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Hampstead and Kentish Town chosen as best places to live in London

PUBLISHED: 19:45 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 19:49 22 March 2016

Hampstead is one of the best places to live in the UK according to the Sunday Times

Hampstead is one of the best places to live in the UK according to the Sunday Times

Archant

It comes as little surprise that Ham & High areas bagged two of the 10 London spots in the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live 2016 list.

Hampstead is one of the few prime residential locations where the lights are still onHampstead is one of the few prime residential locations where the lights are still on

It comes as even less of a surprise that Hampstead was one of the areas marked out by the definitive nationwide list, which has been published annually since 2013.

As one of the few prime London areas where the lights are still on – despite a significant amount of overseas buyers, the area still boasts comparatively high rates of owner occupation – Hampstead stands apart from similarly priced “trophy neighbourhoods” like Mayfair, which was bumped this year due to high levels of absentee ‘residents’.

Hampstead Heath is the biggest attraction of the areaHampstead Heath is the biggest attraction of the area

This is thanks, in part, to the perennial draw of Hampstead Heath, although north London’s favourite lung looks progressively less attractive as the dam(n) works trundle on into eternity.

The prettiness of the period buildings in the Village were also a contributing factor but it was the enduring atmosphere of bohemian intellectualism that clinched it. It is this that distinguishes Hampstead from similarly prime but much more staid areas like St John’s Wood.

Less inevitable, although equally deserved, is the selection of Kentish Town, which made the cut for the first time this year.

Kentish Town is north west London's hipster centralKentish Town is north west London's hipster central

Having steadfastly resisted full gentrification for years, the area was lauded for its well-balanced blend of “rock’n’roll cool” and “genitility”.

The paper played a little fast and loose with their neighbourhood boundaries, which is a pity as there’s plenty to enjoy in K’Town proper.

What it did get right is Kentish Town’s position as north-west London’s hipster central, a crown it has won thanks to a recent slew of indie openings offering up craft beers and gourmet burgers to the area’s artsy-merging-with-banking crowd, who happily rub along next to pound shops and a couple of still-dodgy pubs.

Competition for property in Kentish Town is fierceCompetition for property in Kentish Town is fierce

Kentish’s status as hipsterville isn’t news to us or our readers though and it’s getting increasingly competitive to buy or rent a home there.

So where did the Sunday Times miss for 2016 that should make the grade next year?

My money’s on Highgate, which surprisingly has never made the cut. After all, where Kate Moss leads, the masses follow.

Could Highgate make the cut for the first time next year?Could Highgate make the cut for the first time next year?

The area’s slightly disappointing high street and zone 3 location are more than made up for by the presence of some of north London’s most beautiful period houses, which sell for significantly lower sums than in sister suburb Hampstead; excellent schools; panoramic views and easy Heath access.

And how about King’s Cross to edge out Kentish Town in the newly gentrified spot?

With its own art school it has the bohemian credentials, while the mass of new openings in the redeveloped zone has turned the once-dingy pocket into north London’s brunch spot du jour.

Brunch is a weekend institution in the new King's CrossBrunch is a weekend institution in the new King's Cross

One thing you can guarantee is that if it’s in north London, you read about it here first.

To find out everything you need to know about a host of north west London hotspots browse our extensive area guide section.

Where do you think are north London’s best places to live? Tweet us @hamhighproperty or send us an email ham&high.property@archant.co.uk

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