If you’re looking for a leafy rural retreat in North London, then living in Highgate could be for you. It’s a picturesque village surrounded by green space, including Highgate Wood, Waterlow Park and the famous Hampstead Heath.

So it’s no surprise that it’s a popular high-end hangout for the rich and famous. Rod Stewart was born and raised here. George Michael lived here, and its more recent residents include Jamie Oliver, Kate Moss and Jude Law.

It’s close to two Tube stations; Highgate station to the north and Archway station a short walk to the south. Both of which will connect you to central London in around 20 minutes.

It also boasts an impressive array of local businesses — from welcoming pubs to fancy restaurants — and some beautiful spots for an evening walk. Take a look at our pick of Highgate’s best bits below:

Things to do in Highgate

Highgate Cemetery

One of the more unusual attractions in Highgate is its cemetery. You wouldn’t normally choose a cemetery for your Sunday walk, but you would if you were living in Highgate.

It’s one of the oddly named ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries that were established in the 19th Century around the outside of central London to alleviate overcrowding in the more central locations. As a result, you can expect to see some spectacular Victorian tombs, buildings and gravestones that give the cemetery a surreal, gothic feel. This stonework, combined with the natural greenery of the trees, plants and wild flowers that have been allowed to grow freely around the whole cemetery make for spectacular scenery for a late evening walk.

Address: Swain's Lane, N6 6PJ

Highgate Bookshop

One of the other gems of Highgate High Street — and a rare sight on many high streets these days — is an independent bookshop. Highgate Bookshop has a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction, as well as a great section of kid’s books. Pop in to grab the latest release or search for an old classic. If you need any help, the friendly and helpful staff are on hand to help you in your search.

Address: 9 Highgate High Street, N6 5JR
Phone: 020 8348 8202

Hampstead Heath

Furthermore, if you’re looking for green space whilst living in Highgate, then you’ll have acres of it. The famous Hampstead Heath (locally known as ‘the heath’) is just a short stroll away between Highgate and Hampstead. Here you’ll find 790 acres of parkland, including fields, ancient woods and ponds, as well as more recent additions of playgrounds, a training track and a lido. It also boasts a spectacular view over London, which is protected by law.

Places to eat and drink in Highgate

The Duke’s Head

You’ll find plenty of brilliant local pubs whilst living in Highgate, but one of the highest rated pubs is The Duke’s Head. In fact, they’re so highly rated that they’ve won the Time Out Love London Awards for Best Pub in Highgate 4 times!

They’re a team of passionate beer enthusiasts, with an ethos to support smaller, independent breweries. Their beer list is ever-changing, so you can always expect to try a new beer on every visit. And the same goes for their food line-up. There’s a variety of street food brands catering for customers throughout the year; from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen through to Fooska, a Bangladeshi vegan street food brand.

Address: 16 Highgate High Street, N6 5JG
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 8341 1310

The Red Lion & Sun

Another of Highgate’s highest rated pubs is The Red Lion & Sun. And this pub has the accolades to back it up. It’s listed among the top 50 gastropubs in the UK and scooped the Best Pub in the Country award at the Great British Pub Awards in 2018! Needless to say, it’s a great spot to visit if you’re living in Highgate.

During the warm weather, you can soak up some sun in its two beer gardens. Or, during the colder months, get cosy inside next to the wood-burning fire. And whatever the weather you can order from their daily changing food menu, their extensive wine list, and even their impressive collection of whisky.

Address: 25 North Road, N6 4BE
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 8340 1780

The Gatehouse

On the northern edge of Highgate’s town centre is another destination pub — great for those living in Highgate and even those further afield. The Gatehouse is a large Tudor-style pub that serves up a full selection of drinks as well as a high end à la carte menu.

But over and above that (quite literally) The Gatehouse has an added extra that few other pubs can boast. Located above the pub is a 140-seat, award-winning London Fringe Theatre with productions running throughout the year. They even tout it as “London’s top theatre”, although that may be because it’s 446ft above sea level!

Address: 1 North Road, N6 4BD
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 8340 8054

Living in Highgate

So, if you’re considering living in Highgate, you’ll see that it has a lot to offer. Its English country town feel paired with its proximity to central London is almost unrivalled; making it a sought-after high-end destination to live.

Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.