Arsenal and Finsbury Park have seen growth, regeneration and a surge in popularity over recent years. What is all the buzz about?
Go back thirty years, and it is fair to say that the area around Arsenal and Finsbury Park, to the east of the Holloway Road, did not have a great reputation. Unemployment, poverty and crime were the watchwords, and there was an inner city slum feel.
What a difference three decades can make! Today, Arsenal is one of the most vibrant and desirable areas in north London, and Arsenal letting agents have seen a real surge in demand, with the area proving particularly popular with young professional couples and families.
Of course, the looming shape of Emirates Stadium does tend to dominate the area, but there is still plenty here to attract those who have no interest in football – let’s find out more.
The area is largely comprised of traditional Victorian terraces, many of which have been converted into flats and maisonettes. Having said that, there are also a number of newer developments that have popped up over the old industrial sites of the 20th century, as well as some former council blocks. In other words, there is guaranteed to be something available to suit every budget.
With Holloway Road to the south west and Seven Sisters Road to the north west, there is certainly no shortage of local shops, with everything from major supermarkets to small independent stores and market stalls to cater to your needs.
If you wish to eat out, then take a stroll towards Finsbury Park Station and you will find yourself on Stroud Green Road, where there is a huge choice of cuisine. Every taste and budget is catered for here. The Front Room Café is a fantastic spot for a leisurely breakfast in a friendly atmosphere, or for a night out with a difference, try Cats, and sit in a tuk tuk that has been converted into a booth, while you sample authentic Thai cuisine.
The immediate area has a wide choice of pubs and bars, ranging from the traditional drinkers’ haunts near Emirates Stadium and on Holloway Road to a choice of gastro pubs, such as The Old Dairy and The Noble on Stroud Green Road.
If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, there are theatres and a cinema on Islington’s famous Upper Street, which is only one stop on the tube, or makes for a pleasant 30 minute stroll on a summer’s evening.
Of course, one of the benefits of being so close to Emirates Stadium is you also have some great events right on your doorstep. Over recent years, it has played host to Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Muse and many others.
Many people fear that London means a concrete jungle, but this could not be further from the truth in the Arsenal area. Gillespie Park is a 3.4 hectare nature reserve, right beside the entrance to the tube station. Finsbury Park is also close by, and features tennis courts, a running track and numerous other sports and leisure facilities. In addition, it provides a scenic way of walking or cycling all the way to Highgate – perfect for a summer Sunday afternoon.