From the lofty Alexandra Palace to Highgate Woods, this upscale London neighbourhood combines urban novelties – such as quirky pub theatre the Gatehouse – with leafy walks. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for resident celebrities.
Muswell Hill and Highgate are two of the loveliest parts of North London, but are often overlooked for more central spots in the capital city. Expect quiet, verdant streets lined with cosy pubs, bookshops and independent boutiques; there are also great spots for a cocktail and flavourful food. Both neighbouring areas are easily accessible on the Northern Line. It’s no wonder the Kinks and Madness retreated here to hang out between touring.
The old railway line walk, known as Parkland Walk, runs between wooded canopies and open bridges, which offer top views of North London and the city beyond. Don’t worry, there are no rails or trains to ruin your pleasant saunter. The walk is sheltered enough from houses and busy roads to give the impression that you are walking in rural countryside rather than the urban jungle. The full walk is about 7km (4.5mi) long and goes from Alexandra Palace all the way to Finsbury Park, but you can take the shorter route and pop off the track when you reach Highgate Wood.
Highgate Village is an old-worldly gem with grand romantic houses and a host of potential celebrity sightings (Sting and Kate Moss both have houses here). What better place to enjoy the atmosphere of the Village than sitting down to a Sunday roast at the Flask pub? With old, cosy interiors and home-made ice-cream, this is a perfect stop-off after your Sunday walk. The pub itself is easier to walk to from a steep side road by Hampstead Heath, and is well worth the journey.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.