This north London Borough has plenty more to offer than just proximity to the capital.
With prices lagging behind many other areas of Greater London, Enfield is still a relatively affordable spot if you want to be within spitting distance of the capital.
Living in Enfield: what to expect
In a word, redevelopment. As well as the millions of pounds already invested in the Palace Gardens shopping area during the noughties, further regeneration is underway in Enfield which promise more homes, improved facilities and jobs.
Meridian Water in the Edmonton/Lee Valley Corridor is the most notable project. Costing billions, the exciting development got the go-ahead in May 2016. It will create 10,000 new homes – 30% of which will be affordable housing – and 16,000 new jobs.
According to The London Economic website, Enfield is also still among the 10 most affordable boroughs to buy in London. Zoopla puts average house values at £400,000 – up 42% over the last five years. You can check the most up-to-date Enfield house price information here.
And because the borough is less than 45 minutes from central London, there’s plenty of work on offer too. Several large businesses are based in Enfield including Travis Perkins. And SONY has a distribution centre on the Innova Science and Business Centre.
Where to start your property search
Enfield grew rapidly after the North Circular road (A406), which lies just south of the borough, started being built in the 1920s and 1930s. So much of the housing stock there dates back from that era. However, this is interspersed with historic pockets and modern developments. So where should you start?
Enfield Town: Documented in the Domesday Book, Enfield Town comes with a rich history. But, like much of the borough, it grew rapidly in the 1930s bringing with it large semi-detached houses ideal for families. More recent developments have seen a range of smaller (and affordable) flats spring up in the area.
If your budget is at the upper end of the scale, don’t miss Enfield Town’s Gentleman’s Row – an affluent road lined with sixteenth to eighteenth-century terraces with smart gardens and white picket fences. You’ll also find larger homes overlooking the New River which runs through the heart of Enfield town.
Cockfosters, Southgate and Arnos Grove: These areas exploded in the 1930s, when the Tube’s Piccadilly Line was extended to north-east London. But alongside the 1930s-built semis, you can also find more modern 1950s- and 1960s-built properties, constructed to meet the subsequent demand for housing. All areas to suit a range of pockets.
Edmonton: One-time industrial areas, Edmonton and Edmonton Green offer a large number of former local authority properties – great for first-time buyers looking to make their debut on the London property ladder. Both areas saw large-scale redevelopment in the early 2000s and plans are underway to build more housing – so these areas are ones to watch.
Oakwood: Lying just west of Enfield is the affluent area of Oakwood. Being within the London Metropolitan Green Belt, the homes here offer some stunning countryside views. Combine this with the urban advantage of having its own Tube station and there’s little surprise that house prices in Oakwood represent some of the highest in the borough.
Getting around and about Enfield
Train: Ideal for commuters, the Borough of Enfield has four Tube stops on the Piccadilly Line: Arnos Grove, Oakwood, Southgate and Cockfosters. You can be in the city within 30 minutes and central London in 45 minutes.
While it’s not on the Tube, Enfield Town itself is on the London Overground which takes approximately 30 minutes into Liverpool Street Station.
Great Northern trains also stop at several stations in the borough, including Enfield Chase. Trains from here will get you to Hertfordshire (Stevenage) in 40 minutes.
Car: Enfield sits conveniently between the North Circular (which runs round central London) and the outer road ring of the M25. However, both roads can become very congested and are best avoided during rush hour.
The A10 runs through the borough from north to south connecting Enfield with central London to the south, and Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, to the north. It also links up with the North Circular which will take you across the top of north London (it’s called a circular but the road is not actually a complete ring).
Air: Enfield is serviced by both London City and London Stansted airports which are only around a 40-minute drive away, traffic depending. Budget airline Flybe leaves from London City, while Ryanair and easyJet depart from Stansted, making any escape to the continent quick and cheap.
Things to do in Enfield
So what does Enfield have in store for its residents – existing or promising?
Forty Hall & Estate is a beautiful Grade II-listed house which dates back to the 1620s. Set within extensive grounds, it’s a great place to learn about life in the 17th century. It holds events and exhibitions throughout the year so every time you visit, you can discover something new.
Lee Valley White Water Centre provides a chance for the whole family to have a go at white water rafting. (You can hire wetsuits and all the equipment you need). If you’d prefer something a little less exhilarating, you take out canoes instead or learn to scuba dive.
Voted the Best Community Market 2016, Enfield Market has been operational since as long ago as 1303. It sells food and local produce alongside clothes and wines.
For more mainstream brands, such as Next, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, visit Enfield’s Palace Gardens shopping centre. There’s also a big IKEA in Edmonton, ideal for buying creature comforts for your new home.
Not only is Enfield home to Chickenshed Theatre Company, there’s also the Millfield and Dugdale Centres, where you can watch the latest productions as well as get involved with the community.
Food and drink
There are lots of cafés and restaurants in Enfield, so you’ll find everything from traditional English pubs to outstanding Indian cuisine and Greek bakeries. Our personal favourites are Chez Tonton on East Barnet Road for French dining, and Saathi on Chase Side for Indian cuisine.
Being a relatively urban part of Greater London, perhaps Enfield’s green space is its best-kept secret. As well as Forty Hall Estate, there’s Trent Park, Enfield Chase, Capel Manor Gardens, Myddleton House Gardens and Grovelands Park – all ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle.
5 reasons to live in Enfield
Abundance of green space
(Relatively) affordable property prices
45 minutes into central London
Easy access to two airports