Highgate is one of the leafiest places to live in London
Most areas in London have been through good times and bad times. But the gentrification cycle seems to have completely passed Highgate by. The extraordinarily green suburb of north west London has remained a constant spot of affluence in the capital and it remains for many the epitome of the desirable London village.
How has it managed this impressive feat? “It’s a place that’s just cherished by its inhabitants,” suggests Trevor Abrahmson of Glentree International, an estate agency that has secured a majority market share in the area.
“It’s a leafy and beautiful place to live and it has remained so for the last 300 years. When the Georgians wanted to get out of the stench of the old city, they would have ridden up to Hampstead Heath to get some fresh air, and try not to get robbed by one of the highwayman along the way. The area has a great deal of heritage attached to it as a getaway for the landed gentry.”
Georgian architecture still dominates the shops and restaurants in the centre of Highgate, while many of Britain’s greatest artists and entertainers have lived in the area (such as TS Eliot, Samuel Coleridge and Peter Sellers) and many more are buried in its famous cemetery, notably Karl Marx. After all, it’s one of the few places in London where a buyer can effectively purchase an estate.
Karl Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery
With two golf courses on the doorstep and 900 acres of parkland in Hampstead Heath and a number of independent schools on the doorstep, it has all the benefits of being in the country, but within 15 minutes of central London. While house prices are still on the expensive side – Hamptons International puts the average house price at £1.9m – price per square footage is traditionally outstripped by Chelsea and Kensington purely because it’s situated in Zone 3.
For this reason, Brits still make up around 68 per cent of the market, according to recent figures from Savills
, dominating the £1m to £2m price bracket in roads like Compton Avenue and Courtney Avenue. However, the international market is as active as it has ever been, with buyers from Southern Asia, Western Europe and Africa snapping up most of the ultra-high-end properties over £2m.
|Time to Canary Wharf||37 mins|
|Time to Liverpool Street||26 mins|
FIVE REASONS TO MOVE TO HIGHGATE
1 With the sprawling wildlife of Hampstead Heath, the lawns and lakes at Kenwood Park and the arts and sports facilities of Waterlow Park on your doorstep – not to mention Highgate Wood’s 70 acres of ancient woodland – it’s one of the leafiest places to live in London.
2 Families move to the area hoping to win a place at one of the two exceptional private schools, Highgate and Channings. State primaries St Michael’s, Highgate primary and Highgate Wood are also well-regarded.
3 There’s a cosy village feel around Highgate Square, with a number of independent retailers like Village Deli, Fish Fish and High Tea of Highgate all local favourites. Also popular are classical music venue The Red Hedgehog and Jackson Lane arts centre.
4 Fans of period architecture will find a lot to appreciate. The housing stock is predominantly made up of elegant Georgian homes, Victorian gothic houses and a smattering of buildings from the 1930s. Highgate also has a Conservation society that strives to protect its historical properties and green spaces.
5 There are lots of great pubs including The Gatehouse, which has a fringe theatre upstairs, The Red Lion and Sun and The Flask Tavern with its bottle-glass windows and roaring fireplaces. There’s also a golf club and a great art collection at Kenwood House, boasting masterpieces from Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner and Gainsborough.
|LOCAL AREA PRICES|
PRIVATE VIEW: ON THE MARKET IN HIGHGATE
HURSTBOURNE, BISHOPSGATE ROAD £13.55m
Due to be completed this month, this red-brick six-storey house was the former home of Nobel Prize-winning doctor Archibald Vivian Hill. Developer Atelier has devoted an entire floor to leisure, with a pool and bar, and this six-bedroom property comes with a grand landscaped garden.. Call Savills’ Hampstead office on 020 7472 5000 or Glentree International on 020 8458 7311.
ROBIN GROVE £6m
This quintessentially English house is only 300 metres from Hampstead Heath. This country-style home has six bedrooms, a conservatory and a library large enough to hold 3,000 books. Just off Highgate West Hill, it also boasts a wet facing double plot of land that’s three quarters of an acre. Call Aston Chase on 020 7724 4724 or visit astonchase.com.
LARKSPUR, BISHOPSGATE ROAD £13.55m
Part of the same development as Hurstbourne, Larkspur also has a six-storey red-brick Victorian facade, a leisure floor and six bedrooms. It also has a designer kitchen by Boffi and a custom-designed passenger lift to all floors, as well as a fully-furnished staff apartment. Call Savills’ Hampstead office on 020 7472 5000 or Glentree International on 020 8458 7311.