Logo

Ham OR High: which is the best place to live?

PUBLISHED: 13:42 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:02 16 March 2017

NW3 or N6, it's time to decide which one is the better place to live

NW3 or N6, it's time to decide which one is the better place to live

Archant

A new Sunday Times poll snubbed Hampstead to crown Highgate one of the best places to live in the UK. Tell us if you agree with our own poll

The City of London from Hampstead HeathThe City of London from Hampstead Heath

Two neighbourhoods, both alike in dignity. In fair Camden where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. Or at least that’s what the Sunday Times would have us believe.

In their ‘Best places to live 2017’ list the paper pitted the two halves of our namesake, Hampstead and Highgate, against one another.

Highgate made the cut and was included as number 13 on the list of ‘old favourites’. It was described as “a much better place to live [than Hampstead]” by virtue of being cheaper and less overrun by tourists, whilst still being close to the Heath. Hampstead meanwhile was snubbed by being left out of the category entirely.

Voting is still open and we are sure that Highgate will thrash the other contenders (Mayfair, who? Bath, don’t make us laugh!), but with Hampstead so rudely snubbed we’ve decided to take matters in to our own hands and conduct our own (highly scientific) study.

Debate rages over who's version of The Flask wins out, Hampstead's or Highgate's?Debate rages over who's version of The Flask wins out, Hampstead's or Highgate's?

Housing

It was the slightly cheaper house prices sealed the deal for Highgate in the Sunday Times. The current average value of homes in Highgate is £1,417,878 according to Zoopla, whilst in Hampstead you’ll pay more at £1,545,714.

If you want to cash in on this popularity contest you’ll have to move fast, though. Highgate’s property values have risen 2.06 per cent in the last 12 months, but in Hampstead, values have fallen 0.02 per cent.

Highgate Contemporary Art is just one of the cultural gems of HighgateHighgate Contemporary Art is just one of the cultural gems of Highgate

Both areas are filled with gorgeous period properties. Hampstead has houses built in the Edwardian era whilst you’ll want to head to Highgate for a Georgian townhouse, and both have plenty of Victorian homes making up their housing stock.

Education

As far as schooling goes, it’s true that top private schools abound in Highgate, including the revered Highgate and Channing schools. There are plenty of Ofsted-rated Good and Outstanding schools too, including the liberal Highgate Primary and St Aloysius RC College. Hampstead is hardly letting the side down though. Emmanuel Primary received an Outstanding Ofsted rating whilst Beckford Primary was rated Good. Secondary education is thinner on the ground, but nearby West Hampstead’s UCS and St Margaret’s both get excellent results.

Limone Fine Foods in HighgateLimone Fine Foods in Highgate

Location, location, location

We’re told that it’s all about location; what then divides the two apart from the Heath? Hampstead is geographically closer to central London and is situated in Zone 2. The Northern Line serves Hampstead Underground station while the Jubilee Line stops at both Finchley Road and West Hampstead, which also has a Thameslink station. The Overground makes several stops in the Hampstead vicinity. Highgate is further out with a tube station in Zone 3, but the Northern Line gives a direct route to the city, and there are plenty of buses serving the area.

‘Village’ life

Hampstead is well connected by underground and bus routesHampstead is well connected by underground and bus routes

Highgate is proud of its independent boutiques which include the Highgate Bookshop, independent doggie salon Hair of the Dog and craft haven Selvedge. For food there’s Limone Fine Foods, Puglian restaurant Ostuni and a weekly food market, whilst the historic The Flask is top for a tipple.

While it’s true that chains like Gail’s bakery and Carluccio’s serve locals in Hampstead, there are still plenty of independent eateries like Coffee Cup, Italian La Gaffe and La Crêperie de Hampstead.

Both often fall into the tempting trap of calling themselves ‘villages’, but villages they ain’t. Anywhere that has a weekly market serving gluten-free almond cake with raw artisan honey is not true Vicar of Dibley territory. From award winning fringe theatre to independent boutiques, these ‘villages’ are of the cosmopolitan variety. And we wouldn’t change them, since their independent shops, historic pubs and property to dream of is what makes them so sought after in the capital.

Better together

“The grass is greener on this side of the Heath,” said the Sunday Times, but we can’t condone the suggestion of a referendum being held between NW3 and N6.

In these turbulent political and economic times it seems best we stick together rather than growing ever more disparate, by celebrating what unites us.

That being said, if the best places list has stirred up beef between the star-cross’d postcodes we’d better see it settled once and for all.

Cast your vote and let us know which place is really the best to live in...

Can’t decide? Read our area guides for Highgate and Hampstead first.

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

My Little Black Book: Alijoe Designs

Alijoe Designs’ Debbie Carne designs upcycled, vintage-inspired plates, so where does the Highgate creative go for a little inspiration?

