5 reasons to visit Barnet
PUBLISHED: 11:21 16 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:22 20 February 2013
The town of Barnet in Hertfordshire lies on the northern border of London and has plenty to offer its visitors, as Louise McEvoy discovers...
Do some research
Barnet Museum on Wood Street, opened in 1938, houses the Barnet and District Local History Societys collection, which includes photographs, paintings, prints, maps and objects reflecting the development of the area, as well as a collection of period costumes and accessories, domestic items and lace.
The museum, which is run by volunteers from the society, has both permanent and temporary exhibitions, with the permanent displays covering archaeology, costume, the Victorian era, and the home front in Barnet during World War II.
Items of interest range from archaeological remains to a padded cell door and from a collection of domestic paraphernalia to paintings of Barnet pubs.
Barnet Museum is a centre for family and local history research and the archive is available to view.
The museum, which is free to enter, is open from 2.30pm until 4.30pm Tuesday to Thursday and from 10.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays.
Barnet Council has recently withdrawn funding from the museum so volunteers are putting together business plans and looking at how they can gain more funding to remain open. Find out more at www.barnetmuseum.co.uk
Indulge in retail therapy
The Spires shopping centre on Barnets High Street is perfect for some retail therapy, comprising close to 40 stores.
It has been a local landmark since 1989 and takes its name from the remaining spires of the old Methodist church, where the centre now stands. The designers retained the spires and incorporated them into the centre, which has two enclosed malls leading into open courtyards at the heart of the scheme.
Stores in the centre range from Monsoon and Dorothy Perkins to the Early Learning Centre and Waterstones. Why not take a break at Costa Coffee, Coffee Bean or Oasis Cafe? You can even book a holiday at Thomson, have your hair done at Regis or do your weekly shop at Waitrose. So what are you waiting for?
The Spires is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
For more information about the centre, visit www.thespiresbarnet.co.uk
Enjoy the great game
Why not head down to Barnet Football Clubs Underhill Stadium on Barnet Lane to watch a match?
The club, whose players wear an amber and black home strip and are nicknamed The Bees, was formed in 1888, having formerly been known as New Barnet FC (1885-1888) and Woodville FC (1882-1885).
The clubs first game at its Underhill Stadium took place in September 1907 against Crystal Palace. Barnet FC plays in League Two and a number of players have gone on to play for Premiership clubs, including Marlon King, Dougie Freedman and Andy Clarke. Jimmy Greaves also played for the club before retiring.
The Underhill Stadium is also used by Arsenal FC Reserves, with Barnet involved in an annual friendly fixture with Arsenal FC.
For more information about Barnet FC and its fixtures, visit www.barnetfc.com
A spot of theatrics
The Bull Theatre on Barnets High Street is a community theatre with an intimate, family friendly atmosphere.
With room for an audience of just over 150 people, it is available for hire to schools, community groups, musicians and artists and, as well as attracting professional artists, local amateur companies often put on productions to raise money for charity.
From Thursday, May 12, to Saturday, May 14, the Garden Suburb Theatre an amateur theatre company will be performing David Hares The Secret Rapture, set in the 80s, at The Bull Theatre.
Estranged sisters Isobel and Marion are forced to reunite when their father dies and they must decide how to handle Katherine, their young, alcoholic, mentally unstable stepmother who has been left nothing but the rural home in which they were raised. For more information about The Bull Theatre and other forthcoming performances, visit http://www.thebulltheatre.com/
Festival fever for all
Take a trip to the East Barnet Festival, an annual event held on the first weekend in July in Oak Hill Park in East Barnet.
The free festival has grown over the years and now attracts more than 20,000 visitors. With live music and dancing, shows and amusements, stalls and demonstrations, the festival has something for everyone and is a great day out for all the family.
There are also arts exhibitions and workshops, childrens activities, sports competitions, a funfair, beer tent and a wide range of refreshments.
Barnet Market runs every Wednesday and Saturday from about 7am until about 3.30pm on the St Albans Road site.