West Hampstead area guide: restaurants, shops, library, and train station
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Your guide to all the things to do in West Hampstead, including the best restaurants, shops, bars, cinemas and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW6
Welcome to West Hampstead
Fiercely loyal residents of NW6 love this residential area for its independent shops and restaurants, as well as its impressive transport links.
The area is centred around West End Green and Fortune Green, surrounded by leafy residential streets. Hampstead cemetery was founded in 1876 and has some notable gothic, Art Deco and modern architecture and masonry. Many actors, novelists and artists are buried here, a testament to the area’s creative legacy, which continues to the present day. Grade II*-listed Hampstead Synagogue on Dennington Park Road was consecrated in 1892 and is an interesting example of 19th century religious architecture.
A more recent landmark appeared in 2011 when the path from West End Lane to Lithos Road was re-christened Billy Fury Way after one of Britain’s original rock and roll stars, who recorded regularly at Decca studios on Broadhurst Gardens. David Bowie also recorded his first session at the studios.
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Shopping and culture
West End Lane, Mill Lane and Broadhurst Gardens make up West Hampstead’s town centre lined with independent businesses. The Sherriff Centre in St James’ Church is a prized amenity, housing the local post office, a small shop, the Sanctuary Cafe and hosting events and community groups including the West Hampstead Pop Choir.
Home cooks love The Hampstead Butcher and Providore for its quality meat and ingredients or the Saturday farmers’ market for traceable produce. Achillea Flowers on Mill Lane provide beautiful blooms for locals and such illustrious events as the RHS President’s lunch at the Chelsea Flower Show. On Mill Lane The Village Haberdashery is recommended for fabric and sewing materials.
Best for book lovers… West End Lane Books, which has been open for more than 20 years and offers evening events and a book group to supplement its dream bookshop environment. They also have a hilarious and highly active Twitter account, and can be found tweeting literary recommendations and cat photos @WELBooks.
Best for wine lovers… popular new arrival on West End Lane Tannin and Oak is a wine merchants that is also a wine bar, so you can stop and sample the wares or maybe take home a bottle or two of your favourite tipple after a night on the sauce.
Best for film lovers… During the summer locals enjoy bike-powered film screenings on Fortune Green, while in winter months cinephiles can head to JW3 on Finchley Road for a mixture of new releases and selected Israeli films.
Benham and Reeves says...The Annual “screen on the green” event has been sponsored by Benham & Reeves for the past 5 years. Most recently they screened The Arrival to circa 300 local residents. The famous Acol Bridge Club was established in the 1930’s and is still going strong.
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Food and drink
La Petite Corée is a local bistro serving Korean-tinged European food. A more casual, al fresco dining experience can be found at Food and Flea, West Hampstead’s Sunday and weekday evening street food market, where you can find everything from crepes to Carribbean flavours. Boozers head to The Gallery on Broadhurst Gardens for cocktails, great small plates or to sample one of their 101 whiskies. For a taste of Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall, make for the Czech and Slovak Bar, originally a haunt for Czechoslovakian immigrants after WWII and still serving up regional draft beers and food.
Best for coffee… get your London caffeine fix from Wired on Broadhurst Gardens. They use beans roasted by east London coffee specialists Climpson and Sons, and all their baked goods are sourced from north west London bakeries.
Best for dinner with friends… The Wet Fish Café is a local institution for weekend brunch or the excellent £6 lunch deal. As the name implies the menu focuses mostly on carefully sourced fish from the British coastline, but there’s also plenty for meat eaters and vegetarians.
Best for a pint… The Alice House serves craft beer and cocktails as well as a solid pub menu of burgers, steak and fish and chips.
Best for cocktails… another opening on West End Lane, Bobby Fitzpatrick’s serves up a heady mix of pizza and cocktails in a very, very 70s themed setting.
Benham & Reeves says...Wired co. on Broadhurst Gardens is an excellent independent coffee shop offering great coffee with a smile whilst the West Hampstead farmers market takes place on Saturday’s between 10am-2pm just outside West Hampstead Thameslink station.
Sports & Leisure
Hampstead Cricket Club boasts 20 tennis courts and 8 squash courts as well as a hall equipped with a bar, offering practice and matches for all ages and abilities. Next door, you’ll find West Hampstead Hockey Club for mens, womens and mixed hockey of all ages from beginner to experienced. For runners there’s ruNW6, a local running club. For those who like to sweat it out in the gym, on Fortune Green Road is the very meta The Gym, and there’s also a HIIT GYM catering to those who take a science-based approach to fitness, offering a ‘fitness programme backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption’ (lest you forget to breathe).
Benham and Reeves says...The HIIT GYM situated on Broadhurst Gardens is very popular with classes starting from 6.30am.
Things to do with children
Hullaballoo soft play area at the Sherriff Centre is situated in the north aisle of the still-functioning church and is available for drop-in playing as well as party hire. The centre also runs weekly Viva Spanish, Mini Mozart and mother and baby fitness bonding classes.
Primary and secondary schools
Emmanuel Church of England Primary School is a small mixed gender school that received an Outstanding Ofsted rating at its most recent inspection while the larger Beckford Primary is a community school popular with local parents and rated Good by Ofsted.
State secondary education is thin on the ground in West Hampstead, with Hampstead School in Cricklewood rated Good by Ofsted. Independents include St Margaret’s School for girls, a Church of England school, and UCS, a boys’ school which allows girls in sixth form. Both get excellent exam results.
Residents love West Hampstead for its extensive transport links, which connect the area to over 100 Greater London stations. The area is situated in Zone 2 on the London Underground and West Hampstead Underground station is served by the Jubilee line.
There is also a London Overground station called West Hampstead, and a West Hampstead Thameslink station, connecting the neighbourhood to Luton Airport and Brighton. Buses connect West Hampstead to north and central London.
West Hampstead is in the London Borough of Camden and has the NW6 postcode. It is in the Hampstead & Kilburn parliamentary constituency. Properties in Band A will pay £944.97 council tax; those in the average Band D will receive a bill for £1,417.46; and the most expensive homes in Band H will pay £2,834.92.
Property in West Hampstead is becoming something of a touchy subject for the area’s residents, who are increasingly up in arms at rising house prices and development in an area that was once considered down to earth compared to its hilltop neighbour, Hampstead. Housing stock is predominantly made up of large Victorian and Edwardian properties, and blocks of mansion flats.
Two-bedroom flat – £655,029
Terraced house – £1,241,842
Semi-detached house – £1,585,316
Detached house – £1,250,691
In Partnership with Benham & Reeves
106 West End Lane, NW6
020 7644 9300