10 May

Let’s move to Hornsey, north London: pricey, yes, but not bad for these parts

Slightly more affordable than its posh neighbours, and it still has a ‘proper’ high street, nice parks and stout Edwardian pubsWhat’s going for it? I like a hill. I live on a hill. I get claustrophobic in the vast, mostly hill-free (or hill-lite) stretches of east or west London. I can’t see out. “Always buy on a hill,” an estate agent once told me, “won’t get flooded” – a bit of folk wisdom that, in our benighted times of April heatwaves, has an added urgency. It’s borne out in social geography, in the UK at least, where posh Johnnies tend to live on hills, all the better to escape the noxious fumes and hoi polloi. Most of north London’s hills – from Hampstead to Muswell Hill – have long, long been out of bounds for the likes of us. Hornsey, sliding down Lea Valley hillside and touched by Harringay and Wood Green, is still out of bounds, but, I don’t know, maybe on a good day, with the wind behind us, and saving all our pennies from the back of the sofa, we could club together for a roomshare. Its high street is still “proper”, with hardware shops and “continental grocers” alongside the inevitable incoming coffee palaces. There’s a nook of the old village by the parish church, nice parks, stout Edwardian pubs such as the Great Northern Railway Tavern, and, looming above all at the crown of the hill, the crouching bulk of Alexandra Palace. At least the view from the top is free.The case against Still blooming expensive, just, in the way that London works, not quite as expensive as its fancier neighbours. Continue reading…

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