longer on the uphill journey back home.

Road: Highgate is on the A1, which connects with Islington in the south and the M1 in the north.


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