When you think of Hampstead, you may be forgiven for thinking 'I could never afford to live there', with its beautiful heath, Kenwood House and numerous famous residents (Sting, Jonathan Ross, George Michael, Emma Thompson etc).
But there are various 'suburbs' of Hampstead that are desirable AND relatively affordable for the renter or first-time buyer.
So, where should you be looking...?
1) Gospel Oak. Thanks to the Overground (although this part of the line is down until the end of September), Gospel Oak is much more accessible than in years gone by.
Pros: Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath are on your doorstep, along with the Parliament Hill Lido , which is fantastic for a post-work dip on a hot summer’s evening (keep in mind that it’s unheated). The pubs around Gospel Oak range from the fantastic Southampton Arms serving a huge selection of real ales, mouth-watering cheese boards and still sticking to a strict cash-only policy, to gastropubs such as The Vine.
Good schools: Fleet Primary "very good” (Ofsted), and Gospel Oak Primary "highly inclusive and successful". Secondaries: Parliament Hill and Haverstock both "good".
Cons: There’s no real ‘centre’ as there is with areas such as West Hampstead, and there are a fair few council estates which can put people off at first. But take your time to explore a little, and you’ll soon see its many positives.
Average rental for 2 bed: £1,600 p/m
Average sale price: £335,000 - £2,500,000
2) Highgate. With rental prices around 20% cheaper than Hampstead, Highgate provides a great alternative with its plethora of bars, shops and restaurants and stunning views. Highlights include Highgate Cemetery; the final resting place of many famous historical figures such as Karl Marx, George Elliot, Christina Rosetti and even the not quite so historical, Jeremy Beadle. Plus pubs serving street food such as The Duke’s Head.
Additional attractions: Kenwood House; an English Heritage masterpiece, Kenwood is perfect for a summer picnic or an autumnal walk around the gardens and is home to some fantastic sculptures including one by Henry Moore.
Cons: Still on the expensive side compared to other parts of London
3) Upper Holloway and Archway. A once slightly ‘dodgy’ area, Archway & Holloway is now more than up-and-coming, largely due to the extension of the Overground, allowing easy access from Upper Holloway to both east and west London.
Highlights: Archway market which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays with a huge range of food from across the globe plus second hand books, Resurrection Boutique for vintage gems. The talking statue of Dick Whittington’s cat, The Big Red for an unusual rock pub offering loads of live music several nights a week, or you could try St John's Tavern for a slightly more refined dining experience.
Average house prices: £570,134
Average 2 bed rental price: £1,288
Take a look at our latest sales and lettings in Hampstead's surrounding areas, to see where your next home could be.