If fuss-free London transport links and masses of greenery are big draws, then living in North West London will certainly appeal. Property developers have been concentrating on this slice of the city more heavily in recent years, and the new homes have drawn those seeking everything from a more affordable lifestyle to village-like credentials and reputable schools.
Take Colindale, as an example. The up-and-coming NW9 postcode is home to a number of residential developments, which are largely huddled around the area’s namesake tube station. It’s on the Northern line and, from here, commuters are transported to King’s Cross in just over 20 minutes, and into the heart of the West End in half an hour. Road links are worth shouting about, too. The A41 and M1 are right on the doorstep. It’s just a short drive along the former to Brent Cross, best-known for its mammoth shopping centre. It neighbours the North Circular and was actually the country’s first enclosed mall.
Transport props aside, Colindale is a wonderfully diverse part of North West London, with tandoori restaurants sharing space with Chinese medicine shops and an enormous Asian street food market.
Hampstead Heath’s ancient acres
Move a short distance south-east and there’s Hampstead, a haven with a hamlet feel, brimming with immaculate cafés and quality gastropubs, and tucked among the much-loved (and well-trodden) ancient acres of Hampstead Heath. Sprawling across a massive 320 hectares, this is as close as it gets to countryside living in a London postcode. Discover woodlands and ponds teeming with wildlife, children’s play areas and Parliament Hill – one of London’s best viewpoints and picnic spots.
Attractions in St John’s Wood
Further south is glamorous St John’s Wood, set just to the east of edgy duo Kilburn and Queen’s Park. NW8 offers a slower pace of life and is wonderfully devoid of tourists. Its quiet, spotless streets are peppered with elegant pavement cafés and expensive clothing boutiques, and family days out come courtesy of London Zoo, Primrose Hill and the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Live music and markets in Camden
Neighbours Camden & Kentish Town are arguably the most talked-about areas in North West London – largely down to an impeccable live music scene. Long-standing establishments such as The Forum, Koko and The Roundhouse have welcomed stars such as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Madonna to get the crowds going, so if it’s lively nights out you’re after, you’ll feel right at home here.
Camden Market is just as celebrated as the area’s acoustics and needs little introduction. Whether it’s neon-soaked clubwear or Indonesian street food on the shopping list, you’ll find it in one of its eclectic bazaars, which are characterised by five ‘zones’: The Stables, Buck Street, Electric Ballroom, Inverness Street and Camden Lock. Kentish Town, meanwhile, serves up a more sedate shopping scene. Admittedly, it’s less of an open-air theatre, but its curious book stores and charity shops are not to be sniffed at.
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