Article by Ruth Bloomfield
With an enviable location in the heart of north London and great transport links to the centre of the city, Wood Green is a neighbourhood which has inexplicably always flown under the radar.
While Muswell Hill, a couple of miles to the west, is famously one of the capital’s most sought-after urban villages, and Walthamstow, to the east, has become a hipster hotspot, buyers have tended to overlook N22.
But, finally, this Victorian railway suburb is having a moment. On the back of an ambitious plan to attract £3.5billion-worth of investment in new homes, jobs and amenities, the global property consultancy JLL has earmarked Wood Green as a potential outperformer, predicting price growth of 27 per cent over the next five years.
What Wood Green has going for it, beyond its investment potential, is convenience. From its Zone 3 Piccadilly line Tube station, commuters can be in the West End or the City in half an hour.
And families will be glad to know that almost all the local schools hold good or outstanding reports from the Ofsted education watchdog.
Alexandra Park is the area’s major landmark and biggest asset. This top-notch open space boasts cricket and football clubs and a boating lake, while the views from the park towards the City are among the most spectacular in London – just as good as from Primrose Hill – and the annual fireworks display is a marvel.
Alexandra Palace – the much-loved, historic “Ally Pally” – sits within the park and hosts regular concerts, antiques fairs and special events such as Christmas ice-skating and outdoor cinema screenings.
BE AN ALLY PALLY NEIGHBOUR WITH A MOVE TO CAXTON SQUARE
Weston Homes’ Caxton Square development offers stylish one, two and three-bedroom apartments less than a mile from the park and a short walk from Wood Green’s busy High Road, which is packed with a healthy mix of independent and chain stores.
A cinema draws people to the area, and there is an indoor shopping mall for rainy days. New arrivals to the area include Blue House Yard, an innovative collection of weatherboarded shops that’s home to an interesting mix of start-ups and boutiques, plus a board game café within an original double-decker bus. Meanwhile, The Chocolate Factory, once owned by the Barratt confectionery company, has been repurposed as a workplace for artists and makers, giving Wood Green some extra creative buzz.
There’s also a thriving, evolving foodie scene which reflects the diversity of the local community. Enjoy a vegan breakfast at Charlie’s Café & Bakery, sample Polish cuisine at Autograf, or try something Turkish at the local institution that is Kervan Sofrasi. Green Lanes, with its endless choice of Greek and Turkish restaurants, is a short walk away. There’s also a microbrewery, The Goodness Brewing Company, with a terrace that provides the perfect spot to indulge in its craft beer and pizza on a sunny evening.
Haringey Council has big plans for the future of Wood Green. It is campaigning for a place on the route of the proposed Crossrail 2 line, which would cross London from north to south. A new station, a public square and thousands of square feet of new shops, leisure facilities and offices are envisaged, to put Wood Green finally – and firmly – in the spotlight.