Let’s move to…
What’s going for it? When I’m bored, I like to imagine another fate for Dollis Hill. Today, it’s a synonym for suburbia, the hill striped with 1920s semis, the tube station sucking in and belching out its daily diet of commuters; but it’s a cosmopolitan kind of suburb, and those semis soon filled with aspirant Jewish émigrés from the East End. Dollis Hill coulda been a contender. It could have been Silicon, er, Hill. In its heyday, when research labs lined the North Circular, the Colossus computer, of code-breaking fame, and Ernie the computer for premium bonds, were built in its Post Office Research Station. (Yes, there was a Post Office Research Station. I feel an Ealing comedy coming on.) Had global fortunes not turned the way they did, Dollis Hill might have had its own Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Instead, they’re probably pushing the grandkids around Gladstone Park, dreaming about what might have been.
The case against Suburban ennui. The lovely Gladstone Park aside, there’s not much to it, just a parade of newsagents and offies by the station and endless avenues.
Well connected? Trains: Dollis Hill is on the Jubilee line, with central London 15 minutes away. Driving: not far from the North Circular and M1; a 45-minute drive into central London for the brave.
Schools Primaries: Gladstone Park, St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic and Avigdor Hirsch Torah Temimah are all “good”, Ofsted says, with Convent of Jesus and Mary Catholic Infant and Our Lady of Grace Catholic “outstanding”. Secondaries: the Crest Academy and Menorah High for Girls are both “good”. Hang out at… The Stables Café in Gladstone Park: great cakes and glorious views.
Where to buy The, ahem, “old town” hugs the tube station, with lovely leafy roads like Dewsbury, lined with red-brick Edwardians. But it’s mostly a 1920s affair, with wide roads of stately semis such as Kendal Road and Dollis Hill Lane fronting the park, and Park Avenue, plus a nice grid around Olive Road. More expensive south and east towards Willesden Green and Cricklewood, cheaper north to the North Circular. Not that many flats. Detacheds, £900,000-£2m. Semis, £650,000-£2m. Terraces and cottages, £520,000-£1.5m. Flats, £400,000-£650,000. Rentals: one-bed flat, £1,000£1,400pcm; three-bed house, £1,800-£2,500pcm. Bargain of the week Roomy, four-bedroom 1920s detached on Dollis Hill Lane, in need of modernisation, £740,000, with hoopersestateagents.co.uk.