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North Lond‌on

Introducing North London

The leafier parts of North London are civil, cultivated, polished and polite. They not only imbue a sense of comfort but also one of intellectual freedom and liberal leanings.

It was the heights of the hills to the north of the city that first attracted well-off Londoners, trying to escape the noise and dirt in town. And there are still plenty of green lungs here, from the giant Hampstead Heath, to the bijoux Primrose Hill, attracting runners, lovers, families and foragers. At Highgate Cemetery, crowd-pullers like Karl Marx, Douglas Adams and Malcolm Maclaren rest in peaceful surroundings, with pilgrims trekking here daily. Quaint pubs abound, from the hidden gem The Holly Bush in Hampstead to the Island Queen in Islington, while wine bars and local restaurants keep inhabitants fed and watered happily enough to stop them from straying into the centre of London.

It might be arguable whether King’s Cross is actually in North London, but it at least provides one of its borders. This is one of the biggest regeneration areas in London, with a new buzz all its own. Eurostar travellers sip Krug Clos de Mesnil at the Champagne Bar, globetrotting lovers of Gothic architecture quaff ale in pewter tankards at the St Pancras Hotel, and local foodies indulge in neon-drenched, canal-side gourmet burgers at Shrimpys and Caravan.

Add to this the independent theatres that line Upper Street - the Almeida and King’s Head - celeb-filled boutiques offering select shopping in Primrose Hill, and canal-side walks passing London Zoo and Camden Market, and you get some idea of what the locals are quite so smug about.

Take a walk around with us

  • Sheltering more sub-cultures than neighbouring London Zoo harbours sub-species, a trip to Camden Town is a rite of passage for any visiting teenager or those ...

  • Long the haunt of leather-elbowed scholars, cerebral actors and continental savants, Hampstead's redbrick high street and quiet side alleys exude an air of refined thinking ...

  • Starting off as a refuge from the plague and the noisome airs for City folk, Highbury was a rural retreat until the Victorians engulfed it ...

  • Nestled between woods and parkland and perched atop a steep hill with sweeping views of the City below, Highgate is perhaps the closest London villages ...

  • Islington is famous, infamous even, as the stomping ground of the sharper-elbowed sort of North London intelligentsia (the older, more decorous variety prefer Hampstead). Tony ...

  • There is nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. And Maida Vale is the perfect place to do it. This ...

  • Primrose Hill, particularly Chalcot Square, is almost comically celeb-laden. You can’t move for luvvies, supermodels and fading and flourishing rock and pop stars as well ...

  • Wedged between Kilburn and Kensal Rise in the northwest corner of the capital, Queen's Park has become a byword for quiet gentrification. Two-storey Victorian villas ...

  • When 19th century developers started building St John’s Wood, they shirked conventional terraces, making it the birthplace of the detached London villa. If there’s a ...

  • The West End in NW6 might not be quite as busy and glitzy as the W1 version, but this is nevertheless the heart of entertainment ...

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