SET HIGH ABOVE LONDON AND SURROUNDED BY ABUNDANT PARKLAND, HISTORIC HIGHGATE OFFERS RESIDENTS PEACEFUL VILLAGE CHARM THAT FEELS LIKE A WORLD AWAY FROM THE BUSY WEST END
Dating back to 1350, Highgate offers an genuine slice of London history. At its highest point it’s 375ft above sea level, giving far-reaching views of the city.
“It’s a very special pocket of north London,” says Mark Pollack, co-founder of Aston Chase. “It has an intimate ambience with a rich sense of community.”
The area has a lower profile than neighbouring Hampstead and attracts academics, City professionals and people working in the arts and media. “Once a resident of Highgate, few choose to leave,” says Pollack. Famous residents include Jamie Oliver and Liam Gallagher, while Kate Moss, Sting, Annie Lennox and the late George Michael have all owned homes in The Grove, arguably Highgate’s most sought-after address.
In addition to these beautiful listed Georgian homes, two of London’s most expensive streets can be found in private gated roads Courtenay Avenue and Compton Avenue. James Diaper, head of sales at Savills Hampstead says, “Despite the exclusive feel, styles are varied and cater to a diverse market – from families through to retirees. Georgian and Victorian properties occupy a lot of Highgate.”
The peaceful village lifestyle, green spaces and excellent schools are the greatest draws. “There’s always a great place to sit and watch the world go by,” says Mike Tracy, partner of Knight Frank’s Hampstead office. A mix of cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops and parks offer a vibrant social hub. while the city is easily reached on the Northern Line.
“Buyers like the balance here,” concludes Diaper. “It’s the amenities, safe environment and excellent schooling that encourages people to put down roots here.”
A DAY IN HIGHGATE
Known for its abundance of green space, Highgate is a place to don your walking shoes. Explore Highgate Woods, Waterlow Park and the edge of Hampstead Heath on Millfield Lane, accessible via Highgate West Hill.
As an area of dog lovers, why not get your four-legged friend snapped by the award- winning Suzi Darsa, The Highgate Dog Photographer? Creating a selection of portrait styles and action shots, Suzi can capture what makes your pup uniquely wonderful.
A quintessentially London village, Highgate is home to a high street that is full of charming independent eateries and shops. A cornerstone in the area, Highgate Bookshop is filled with broad-ranging fiction and non-fiction titles.
If feeling peckish at lunch, Chango Empanadas, or if after a heartier meal and a pint choose from the neighbourhood’s many historic pubs, such as The Gatehouse, The Angel, The Flask or The Red Lion & Sun.
A unique tourist attraction, Highgate Cemetery on Swain’s Lane, is undoubtedly London’s most famous burial site. Drawing visitors from near and far, it is one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries.
It’s the resting place of many notable writers, musicians and philosophers including Karl Marx, poet Christina Rossetti, and novelist George Eliot.
On South Grove, the Highgate Literary and Science Institution, provides a space for exhibitions. From 29 September the Handmade in Highgate Designer Maker Fair will feature some of the best creators.
ASK A LOCAL: NAOMI BOURNE FOUNDER, HIGHGATE PILATES
“I’ve lived in Highgate for more than 20 years. I love that it’s a village on top of a hill surrounded by beautiful parks. Walk through Waterlow Park and checking out Lauderdale House, which hosts events, an art gallery and a cafe overlooking a beautiful tea lawn.
Continue down Swains Lane for the fresh catches from fishmonger and seafood bar, London Shell Co., before getting to the heath. Then walk back up Fitzroy Park and reach Pond Square, where George Michael lived, and have a drink at The Flask.
Finish with a wander round Highgate Village. Round off your day with a wonderfully calming Pilates class, by checking out Highgate Pilates.”
4 South Grove
Founded by award-winning chef, Sabbir Karim, Namaaste is redefining Indian street food with delectable home-style cooking. Diners can expect all the classic dishes and treats from various regions across India including tandooris, biryanis, and breads. With three branches across London, Namaaste has become a neighbourhood favourite for a reason.
37 Highgate High Street
The beautifully-restored and vibrant pub was frequented by Graham Chapman and the Monty Python cast who wrote their world- famous sketches in this corner of Highgate. Seasonal menus are carefully crafted to fulfil any food cravings from light snacks
to Sunday roasts. Get into the community spirit with its pub quiz every Tuesday, and for music fans, live jazz takes place on the first Wednesday of every month.
77 Highgate West Hill
Perched on a quiet corner of the West Hill, the Flask serves classic British pub food. Named after the tradition of selling flasks from the pub which were used to collect water from the springs of Hampstead Heath, the pub’s history stems back to the 17th century. Patrons included poets Byron and Keats as well as English painter and printmaker, William Hogarth.
1 North Road
Head chef Chris Payne only uses the finest ingredients from sustainable producers to create a British menu with a strong Spanish influence. The independent pub also offers a wide selection of international wines to accompany dishes such as paella, lamb tagine and couscous, and lemon sole with seaweed butter.
1A Hampstead Lane
In the middle of Highgate Village, Don Ciccio brings traditional Italian cuisine to N6. The restaurant is known as the ‘home of Italian truffle’, all sourced from the north-west region of Piedmont, adding more aromatic flavour to a host of delicious dishes.
SCHOOLS IN HIGHGATE
Highgate is an area known for its excellent schools. The co-ed Highgate School, on North Road is one of the most heralded schools in the country, with Old Cholmeleians including composer John Rutter, and poet T.S Eliot, who also taught at the school.
For Highgate’s pre-prep and junior school, a new school-street scheme on Bishopswood Road is designed to create a safer environment for school runs. In the senior school, both pupil and staff are building a supportive community, with year 12s launching a podcast to discuss issues that matter to them.
For pre-prep children there’s Avenue Nursery on Highgate Avenue which began life as a small nursery in 1977 and caters for pupils until year 2.
For girls aged 4-18, there’s Channing School Juniors on Highgate High Street and Seniors on The Bank. Independent Girls’ School of the Year in 2022, South Hampstead Girls School, whose motto is ‘mehr licht’ (‘more light’) welcomes new head, Mrs Anna Paul who joins from Godolphin & Latymer.
HIGHGATE: ON THE MARKET
ASK AN AGENT: MARK SUMRAY Director of Dexters Highgate office.
“Highgate and the surrounding areas are affluent suburbs with many residents known for being in the media, arts and sports. Also attracting families with its village-like feel and community spirit, yet moments away from the capital, it’s no wonder the area has such a draw.
There’s high demand for properties from both international and UK buyers and tenants looking to secure their next London home. The area is known for its beautifully eclectic mix of styles, with one-bedroom flats start selling from around £300,000 and grand detached six-bedroom homes can fetch north of £7m.
One of my favourite streets is Fitzroy Park because of its several excellent schools and close proximity to the Heath.” dexters.co.uk
THE GREY HOUSE, SWAINS LANE
This four-bedroom house has starred in several television shows, and with good reason. Overlooking the outer edge of Highgate Cemetery and beside Waterlow Park, its unique location and architectural merit make it a rare find. Guide price £6.5m Agents: beauchamp.com; knightfrank.co.uk
A three-bedroom third-floor apartment with a 600 sq ft double-aspect reception in this handsome Grade II listed property situated just moments from Highgate Village. £3.75m Agent: dexters.co.uk
This detached four-bedroom family home sits in an exclusive gated development situated directly off Fitzroy Park. The house occupies an elevated position. £5.85m Agent: knightfrank.co.uk
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