family areas: Muswell HIll versus Crouch End

(47 Posts)
goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 17:39:04


Dh and I are trying to move from one part of the UK to London and friends have recommended for us to have a look at the areas above.

We don't know all that many people in London and are hoping to move somewhere family-friendly, good schools with a nice sense of community.

Have found a place in Muswell Hill and another nice one in Crouch end. Would anyone have any advice on whether one is particularly better than the other?

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AvoidingRealHumans Wed 30-Sep-20 17:42:22

I grew up in London and went to school in Crouch End, to be honest the areas are very close together and very similar.
I've not lived there a while now but can't think of any major differences really.
Both nice areas and worth a look if it's London you want to live in.

NewHouseNewMe Wed 30-Sep-20 17:47:08

The question for me would be schools.. Muswell Hill has the edge because it has better primary and secondary options. Crouch End has okay primary schools but the catchment areas are tiny.

If you go private, this is immaterial but traffic is tough in both areas.

Would you consider a bit further out? You'll get a lot more for your money, better (state) schools and countryside on your doorstep.

Camdenish Wed 30-Sep-20 17:51:41

My Muswell Hill friends would never consider moving to Crouch End.
The Crouchenders think Muswell Hill is an alien planet.

I like both! Maybe MH as it’s nearer to Highgate tube and the 134 bus but I’m sure CE like Finsbury Park tube and those W buses.

Honestly, you’d have to name roads and the age of your children!

Camdenish Wed 30-Sep-20 17:53:02

I’d avoid both and go to some parts of Kentish Town or Tufnell Park. Again, roads matter.

IrishMamaMia Wed 30-Sep-20 18:02:07

I lived in CE before moving out when I had kids and spent time in both areas. They're both very good options. CE is a bit more edgy with easier access to Finsbury Park Station. Muswell Hill village area is lovely, with everything you need, I think housing stock is a bit nicer but more expensive, MH has good access to Alexandra Palace Park and good access to the Highgate Station from some parts but transport links aren't amazing by London standards. I've heard good things about Muswell Hill primaries and secondaries. There are some famous people in the area too. I think on balance Muswell Hill is better for families but depending on your personal situation, Crouch End might suit you too.

goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:15:26

thank you everyone for your replies. we have 2 DCs (baby and a three-year-old) and ideally wouldn't have to move anytime soon. We've moved quite a lot over the years and would like to stay in one place for a while. Cant go private so it would really have to be state schools for us.

When we went to visit Muswell Hill looked lovely but quite fancy and a bit quiet, Crouch End seemed a bit more urban (i.e. more like us) but the schools don't seem as good. This is obviously not the right year to check out schools. Are Crouch end schools really not as good as those in MH? And does that make any difference really?

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goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:16:33

Is one any easier for making friends as adults? We know a couple of people in London but they are scattered all over.

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goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:18:19

@Camdenish interesting you say that? why would neither move to the other part?

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christinarossetti19 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:25:11

The schools are good in both CE and MH. Catchment areas for primary ie living in a street or part of a street that falls 'between' catchment areas was a problem a few years ago, but not so much now it seems.

Camdenish Wed 30-Sep-20 18:32:40

MH and CE just very territorial I suppose.
I’d say MH leans more towards not nice edgy but only at night in very specific parts and it’s all relative.

The schools in both places are good.

If you know the streets you are interested in you can look up on the local authority website and find which schools you’re likely to get. People do get very attached to their idea of what’s a good school but you can’t really go wrong for primary.

If I had a choice I’d find it very, very difficult to chose. I do like the library in CE though...but then MH and Highgate...

goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:38:30

@Camdenish - thank you! guess territory matters in many places.

In CE we'd be looking at Weston Park or Rokesley and in MH Tetherdown (I think). At secondary it would probably be more like Fortismere v Highgate Wood.

Was a little concerned that MH seemed a lot posher. We are both in public sector jobs, lefty and not very fancy despite jobs/degrees. So I would like DCs to go to good schools and unis but not necessarily at the expense of everything else if that makes sense.

