St Pancras station. North London's development owed much to the arrival of the railway.

North London is the northern part of London, England, north of the River Thames. It extends from Clerkenwell and Finsbury, on the edge of the City of London financial district, to Greater London's boundary with Hertfordshire.

The term is used to differentiate the area from south London, east London and west London. Some parts of north London are also part of Central London. There is a Northern postal area, but this includes some areas not normally described as part of north London, while excluding many others that are.


The first northern suburb developed in the Soke of Cripplegate in the early part of the twelfth century, but London's growth beyond its Roman northern gates was slower than in other directions, partly because of the marshy ground north of the wall and also because the roads through those gates were less well-connected than elsewhere. The parishes that would become north London were almost entirely rural until the Victorian period. Many of these parishes were grouped[citation needed] into an area called the Finsbury division of Middlesex.

In the early part of the 19th century, the arrival of the Regent's Canal in Islington and St Pancras stimulated London's northerly expansion, continuing when the development of the railway network accelerated urbanisation, promoting economic growth in the capital and allowing for the establishment of commuter suburbs.

This trend continued in the twentieth century and was reinforced by motorcar-based commuting until the establishment—shortly after the Second World War—of the Metropolitan Green Belt, which prevented urban London from expanding any further.

Formal uses

Planning Policy sub-region

Main article: List of sub-regions used in the London Plan

Revised sub regions from the London Plan. The North London sub-region extends from Watling Street to the Lea, but excludes more central areas of north London.

The 2011 London Plan included a North sub-region, to be used for planning, engagement, resource allocation and progress reporting purposes.[1] It consisted of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Enfield. The 2004-2008 and 2008-2011 London Plan sub-regions varied in their composition.

North Thames: Boundary Commission report

In 2017, the government asked the Boundary Commission for England to reconsider the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies. The Commission's approach was to start with existing regions of England (in this case London) and then group the local authorities within that area into sub-regions for further sub-division.

The North Thames sub-region includes all parts of London lying north of the river; the 19 boroughs which lie wholly north of the river, plus parts of cross-river Richmond upon Thames.[2]

An earlier 2013 study, whose recommendations were not adopted, took a different approach by assigning all of Richmond to the south.[3] This list includes all boroughs included in the North Thames area:

London borough Postcode areas 2011 sub-region London Assembly[4]
Barking and Dagenham IG, RM, E East City and East
Barnet EN, HA, N, NW North Barnet and Camden
Brent HA, NW, W West Brent and Harrow
Camden EC, WC, N, NW, W Central Barnet and Camden
Ealing UB, W, NW West Ealing and Hillingdon
Enfield EN, N North Enfield and Haringey
Hackney E, EC, N East North East
Hammersmith & Fulham SW, W, NW West West Central
Haringey N North Enfield and Haringey
Harrow HA, UB, NW West Brent and Harrow
Havering RM, CM East Havering and Redbridge
Hillingdon HA, TW, UB, WD West Ealing and Hillingdon
Hounslow TW, W, UB West South West
Islington EC, WC, N Central North East
Kensington and Chelsea W, SW Central West Central
Newham E East City and East
Redbridge E, IG, RM East Havering and Redbridge
Waltham Forest E, IG East North East
Westminster NW, SW, WC, W Central West Central

Football: North London Derby

Football in the region is dominated by Premier League teams Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The two clubs contest the North London derby, which has been described as "one of the fiercest derbies in English football and one that separates families in north London."[5]

The games in the Premier League (and formerly the Football League) are known formally as the North London derby. To date,[when?] 167 matches have been played with 66 wins for Arsenal, 54 wins for Spurs and 47 draws. In other matches, simply referred to generically as North London derbies, the 6 FA Cup contests resulted in 4 Arsenal victories to Spurs' 2 with no draws, while the 14 League Cup matches have ended with 7 wins for Arsenal against 4 for Spurs with 3 draws.[citation needed]

In the sole Charity Shield between the two clubs, then exclusively between the previous season's league champions and the FA Cup winners, the contest in 1991 was drawn with the Shield shared. Spurs had won the FA cup final in 1991 after beating Arsenal 3–1 in the semi-final, the first FA cup semi-final and the first of five North London derbies to be held at Wembley Stadium. The 1991 Charity Shield is the sole occasion so far in which a trophy has been at stake, though in 1971 (0–1) and 2004 (2–2) Arsenal were crowned league champions at the final whistle of the North London derby in Tottenham.[citation needed]


North London has, like other parts of London and the UK in general, a temperate maritime climate according to the Köppen climate classification system. Long term climate observations dating back to 1910 are available for Hampstead, which is also the most elevated Weather Station in the London area, at 137m. This both hilltop and urban position means severe frosts are rare.

Temperatures increase towards the Thames, firstly because of the urban warming effect of the surrounding area, but secondly due to altitude decreasing towards the river, meaning some of the hillier northern margins of North London are often a degree or so cooler than those areas adjacent to the Thames. Occasionally snow can be seen to lie towards the Chilterns while central London is snow-free.

Typically the warmest day of the year at Hampstead will average 29.3 °C (84.7 °F)[6] with around 14 days[7] in total achieving a value of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or higher.

The average coldest night should fall to −5.6 °C (21.9 °F).[8] On average 35.8 nights[9] will report an air frost, some 119 days[10] of the year will register at least 1mm of precipitation, and on 7.4 days[11] a cover of snow will be observed. All annual averages refer to the observation period 1971–2000.

Climate data for Hampstead 137m asl 1971–2000
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 6.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.6
Record low °C (°F) −10.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 64.72
Source: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute[12]

Associated organisations

See also


  1. ^ London City Hall. "Policy 2.5 Sub-regions". Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2019..
  2. ^ The 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries (PDF) (Report). Vol. 1. Boundary Commission for England. p. 62.
  3. ^ Boundary Commission for England, London – London 2011 amendment Archived 2 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ London Assembly – London Assembly Constituency Information Archived 17 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 22 February 2008.
  5. ^ "Football Rivalries - The North London Derby".
  6. ^ "71-00 Mean Warmest Day". KNMI.
  7. ^ "71-00 >25c days". KNMI.
  8. ^ "Climatology details for station HAMPSTEAD, UNITED KINGDOM and index TNn: Minimum value of daily minimum temperature". KNMI. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012.
  9. ^ "71-00 Mean Frost Incidence". KNMI.
  10. ^ "71-00 Mean Wetdays Incidence". KNMI.
  11. ^ "Raw Snow Data". weather-uk.
  12. ^ "Hampstead 1971–2000". Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 23 September 2011.