Queen’s Park: Cottages and community in the heart of Westminster
- Credit: Archant
The Westminster portion of Queen’s Park is a small enclave of late Victorian housing and it’s still possible to pick up one of the ex-workers’ cottages for under £1million. Homeowners have been getting wise to this though, and the area has renovations galore with at least three building sites on every street as new residents move in
Queen’s Park is situated in the City of Westminster and has the W9 and W10 postal district. It is in the Westminster North parliamentary constituency. Council tax bands range from £448.50 per year for Band A properties, to £1,345.48 for properties in Band H. Average Band D properties pay £672.74 per year.
The average price of a two-bedroom flat in Queen’s Park is £573,574, for a terrace it’s £1,294,916. Homes in the Westminster portion of the area are mostly found in the Queen’s Park Estate, a network of 2,000 late Victorian terraced homes in the Gothic revival style, which were originally built for working class residents. The surrounding streets have much larger and grander terraces, although some of the streets remain a little shabby.
ARK Atwood Primary Academy opened in 2011 and has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The Queen’s Park Primary School is an average sized school with an Ofsted rating of Good. Wilberforce Primary School received an Ofsted rating of Requires Improvement at its most recent inspection, but was identified as improving. Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School is the only local state option for secondary education and is rated Good by Ofsted.
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Queen’s Park is in Zone 2 on the London Underground network and is served by the Bakerloo line. There is also a station on the Network Rail line that travels between Euston and Watford Junction. Brondesbury Park station is the nearest London Overground connection. There are also numerous buses in the area that travel to areas in northwest and central London.
Landmarks and history
Queen’s Park was developed in the 1870s and was named to honour Queen Victoria. The Queen’s Park Estate was built from 1874 to house the local working class population in its distinctive Gothic revival cottages, which have polychrome brickwork, pinnacles and turrets. The area is also recognisable through its street naming, with First to Sixth Avenue running more or less north-south and cross streets, originally A-P but now named in alphabetical order from Alperton to Peach Streets.
The estate was built by the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company, whose ornate insignia can be seen on many of the terraces. Many of the original footballers at QPR FC lived on the estate when the club was founded in 1882.
Shopping and culture
While not a prime shopping destination, Queen’s Park does have a range of quirky outlets for the niche shopper. Spy Store near the station sells secret surveillance items for James Bond fanatics and budding private eyes with gadgets ranging from nanny cams and personal alarms to bullet proof vests and car bugs.
Nearby, Bohemian Dreams is a one stop shop for vintage-inspired wedding items such as invitations and wedding favours.
Eating and drinking
The Westminster part of Queen’s Park is very residential and much less well populated with bars, cafes and restaurants than the Brent side. Ida is the area’s biggest draw. A family run Italian restaurant, it is extremely popular with locals and is often packed. They say they are one of the few restaurants in London to make their own pasta in house by hand rather than machine and they run workshops in the art at weekends.
Hana on Chamberlayne Road serves fresh sushi and other Japanese food to takeaway and offers a local delivery service.
Also popular is Kandana, a cosy delicatessen serving coffee, freshly made sandwiches and cakes, alongside speciality store cupboard ingredients.
Sports and leisure
Fitness fiends are well-provided for in this pocket of Queen’s Park. Although the Jubilee Sports Centre is slated for demolition to be turned into housing, nearby Moberly Sports and Education Centre is due to be refurbished and will get a new swimming pool.
For fitness class fans, Frame on Beethoven Street offers their signature fitness classes - a mixture of ballet, yoga and cardio – as well as pilates and personal training. The shop also stocks healthy snacks and exercise clothing. The branch of hot yoga franchise Fierce Grace on Kilburn Lane also boasts a juice bar.
Good for kids
Queen’s Park Gardens has a wealth of amenities, including a wildlife area with an outdoor classroom, a playground, a ballcourt, designated dog run and a rose garden.
The Beethoven Centre on Third Avenue is a community hub offering cheap fitness classes for children. Zumba, Creative Dance and Chinese Kung Fu are among the weekly after school offerings. There are also summer and half term activities camps to keep children entertained, as well as a weekly greengrocer selling fresh fruit and veg on site.