The 18th-century coach town of Barnet was immortalized in literature by the British historical author, Georgette Heyer, in several of her Regency romances. Barnet’s turnpike intersection with the Great North Road, where coaches would pass each other while racing from London to various locations, played a key role in the story Regency Lady. Located due west of London on the A1 motorway, actually a restored Roman road, Barnet now forms part of the environs of London.
Modern-day Barnet is a small pleasant town with lots to do and see nearby, most notably the famous film studios of Borehamwood and Elstree. Such famous films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Where Eagles Dare, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and a host of others were shot at Borehamwood. Most recently, the updated Elstree Studio in Borehamwood was used for the taping of Britain’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Wrotham Park, a manor set in 300 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on a 2, 500-acre property is Barnet’s leading historic site. Now a reception and corporate meeting facility, not open to the public, it occasionally plays a role in feature films.
Barnet is becoming more multicultural in the same manner as London. One of Barnet’s leading food businesses is Sabor de Espana (Flavor of Spain), importing and selling fine Spanish olives, olive oil, cheeses, and delicatessen meats.
Sports activities in Barnet and nearby Borehamwood focus on football (soccer) and cricket. Both BorehamWood F. C. And Barnet B’s cricket team have a devoted local following.
Barnet is also home to a convent and retreat, the Arkley Poor Clares, founded as an offshoot of the Franciscans. The Arkley Poor Clares provide emergency shelter and hospice care for the terminally ill, assist poor citizens of the parish and offer private retreat accommodation to any who seek it.