I’m continuing the series of London’s hidden gems and the best places to live in London, so in this post, we will be exploring Muswell Hill together. Muswell Hill is one of these places only locals know about and keep it as a secret. Located in North London zone 3, Muswell Hill isn’t easily accessible by public transport, as it’s not close to any of the tube stations. However, you can take a bus and get to East Finchley, Highgate or even Finsbury Park in 7-25 minutes depending on the traffic.
I previously wrote a separate post about Highgate – one of the most beautiful and impressive neighbourhoods of North London, easily competing with famous Hampstead. If you’re coming to visit Highgate, don’t miss out Muswell Hill, as you can easily walk there in 20-25 minutes. You can find my post about Highgate and the best things to do there here.
Since I moved from Elephant & Castle to East Finchley (and trust me, it was the best decision in my last few years), I started walking a lot and exploring my local area. I realised how little information there is online about these neighbourhoods. Therefore, I decided to create a series of posts about the most underrated residential areas of London – true London’s hidden gems. These posts would be useful for anyone who loves exploring London and enjoys walking around, discovering different areas, their history and their highlights, including best local shops and restaurants.
Before we start “exploring Muswell Hill”, here’s what you can expect to find in this post:
Alright, without further ado, let’s get started!
Why is Muswell Hill one of the best areas to live in London?
Muswell Hill is a quiet residential area in North London, in the borough of Haringey. As you can see from the name, it’s located on the hill and from some spots (including one of the main commercial streets of Muswell Hill), you can have stunning views of London. Muswell Hill has plenty of shops and restaurants – from supermarkets to small delis, from clothing shops like Sweaty Betty to make-up stores like Space N.K.
Muswell Hill is also incredibly safe. Moreover, it has a lot of green spaces. It has the highest concentration of Ancient Woods in London including Coldfall wood and Bluebell wood, but Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood are also around the corner. Alexandra Park and Palace are also at the doorsteps. There are quite a few concerts and fairs happening in Alexandra Palace throughout the year, so there is definitely a lot to see and do in Muswell Hill.
The only downside of living in Muswell Hill is the lack of tube, trains or overground. If the weather permits, you can perhaps walk to East Finchley station in circa 20-25 minutes depending on your location. The only mean of transport you have available in the heart of Muswell Hill is buses. However, they go regularly and can bring you to East Finchley station, Highgate Station, Alexandra Park station or Finsbury Park station if you are okay with staying on a bus a bit longer. There are also buses to the city centre and Islington, but it takes about 40 min – 1 hour to get there during peak hours.
The best places to visit in Muswell Hill
Let’s talk about the best places to visit in Muswell Hill. If you’re coming to North London just to see Muswell Hill, I recommend you to combine it with exploring other neighbouring areas like Highgate, East Finchley or Hampstead.
1 – Visit Alexandra Palace and Park
Alexandra Palace and Park are an absolute must if you’re planning to visit Muswell Hill. Located a short walk away (15 minutes from the heart of Muswell Hill), Alexandra Park and Palace have incredible views of London. It’s a great place to sit down, relax, have a picnic. There is an ice-skating rink inside Alexandra Palace, and it’s pretty good as well!
2 – Find the prettiest doors in Muswell Hill
As I mentioned before, houses in Muswell Hill are stunning. One of the best things to do in Muswell Hill is just walking around and exploring the most beautiful streets and also the most charming doors. We spotted this tiny street on the way to Wood Green and immediately fell in love with it.
3 – Have a quick bite in one many restaurants in Muswell Hill
Even though Muswell Hill is a quiet residential area, it has a lot of restaurants to choose from. From great sourdough pizzas (Amici Miei 2 and Franco Manca) to pasta (Fasta has great pasta), steaks (Miller & Carter Steakhouse located in a former church), brunch (Aleion, Bill’s and Chriskitch), Indian food (The Taste of Nawab), Turkish food (La De Kitchen) to Italian food (Connubio da Fabio).
4 – Go down to Crouch End
Going from Crouch End to Muswell Hill is quite challenging, as it’s quite a steep climb, but if you go from Muswell Hill to Crouch End, it’s super easy. Crouch End is another lovely area of North London with a lot of small local shops, bakeries and beautiful streets.
5 – Explore the ancient woods
Finally, another great thing to do in Muswell Hill is to explore the ancient woods of Haringey. These woods have been untouched for at least the last 400 years, but they have been there since Roman times, and before, they used to be one big wood. My favourite wood is the Coldfall wood, however, some other woods to explore include Bluebell Wood, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood.
Alright, I hope you enjoyed this post about Muswell Hill. If you were curious about the area and were considering moving there from another part of London, go for it, Muswell Hill is fantastic. If you’re just coming for a day trip to visit North London, I definitely recommend spending some time in Muswell Hill, Highgate and Hampstead – as all these areas are stunning.