My Highgate: Highgate Hospital director Mark Lyons on why he loves Ripping Yarns

Mark Lyons, director of Highgate Hospital

Mark Lyons, director of Highgate Hospital - Credit: Archant

Mark Lyons is hospital director at Highgate Private Hospital and spent 20 years working in the NHS on frontline services as an anaesthetic practitioner in operating theatres and A&E. He is married with two children, a cat and a dog.

What brought you to Highgate? I have spent more than 20 years working in healthcare within the London area and back in 2010 I was offered the opportunity to create a new hospital in the local community.

What is your favourite thing about the area? There is a real sense of community in the area, despite the fact that we are part of one of the largest cities in the world. People are happy to stop and have a chat with their neighbour, and I love seeing all the families out and about with their kids and generally engaging with community life.

Which is your favourite shop in the area? I love Ripping Yarns [bookshop in Archway Road]. You can’t beat a good book!

What is the area’s best-kept secret? My first thought is that the whole area is ‘London’s best kept secret’.

What is missing from the area? Nothing really, apart from maybe a flat piece of ground.

What makes you smile on your way home? The thought of coming back to the area tomorrow and the beautiful trees.

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If you were mayor for a day, what would you change? The pavements. They are pretty difficult for pushchairs and for the elderly to go about their daily business on at the minute.

How would you spend your perfect Sunday? Lunch at The Spaniards and a stroll around Kenwood House.

What tips would you give to somebody moving to the area? Seek out local community activities. It’s such a friendly area and there is loads going on every minute of the day.

Where in the world would you twin with Highgate? Galway City in the west of Ireland, as it’s got equally friendly people with a unique take on life.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say? Enjoyed life to the full and was a proud member of the human race.