In the 19th century the area started to become the desirable inner suburb that it is today. This change was driven by the extension of the Metropolitan and the Jubilee tube lines northwards, resulting in the area becoming quickly filled by young professionals, looking for a London flatshare, and pursuing rapidly growing urban way of life. Still today, the phenomenal transport links are seen as one of the area’s greatest assets. In fact, I would challenge you to find a better connected part of London. West Hampsteadians benefit from the Jubilee line, Thameslink and Overground trains on their doorstep, with the Bakerloo and Metropolitan line a short walk away. Additionally there are two buses, the 139 and the 328 which connect West Hampstead residents to Chelsea and The West End, 24 hours a day. Finally, there is the C11 bus, terminating at Brent Cross shopping centre. With the plethora of transport links available to them, West Hampstead residents can laugh in the face of a tube strike, and sleep well at night safe in the knowledge that retail therapy is at any given moment only 20 minutes away!
The population of West Hampstead is a little over 33,000, with twice as many residents under 40 as over. In fact, the area is full of single young professionals, getting more for their money than they would in Hampstead itself. Consequently, West Hampstead enjoys a buzzy, cosmopolitan vibe. West End Lane, the area’s so called ‘high street,’ is scattered with lively bars and affordable restaurants, serving just about any type of cuisine you could desire. Personal favourites include The Alice House for a good quality Sunday roast, and The Gallery for its legendary Bloody Marys. For coffee, Wired Co. on Broadhurst Gardens offers a range of speciality blends. It is worth noting that The Wet Fish Café probably offers the best weekend brunch in town, and is a safe bet for date night or to impress your parents. La Du Du provides a range of Vietnamese cooking, whilst Toomai and Banana Tree are known for their tasty pan Asian dishes. Guglee is a favourite for Indian, as is Bombay Flame, situated a mere 3 minute stumble from Springboard’s front door. For the best and most extensive cocktail list in town, you should venture out on to the Kilburn High Road, and in to The Betsy Smith.
At the heart of West Hampstead’s party scene is Lately’s, the local nightclub. I joke. Lately’s is that dingy, cramped, basement sweatbox that every local area has and every self-respecting local tries hard to avoid. However, I would challenge you to sign a 6 month contract at Springboard and not end up there at least once, downing Jagerbombs and questioning your better judgement, whilst trying to shake off the impending feel of doom at having missed the last tube to central, and consequently, your last chance of a decent night out. Of course, with West Hampstead being, as I may have mentioned, so incredibly well connected, you could always just take the bus. But maybe you’re too drunk. Or maybe secretly you just really really love Lately’s. Either way, I won’t judge.
Despite an influx of chain stores over recent years – We are the home of a Sainsbury’s Local, a Tesco Express and a Little Waitrose as well as the Big Three providers of overpriced caffeinated beverages (Costa, Starbucks and Nero obviously.) – West End Lane has certainly faired better than many 21st century high streets and much of its quirky, local charm still remains. Amongst the chain stores, independent businesses thrive, including restaurants, cafes, estate agents and hairdressers. West End Lane books is a particular gem, as is the weekly farmer’s market which takes place in front of the Thameslink station every Saturday. For Argos, Boots, M&S, high street banks and just about all the other mundane necessities of life, Kilburn High Road is a 5 minute walk away.
On the subject of Kilburn, there are worse things to do with an evening than check out The Tricycle cinema and theatre which presents pieces intended to provoke emotion and discussion. If this doesn’t sound quite your bag, there’s a good old Vue cinema down at the O2 Centre on Finchley Road. As for the annual two days of British summertime, Queen’s park with its tennis courts, football field and jogging tracks is close at hand and Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath can all be reached on foot. Or for the more adventurous, by Borris bike from Abbey Road.
The average rent for a one bedroom flat in West Hampstead, according to Zoopla, is £438 a week. Springboard provides all inclusive accommodation for young professionals in West Hampstead starting from £200 a week. To arrange a viewing, fill out the enquiry form on our website and our Property Manager, Rob, will be in touch with you over the next few days.
I’ve lived in West Hampstead for 5 years now. I love it and I’m sure you will too. However, don’t just take it from me, when planning a visit be sure to allow time to meander down West End Lane, try out some of my recommendations and experience the charm of the area first hand.
For details of Springboard’s other all inclusive London flatshares in a variety of locations across the city, please click here.