Tufnell Park: full of independent shops and thriving communities
- Credit: Archant
Straddling the popular boroughs of Camden and Islington, Tufnell Park is a neighbourhood gem boasting close knit communities and independent shops amongst desirable Victorian residences.
Local authority and council tax
Tufnell Park straddles the boroughs of Camden and Islington and the postcodes N7, N19 and NW5. Properties in the Camden patches of the area will pay £906.25 council tax in Band A; those in the average Band D will receive a bill for £1,359.38; and the most expensive homes in Band H will pay £2,718.76.
The average price of a two-bedroom flat in the area is £541,448, for a terraced property £1,347,630 and for a semi-detached home it’s £1,469,692. Nestled in bustling north London, Tufnell Park is a largely residential area typified by its tall Victorian terraces, which make great family homes. Many of them have been divided into flats and make ideal starter homes or rental properties.
The district has a variety of strong primary schools nearby: Tufnell Park School lies to the South East and currently holds a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, as does Brookfield to the North West. Parents also clamour to get their children into Yerbury Primary School and Eleanor Palmer Primary School, both of which are rated ‘Outstanding’. Comprehensive secondary school options abound: Acland Burghley – whose graduates include musician Miss Dynamite and Britain’s former first Lady, Sarah Brown – is in Tufnell Park itself, while Parliament Hill School and William Ellis lie a short distance towards Camden, with Holloway School nearby in Islington. La Sainte Union Catholic School is also a prestigious local faith school.
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Tufnell Park is in zone 2 on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, between Kentish Town and Archway. The station was built in 1907 on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and has recently reopened after a nine month refurbishment with new lifts and ticket office.
Landmarks and history
Originally known for its dairy farms, Tufnell Park takes its name from William Tufnell, who inherited a well known manor in the area in 1754. True efforts to build up its residential appeal came almost a century later however by Whig politician Henry Tufnell in 1845, when he sponsored a scheme in which architect John Shaw Jr would design some of the houses around Carleton Road.
This work was subsequently picked up by George Truefitt, who not only expanded the project into further streets, but also developed Tufnell Park’s church of St George, which has since become the Rock Tower.
Shopping and culture
A thriving independent shopping scene has sprung up in Tufnell Park in recent years, well documented by local tweeters like @TheArchwegian. Jessica de Lotz jewellery is on Fortess Road while Future & Found comes highly recommended for its selection of trendy lifestyle and interiors pieces as well as an in house design service. They’ve recently moved into to lovelier and larger premises just around the corner to 225a Brecknock Rd.
New framing shop 90 Degrees also sells original London Transport bus blinds and sinage. Hospitable owner Lee is always happy to chat with customers over a coffee on his in store sofa.
Crafty types should head to A Common Thread, which stocks ethical yarns and knitting supplies and runs workshops. You can also try your hand at making your own stationery at Harrington and Squires at one of their letterpress printing workshops, buy charming ready printed items from them or commission your own cards, small editions of books or invitations.
After 28 years on Upper Street Diverse have moved to Fortress Road. Open seven days a week they sell designer shoes, clothes, accessories, candles and perfume, and offer a personal shopping service on request.
Food shopping in Tufnell Park is an independent shopper’s dream with specialist outlets including butcher and deli shop, Meat NW5, fishmongers Jonathan Norris, a branch of the popular Stoke Newington-founded Spence Bakery for artisan bread, local ice cream and sorbet at Ruby Violet, and wine shop Theatre of Wine.
There is also a Saturday food market outside the Tufnell Park Tavern; its regular stallholders include sellers of bread, meat, fruit and veg, baked goods and Sardinian cheese and cured meats.
Eating and drinking
Good things are being spouted about Korova, a family run restaurant serving seasonal foods sourced from a close radius of suppliers based in Tottenham, Primrose Hill, Finsbury Park and Kentish Town from morning coffee to evening meals. At the other end of the scale, The Spaghetti House is also popular for its tasty plates of pasta at bargain basement prices and BYOB policy, or try The Spice for authentic Indian cooking.
Good pubs abound with The Junction Tavern, Oak & Pastor, St John’s Tavern and Tufnell Park Tavern all great options. An edgier crowd flocks to cocktail bar Aces and Eights, The Hideaway and the Boston Arms. Music venue The Dome is upstairs at the Boston Arms featuring up-and-coming musicians and has previously played host to artists like Nirvana and, more recently, Jamie T.
Sport and leisure
Tufnell Park Playing Fields is run by Islington Council and has a cricket net, full size grass football pitches and tennis courts alongside a children’s playground and a large open park area. Yoga fanatics should head to new studio Down to Earth.
Good for kids
Bear + Wolf is a very child-friendly café – serving excellent parent-friendly coffee and the “best brunch in Tufnell Park” according to some locals. There’s a buggy park area as well as a back room and garden where children can play.
Foxham Gardens also has a small children’s playground for outdoor fun.