A gem on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, Willoughby is all about family-friendly living; picture book homes, lush gardens and plentiful parklands are the backdrops for weekend sports and backyard barbeques. Sitting proudly alongside some well-to-do neighbourhoods, Willoughby is a sprawling suburb that is quiet, wholesome and welcoming.
Picture perfect, this cluster of suburbs on Sydney’s Lower North Shore – Willoughby, North Willoughby and Willoughby East – is filled with established homes fit for growing families and parklands aplenty, and it’s all easily accessible to major business hubs and prestigious schools.
Along Willoughby Road and Penshurst Street, cafes and eateries sit alongside homemaker stores and enduring watering-holes – Willoughby Hotel and The Bridgeview. High Street has a village-like feel that’s anchored by St Thomas Primary School and a small (but great) selection of restaurants and cafes. Down the road is Willoughby Park with its towering gum trees, fenced-in playground, and playing fields.
But no other park does it quite like Hallstrom Park and the grounds of Willoughby Leisure Centre. Neighbouring Flat Rock Gully’s walking and bike trails, Hallstrom Park is bustling every day of the week with the sounds of children playing, be it on the climbing structures or one of the many netball courts and playing fields. Sitting on the sideline is The Incinerator Café, a local brunch destination that is well-positioned to keep the hordes at bay.
Although Willoughby may be a quiet, sprawling area, it is within easy reach of major commercial hubs – Chatswood, St Leonards, North Sydney and Sydney’s CBD. A major shopping district, Chatswood is overflowing with big name brands and boutique stores, St Leonards is a burgeoning business district with a well-established medical precinct, and North Sydney and Sydney CBD are eight kilometres away, all of which can be reached by buses or trains from neighbouring Artarmon and Chatswood.
Family homes with fenced-in yards and well-maintained gardens are the norm in Willoughby. Contemporary abodes are popping up more and more, but Federation homes still hold pride of place. Some have been beautifully restored while others have been modernised with rendered facades. A sprinkling of low-lying apartments sits around the main streets – Willoughby Road, Penshurst Street and Eastern Valley Way.
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