Dartmouth Park area guide: pubs, schools and family homes
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Your guide to all the things to do in Dartmouth Park, including the best restaurants, pubs, schools and cultural activities in this corner of NW5. PLUS our guide to property in the area
Welcome to Dartmouth Park
On the sloping streets that rise from Kentish Town to Highgate nestles the desirable Dartmouth Park, abutting Parliament Hill Fields to the west.
Misleadingly, the area isn’t named after a park, although a green space has retrospectively been named after the fact. It was in fact named for the Earl of Dartmouth, who purchased the land in the middle of the 18th century. In the 19th century the 5th Earl of Dartmouth initiated a major house building scheme.
Today, lured by the large family houses close to the Heath and the wealth of good schools within easy reach, buyers migrate from Islington, Belsize Park, Primrose Hill and Hampstead. The area is also popular with young professionals and...celebrities.
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Celebs flock to this area so much so that the area where Dartmouth Park Road meets Boscastle Road has been dubbed ‘Celebrity Corner’. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch lives here with his theatre director wife Sophie Hunter. The film director Ken Loach and the novelist Julian Barnes also call Dartmouth Park home, as does former Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins. Comedian collaborators behind The Mighty Boosh Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding live here too, Politicians seem to be drawn to the area. Labour MP Glenda Jackson resides her, along with former party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine Thornton, an environmental Lawyer.
Shopping and culture
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Swain’s Lane is Dartmouth Park’s main shopping destination, although the Parade is still under development. Dartmouth Park Talks hold salons on topics ranging from feminism to the environment, with talks from artists, activists, academics and journalists. Community spirit shows itself most fully during the York Rise Street Party in September, an annual knees up featuring a fancy dress parade, the NW5 groovy mutt contest, and a Dad’s Disco Dance off plus stalls from local businesses and live music.
>Best for handmade… trio of potters Charina Oeser, Tina Forrester and Gregory Tingay sell their handmade wares from their open studio at Dartmouth Park Pottery.
Food and drink
Pickings are rich in Dartmouth Park, with plenty to keep your tastebuds happy. For artisanal loaves there’s now an outpost of Gail’s, who also serve coffee and cake from their bakery. Lure Fish Kitchen serves fresh and sustainable seafood grilled, battered or sandwiched between brioche - Ed Milliband takes his kids here!
On Highgate Road leading to Kentish Town there’s not one but two offerings from the Soho House Group. If you want to tuck in to marinated rotisserie chicken then Chicken Shop is your best bet, otherwise Pizza East serves rustic hand made pizzas.
Dartmouth Park is renowned for its pubs. Hidden away on Chester Road you will find The Star, which puts an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal food and has an outdoor patio area for al fresco dining during the warmer months. Up towards Tufnell Park the Lord Palmerston takes great pride in being an independent pub. They also host regular jazz nights.
Best for gourmets… Right on the doorstep is Truffles Delicatessen, boasting what owner Lee Smith reckons are the best cheese boards in London. Pick up some delicious delicacies to delight your dinner party guests or if you simply can’t wait then devour one of their sandwiches on the spot.
Best for fresh juice… pop in to the Village Café on York Rise for their freshly squeezed juice, stay for their Mediterranean breakfast.
Best for a coffee… Time Out award winner Cricks Corner also serves hot chocolate, pastries and doughnuts.
Best for pizza… occupying a prime position right by the Heath, El Parco serves crispy thin crust pizzas.
Best for a Sunday roast… housed in a historic former coaching house, The Bull and Last draws people from far and near to sample their Sunday Roasts after a walk on the Heath. The bar downstairs has real ale on tap, a bar snacks menu and plenty of treats on hand for any canine companions.
Things to do with children
The Highgate Newtown Community Centre is a not for profit organisation running sports and art activities for children, young adults and adults alike. They run classes on everything from gymnastics to woodworking.
Set in an Edwardian building, Highgate Library on Chester Road has been lending to generations of book lovers since 1906. The children’s section holds stay and play, song and rhyme, story time, messy play and language sessions and there is a toy lending library for under-fives.
Sports and leisure
In Touch Pilates on Bickerton Road offers equipment and mat work sessions in intimate classes of five or one-on-one private sessions.
Down the road the Active Birth Centre runs pregnancy and post natal yoga classes.
On Fortress Road Down to Earth Yoga also offers pregnancy classes, along with vinyasa flow, hatha, and iyengar yoga. They also hold pilates and meditation classes.
Primary and secondary schools
York Rise Nursery is rated Good by Ofsted. Brookfield Primary and Hargrave Park are also rated Good. Eleanor Palmer, Yerbury, Torriano and Kentish Town C of E primary schools have all been rated Outstanding.
At secondary level St Aloysius Catholic College, rated Outstanding, takes boys aged 11 to 19, whilst La Sainte Union Catholic School, rated Good, takes girls. Both have mixed sixth forms. Comprehensive boys’ school William Ellis as well as girls’ schools Parliament Hill and Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls are all rated Good, and mixed Acland Burghley Requires Improvement. The Camden School for Girls, rated Outstanding, has a small catchment area but offers places for children who display exceptional musical aptitude.
Dartmouth Park is in zone 2, with Gospel Oak station on the overground Tufnell Park on the underground. From Kentish Town it’s just minutes few to St Pancras on the Thameslink. The number 4 bus runs either towards Archway or to Tufnell Park or Waterloo. To get to Highgate Village you need the number 214.
Dartmouth Park is in the Highgate ward of the London Borough of Camden, sharing the NW5 and N19 postal codes. Council tax ranges from £944.97 in Band A to, £1,417.46 in average Band D properties, to £2,834.92 in Band H.
The streets in Dartmouth Park are lined with impressive semi-detached and terraced Victorian houses, generally arranged over three or more floors and often featuring large gardens.
Flats – £641,721; Terraced house – £1,380,768; Semi-detached house – £1,947,563; Detached house – £1,901,536 (Current average value, source: Zoopla)