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July 2017 / Area Guides / by Sophie Hampton

Belsize Park

Intro

Sort of like a younger sibling to close by Hampstead, Belsize Park is popular with residents looking for a bit more space than that particular neighbouring spot, since it’s less congested.

There’s a distinct down-to-earth and village-type feel here – in part due to the array of independent shops and boutiques and the close-knit community. This is a leafy haven popular with professionals, families and celebrities, set between the sophistication of Hampstead and youthful vibrancy of Camden. Residents get to pick from a range of famous London parks on their doorsteps, too – there’s Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park and Hampstead Heath all vying for attention, each one with its own unique merits. Also in great supply are bars, cafés and restaurants, offering cuisine ranging from pan-Asian and Italian to Indian and Turkish.

The two main shopping drags – Haverstock Hill and Belsize Village – each host a mix of trendy small shops and restaurants, also with the Everyman Cinema showing the latest art-house films and sitting on the Hill. Proximity to the city means that you can reach it within 20 minutes – and there’s a range of transport to do the job: take the Tube from Belsize Park or Swiss Cottage; use one of the various buses; or hop on the overground trains from Finchley Road & Frognal. Next stop: trendy and affluent northwest London!

 

Trivia

There is a deep-level World War II air raid shelter beneath Belsize Park Tube station – one of only eight that are located underneath London’s stations.

 

Smartest streets

Since the area was bombed during World War II, there is a rich variety of architecture ranging from classic white stucco-fronted Victorian homes, to mews houses dating from the 1850s up to the 1990s, to beautiful listed buildings and Art Deco properties, to attractive examples from the Modern movement.

Belsize Park, Belsize Avenue and Belsize Crescent all lead off the village square and are home to highly desirable Victorian family homes. Elsewhere, there’s the picturesque England’s Lane, also lined with cafés and boutiques. Fine examples of Queen Anne abodes are situated on Lyndhurst Gardens, while examples of Art Deco and Modern properties abound on Haverstock Hill, Parkhill Road and Garnett Road – most of which have been converted into substantially sized two- and three-bed flats. There’s a cluster of Edwardian terraces around Glenloch and Howitt roads, and the hidden streets off Belsize Park Gardens boast vibrantly coloured private mews homes. Belsize Square and Eton Avenue are also popular. In fact, any street with the name Belsize in it tends to prove a hit (there’s also Belsize Court, Belsize Grove and Belsize Lane, to name a few more). Lawn Road offers something different – its Isokon building embraces the 1930s trend for sleek, symmetrical apartment blocks.