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Exterior of Catcher and the Rye pub in Finchley

Finchley London Guide

22 January 2018 Simon Banks Read time: 4 min
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Simon Banks

When it comes to choosing a Finchley in London, you are spoilt for choice. Finchley Central, North Finchley, East Finchley, and West Finchley - there is a lot of Finchley happening in the capital.

Then there is Finchley Road, which is some five miles away from the other areas of Finchley. Although, that area isn’t part of Finchley. Confused? Don’t worry. All you need to know is that those who choose to reside in Finchley have a cluster of property, amenities and transport options available to them.

On a map
Google map of Finchley

Finchley is located in the London Borough of Barnet and is 6.8 miles north of Charing Cross. Golders Green is situated to the south of Finchley, while Mill Hill is to the west. The area is also on the North Circular.



Black and white classic photo of Finchley Photo credit: www.pinterest.co.uk


In Anglo-Saxon, Finchley means “Finch’s clearing”, and was first recorded in the 13th century. During medieval times, it was mainly made up of woodlands and used to supply pigs and fuel to the main areas of London.

In 1867, transport links made their way to Finchley with what is now known as the Great Northern Railway. In 1902 a tram serviced extended the travel options, which was eventually replaced by trolleybuses.

1927 saw the arrival of Dirty Gertie, otherwise known as the Wicked Lady. The 16 ft bronze statue, which still stands tall today, was a gift from France. The statue marked the Allied victory over Germany in the First Battle of the Marne in 1914.

Renting in Finchley
Tudor houses in East Finchley

Finchley Central and West Finchley come under the N3 postcode, while North Finchley is in N12. They are popular options for young professionals priced out of West Hampstead and East Finchley. Expect to pay between £1,000 and £1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, and £1,600 for a two bed.

East Finchley is the more desirable area of the four and is located around two miles from Finchley Central. The cheapest one-bedroom flat in the N3 postcode will set you back around £1,000 per month. But expect to pay around £1,300 for a pretty period conversion.

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East Finchley Tube station platform

Whether your preference is by car or public transport, there is a multitude of options for getting around. Four tube stations are found in Finchley, all on the Northern Line. East Finchley (Zone 3), West Finchley, Finchley Central and Woodside Park (all Zone 4) offer convenient links into central London.

There is a good bus service that runs through the Finchley areas. The N20 (Night Bus) goes to Trafalgar Square in central London, and the N13 heads to Aldwych in East London. For the drivers, easy access to the North Circular means that you’re on the M1 in no time. The A1 is also easily accessible.  


Xian Beijing Chinese Cuisine

Located in North Finchley, Xian Beijing Chinese Cuisine has been going strong since 1989. While the cuisine features all types of Chinese food, it specialises in Beijing and Cantonese flavours. The crispy aromatic duck is a favourite, while there are plenty of tasty seafood options too.

The Catcher in Rye
Exterior of Catcher and the Rye pub in Finchley

Whether The Catcher in the Rye was named after the famous novel of the same name; we’re not sure. What we do know, however, is that this pub near Finchley Central cooks up a treat in the kitchen. There is a selection of pies, burgers and traditional British grub.

Olympus Fish Restaurant

Interior of Olympus restaurant in Ficnhley

No one does classy fish and chips quite like Olympus Fish Restaurant. Located between West Finchley and Finchley Central, the seafood restaurant serves both charcoal and grilled fish. Owned by  Mehmet and Iskender, Olympus Fish Restaurant has been going strong since 2001 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Istanbul Restaurant

Turkish delights don’t come more delicious than in Mezi Mezi. The North Finchley restaurant offers authentic tastes from Istanbul in the form of Turkish-Mediterranean cuisine. From cold mezes to freshly cooked meats, the dishes are prepared using Anatolian cooking methods and fresh produce.

The Clissold Arms
Interior of the Clissold Arms in Finchley

Gastro delights are very much the order of the day at The Clissold Arms. It is a favourite with locals and is often full, so make sure you get there early. The signature dish is Short Rib. However, there are a good variety of bites on the menu, including ‘Catch of the Day’ fish specials.


Stephens House and Gardens

Stephens House and Gardens is a Grade II listed building with a landscaped garden. There is a variety of events that take place throughout the year, as well as guided tours. You can even hire a personal trainer and workout to the backdrop of the scenic green space.

The Phoenix
Exterior of The Phoenix cinema

Ok, so cinemas aren’t exclusive to Finchley, but the Phoenix is a favourite little establishment for locals to watch a film. Located in East Finchley, this gem is more than a cinema. There are exhibitions that go on throughout the year, and a cafe with a few treats. The cinema was built in 1910 and opened in 1912.

Great North Leisure Parks

Leisure parks might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying they are handy for having everything in one spot. There’s a Vue cinema, a 10-pin bowling alley, and a selection of restaurants. Oh, and let's not forget gym with sauna and an outdoor pool.

Moving to Finchley

There is a good range of properties on offer in Finchley, set to the backdrop of quiet leafy streets. Young professionals will enjoy the shiny new developments, while top-performing state schools should appeal to families looking to call the area their home.

Options are extensive in the N3 and N12 postcodes. From the more upmarket East Finchley to middle-line Finchley Central and West Finchley, and the more affordable North Finchley. The area also offers a strong community feel, which is felt from local restaurants through to the independent shops.

It is that feeling of community that is one of the strongest draws. Just like the Dirty Gertie, who looks over the area, local residents give off that same vibe. It’s a Finchley love-in, from central to west to north to east.

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