London does many things well, attracting tourists from far and wide: history, art, culture, diversity, pubs, sport, theatre, parks. But it has another ace up its sleeve that can be found off the beaten track: commuter suburbs – and Barnet is a prime example. Located in north London, 15 miles from the centre of town in the eponymous borough of Barnet, this suburban oasis is nestled atop a high hill on the edge of the Hertfordshire countryside – a confluence of pastoral calm and urban buzz that enhances its reputation.
Barnet: where London meets the Hertfordshire countryside
Leafy streets, first-class amenities and good schools are par for the course around here. When you’re not jumping on the train or tube to make the short ride into central London, you’ll be free to explore the local area, including the historic village Monken Hadley which is just a short walk away – a perfect reminder that London’s green belt is on Barnet’s doorstep.
- Tube: High Barnet tube station – travel zone 5 – is the terminus for one of the branches of the Northern line.
- Trains: trains from New Barnet station – travel zone 5 – take around 20 minutes to King’s Cross and 30 minutes to Moorgate.
- Road: Barnet is just a 10-minute drive from the M25.
The Hadley Wood area is home to many of Barnet’s most expensive properties, where buyers with big budgets will find double-fronted Victorian and Edwardian houses, later detached houses and modern gated mansions.
Georgian houses and period cottages are dotted around the common in Monken Hadley and the little enclave off Hadley Highstone. High Barnet – also referred to as Chipping Barnet – contains smart roads of Victorian semi-detached and terrace houses.
The largest new-build development in the area is Brook Valley Gardens, which is the regeneration of the Dollis Valley Estate.
- Average property price in Barnet: £677,729
- Average rental price in Barnet: £518 per week (considerably lower than the London average of £910 per week.)
- Primary schools: there’s a clutch of Ofsted rated “outstanding” primary schools in the local area:
St Catherine’s Roman Catholic Primary School https://st-catherines.barnet.sch.uk/
Whitings Hill Primary School, Hadley https://www.whitingshillprimaryschool.co.uk/
Coppetts Wood Primary School https://www.coppettswoodprimary.org.uk/
St Mary’s Church of England Primary School https://stmarysen4-barnet.co.uk/
- Secondary schools:
Totteridge Academy (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) https://www.thetotteridgeacademy.org.uk/
Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School (ages 11 to 18) https://www.qegschool.org.uk/
- Grammar schools:
Queen Elizabeth’s School (boys, ages 11 to 18) is a state grammar school that is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. https://www.qebarnet.co.uk/
- Private schools: the local private primary schools are:
Lyonsdown School (girls-only by 2022, ages three to 11) https://www.lyonsdownschool.co.uk/
Goodwyn School (co-ed, ages three to 11) https://www.goodwyn-school.co.uk/The local private secondary school is Mount House School (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) https://www.mounthouse.org.uk/
Things to do
- Shopping: Spires shopping centre – which is home to an array of chain stores – has recently been expanded and given a facelift, complimenting a good selection of independent shops on the high street.
- Open space: the Old Court Recreation Ground is in the town centre, where you will find a children’s playground, café, bowling green and tennis courts. It’s a short walk from the high street to the open countryside of Hadley Green and Hertfordshire beyond.
- Leisure: there are two tennis clubs: Barnet Lawn Tennis Club and Hadley Wood Lawn Tennis Club; three local golf clubs: Old Fold Manor, North Middlesex, and The Shire London; Old Elizabethans Cricket Club; and a council-owned swimming pool at the Church Farm Leisure Centre.
- Arts and culture: Barnet Museum is a free local history museum containing hundreds of artefacts reflecting the history of Barnet and those that have lived there, dating from the Bronze Age to the present day.