Bookend buyers: Inside the Highgate development that’s courting both first time buyers and downsizing locals

This new development is appealing to people on both ends of the property ladder who want the ease of apartment living in a great north London location

Camden to lead crackdown on cowboy landlords with name and shame database

Camden is one of six boroughs to sign up to the pilot of a new name and shame database to tackle rogue agents and landlords in the private rented sector

Hot property in Kentish Town: the best buys in NW5

Our top pick of hot properties on the market in Kentish Town now; snap them up before they’re gone!

Kentish town area guide: restaurants, pubs, bars and city farm

Your guide to things to do in Kentish Town, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW5

Archway ambience: an elegant apartment for a bargain price in the heart of Archway

This Archway apartment has a tardis-like sense of space and light, a private balcony and a walk in wardrobe - all for under £400k

New build open evening in Hampstead lets you test run your commute

Working late again? The new homes at Thirty2 are staying open for late viewings today to help busy house hunters

Comment: The naked truth behind bare minimalism in the housing crisis

Naked House isn’t a story about stylish minimalism, it’s a sad solution to the desperate situation the government has left London’s families

Paddington office complete with roof terrace honoured in workplace design awards

Paddington is fast becoming the new King’s Cross as a refurbished office directly opposite the new Crossrail entrance is named Best Recycled Workplace in prestigious regional awards

Highgate, East Finchley and Fortis Green named lowest yield as buy-to-let landlords hammered by tax changes

Landlords are selling up as tax changes combined with low yields eat into their profit margins. But if you invest in the right location and are prepared to be patient there are still parts of north London that can turn a profit, say experts

Camden house prices plunge over 30 per cent in just one month

Asking prices in the borough have dropped significantly since March, but is it a case of a cooling market, competitive pricing, or just Camden’s quirky property micro climate?

Property of the week: a stucco fronted home in the heart of Little Venice

This three bedroom apartment decorated in chic neutrals features a fully fitted kitchen and a private patio garden for al fresco dining

Generation Boomerang: meet the graduates supported by the bank, the fridge and the home of mum and dad

More and more young people are choosing to live at home in north London in the face of soaring property prices and an unaffordable housing crisis that has removed the lower rungs of the property ladder, leaving them without a foothold

Fabulous flowers: top tips for growing compact clematis

Clematis are one of the most popular varieties of garden flower, so how can you get the best from your blooms?

Windy weather? Here’s five tips for wind turbines

Windy weather? Generating electricity for your home will be a breeze with these top tips for wind turbines

New launch: period living in Paddington with Parker House

Prices start at £570,000 for a one bedroom apartment in this boutique development in zone one

Pore over this: pour yourself a drink in the power couple property with a secret pièce de résistance

This NW8 property has a garden, roof terrace and a secret bar decked out for throwing one of Gatsby’s greatest bashes

Let there be light: a modern home illuminating the future of environmentally friendly living

This East Finchley property is not just innovative, it’s invisible. We take a nosey around the modern eco home.

Comment: communities need buy to live

Buy to leave apartments in new build developments convert corrupt cash into clean assets, decimating local communities in the process. So it’s heartening to see Highgate Court lead the way with homes for local people

Hampstead hotspot: young professionals flock to NW3

Hampstead is the ninth most popular choice for young urban professionals, and the most expensive choice on the list.

Hampstead area guide: shops, theatre, schools and the Heath

Your guide to things to do in Hampstead, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW3

Top 3 properties for sale in Hampstead

A modern apartment, three bedroom flat and four bedroom family home make the cut for our top three properties on the market in Hampstead this week

Will the snap general election affect the north London property market?

Theresa May has announced that the country will return to the polls on June 8 for the third summer running, but what will this mean for property sales in north London?

5 of the best spring cleaning buys

Dust away those cobwebs and ready your home for warmer days with these stylish spring cleaning products

Hot properties: on the market in Crouch End, Hampstead and Primrose Hill

Fancy a five bedroom family home, a contemporary apartment or a period flat? Take your pick of our top properties up for grabs this week

Property of the week: top to toe amenities in this modern three storey home

This West Hampstead home comes with its own private balcony up top and a wine cellar below, and a lot to offer in between

Searching for the gardens of Southwood Hall

Ruth Pavey goes in serach of the lost gardens of Southwood Hall, with a little help from some Highgate residents

Buzzing about bees: everything you need to know about the RHS’s new bee campaign

The RHS is collaborating with The Wildlife Trusts to bring wildlife enthusiasts new inspiration to protect our black and yellow friends

Spring Living: interiors for warmer weather

Lorraine Kelly knows all about spring style for your home. Here’s her top advice for spring interiors.

Take me to church: the chapel with a starring role in period drama ‘Call The Midwife’ is up for sale

Nonnatus House from BBC’s Call The Midwife can be all yours for £6 million

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2016 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant