Notting Hill, W11
Over the last forty years or so W11 has undergone a remarkable renaissance. By the time the film “Notting Hill” came out in the late 90’s, the area was already firmly established as an extremely fashionable place to live.
It’s hardly surprising that so many people want to buy a house or flat in Notting Hill, and no surprise that once they arrive, people tend to stay for years. Apart from its gastro-pubs, organic food outlets and Portobello Road market, there is a great choice of parks, with Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Holland Park all within easy reach.
The last few years have seen the complete gentrification of the area - residents today are likely to be well heeled city types or successful media professionals. Those seeking a more bohemian atmosphere are moving further north into W10 (see Ladbroke Grove).
Notting Hill Gate (Central, District and Circle Lines).
Because of its proximity to Hyde Park, and the ease of access to the West End, Bayswater has always been a popular place to live. The Heathrow Express service from Paddington and excellent underground links to the City has meant that the area has been rediscovered by young professionals who are attracted to the area by its converted period buildings and its geographical convenience.
There is an abundance of property available for sale and to let: period conversions, mansion blocks, post war purpose built blocks, mews and larger houses. Prices are very similar to those in Notting Hill, but there is a wider availability of smaller, less expensive properties, popular with first time buyers and buy-to-let investors.
Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch (Central Line); Paddington and Royal Oak (Hammersmith and City Line).
Dissected by Kensington High Street, with its numerous high street shops and cafés, Kensington is the rather more conservative southern neighbour to Notting Hill. Location is the fundamental selling point of property here: it's bordered by Holland Park and Kensington Gardens and there are excellent transport links to the City from High Street Kensington. Kensington is more family orientated than some of its neighbouring districts and possesses some rather grand Victorian terraced villas, particularly on the Phillimore Estate, which provide room for wealthy parents and their children. Many expatriate banking families have made Kensington their London home but so too have a host of younger professionals who prefer the more mature feel of the neighbourhood.
A good mix of property exists in Kensington and includes: both large and small houses, mansion blocks and period conversions. There are also a number of modern, secure developments, such as Kensington Green, now home to a diverse mix of international residents.
High Street Kensington - District and Circle Lines
Holland Park, W11/W14
Holland Park, bordering Notting Hill to the east and Shepherd's Bush to the west, has always been home to the well heeled, albeit those with an artistic leaning. Holland Park itself is one of the most peaceful in London with 54 acres of green space and semi-wild woodland. Holland Park Avenue supports many independent local shops, including Lidgates, one of London's finest butchers and our own Anthony Sharp. The area is home to celebrities, bankers and media professionals. With easy access to the City via the Central Line, many City professionals make their home here and families are drawn to the area because of its proximity to some excellent local schools including Norland Place.
Holland Park has always been fashionable and expensive, with magnificent Victorian villas on Holland Park and Holland Villas Road being among London's finest properties. There is a wide choice of property for sale in Holland Park, with both period and post war houses. Although many have been converted into flats, properties are often spacious, bright and many retain original period features. Smaller mews houses exist, as do medium size family houses on the Norland Estate.
Holland Park (Central Line); Notting Hill Gate (Circle, District and Central Line)
Brook Green, W14
With Shepherd's Bush to the North and Hammersmith to the South, Brook Green is a haven of tranquility between those two bustling hubs. At the heart of the area is the Green itself. Good transport links mean that Heathrow and the City are a viable commute for its residents. Because of the open spaces, the proximity to excellent local schools (including St Paul's and Godolphin and Latymer) and the availability of houses with gardens, it's always been a good area for families.
There is as diverse a mix of property including all sizes of family houses and conversions, some relatively modern new build properties and mansion block flats. Brook Green has something for everyone.
Hammersmith (Piccadilly, District plus Hammersmith & City Lines); Shepherd's Bush (Central Line)
Ladbroke Grove, W10
The character of Ladbroke Grove has changed dramatically over the last few years and it is fast becoming “Notting Hill North”, attracting those with Notting Hill aspirations but without a Notting Hill budget.
Double fronted villas on Oxford Gardens and Bassett Road, cheaply converted into rental accommodation and property lettings in the 70s, are now being restored to their former glory as family houses by celebrities and bankers with City bonuses. Houses with private gardens on the St. Quintin Estate make ideal family properties. With an abundance of substantial double fronted villas, comparatively affordable flats and good transport links to the City, the area is magnet for young professionals.
Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road (Hammersmith and City Line)
South Kensington, SW7
South Kensington offers a fascinating combination of fashionable modern London life and stately Victorian architecture. A dazzling array of boutiques and shops are set amidst the great landmarks of the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Albert Memorial. The museums are often used as elegant backdrops for events such as London Fashion Week, and outdoor exhibitions.
In amongst these great buildings are some of the best restaurants and bars London has to offer, from the plethora of dining options around South Kensington tube station to the very fashionable bars on Walton Street. This is a great area with a lot going on.
Circle, District and Piccadilly lines running through the stations, giving good access to the rest of London and Canary Wharf.
Earls Court, SW5
Located in the southwest corner of zone 1, Earl's Court is in a great location with easy access to the city centre as well as west and southwest London. The area is packed with street after street of beautiful four and five story terraced flats. The Earl's Court Exhibition Centre is home to concerts and home, ski, travel and wedding shows as well as some pretty big name concerts. Additionally Holland Park is a 10 minute walk up Earl's Court Road and nearby High Street Kensington is a great place to kick back and relax. One of the most appealing aspects of a place to rent in Earls Court is that property here has the same characteristics of South Kensington, but at more affordable rates.
Circle, District and Piccadilly lines running through Earls Court station, giving good access to the rest of London and Canary Wharf.
There are many areas of London that describe themselves as villages, but Barnes is one of the few that truly deserves the tag. At its heart is a duck pond, surrounded by pretty cottages, large houses, boutiques, pubs, cafes and independent shops. Mums pushing prams, families walking dogs and children feeding the ducks are a common sight in this vibrant little village that isn’t far away from central London – Waterloo is 22 minutes by train and Hammersmith is 10 minutes on a bus.
The beautiful Barnes Common presents the closest area of green space in SW13, while the Barnes Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is a site of special scientific interest, and an important local nature reserve. The quintessential village atmosphere of Barnes is one of the main attractions, together with the very high standards of local schools, including St Pauls, The Harrodian, Barnes Primary School and St. Osmunds.