While north London’s Islington and Angel receive all the plaudits, it’s nearby Highbury that sits quietly in the background with delightful period homes and lush new developments. You don’t always have to be the centre of attention.
The N5 postcode is conveniently positioned to get the most out of Islington and Angel, as well as popular Dalston, while providing a quiet, leafy suburb that acts as an easy escape. The tranquil environment is the perfect release for those who want to be close to but not right in the middle of the action.
Of course, it’s hard to talk about Highbury without mentioning Arsenal football club. However, there is more to the area than its Premier League football links. Those who want to live in a North London postcode with excellent travel links need to take a closer look at N5.
On a map
Initially, Highbury was part of the larger manor of Tolentone, which was owned by Ranulf brother Ilger, and included areas north and east of Canonbury and Holloway Roads. There was a manor house by the east side of Hornsey Road.
After the manor’s demise, a new manor house was constructed in 1271. It’s possible that a Roman garrison used the site of Highbury Manor as a summer camp after tiles were found during the construction of new Highbury House in 1781. These have since been lost.
After the Second World War, when Highbury was bombed extensively, many new buildings were built. Following the property boom in the 1980s, much of the area saw gentrification, with the council selling an increasing number of homes to private developers.
Who lives there?
The largest age group is 30-39, while the most significant non-English contingent is made up of Irish and Turkish. Many City dwellers call Highbury their home as it is the last area before the City where it’s possible to buy houses as well as flats.
Renting in Highbury
For a relatively small area, Highbury provides a vast selection of properties. There are plenty of period homes tucked away in pretty enclaves. New residential developments come in the form of Highbury Stadium Square, the former Arsenal stadium. There are even eco-friendly homes.
Highbury Barn is one of the most popular parts and features independent and artisan shops, as well as a village-like feel. Such a feat is even more impressive considering that it’s located only a couple of miles from the hustle and bustle of the City.
The average price for a one bedroom apartment is £1,635 per month, while a two bedroom flat fetches around £2,295 per month, and three bedroom properties achieve in the region of £2,690. Anything with more than three beds averages £3,750.
There are plenty of travel options for those living in Highbury. Arsenal Tube Station is named after the football club and is located on the Piccadilly Line. Residents can be in King’s Cross in just five minutes and Covent Garden in 12 mins. There is also a direct service to Heathrow Airport.
Highbury and Islington tube station is on the Victoria line with services to London Victoria in 11 minutes. There is also an Overground service at the same station, which goes to Shoreditch, Hackney and south London.
Several bus routes pass through Highbury and go to Central London, Islington, Angel and beyond.
Things to do in Highbury
With Islington just a few mins walk from Highbury, amenities in the N5 postcode aren’t quite forthcoming. There are a few select shops, restaurants and bakeries, however. Oh, and a 60,000-seater stadium that hosts football matches and music events.
Give in to your sweet tooth and pop down to Holloway Road where you’ll find Miki’s Paradise, a tasty milkshake and juice bar. The menu features a wide selection of fruit juices, tea, coffee, cakes and Miki’s “freakshakes”. Enjoy milkshake jars with ice cream, pretzels, brownies and much more.
Address: 221 Holloway Rd, London N7 8HG
If you fancy some Georgian cuisine, Tbilisi might just offer the finest experience in London. Starters come in the form of three soups and meze dips, while main courses feature delightful stews in the form of chashushuli and kharcho.
Address: 91 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LT
If fresh pasta is your thing, get yourself down to Trullo, Highbury’s star player for Italian food. The restaurant is spread over two floors and has an eclectic atmosphere and delicious dishes. The menus change twice daily but feature grills and roasts to compliment the pasta.
Address: 300-302 St Paul’s Rd, Highbury East, London N1 2LH
When a tiny district in North London houses a 60,000 seater stadium for one of the world’s most famous football clubs, it’s hard to go a whole area guide without giving it significant coverage. While the benefits of having a stadium nearby are clear to football – and specifically Arsenal – fans, the stadium is also known for hosting music concerts from some of the world’s most famous bands.
Address: Hornsey Rd, London N7 7AJ
Ink@84 is a funky independent bookshop that also features a cafe. They have the latest new fiction and non-fiction books suitable for both adults and children. Stop by and get one of the latest works of fiction and stay for a craft beer or coffee.
Address: 84 Highbury Park, Highbury East, London N5 2XE
At 29 acres, Highbury Fields is the largest open space in the borough of Islington. Surrounded by charming period properties, it’s an ideal place to laze the days away on a sunny afternoon or go for a brisk stroll during the autumn.
Moving to Highbury
It’s hard to find many faults with Highbury – the area is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Angel and the City, yet it’s still close enough to be in the midst of the action within minutes. Good travel links, open spaces, and access to restaurants and shops make it a sought-after area in North London.