Highgate is one of the most expensive London suburbs in which to live. It has an active conservation body, the Highgate Society, to protect its character.
Until late Victorian times it was a distinct village outside London, sitting astride the main road to the north. The area retains many green expanses including the eastern part of Hampstead Heath, three ancient woods, Waterlow Park and the eastern-facing slopes known as Highgate bowl.
At its centre is Highgate village, a collection of largely Georgian shops, pubs, restaurants and residential streets, interspersed with diverse landmarks such as St Michael's Church and steeple, St. Joseph's Church and its green copper dome, Highgate School (1565), Jacksons Lane arts centre housed in a Grade II listed former church, the Gatehouse Inn dating from 1670 and Berthold Lubetkin's 1930s Highpoint buildings. Highgate is also famous for its atmospheric Victorian cemetery in which the Communist philosopher Karl Marx is buried. Highgate is also now becoming recognised as a producer of local beverages such as beers from the London Brewing Company and Sacred Microdistillery which distils gins, vodkas etc.
The village is at the top of a hill which provides views across London: it is above sea level at its highest point.