Streets of London: St. Paul's Road, N1
Time Out finds grand houses and one-off shops in Islington's Canonbury triangle.
Starting at bustling Highbury Corner, where chaotic Holloway Road crashes into refined Upper Street, and winding its way east to Balls Pond Road, St Paul’s Road is a busy but handsome Highbury thoroughfare lined with elegant early Victorian town houses, most of them split-level flat conversions. The fact it’s a main road means property prices are a good deal cheaper than on surrounding Highbury avenues such as Grosvenor Avenue and Aberdeen Park.
From the shabbier Highbury Corner end, the road gets smarter as you head east. Just before you hit Essex Road you encounter St Paul’s Terrace, a fine stretch of pale-grey stucco (numbers 14 to 100). Covering a generous four floors including a basement, these properties are at the upper end of the market, costing £600,000-£800,000. In between, making up most of the properties for sale and rent, are lofty two- to three-bed split-level Victorian conversions covering either ground and basement levels, or first, second and third floors.
Most of St Paul’s Road falls within the Canonbury conservation area where the New River Walk runs down to Islington. This pretty park follows the narrow channel of the ‘New River’ built in 1613 to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to London and now fringed with lush green trees and shrubs, and full of wildlife, including the odd heron.
Click to enlarge: A Thai Corner B Canonbury Butchers C New River Walk D Bastille
Green spaces aside, one of the best things about living on St Paul’s Road is its proximity to the West End; just half an hour on the 19 or 38 bus. Angel is a 25-minute meander through Canonbury, and it’s also a short bus ride away from the villagey charms of Stoke Newington’s Church Street and Highbury Barn.
There are some friendly local pubs and restaurants on the doorstep including the brilliant Thai Corner (236 St Paul’s Rd; 020 7704 822), which serves up delicious authentic food, and Bastille (100 St Paul’s Road; 020 7704 2345), where you’ll find an extensive French menu and fine steak suppers.
St Paul’s Road also boasts its own traditional butcher, Canonbury Butchers (No 220; 020 7359 4311), a dry cleaners, a parade of shops that includes a deli, a choice of good independent cafés, newsagents and a couple of fried chicken shops; new to the mix is chic lifestyle boutique Pixie Moon (No 238; 020 7359 1614). Those in need of a health fix can find it at the Healthy Living Centre (282 St Paul’s Road; 020 7704 6900), where there’s an extensive health food shop and treatment rooms where you can enjoy alternative therapies from acupuncture to shiatsu.
Highbury Fields, and its posh tennis courts, is also a short walk and a great place to bask in the summer. Highbury Pool and gym (Highbury Crescent, N5; 020 7704 2312), still open, is currently undergoing refurbishment to its sauna and gym area which is due to be finished in January.
It may be a busy Islington artery, but St Paul’s Road is in the middle of an otherwise green and tranquil Canonbury triangle of leafy avenues, cosy old pubs and elegant houses. Here you get the best of both worlds: near enough to town to be able to hop into the West End, but far enough away to lose yourself in the green spaces and chilled out atmosphere.
Estate agentsAlwyne Estates 286 St Paul’s Rd, N1 (020 7359 3191/www.alwyne.co.uk). Carlton 319 Upper St, N1 (020 7359 0000/ www.carltonestateagents.co.uk). Copping Joyce 327-329 Upper St, N1 (020 7288 0330/www.coppingjoyce.co.uk). Hugh Grover 325 Upper St, N1 (020 7226 1010/www.hughgrover.co.uk). Jeffrey Nicholas 293 Upper St, N1 (020 7354 0707/www.jeffreynicholas.co.uk). Thomas Currie 313 Upper St, N1 (020 7354 5224/www.thomsoncurrie.co.uk).
TransportInside Zone 2, St Paul’s Road has excellent transport links. The 19, 30 and 43 buses will take you to Angel via Upper Street, while the 38 and 73 can be caught from the Essex Road end into central London. The Victoria Line stops at Highbury & Islington. The Silverlink serves Canonbury and Highbury & Islington stations. First Capital Connect runs between Moorgate and Bedfordshire, stopping at Essex Road and Highbury & Islington.
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