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At the exact point that shanty-but-sexy Camden meets leafy, literary Highgate, the Archway is at first little more than a roundabout and an unremarkable high street, but offers much in terms of attractions in its nearby locales. It’s where actors, artists and musicians who can’t afford the rents in neighbouring Highgate, Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Hampstead congregate, and the gentrification of Highgate Hill – north of Archway roundabout, and apparently the site where Dick Whittington heard the Bow Bells calling him to return to London – is slowly but surely creeping into the area.
The wider area of this part of north London is a seat of intellectual and artistic bohemia. Spending a few hours in nearby Crouch End or boho hostelry of choice the Boogaloo juke joint (314 Archway Road, 0208 340 2928) is sure to catch you a glimpse of a famous face from TV or popland, and Karl Marx, artist Patrick Caulfield and physicist Michael Faraday are all buried in nearby Highgate Cemetery, a ten minute walk from the Archway and a splendidly gothic day out.
There’s an even more morbid local monument on the way: Hornsey Lane Bridge, universally known as ‘Suicide Bridge’ which marks the official boundary between inner and outer London and despite its grim history, has wonderful views of central London.
Archway’s best-kept secret is the Mosaic café-restaurant (24 Junction Road, 0207 272 3509), with five-star southern Italian hospitality you’d be hard pushed to find outside of the Med, let alone in London; very easy on the wallet pizzas and pastas, served with infectious conviviality, and their backyard eating area mixes Mexican Day of the Dead décor with vineyard-style vibes for an experience that transports you worlds away from the urban frenzy outside. Regulars rate Mosaic as one of their favourite culinary experiences in the city; don’t miss it.
Archway is in Zone 3 on the Northern Line, High Barnet branch, connecting to Euston in ten minutes, and Upper Holloway overground rail station is close by.
|Archway Station||2||Northern||0.06 miles|
|Tufnell Park Station||2||Northern||1.00 miles|
|Highgate Station||3||Northern||1.54 miles|
|Kentish Town Station||2||Northern||1.79 miles|
|Finsbury Park Station||2||Piccadilly - Victoria||1.98 miles|
|Crouch Hill Station||1.41 miles|
|Gospel Oak Station||1.60 miles|
|Kentish Town Station||1.72 miles|
|Finsbury Park Station||1.99 miles|
|Kentish Town West Station||2.25 miles|