The North London landscape is dominated by parks, gardens, and other rural areas, a far cry from the cityscape found in Central London. The area is well known for its high end shopping and restaurants, but there is more to North London than first meets the eye.
North of the river is home to a number of British celebrities including Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geri Halliwell, and of course, PM David Cameron.
If you want to explore a slightly different side to London than the usual Royal residences and the tourist trap of Oxford Street then you can check out some of the cheap things to do plus see, places to eat or drink, and unique shopping sanctuaries that we have found buried in this quaint spot of urban London.
Secret shopping havens
You can’t start writing about shopping in North London without mentioning Camden Town. Home to the infamous Camden Market, Camden Town has in fact a number of markets and attracts half a million visitors every single week.
Best known for finding jewellery and antiques, Camden Market is a must-see for everyone. Shopping is not all you can do at Camden; there are also hotels, pubs, bars, and cheap eateries all around the Market.
If markets aren’t really your cup of tea, you might find a few bargains down Upper Street; Islington as there is a whole array of novel shops for you to browse. At the end of the stretch, you will find Highbury Fields Park, the perfect place to rest your weary feet.
It seems that we can’t escape the markets in London as the North London Vintage Market is another gem. Situated in St Mary’s Parish Hall not far from Finsbury Park and Muswell Hill, this market is run by a couple of dealers from Spitalfields Antique Market.
With vendors selling just about everything from furniture to homeware, and ceramics to fabrics, you are bound to see something that catches your eye or captures your cash.
Heading away from the markets again and onto the high street, Stoke Newington Church Street is a quaint shopping haven packed with small independents. Down here, you will find vintage clothing for men, women and children, a variety of reasonably priced restaurants and many more bargains.
Best Eats & Drinks
If you crave variety, there is no better place to head for a meal than North London. The first recommendation is the Delhi Grill, which manages to bring Punjabi street food to Chapel Market. The menu is quite short but the food is delicious, with meals and drinks, which will probably setting you back around £3.25 per person depending on your appetite and choice.
From Punjabi to Korean, Dotori is located in Finsbury Park and offers up some sublime Korean and Japanese dishes. This is slightly more expensive with a meal for two hitting around the £30 mark, but it does offer excellent value for money.
If you have ever wondered what Ecuadorian-Bolivian cuisine is like then El Rincon Quiteno is a must-visit restaurant. Here you will be served traditional dishes with hunks of meat at affordable prices. The types of meals you will find on the menu include traditional casseroles, stews and soups.
For a real bargain lunch, you can head back to Camden Market, to dine at, well… ‘Market’. This simple restaurant offers 2-course set lunches for £10 per person, and provides delicious food in an honest environment. Although not quite a Michelin star, the dishes on offer are cooked to perfection and provide those on a tight budget with mouth-watering meals.
Arts & Attractions
If you have never visited North London before, you could take a trip to Alexandra Palace or ‘Ally Pally’ as it is locally known. The Palace offers a tour of London culture and heritage that you won’t find anywhere else. The park is free to enter and has a pub, restaurant, boating lake plus a pitch & putt golf course.
Seeing the sights of North London is often best achieved on a double-decker bus. If you want to explore the area then jump on either the No.19 or No.73, which will take you around Battersea, Finsbury Park, Victoria, and Stoke Newington.
Another fantastic free entry attraction is Bruce Castle, which is home to a 16th century manor house that has been transformed into a museum. The park also boasts sports facilities and a children’s playground.
If you want to visit, avoid Mondays and Tuesdays because Bruce Castle has relaxed opening hours between 1pm and 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Finally yet importantly, is Kings Place, which sports two concert halls, an art gallery, a restaurant, and a number of modern arts events. It is free to enter the foyer and gallery, but tickets can be purchased for the events at the box office.
On a budget, North London provides an endless diary of free and cheap events or eateries from you to choose from, so why not grab your Oyster card and head for the North.
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.|