Where are the coolest, hippest areas of London? Vox pops on the streets will give you Shoreditch, Hoxton and the staple on any list, Camden, but there’s a new sheriff in town! Actually it’s not that new as you’ll see when you read the blog on the website but we have acquired a fantastic new property in West Hampstead and you, our lucky readers, are the very first people in the whole world to get the chance to book your stay! Read on to find out more about London’s newest-oldest coolest area!
West Hampstead is, as the name suggests, west of Hampstead, one of London’s most exclusive (and expensive) residential areas and you should expect no change from £10m if you want a five-bedroom family home there. However just a mile or so away is West Hampstead. Bordered by Childs Hill to the north, Swiss Cottage to the east, South Hampstead to, yes correct, the south and Kilburn and Cricklewood to the west-ish, the area is a thriving, friendly community with a real, old-school Bohemian vibe. Some say it’s a yuppie stronghold and while that’s true to a certain extent, you’ll find all sorts of people buzzing around, from City-types to aged hippies to families, young urbanites and the newly crowned millennials.
By and large, West Hampstead in the London Borough of Camden can be defined by one street, West End Lane, the main drag that dissects the area and it’s one of the very best high streets in London. While the whole world is fixated with massive, sprawling shopping malls with hundreds of shops, dozens of food chains and ample parking, West Hampstead has stayed a proper, classic English high street, but it wasn’t always like that…
In the 13th century, the area was known as ‘le Rudyng’, an old English term meaning ‘woodland clearing’ and it’s believed there was a dwelling of some sort on the land at that time. It stayed ostensibly rural for another 200 years but by the mid-1500s the village was called West End, a freehold estate belonging to Kilburn Priory, a small monastic community of nuns. There was an estate house extant by the mid-1600s and it was around this time that West End Lane was so named.
If you’ve ever driven the length of West End Lane from Finchley Road to Swiss Cottage, you notice a hard left-to-right kink. It’s been there for the best part of 500 years because it was used to delineate the individual estates from each other but as time passed, more and more houses were built by London’s merchants and it turned in to a proper, working village.
From the start of the 1800s, there were three major residences in the village – West End House, West End Hall and Lauriston Lodge and interestingly, when the railways arrived 50 years later the estates were sold off to redevelop the area into a thriving commuter town. In 1879 when the railway board called the stations West Hampstead, the area became so called as well, presumably to distinguish it from the more well-known West End further into central London although this was challenged by a local estate agent who claimed he coined the name – they really don’t change, do they?!
As the 19th century turned the corner into the 20th, public amenities like street lights, gas and electricity were provided and the frontages of West End Lane started to take shape as shops.
In 1952, when celebrated German-born British architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, best known for his 46-volume county-by-county guides The Buildings of England came to West Hampstead, he wrote that the area was only worth visiting to see the great collection of Victorian churches, going as far as saying ‘the houses and streets require no notice…’
He was right about a lot of the country but he was most certainly wrong about that!
West Hampstead is a friendly, safe, down-to-earth sort of place and somewhat of a social hub. It retains a village feel with a Bohemian vibe and if you take a stroll down West End Lane, you’ll find some excellent restaurants, cafés, cosy pubs and bars from all over the world, quirky boutiques, delicatessens and bakeries and some very cool shops selling all sorts, including art, furniture, clothes and books. You are also minutes away from the vast expanse of Hampstead Heath, a big draw for any visitor to London.
For these reason (and many others), we have acquired a fantastic property within walking distance of the Jubilee Line at West Hampstead as well as the overground station of the same name that will take you into central London in 10-15 minutes. Clickhere for the full details of these fantastic, newly-refurbished apartments, all furnished with fully fitted kitchens, large double beds and luxury bathrooms. They are perfect for tourists, corporate travellers, couples and families coming to London looking for a perfectly located apartment from where to explore our fantastic city!
Call us TODAY on 020 8420 7666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your apartment in London for Christmas!