Sitting on the edge of north London, within easy reach of the Hertfordshire countryside and home to some excellent schools, Barnet is an ideal family hot spot.
Barnet – one of the capital’s largest boroughs – is an area of contrasts. To the north is the verdant countryside of Hertfordshire, but head south towards Hendon, Colindale and Cricklewood and it becomes distinctly more urban.
Pockets of affluent and even exclusive neighbourhoods, alongside the borough’s urban/rural appeal, put house prices in Barnet towards the higher end of the spectrum – even the average value is currently sitting at £659,000, according to Zoopla data. Check up-to-date prices here.
Want to learn more about living in north London? See our guide.
Living in Barnet: what to expect
A home in Barnet puts you within touching distance of the countryside. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders can all retreat to the hills and glades of Hertfordshire, or get some fresh air in one of the borough’s parks or nature reserves.
There’s no shortage of golf clubs either – Mill Hill Golf Club and Finchley Golf Club being just two examples. There are also as many as eight outdoor gyms.
But Barnet caters for more than sportspeople. Cosmopolitan areas such as Golders Green are famed for their late-night bakeries and cafés while Barnet High Street itself offers a selection of independent shops.
Foulds School, Manorside Primary School and Moss Hall Infant School all received ‘outstanding’ ratings at their last Ofsted inspections, which is an obvious draw to parents.
Where to start your property search
In terms of property, here’s a run-down of what to look for in the borough of Barnet – and where to look.
Arkley: For a rural lifestyle, the extended village of Arkley isn’t a bad start. Desirable Edwardian houses can be found on streets such as Granville Road while for large detached homes, try Barnet Road.
Barnet: Barnet itself offers a range of houses, from late 1800s to modern builds and from one-bedroom apartments to five- and six-bedroom mansions.
Chipping Barnet: A more affordable suburb is Chipping Barnet. Look around the conservation area on Wood Street for a Georgian or early Victorian property, or take a look at the stylish new-build apartments on Hera Avenue.
Take a look at Claremont Road in Cricklewood for contemporary one- and two-bedroom apartments right up to three- and four-bedroom houses. Or search Hendon Waterside for homes with balconies or private terraces near the river.
Golders Green: Search along Woodstock Road for generously-sized 1930s homes and purpose-built apartments, or opt for a period town house with bay windows and high ceilings on North End Road.
Hadley Wood: This area is footballer territory. You’ll find pricey houses with long gated driveways, extensive gardens and swimming pools. Check out Camlet Way, Beech Hill Avenue and Waggon Road.
Hampstead Garden Suburb: This expensive patch of Barnet is also full of charming period homes. Properties on Park Drive for example, come with generous gardens, while on Hampstead Way you can find listed terraced cottages overlooking a quiet green square. Sizeable detached homes with five or six bedrooms can also be found on Litchfield Way.
New Barnet: Edwardian properties are on the market on streets such as Crescent Road and Hadley Road, whereas Victorian homes line Station Road. Redevelopment plans will see around 200 homes built in the new Victorian Quarter.
Southgate and Cockfosters: Take a look in these areas for substantial 1930s family properties. You can also find some Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes – look particularly at Avenue Road in Southgate.
Getting around Barnet
By rail: Barnet is serviced by both the Tube’s Northern Line and Piccadilly Line. The area encompasses all three of the Northern Line’s terminals and the Piccadilly Line terminates at Cockfosters, after stopping at Oakwood, Southgate and Arnos Grove.
Overland services include the Thameslink route, which runs north to south stopping at Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon and Cricklewood.
Residents can also jump onto the Great Northern route, the tail end of the East Coast Main Line, which crosses the north eastern corner of the borough with stops at New Barnet, Oakleigh Park and New Southgate.
By car: Barnet offers good access to major roads. The A5 travels along the borough’s western border and the Great North Road passes through it. The North Circular Road (A406) also bisects the borough east to west.
Locals can easily reach the motorways too – junctions one, two and four of the M1 are in the borough, and the M25 starts just outside its boundary.
By air: Locals can catch domestic and international flights at any of the London airports. London City Airport and Stansted Airport are the closest, followed by London Luton Airport and Heathrow. All of these can be reached in less than an hour.
Things to do in Barnet
History: The Barnet Museum, which is free to enter, showcases the borough’s local history from the Bronze Age to the present day.
The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon displays models of early aircraft designs through to modern-day jets as well as the interactive displays and activities for some hands-on learning.
Culture: Cultural hub, the Arts Depot puts on music, comedy and drama performances. It also offers creative learning and performance training if you fancy treading the boards yourself.
Local groups and musicians showcase their talents at the Mill Hill Music Festival. This festival, which take place every other year, is hosted in various locations and sees musicians performing jazz and rock ‘n’ roll.
The Phoenix is an Art Deco cinema which puts on the latest film releases as well as opera, ballet and Shakespeare.
Outdoors: Residents can take their pick of Barnet’s green spaces. North of High Barnet is Monken Hadley Common. Here you can wander through the woodland and open glades, or set up a rod and line to catch fish in the lake.
Woods can also be found at Stephens House & Gardens, along with a rockery, pond and ‘bog’ garden. Woodpeckers, sparrow hawks and the tawny owl are just some of the birds that are regularly seen in the area.
For something a little more energetic, the Dollis Valley Greenwalk offers walkers a scenic place for a longer stroll. The route is 10 miles long and follows a trail all the way from the Green Belt to Hampstead Heath.
Shopping: Barnet Market opens its stalls every Wednesday and Saturday to sell fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and baked goods. Find your way to the Taste of the Mediterranean stall for olives, sun-dried tomatoes and stuffed peppers.
Mainstream shopping can be found in The Spires Shopping Centre on Barnet’s High Street, as well as some smaller independent stores.
Brent Cross Shopping Centre is only a short drive away too. It's home to more than 2,000 brands and 120 stores, including John Lewis and Apple.
Food and drink: A popular haunt for residents is Spizzico in Barnet, which serves an eclectic menu of Mediterranean, Cajun and Italian dishes. If it’s hearty food you’re after, head towards The Gate in Arkley. Try the minted lamb cutlets or the steak and ale pie.
Izakaya in Finchley is a Japanese restaurant that specialises in sushi – the salmon sashimi is particularly recommended.
The Hadley Highstone monument in Monken Hadley is the site of the Battle of Barnet. It was a decisive encounter in the Wars of the Roses between the Lancaster and York armies and secured the throne for King Edward IV.
5 reasons to live in Barnet
- Access to lots of countryside
- Excellent schools
- Good transport links by train, Tube and road
- Mix of old and new houses
- Plenty of independent shops in Barnet and Golders Green
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