Postal District: NW3
Population:; 12,702 (Belsize ward, 2011 Census)
Underground Station: Northern Line (Zone 2)
London Borough: London Borough of Camden
Belsize Park is vibrant and leafy area of North West London that easily accessible to the West End. It’s just north and west of central Camden town and runs up to Hampstead and across to Regent’s Park. It’s a predominantly residential area with long and wide tree-lined avenues with magnificent properties to buy or rent that appeal to a diverse range of residents
For years, Belsize Park hasn’t been as noticed in the big London property boom as areas nearby like Hampstead but it’s really blossoming now. It offers luxurious houses and beautifully refurbished apartments, and is now considered a prime location, but at a price that still offers more affordability than some of the other areas in London with the same appeal.
The property in Belsize Park includes red brick apartment blocks and white stucco fronted houses, frequent bay windows, and grey or brown slate rooftops that are often adapted into loft conversions. Other properties range from Victorian, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, as well as Art Deco, many of which are seen as some of the best examples of their kind in London.
Apart from the main road that runs from Hampstead, down to Chalk Farm, the properties mostly tucked back from the quiet roads and on-street parking, often behind lush trees that line the wide pavements. Luxury apartment developments are abundant in the area, but there are still plenty of houses for sale and rent.
Belsize Park’s location and transport links give residents easy access to most of London, meaning they have the pick of many of the best schools in London.
In the area itself there are several high-achieving schools:
Several of these schools are independent and offer a wide and highly rated curriculums.
The name ‘Belsize’ stems originally from the French words for ‘well situated’, and the words are a perfect description for the area. The name was originally used for the stately manor that dates back to the 1300s, but within a few centuries the estate had grown to encompass several properties in the surrounding neighbourhood. The name had stuck with the aristocracy, and became more popular as they bought property there and built their own beautiful houses. There is a long and complicated history to the estate and the building and houses the estate developed on the British History website.
More recently Belsize Park was one of the first areas in London to embrace the segmentation of properties into flats. They were initially built by private investment in the 1880s and then by public money headed by Hampstead council after 1905. The artist Robert Bevan lived locally and painted several views of the neighbourhood, including A Street Scene in Belsize Park (1917).
The development of flats expanded rapidly in the 1930’s. At this time many of the Victorian properties were knocked down and development focused on large blocks of flats that were still no less architecturally imposing.
There are numerous Blue Plaques in Belsize Park denoting where famous and notable people had lived in the past, these include:
Robert Polhill Bevan: (1865–1925)
"Camden Town Group Painter lived here 1900–1925
14 Adamson Road, Belsize Park, NW3 3HR
Henry Noel Brailsford: (1873)
"Writer. Champion of equal and free humanity, lived here"
37 Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Park, NW3 4JH
Frederick Delius: (1868–1941)
"Composer lived here 1918–1919"
44 Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Park, NW3 4LY
David Devant: (1868–1941)
"Magician lived here in flat No.1"
Flat 1 Ornan Court, Ornan Road, Belsize Park, NW3 4PT
Ramsay Macdonald: (1836–1937)
"Prime Minister lived here 1916–1925"
9 Howitt Road, Belsize Park, NW3 4LT
Sir Henry Wood: (1869–1944)
"Musician lived here"
4 Elsworthy Road, Belsize Park, NW3 3DJ
Alfred Stevens: (1818–1875)
”Architect lived here"
9 Eton Villas, Belsize Park, NW3 5SX
Dr. José Rizal: (1861–1896)
“Writer and National Hero of the Philippines"
37 Chalcot Crescent, Belsize Park, NW1 8YG;
Arthur Rackham: (1867–1939)
"Illustrator lived here"
16 Chalcot Gardens, Belsize Park, NW3 4YB
From a modern day tour of Belsize Park’s buildings and architecture, back to a fascinating description of its history, The Belsize Story is a film that shows the life of Belsize Park from its birth to present day. It covers its buildings, the local scenery, and the people that give it its heart and culture. You can view a trailer of the film here.
There is no end of things to do around Belsize Park, not least because the centre of London is only a few miles away. Belsize Village itself offers a range if shops, restaurants and leisure options. The bustling cultural centre of Camden Town isn’t far away offering vibrant markets in the day and the diverse nightlife in the evening.
Ginger and White is an artisanal coffee shop with home-made beans on toast, literally – home-made bread, and home-made beans. XO is a restaurant located in Belsize Village, offering a large Asian-inspired menu that the locals all absolutely adore and support.
Steeles on Haverstock Hill, is a Victorian pub that is both quirky and quant, with stain glass, old books and ceiling frescos. The Roebuck, across the road from the Royal Free Hospital, offers a more modern pub experience that no less popular.
The Washington is another pub popular with locals with a weekly quiz night and craft ale, squishy sofas and occasional celebrity sightings that the locals charmingly downplay. There are dozens of local independent shops from books to bakeries.
The Everyman Cinema is an independent cinema full of character, with a boutique feel and reclining cinema seats complete with footrests. It has a bar, and is available for hire, regularly showing both mainstream movies and more underground fare. Hampstead Theatre is also a good source of culture, regularly showcasing new writers and actors. Hampstead Heath hosts a yearly Affordable Fine Art Fair for those look adorn the beautiful Belsize Park homes with equally impressive art.
Sigmund Freud lived in the area and his old home was turned into a museum when his daughter died. It preserves many of the setting in which the psychoanalyst worked including his famous couch.
There are also the more mainstream entertainment options of the VUE Cinema at the Finchley O2 and the IMAX cinema in Swiss Cottage.
Belsize Park has always attracted artists, writers, actors and singers. Some its famous residents today include:
Helena Bonham Carter
Hampstead Heath is very close to Belsize Park and is very popular park for families. London Zoo situated in Regents Park is an obviously popular choice with families and people of all ages, with regular night events that allow visitors to interact with the animals up-close. Primrose Hill attracts locals and other Londoners’ alike whenever the London skyline comes alive with fireworks, but it’s always popular with both families and photographers who fall in love with the ever-changing London skyline.
Road: The North Circular is a 15 minute drive away in light traffic and there is easy access to the M1, up the Finchley Road and to Brent Cross.
Tube: Belsize Park is on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, which is itself a direct line into the very heart of London. With just a ten minute tube ride you can be at Kings Cross, where you can change to a wide variety of other tube lines or even the national rail. Overground train services run from Hampstead Heath, Finchley Road & Frognal, West Hampstead, South Hampstead and West Hampstead Thameslink.
Bus: There are buses leaving from Belsize Park to all over London, but the 168 takes you into the city, or the N5 if you find yourself out late.