11 reasons to pack your bags and move to Barnet
We love Barnet. It's no secret. Everyone who knows us is probably sick of hearing about how much we love Barnet. We love it so much we rarely stop talking about it.
We moved at the tail end of 2013, and after years of living in zone 1/2, relocating to zone 5 felt like an incredibly mature decision to make. Two years later, we can safely say it was one of the best we've made.
So, we wanted to share the Barnet love with you. Here are our top 11 reasons you should pack your bags and move to Barnet.
1. You're on the Northern Line (and you can always get a seat)
High Barnet station is in zone 5, right at the top of the Northern Line. Being the first stop means that when you hop on to to make your daily commute, you can always get a seat.
Speaking of commuting, you can be in Camden (where one of our favourite restaurants, Hook, is) in 20 minutes, Kings Cross and Euston in 25 minutes and Tottenham Court Road in 35 minutes. You can get all the way down to Clapham in under an hour – plus, no tube changes!
There's also New Barnet station - a National Rail station connecting you to Finsbury Park in 10 minutes and Old Street in 25 minutes.
It's actually quicker and easier to get into central London from zone 5 North, than it is from Zone 2 South East. It's going to be part of the new 24 hour tube map too, so if you're a partial to a party or work night shifts in central London it's ideal.
2. You're in London but there's a real country vibe and it's SUPER green
When you find yourself in the middle of Hadley Wood, you'll feel like you're a million miles away from London, when really you're only a 15 minute walk from the tube station. Barnet sits on the Hertfordshire border, so it's super lush and green – perfect for sunny Sunday treks and winter walks through the woods to Trent Park (which is actually in Cockfosters).
If you're a runner, there are millions of amazing off-road routes, and there's a Parkrun at Oak Hill on a Saturday morning - we'll see you there.
3. The pubs are incredible
There are so, so many brilliant pubs in Barnet. To name a few... The Monk, Black Horse, The Green Dragon, Ye Olde Mitre Inn, The Cock Inn, The Gate, The Arkley, Hadley Hotel, The Railway Bell (the best Wetherspoons you'll ever step foot in).
If you've got a car, take 10 minutes to drive out to the Orange Tree at Totteridge and the Adam and Eve in Mill Hill. They're two of our favourites.
I think we'll probably do a round-up in the near future of our favourite pubs in and around Barnet.
4. You can be on the M25 in 5 minutes
If you drive, this is just perfection. You can be out of London in no time at all (providing the M25 isn't at a stand still, which let's face it, it normally is...) This makes Barnet perfect for commuting to places like St Albans, where Kerry works. It's also pretty handy for day trips – you can pop to Windsor or Richmond in under an hour. For us, it also makes it super easy to get to respective hometowns in Brighton and Leicester to visit family.
5. The highstreet is actually pretty amazing
There's a small shopping centre called The Spires, which houses a decent sized Waitrose, a really cute florist, a couple of your average highstreet shops (New Look, Waterstones etc), and a Carluccios too. I won't go in to every shop there is on the highstreet, but there's everything you need there.
6. The rent is marginally cheaper than other parts of London AND you can have a garden
Without wanting to sound like an estate agent, we've managed to bag ourselves a spacious one bedroom flat with a separate kitchen and living room (Londoners know the struggle), and a decent sized garden with a summer house AND a shed! We're not quite sure why we need both, but now we've got both, I can't imagine life without the little wooden huts.
I'm about to price drop how much we pay on rent, so if you live outside of London, skim over this bit - the rent price will offend you. We pay £1250 a month. If you're a Londoner, you'll know how reasonable that is given said size/garden, and that it's walking distance from the tube and the train and round the corner from a bus stop and shops.
7. There's a real community vibe
Within the first week of moving on to our lovely road in New Barnet, almost all of the neighbours had introduced themselves to us. We'd spoken to people on the street, made friends with the local shop owners and had half-hour long conversations with the manager of the local cafe. It's the sort of place where people will knock on your door just to introduce themselves, and neighbours will take in your parcels without a second thought. I've never experienced a community vibe quite like this anywhere in London before. It's unique and it's special, and it makes for a sustainable and happy relationship with those around you.
8. Never-ending food supply
Where to begin with the restaurants, pubs and takeaways. Almost all of the pubs mentioned above do food, and we're yet to have a bad meal. The highstreet is packed with all the chains you'd want for easy weekday suppers – Pizza Express, Prezzo, Carluccios etc.
There's a few independent restaurants as well, including the best Thai ever - Rice Terrace. It doesn't look much from the outside but the food is honestly incredible. We get take out from there at least once a month. Soh, the Japanese restaurant on the highstreet is really small and romantic for date nights - it's pretty expensive, but it's lovely to walk up to on a summer's evening when they open up all the front windows.
I don't even know where to begin when it comes to Sunday roasts. We could probably dedicate a whole post to them alone. Our top three in Barnet and the surrounding area are The Orange Tree in Totteridge, The Adam and Eve in Mill Hill and The Monk on Barnet highstreet.
9. You can live in a Barnet bubble and never get bored
Between the pubs and the never-ending walking routes, there's actually a hell of a lot to do in Barnet and beyond by car. There's a lovely art deco Odeon, a dinosaur crazy golf course, and even a new 'Footgolf' facility that we've yet to explore.
10. The amazing houses in Hadley Wood
When you're walking through Hadley Wood, past the traditional English cricket ground, past the woods and along the winding gravel path, you'll be faced with probably some of the most enormous and amazing houses you've ever seen. There are single-lane windy roads and white picket fences and a tiny church with a little cottage rectory. There are ponds and trees and plenty of green and period manor houses set back from the road behind grand gates. If someone picked you up and dropped you there, you wouldn't believe you're in London. You could be anywhere in the English countryside. It's just beautiful - a must-see, even if you just come for the day.
11. It will make you happy
We can guarantee it. Once you've got over your fear of venturing out of zone 2, your life will be richer in fresh air and positive vibes.
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