Highbury Barn looking surprisingly quiet. (c) Isabel Vandergert-Wilson

Going this way: Highbury Barn looking surprisingly quiet in 2017. (c) Isabel VanderGert-Wilson

Highbury Barn is a bustling, amazing place to shop. It’s also a good place to walk through if you are feeling lonely as there’s a good chance you will meet a friend or be able to wave at an acquaintance or neighbour. Plus it’s a sociable place to wait for a bus. Lots of the interviews on Islington Faces blog are from people who know this area well. 

  • For a full list of places in Islington you might enjoy visiting, see Where to go out locally.
  • Get involved in the community like Valerie Bossman-Quarshie who is a trustee at Elizabeth House and has been helping with the food bank there during lockdown.
  • Find out more about Tonya Wong who is a volunteer chef at The People’s Army. She got involved in this no waste kitchen, food bank and amazing organisation after seeing an ad on NextDoor. Interview is on this post.


  • Look at the interview with Richard Rhys O’Brien and see if you can solve the Dinner Puzzle. This is a unique website looking at a large dinner party for Lady Rhondda on 23 March 1933. Was one of the guests the head of Highbury Fields School?
  • Enjoy a good book about climate change and sustainability with Tessa Shaw: ink@84 bookshop owner (13/4/21) Photos by Kimi Gill


Q: What do you like about Highbury Barn?
Interviews & photos by Isabel VanderGert – Wilson

Sharon (walked) lived here for six years: “I like the stores, the butchers, the fishmongers.”

Highness Café & Tea Room owner Sam Goksi counts author Sarah Matthias as a regular. (c) islington faces

Tony (walked) lived here for 30 years: “The community, the shops, I know the people that run them, it’s villagey, you get general good quality.”

Gokhan (bus): “Not much. I’ve worked here for three months.”

Ifra (walked): “Highbury Fields, I like sitting there – I’m using it all the time with my friends.”

Anonymous woman: “Nice mixture of small local shops and Highbury Fields is a nice space for the kids. The shops would be nice on their own but the combination makes the area special.”

Going that way: Highbury Barn looking quiet. (c) Isabel VanderGert-Wilson

Going that way: Highbury Barn looking quiet. (c) Isabel VanderGert-Wilson

Barbara (walked): “I’ve lived here 48 years and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else”

Dinah (walked): “I live here so it’s convenient. Highbury Barn is local and you know the shopkeepers – I don’t really go to supermarkets. Some things are pretty expensive but I get most of my stuff from the Health Food & Drug Store (Five Boys) and treats from the cheese shop, Fromagerie.”

Reece (working nearby): “I like the way Highbury Barn is near Arsenal football stadium – I go when I can afford a ticket. It’s quirky round here the way they are doing the pubs up.”

Lina (working nearby): “I don’t know Highbury Barn well: I go on the bus here and then back. I do use Da Mario and the post office and Greggs.”

Alisa (cycled): “There’s a beautiful fish market here and I love Five Boys – they are real characters. They have things that I can’t get easily in Stoke Newington.”

School talk
There are several schools near Highbury Barn. Here are interviews looking at different aspects of their work. The first is with:

  •  Carole Kenrick who is scientist and inventor-in-residence at Gillespie Primary School’s Lab_13.
  • Enjoy this interview with Ambler Primary School governor, Mary Stevens, which explains the things she’s enjoyed doing in Highbury and Islington and why she’s now leaving the area.
  • Fabulous art insight from Berrin Bates who is an art teacher and art therapist here

Thanks everyone. Enjoy reading about Highbury Barn. Which local characters from Highbury Barn do you think should be interviewed next? Which are your five favourite shops at the Barn? What are your favourite things about the area?