[Photo: Mike T]
Head north to enjoy London’s best qualities crammed into one ‘village’.
Why go there?
Because it’s the capital’s cutest village, with a smattering of great pubs, some lovely green spaces and a few A-list attractions. London in miniature, basically.
What’s the vibe?
Quaint, calm and parochial with nary a kebab shop in sight. It almost feels like you’re not in London at all, until you see the prices in the estate agents’ windows. Sounds a bit grown-up.
Where’s the party at?
Try The Boogaloo, a scruffy pub on Archway Road with heaps of rock heritage attached to it. It’s where The Libertines announced their reunion in 2010 and where you’ll find some of north London’s most perennially popular nights out, such as the music quiz on Tuesdays and DJ sets centred on rock, soul and ska.
Where can I grab a quiet pint?
The Flask (Highgate West Hill), The Bull (North Hill) and The Wrestlers (North Road) are all cosy spots to hole up with some real ale. They have also all been known to get involved with Highgate’s unique, bonkers, 600-year-old tradition of ‘Swearing on the Horns’, whereby pub-goers take an oath of debauchery on a set of stag antlers. Then get sloshed.
Anywhere for a nice stroll?
You’re spoilt for choice. Waterlow Park has some top-notch places for kids to play and an awesome, hollowed-out tree by the lower pond. Or there’s Highgate Wood, a trip to which should be combined with a stroll along Parkland Walk, a disused railway line – now well loved by joggers, cyclists and dog owners – that runs from Highgate down to Finsbury Park.
Any celebs about?
George Michael, Sting, Annie Lennox… it’s an ’80s popstar-spotter’s hunting ground.
And if I only do one thing?
Take a walk around Highgate Cemetery. The West Cemetery is accessible only by guided tour (£12) but you’re free to roam around the East Cemetery for just four quid. Notable residents include Karl Marx, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide…’ writer Douglas Adams and punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren, whose grave features an eerie bronze death mask.
By David Clack, who will never win The Boogaloo’s quiz.