Childs Hill: Time to buy in this well-located area on the up
- Credit: Archant
The somewhat poor relation of very rich neighbours, Childs Hill is a low-key area, full of small local businesses, good family amenities and quiet residential streets but a high frequency of scaffolding hints at an area on the up.
Childs Hill is in the London Borough of Barnet and has the NW2 postcode. It is in the Finchley & Golders Green parliamentary constituency. Band A properties pay £931.38 council tax; Band D properties pay £1,397.07 and properties in Band H pay £2,794.14.
There is a huge amount of new development happening at the moment in Childs Hill, with many houses being redeveloped and high-end apartment blocks are springing up throughout this relatively gritty area making regeneration the word on everyone’s lips.
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Goldfinch Court, a relatively recent addition, has brought a Cooperative supermarket and Costa coffee to the area, upping the convenience factor considerably. Further recent additions include 58 West Heath Drive, Annabel Court and The Lightworks, offering large and luxurious apartments.
Existing housing stock is made up of modest terraced houses at the average price of £636,825, as well as high rise blocks of flats and a significant number of inter-war properties. The average price of a two-bedroom flat in Childs Hill is £533,570. A semi-detached house costs an average of £1,297,126, while a detached house would be £2,373,571.
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All Saints’ CofE Primary School and Rimon Jewish Primary School are both small mixed gender faith schools with an Ofsted rating of Good. Childs Hill Primary School also has a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating. Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomoh is a fee-paying Jewish school for boys age 3 to 15, while Kisharon Day School is a fee-paying, mixed-gender, Jewish secondary school for children with special educational needs.
Childs Hill is situated in Zone 3. The nearest London Underground station is Golders Green, which is served by the Northern line. Brent Cross, also on the Northern line, is fairly nearby, while Cricklewood train station is the nearest rail connection. There are a number of bus routes running along the main artery of Finchley Road towards other areas in north London and into central London.
Landmarks and history
Childs Hill, possibly named after Richard Child, who lived there in 1321, was home to a high concentration of brick and tile makers, working to supply materials for building in Hampstead in the 18th century. In the later half of the 19th century laundries took over as the biggest industry in the area with the last of these laundries closing in 2006. One of these laundries was even used as a chapel until the All Saints Church was built in 1856.
Perched 259 ft above sea level, there was an optical telegraph station for the transmission of messages via semaphore on the site between 1789 and 1847, which became one of a line of such stations, stretching from the Admiralty on Whitehall to Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast, as part of Britain’s national defences.
Shopping and culture
A Baptist church, Islamic centre and Jewish charity rub shoulders with each other in Childs Hill, where a variety of faiths and ethnic groups mix, while the absence of latte art or gastropubs indicates its relative lack of gentrification in relation to its neighbours.
Shops and services are based mainly on Cricklewood Lane and Finchley Road and tend to provide functional items such as hardware at Vargail Paints, car and van rental at Able Car, laundry and dry cleaning and a lighting shop. Six Physio has also recently opened in the Lexington Building, providing a range of services aiding men and women’s health. Raging Bull Meats on Finchley Road, is a South African butcher and deli selling ostrich, zebra, kangaroo, crocodile, Namibian beef and house-made biltong.
Desai Fabrlcs on Cricklewood Lane offers a cornucopia of textiles, specialising in natural fibres like Liberty prints, Swiss cotton and Italian silk. Take Antiques lower down Cricklewood Lane is an interesting bric-a-brac store where a browse is sure to turn up some interesting old furniture, books and objects.
Eating and drinking
The Grill at 424 is the area’s finest eatery serving up modern European cuisine to a discerning clientele including Giles Coren and Joseph Connolly. The award-winning restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week for classics like gravadlax, steak and veal cutlets.
Otherwise, neighbourhood staples include Giacomo’s Restaurant, a family friendly, old school Italian; and down-to-earth greasy spoon options Jels Café and Le Papillon. The area also offers a vast range of Asian cuisines including a local Chinese, Indian and a new Japanese Restaurant – Koyama.
Sports and leisure
Childs Hill Park is a pleasant piece of open green space with a strong sports emphasis. Football teams play here at weekends and ping pong gear can be borrowed from the charming Parcafé, which has a large terrace, perfect for watching the local sporting prowess in action. There is also an outdoor gym-style area.
Golders Hill Park, also in the vicinity, has a large number of tennis courts, along side a serene pond. The park even has its very own zoo and butterfly house open and free for the public to visit. The park also offers a range of interesting sculptures and carvings to spot in amongst the trees.
The Advertising Archives adds a quirky touch to the area with its huge cow sculpture and King Kong outside. The archives span from the mid-19th century to the present across British and American adverts, magazine covers, rare European magazine art and other ephemera. They carry out picture research, valuations and even sales of vintage adverts and posters.
Good for kids
Childs Hill Library is housed in a large mock-Tudor building and has a coffee lounge and children and babies’ activities on offer. These include a free toddler read and rhyme session combining physical activity with rhymes and songs.