Hampstead Garden Suburb area guide: history, schools, library, synagogue
- Credit: Archant
Your guide to all the things to do in Hampstead Garden Suburb, including the best schools, shops, bars, cafes and culture. PLUS our guide to property in NW11
Welcome to Hampstead Garden Suburb
Once home to grazing elephants, Hampstead Garden Suburb is now one of London’s most exclusive areas full of green spaces, great schools and Arts & Crafts architecture.
In 1907 Dame Henrietta Barnett set about building an attractive estate of homes suitable for all classes and incomes, designed in the style of the Arts & Crafts movement. As property prices have soared these early ideals have been rather superseded, but the aesthetics of the area are safeguarded by the long-standing Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust.
Central Square was laid out by Britain’s foremost Edwardian architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, and has two imposing churches on either side, St Jude’s and the Byzantine Free Church. In 1904, circus proprietor George Sanger owned the land which now contains Big and Little Wood situated off Denham Drive and allowed the circus animals to winter on his land. Previous residents recalled elephants grazing there.
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Shops and cafes
In an area with a strong Jewish community, it is little surprise that there are a number of kosher shops, including Greenspans, the kosher butchers. Frox & Chox, stock gifts alongside clothing and quality chocolate – as the name suggests. Curry King in the middle of the Market Place delivers to all areas.
Best for kosher bread… queues form on a Friday morning at rival bakeries King’s and Sherrards for their piping hot challah. King’s also has a line in takeaway pizza, whilst Sherrards serves fresh pastries and sandwiches.
Best for the perfect lox… and L & D delicatessen has 40 years of experience in sourcing and serving top quality hand-carved smoked salmon
Best for sandwiches… It’s only when spoken aloud that the meaning of the name of Toulous Café at Northway becomes apparent. The post-school run favourite was converted from two public loos. Don’t let that put you off your food, though. Their salt beef sarnie with pickled cucumber is more than a flash in the pan.
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Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Trendy café Gail’s is a favourite amongst the locals, who regularly frequent either Marks & Spencer or Waitrose for their shopping needs.”
Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, affectionately known as Norrice Lea, was founded in 1934 as the flagship of the United Synagogue. Today it has almost 1300 member households in its modern orthodox community, guided by Rabbi Dov and Freda Kaplan. The synagogue runs music classes for babies and afternoon teas for seniors, as well as cookery classes and table tennis games.
Sports and library facilities
There are a number of tennis courts in Lyttelton Playing Fields and also a private bowling club. The popular tennis courts in Central Square are recently refurbished.
The Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association and many members of the local community in 2011 campaigned to prevent the closure by the London Borough of Barnet of the Suburb library in the Market Place. It is now run by 40 fully trained volunteers and has a monthly book club.
Arts and culture
In summer the outdoor theatre in Little Wood is a popular spot to enjoy amateur dramatics.
Fellowship House in Willifield Way houses a 100-year-old charity dedicated to residents over 60 and has just been completely rebuilt. Now it plays hosts to concerts, keep fit classes, scrabble nights, and a programme of weekly talks each Tuesday.
Each June the well-known Proms at St Jude’s literary and music festival is held over two weeks, attracting some top musicians and authors.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Artists formed in the spring of 2016, bringing together the areas resident painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramists and jewellery makers to put on exhibitions, lectures and outreach programmes.
Things to do with children
The Youth Music Centre was established in Bigwood House in 1967 and has since become one of the foremost Saturday morning music schools in London. The Playgrounds in Lyttelton Fields are also popular. A Toddler Sense is held at the Free Church Hall in Northway.
Parents are drawn to the area by the great schools on offer. There are two state infant schools: Garden Suburb Infant, rated Good by Ofsted, and Brookland Infants, rated Outstanding.
Independent schools include Kerem House, a Jewish primary, and Annemount, a nursery and pre-preparatory school for ages 3 to 7. Both are now inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate
Often quoted as the best state girls school in the country, Henrietta Barnett occupies an impressive Queen Anne-style building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens on Central Square. Entrance is selective and fiercely competitive.
The new Archer Academy and the established Christ’s College are the other state senior schools.
Part of Hampstead Garden Suburb’s charm stems from its semi-rural atmosphere. The flipside of this is that the area is not overly endowed with public transport. The nearest tube stations are Golders Green and East Finchley, both on different branches of the Northern line. The H2 bus provides transport within the Suburb.
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Hampstead Garden Suburb is in the London Borough of Barnet and spans the postcodes of N2 and NW11. It is in the Finchley and Golders Green constituency.
The total Council Tax bill that the smallest properties in Band A would expect to pay is £931.38. Properties in the average Band D should receive a bill of £1,397.07. The most expensive homes in Band H pay £2,794.14.
Home to around 13,000 people, some of the most costly properties in the capital can be found in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Smaller homes include the flats in the iconic Waterlow Court off Hampstead Way; a central lawn surrounded by one-bedroom dwellings, originally intended for single women. It was designed by the Arts & Crafts architect Baillie Scott.
Character filled cottage-style terraces dominate the streets around Willifield Way, and there are semi-detached houses in roads such as Hill Top. Huge detached properties can be found around The Bishops Avenue, Winnington Road and Ingram Avenue.
Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Hampstead Garden Suburb is widely recognised for its stunning architecture, set within a leafy Suburb and the open spaces of Heath Extension. It’s a tranquil setting for families with excellent local schools and with the fashionable shops, cafes and restaurants in Temple Fortune nearby.”
Two-bedroom flat – £890,537
Terraced house – £1,505,026
Semi detached house – £1,602,762
Detached house – £3,210,227
In Partnership with Goldschmidt and Howland Temple Fortune
1197 Finchley Rd, Golders Green, London, NW11 0AA
020 8209 9300 / g-h.co.uk