Wood Green has been the butt of as many “fashionable Wood Green” jokes as you can possibly imagine since I’ve become aware of its existence, so let’s clear this up right at the outset: Wood Green is not fashionable. It never has been. It likely never will be, such a wretched hive of scum and villainy it is, riddled with crime, swarming with poor people, the capital’s bus capital…
At least, that’s the general impression. Wood Green’s actually not that bad. Yes, there are more shoe shops than you have sticks to wave at them, and yes, there’s a bewildering array of cheap, tatty urban clothing boutiques and yes, there are two cinemas and no nice pubs… but Wood Green has everything else you could hope for. A nice place to live (I live on the Noel Park estate – it’s blinking lovely), every shop you need, an excellent covered market, first-rate transport links… and four charity shops.
That’s not a massive haul, admittedly. But the good news is that one is an excellent Traid shop – the biggest in the country. The shop is huge and has racks and racks of decent clothes. Every so often, they hold an ‘anything for two pounds’ sale – that is well worth a trip.
There’s also a well-endowed Oxfam. I’ve had some excellent finds in here before, not least one of my favourite buys ever from a charity shop, a mix cd of old-school hip hop classics. Back in the day, I wrote about it at length. There’s also a North London Hospice and a Cancer Research which are all pretty good.
So if you need stripy shirts or Fair Trade guff, or if you need more shoes than you’ll ever find a use for, or if you need exotic fruits at low, low prices, or indeed organic spices and pigtails, then Wood Green Is Your Place.
Find: Wood Green @ Google Maps
Transport: Wood Green or Turnpike Lane stations on the Piccadilly line
Consume with: a full fry from the caf in the Market Hall
Visit: the Chocolate Factory – artists and restaurants. See? Fashionable!
Overall rating: three thigh high boots