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Palmers Green was once a hamlet (smaller than a village), with the number of people living there filling no more than a few houses in the 17th century.
By the early 19th century there were over fifty-four buildings, but it wasn't until the early twentieth century that the area really began to take off, with development happening at a quick rate from 1901 onwards.
Now it is a leafy suburb, quite like Ealing in its feel, lying just north of the area of Wood Green. It is characterised by its large Victorian terraced houses, fashionable in suburban London, which have large, family friendly gardens, hence it's becoming a suburban magnet.
As regards shopping in the area, it has the usual parade of shops that suburbanite London tends to favour. The area has a wide selection of pubs and restaurants, and part of the high street was used for filming a segment of one of the Harry Potter movies.
It has links to the city, with the train service running to Moorgate, and to Kings Cross. But for more freedom car hire from Palmers Green is the best option.
In the middle of the area is the wonderful Broomfield Park, which, amazingly for such a small area of London, spans over 500 acres. It used to be a royal hunting ground, and dates back to the sixteenth century. Now it contains more modern distractions, such as a crazy golf course and a boating lake. It's great fun, and has plenty to do.