The green verges are neatly cut and the ponds are kept dredged, without a shopping trolley in sight. This is leafy, respectable Totteridge in north London, one of the capital’s most exclusive neighbourhoods and favoured by celebrities and football stars including Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal FC manager.
Powerful community associations make it their business to ensure that Totteridge remains immaculately manicured for the residents of the large, detached mansions scattered along the A5109. This is the road that unusually changes its name as it travels from east to west, from Totteridge Lane to Totteridge Village to Totteridge Common.
Occupying a high ridge 10 miles north of central London, Totteridge boasts a small cluster of period houses and cottages in the village, around St Andrew’s Church and its yew tree — one of the Great Trees of London and reputed to be between 1,000 and 2,000 years old. Barnet lies to the north, with Whetstone to the east, Finchley to the south and Mill Hill to the west.
What there is to buy: with large detached mansions, Totteridge has period village cottages and houses, while closer to Whetstone there are roads of detached and semi-detached Thirties houses and modern flats.
One-off new individual mansions include Cavendish House on Totteridge Common, which developer Octagon is selling for £16.8 million. The house, which is set in three acres of grounds, covers 21,630sq ft and has eight bedrooms, seven of which are en suite.
There are five reception rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a 12-seater cinema, wine cellar and separate staff accommodation. Estate agent Lawrence Henry, of Statons, says this is currently the most expensive house for sale locally. However, there are other houses in Totteridge, which, if they came to the market, would sell for more. Most of Henry’s buyers are local, he says — either trading up or down — and many families will wait for years for a particular house to come on to the market.
New-build homes: Northway House, in High Road in nearby Whetstone, is a Redrow London development of 149 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, including 11 affordable homes. It involves the conversion of a Seventies office tower block with a new block at the rear, arranged around a courtyard. Prices range from £470,000 to £750,000 and the development is set to complete in summer next year. Call 020 3538 2912.
Oakwell Grange in Well Grove is a David Wilson Homes development of 70 three-, four- and five-bedroom houses with prices ranging from £995,000 to £1.8 million. The first residents move in early this summer and the development should be complete by summer 2018. Call 084433 48529.
Affordable homes: Oakwell Grange (see above) will also include 10 affordable houses and a block of 10 shared-ownership flats. Meanwhile, housing association Catalyst is developing a site opposite the council offices in High Road in Whetstone. The five-storey block will include 15 homes for affordable rent and 24 for shared ownership. Marketing starts next spring and the move-in date is October next year. Call 0300 456 2099.
Who rents here? Lawrence Henry of Statons says Totteridge is popular with overseas business people who are working in the UK for a number of years. “They all want long-term tenancies, often for up to three years.”
Staying power: This is a neighbourhood that people aspire to live in — and when they have arrived, they like to stay.
Postcode: Totteridge is in the N20 postcode, which includes Whetstone and also Oakleigh Park. On its southern boundary it merges into N12, the North Finchley postcode which includes nearby Woodside Park.
Best roads: Totteridge Common; Totteridge Village, Pine Grove, Northcliffe Drive, Grange Avenue and Harmsworth Way.
Up-and-coming areas: Whetstone is a more affordable alternative to Totteridge.
Council: Barnet council is Conservative controlled and Band D council tax for the 2016 /2017 year is £1,397.07.
Shops and restaurants
Totteridge Village has no shops but it does have The Orange Tree, a popular pub and restaurant in a picturesque setting by a duck pond. The Rising Sun is another popular pub in Marsh Lane on the Mill Hill side of Totteridge. Nearby Whetstone has a wide, pleasant and tree-lined shopping street along the High Road, with large branches of Waitrose and M&S Simply Food as well as independent cafés and restaurants.
The Griffin is the landmark pub which describes itself as “the heart of Whetstone” while estate agent Lawrence Henry of Statons recommends Haven Bistro and Bar.
Monkeynuts is a steak restaurant, an outpost of the popular Crouch End eatery. Tootoomoo, part of a small north London chain, serves pan Asian food. Chain restaurants are PizzaExpress and Ask Italian.
The Dollis Valley Green Walk is a 10-mile country circuit around the edge of Totteridge. Starting at Moat Mount Open Space and ending at the Hampstead Heath Extension, it runs through Totteridge Park Open Space and Brook Farm Open Space.
Leisure and the arts
Totteridge is a sporty, outdoorsy place. The South Herts Golf Club has a historic 18-hole course, as well as a nine-hole course, in Links Drive.
Totteridge Tennis Club is in Great Bushey Drive and Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club is in Totteridge Green. The All Saints Arts Centre in Oakleigh Road North has an events programme ranging from wrestling to organ recitals, and hosts community classes from dance and Tai Chi to flower arranging and sculpture.
St Andrew’s CofE, Totteridge’s local state primary school, is judged “good” by Ofsted and gets excellent results at Key Stage 2, at age 11. The other local primary schools are also all judged “good” by the education watchdog.
There are two Catholic comprehensive schools in Finchley — St Michael’s (girls, ages 11 to 18) in Nether Street, and Finchley Catholic High (boys, ages 11 to 18) in Woodside Lane. Both get excellent results at GCSE and the girls’ school is judged “outstanding” while the boys’ school is judged “good”.
Barnet council has two grammar schools: Queen Elizabeth’s (boys, ages 11 to 18) in Queen’s Road, Barnet, and Henrietta Barnett (girls, ages 11 to 18) in Hampstead Garden Suburb, both judged “outstanding”.
Many Totteridge children are bussed out to private schools, the nearest being Mill Hill (co-ed, ages three to 18) in The Ridgeway, Mill Hill. Also popular are Aldenham School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School, both in Elstree, and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Borehamwood.