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goaway2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:39:12

Sorry hope I dont offend anyone. We've only really just had a look at both areas so our impressions might be all wrong.

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BlueJay99 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:40:36

MH for more green space. Better primary schools and FAR better secondary school options (if you live within the catchment areas).
I think there is also more of a close community feel, but as you say CE is slightly more urban. Personally since having kids that's less of a priority for me.

I lived happily in MH for many years until 5 years ago when I had my first child and couldn't afford to stay. I miss it but rarely go back nowadays. If I had £1mil I'd definitely live there again.

BlueJay99 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:44:26

* We are both in public sector jobs, lefty and not very fancy*

You'll fit in well. MH and CE are both lefty.

When I was growing up in MH it was referred to as Musli Hill (?) some sort of reference to lefties eating musli

Camdenish Wed 30-Sep-20 18:57:01

I’ve just said to DH “ MH and CE are basically interchangeable aren’t they?” And been told in no uncertain terms CE is better and of course they’re different. It’s what he knows.

I know people with children at some of this schools and really like them.

Weston Park has the newish academy primary school ? Not as liberal as all the other CE/MH schools and all the academy issues and a daft uniform but impressed parents. I like what I’ve seen.
I’d go for HW over Fortismere but neither are without their issues. It’s probably too early to worry about secondaries. Fortismere used to have a terrible reputation! You just had to go private darling as no one would send their child tgere. Until they did!

CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 20:12:50

I stayed in Highgate and been to both many times - I find MW much more busy for the shops and the traffic. It's almost like a separate town, but it is closer to Ally Pally Park.
CE is still close to Highgate, and Archway - bus to the tube and it's nicer/less busy on that tube then Finsbury Park is imo. Good for King's Cross. CE is smaller and cosier despite being quite urban (it's not edgy urban).

goaway2020 Thu 01-Oct-20 06:33:53

great to hear so much feedback.will try to dig a little bit more into schools.

I am probably just nervous of any move during covid.all the usual ways of finding out about an area/schools are just not there this year.

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Magicbabywaves Thu 01-Oct-20 06:44:16

Used to live in Crouch End before decamping to East London. I prefer the vibe of CE, MH always felt a bit dead to me, plus it’s so far away from anything. Lovely houses though.

However, like the previous poster, I’d go for Tufnell Park if I could.

OrangeSplash Thu 01-Oct-20 06:50:13

I know both areas very well and would choose CE hands down, i used to live there as well. Now i live much closer to MH.

Pps are right, CE is edgier, MH fancier. Whatever you choose check out the quickest way to a tube because neither has one and the queues for the main buses can be horrifically long! If you commute and you want the Victoria line you'll be better off in CE as much closer to Finsbury park. MH is closer to East finchley for the Northern line. In some parts of MH it's feasible to just walk to East finchley tube though.

From how you've described yourself I'd say CE would suit you better.

PamDemic Thu 01-Oct-20 06:51:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twilightstarbright Thu 01-Oct-20 06:53:39

I live nearby and have friends in both. They are both lovely areas albeit transport isn't the best. I think you'd find making friends ok in those areas, lots of classes on for under fives even now and like lots of places in London people come and go all the time so you aren't the only new arrival of the year!

Is there a difference in the two properties? Potential commutes?

HelloDulling Thu 01-Oct-20 06:54:18

You sound like CE would be a better fit, but you might end up moving for a secondary school place.

timeisnotaline Thu 01-Oct-20 06:54:31

I prefer mh. I loved living right near highgate woods especially with babies and toddlers, being right near mh broadway but able to walk to highgate as well as ce. CE is nice but it’s a nice stroll distance anyway, and it doesn’t have a tube without which neither dh or I could get to work.

goaway2020 Thu 01-Oct-20 08:25:06

would anyone have any comments whether the secondary school options are really all that different. Looking at the stats MH options are better but would the same kid really do all that differently in CE and MH?

My gut feeling is that I would prefer CE but worried that MH is just better for kids in terms of schooling.

@PamDemic - yes, the boden-y. I fear that am just not tidy and put together enough for MH.

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