Muswell Hill area guide: schools, shops, bookshops and the golf course
PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 28 July 2017
Your guide to all the things to do in Muswell Hill, including the best restaurants, pubs, schools and leisure persuits in N10. PLUS our guide to property in the area
Welcome to Muswell Hill!
Some may accuse the residents of N10 of being a little smug, but with its array of shopping and dining options and its excellent education opportunities area pride is well deserved.
The name Muswell Hill dates back to the 12th century, when an order of nuns built a chapel in the area, believing it to be the site of a medieval ‘mossy well’ (from which the name derives) whose spring was said to have miraculous healing properties. There continued to be a scattered collection of houses and cottages on the outskirts of the ancient forest of Middlesex until the arrival in 1873 of Alexandra Palace, a palatial pleasure pavilion which remains one of the area’s top attractions. With the arrival of rail links via Alexandra Palace station in the early 20th century the area quickly became a bustling residential hub after architect James Edmonson began work on the red brick parade of shops along Muswell Hill Broadway.
Shopping and culture
Muswell Hill’s vibrant shopping district, centred on the Broadway and Fortis Green Road, is awash with independent traders specialising in a wide variety of gifts, international foods, hobbies and crafts. Avenue Mews is a small hidden street tucked behind Muswell Hill Broadway with shops rubbing shoulders with craftspeople working in the studios forming the creative heart of the area.
Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market, held every Sunday between 10am and 3pm, sells a range of local produce from organic bread and fresh fuit juices to homemade pies and ready-to-eat Moroccan dishes.
Best for cheese lovers… succinctly named Cheeses on Fortis Green Road is the go-to purveyor of a wide range of British, French and Italian speciality cheese perfect for dinner parties and adventurous chefs.
Best for gift shopping… Sally Bourne Interiors offers a wide range of tasteful home furnishings, gifts, jewellery and cards.
Best for books… eager bookworms flock to Muswell Hill Bookshop, an independent bookseller that has been going strong since 1985.
Best for vintage… friends Ruth Syratt and Megan Stevenson pool their talent for sniffing out stellar finds with their shop ChaChaCha, which sells one-of-a-kind vintage clothes and homeware.
Best for film fans… The Everyman cinema on Fortis Green Road is a refurbished grade II-listed building that shows the latest arthouse and independent releases as well as selected blockbusters.
Food and drink
Muswell Hill is home to a thriving community of cafés and artisanal delis and residents strolling around the heart of Muswell Hill’s high street will never want for top quality lunches.
La Lluna is the place to go for Spanish tapas and cocktails.
Sadly beloved local gastropub Victoria Stakes caught fire at the end of last year, but thankfully it is now back up and running again.
Best for a casual lunch… the bistro fare, vibrant atmosphere and weekly jazz nights at Feast on the Hill on Muswell Hill have made it something of an institution in recent years.
Best for fish and chips… Toff’s of Muswell Hill on Muswell Hill Broadway serves up the finest example of the national dish for miles around.
Best for pasta… Fasta pasta bar on Fortis Green Road specialises in, you guessed it, pasta.
Things to do with children
With a wealth of green spaces and a year-round programme of events at Alexandra Park including an ice rink, boating lake and a pitch and putt course as well as the dedicated children’s playground in Queen’s Wood, little ones are spoilt for choice for outdoor and sporting pursuits.
Nurseries and junior activity centres abound, with many of Muswell Hill’s amenities being particularly suited to the large number of families in the area.
Primary and secondary education
The area is brimming with table-topping schools, with many parents moving to be within catchment of schools rated Oustanding by Ofsted including Muswell Hill Primary School on Muswell Hill, Coldfall Primary School in Coldfall Avenue and St James C of E Primary School in Woodside Avenue. Our Lady of Muswell Hill Primary School is joined by Tetherdown Primary School in receiving a Good rating from Ofsted.
For secondary education, Fortismere School is one of the most sought-after in north London and is rated Outstanding along with Alexandra Park School in Bidwell Gardens. Muswell Hill is near independent Norfolk House School in Muswell Avenue as well as the mixed private Highgate School and Channing School for girls.
Sports and leisure
Residents of Muswell Hill are blessed with a packed calendar of leisure and sporting activities held at Muswell Hill Tennis Club, a popular bowls club and the many opportunities for ice skating and watching at national sporting events at Alexandra Palace.
Active residents have a ready-made scenic route for cycling and running on the four and a half-mile Parkland Walk, which runs along the former Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace railway line.
Swimming Nature in Creighton Avenue hosts lessons for babies, children and adults.
Founded in 1893, Muswell Hill Golf Club has an 18 hole parkland course and caters to golfers of all abilities.
Surrounded on all sides by open green spaces, Muswell Hill is relatively isolated from the central London transport network with the nearest access to overground trains at Alexandra Palace station. Many commuters take the regular W7 bus service to Finsbury Park, affording access to central London within 30 minutes. The nearest tube station is East Finchley, which is on the Northern Line of the underground network.
Muswell Hill sits in the N10 postcode district and the London Borough of Haringey. It is in the Hornsey and Wood Green parliamentary constituency. Council tax ranges from £1016.19 for Band A properties to £3,048.54 for Band H properties.
Whilst there are a number of purpose-built apartment blocks, including the Art Deco designed Whitehall Lodge in Pages Lane, the existence of a conservation area covering Muswell Hill means the majority of flats are in converted larger properties rather than modern developments. With so many top schools in the area house prices are somewhat tied to whether they fall in catchment areas or not.
Two-bedroom flat – £404,795
Terraced house – £979,209
Semi-detached house – £1,087,003
Detached house – £1,358,160
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.