10 reasons to live in Haringey
MN Local returns to London, this time visiting the borough of Haringey (featuring Muswell Hill, Highgate, Crouch End, Wood Green and Tottenham) where local editors, Emma and Kate, have put together their MN guide on just why you should consider living there.
About Emma & Kate
We are Emma and Kate and we've both lived in Haringey for nearly 10 years.
Why we wanted to be local editors
We have five children between us and with backgrounds in web development and journalism, it was the perfect opportunity to combine work and family. We've always been surprised by how many great family events there are in the borough, so a role that shares all this information with other local families seemed a no-brainer.
1. Thing about the area
The sense of community in Haringey is really something special. The local festivals, art events and village-style fairs help to make Haringey's cluster of London villages the best. There is also a huge amount of creativity and goodwill here.
The Karamel in Wood Green is a wonderful child-friendly café. It's spacious, so there's lots of room for buggies and runaway children. It's filled with interesting art, spilling over from the Chocolate Factory studios next door. It's got a great selection of reasonably priced food, plus JiggleBugs on Friday and kids' shows on the weekend.
"We discovered Queen's Wood Cafe last year when my daughter was invited to a woodland adventure party and absolutely loved it! Can't beat it for fresh home-cooked food and yummy homemade cakes, (including gluten free polenta!) all very reasonably priced. There were excellent fairy woodland adventure parties too; just magic!" Esse
3. Best child-free night
There are so many restaurants, lovely pubs, bars and local venues for a night out that this obviously comes down to personal taste. But there's also comedy Downstairs at the Kings Head, theatre and music Upstairs at the Gatehouse and at Lauderdale House and Jacksons Lane, plus loads of events up on the hill at Alexandra Palace.
4. Best outside space
Again we're spoilt for choice. To be this close to central London and surrounded by so much green, or wooded open space, feels like a complete luxury.
Average semi-detached house price
Average class size for primary schools
Haringey: 27.4 pupils
UK: 27 pupils
Personally Queen's Wood and Highgate Wood are favourites – they are magical places where the kids can careen around and they've both got lovely cafes. The playground in Highgate Wood caters for teenies and bigger kids and the activities laid on by the wood rangers: bug hunts, tree climbing, bushcraft skills… are perfect for families.
"The Sunday Farmers' Market at Alexandra Palace is great followed by a picnic on the hill with great views of London. My DS loves walking past the deer enclosure and playing on the big slide in the playground. The food in the cafe is surprisingly good, and the pedalos are fun on a sunny day." izzy32
5. Hidden gem?
Haringey's Moselle River – once completely above ground, now underground in many areas – is a great treasure under our feet. You can print off a map of its route across the borough from the Haringey Friends of Parks website and follow it as it meanders from its true source in Queen's Wood, through Priory Park, Wood Green, Lordship Recreation Ground, Tottenham Cemetery, Down Lane Park and Markfield Park, until it joins the River Lea.
"I rate the Philosopher's Garden in Priory Park. It's not so much hidden, but it is a gem. A quiet gated area in the corner of the park where you can relax knowing your little ones can't roam far and won't step in anything left by lazy dog walkers." ifonlytherewastime
6. Primary/Secondary Schools
Primary: Coleridge, Tetherdown, Rokesely. And secondary: Highgate Wood, Fortismere, Alexandra Park School.
7. Free visitor attractions
Bruce Castle is a great place to take the kids for a free afternoon out. There always seems to be something going on – exhibitions, free arts and craft drop-in sessions, craft markets, historical events… our kids love the interactive display room based on a whole host of interesting local inventions. There's also the park and playground out back for them to burn off a bit of steam.
The Markfield Beam Engine and Museum makes for a great family day out, especially if you manage to go to one of its themed days (next one 12 July), or Steaming days (next one 26th August bank holiday). It's a fascinating bit of local history, plus there's the park and café.
9. Places to live
Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate all have that villagey feel, and Harringay (as distinct from Haringey) is a real up-and-coming area that is a bit more affordable.
10. Places to shop
There are a lot of great independent retailers, foodie shops and clothes boutiques in Haringey, particularly in Highgate Village, Muswell Hill and Crouch End.
And finally, sum up why it's so good for families?
Haringey is a great part of London to bring up kids as it's very relaxed, friendly and packed with families. The vast amount of green, open spaces means there are lots of outdoor options to keep the kids exercised and happy, while the busy local high streets make life that much easier for time-strapped parents.