Belsize Park Estate Agents Property Guide
Belsize Park History
Belsize Park gets its name from the old French Bel Assise, meaning 'beautiful home'. Today, the area is still beautiful, just one of the reasons why celebrities including Helena Bonham Carter, Gwyneth Paltrow, Fiona Bruce and Kate Moss now make it their home.
Belsize Park goes back to the Restoration period when the fabulously wealthy Royalist soldier Daniel O'Neill built a country house there. In the run-up to the English Civil War, O'Neill had been imprisoned in the Tower of London for conspiracy but had escaped, dressed as a woman, by lowering himself out of a window on a rope made by tying his bedsheets and a tablecloth together.
Belsize Park Property
O'Neill's mansion was demolished in 1852 and most of the streets were laid out in the twenty years after. The area was was high-class from the beginning, with large terraced and semi-detached houses in the elegant classical style then popular, changing to a more homely brick-faced style later in the century.
After the First World War, several blocks of apartments were built, now a popular choice for younger people who appreciate the generous size and large number of rooms. Many of the houses have been converted into flats with high ceilings and many period features.
Greener than Camden to the south, but younger and less stuffy than Hampstead to the north, Belsize Park's broad, tree-lined streets have a wide selection of types and sizes of property, from studio apartments to stately stuccoed family houses.
Top Attractions in Belsize Park
Shopping in Belsize Park is focused on two areas.
Haverstock Hill, around Belsize Park tube station, boasts a range of local boutiques, delicatessens, cafes and restaurants including Thornton's Budgens, which sells local produce including vegetables grown on its own roof. The store is probably the only grocers in the world with its own Poet Laureate, Dr Robert Ilson.Here is one of his verses:
"O happy folk of Belsize Park
At last you have your wish,
For Thornton's Budgens now presents
A plenitude of fish!"
It may not be Milton, but dedication to local service and concern for the environment is typical of the shops in Belsize Park.
The other shopping area is in Belsize Lane, a picturesque winding street of small shops, cafes featuring cuisines from around the world, hairdressers, a veterinary clinic and even, something of a rarity in London these days, a great launderette and dry cleaners. It is a real, traditional village centre. Also on Haverstock Hill is the Screen on the Hill cinema.
Belsize Park Transport
Belsize Park is just minutes away from some of the greatest open spaces in London, Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill and Regent's Park. The West End with its theatres, art galleries and shops is a 15 minute cab drive away, and the Northern Line takes you swiftly to both the West End at Leicester Square and Charing Cross and to the City at Bank.
If you are interested in buying, selling or renting property in Belsize Park, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sandfords. Our Belsize Park estate agents are ready to assist with more information and advice on the Belsize Park property profile, accurate property valuations and a great selection of property for sale or to rent in the area.
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