Muswell Hill; A Hidden Countryside Retreat worth Exploring
Want to indulge in an afternoon of retail therapy without elbowing your way through crowds? If yes, you might want to add Muswell Hill to your list of soon-to-visit London neighborhoods.
As the name implies, Muswell Hill is perched on a hill, about 335ft above sea level. The suburban district boasts beautiful Edwardian architecture and is lined with delis, chic cafes, cozy pubs, indie fashion boutiques, upscale retail stores, and global restaurants.
Despite its impressive array of urban attractions, Muswell Hill has a countryside feel and isn’t connected to any tube station. Although this might seem inconvenient, the area’s isolation is part of its allure.
Things to Do in Muswell Hill
Here are some of the fun things to do in Muswell Hill after your tattoo appointment in Shoreditch:
See Alexandra Palace
Fondly known as Ally Pally, Alexandra Palace is an 18th-century arts and entertainment venue built under Queen Victoria. Its regal architecture and expansive open green space create an impression of an actual palace, but it has been a site for public recreation and entertainment since it opened its doors.
The BBC had its first-ever public TV transmissions In this palace, and it has been featured in multiple films, including an episode of Tenth Doctor. Ally Pally today features an ice rink, a park, pitch& putt areas, a theatre, and food and drink concession stands making it an ideal spot to spend the day without breaking the budget.
Grab Some Food at Clissold Arms
There are plenty of eateries in Muswell Hill, but if you’re looking for the best gourmet food and finely-brewed craft beers, Clissold Arms is your best bet. The locally-owned pub lives up to its Food Come First motto, thanks to the extensive menu featuring options like teriyaki salmon, spiced braised lamb tagine, and a range of Greek Specialty dishes you’ll love. The award-winning restaurants also offer a rich vegetarian menu and a wide selection of beers, ciders, and wines to wash down your meal.
Watch a Movie at Everyman’s Cinema
Got time for a film? Head to Everyman’s Cinema on Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill. The grey-screen venue is housed in a Grade II-listed building and, similar to other Everyman chain cinemas, redefines movie-watching experiences thanks to its three-screen design.
A Glimpse into Muswell Hill’s History
Due to its inaccessible location on a hill, Muswell Hill was rural and undeveloped until the 19th century. The area’s heavy clay soil made roads almost impossible to construct, and up until the turn of the 19th century, it was mainly a pastoral and woodland area.
Development began in 1895 when a wealthy stockbroker procured and developed a piece of land near the current roundabout. Other investors began pouring in, and by the end of the 20th century, Muswell Hill was a well-developed residential area, defined by beautiful Edwardian homes and brick and mortar retail spaces.
Note, long before the growth, Muswell Hill was a popular pilgrimage site, thanks to Mossy Hill, a well on a 64-acre, nun-owned piece of land said to have curative powers.
Getting to Muswell Hill
Although it has no tube station, Muswell Hill is easily accessible via the Alexandra Palace Station. If visiting from Shoreditch, Muswell is about 40 minutes to an hour via Green Lanes A105 or via Liverpool Road/B515 and AI.