West Hampstead Area Guide
West Hampstead is an area in the London Borough of Camden in north-west London. As a location flanked by Hampstead, Swiss Cottage and Kilburn, West Hampstead allows residents to borrow the best of their neighbours’ amenities. Hampstead Heath is a short walk away, as are the shops, cinemas and leisure complexes of Swiss Cottage and Finchley Road. City professionals, young couples and families are drawn to its West Hampstead’s vibrant cafe culture and impressive architecture. Neighbouring Hampstead Village, with its hilly lanes, alleyways and streets full of independent shops, boutiques and cosy pubs, is a country like getaway in the heart of the city.
From as early as the start of the 16th century until the railway arrived at the end of the 18th century, West Hampstead was known as West End. When the railway station on West End Lane was built it was named West Hampstead to avoid confusion with the ‘other’ West End in Central London’s theatre district.
West Hampstead is a fantastic place to move to if you are going to start a family. There are 23 primary schools, seven secondary schools and three sixth form colleges, plans are also afoot for Camden Council to expand some of the existing primary schools to provide more places. An application has also gone in to form a new free school, West Hampstead International School, which if approved will provide 1,600 places across primary and secondary age groups.
The vast expanse of Hampstead Heath is an ideal location for long walks, and the three natural swimming ponds are popular with locals. Another option is Queen’s Park which is a well-loved green space with six tennis courts, a 9-hole pitch and putt course, a cafe and even a small zoo.
The O2 Centre on Finchley Road has a number of eating and shopping options, as well as a cinema and a Virgin Active gym with swimming pool.
West End Lane is awash with independent boutiques, charity stores and popular clothes shops, and La Boutique Secret is one of the best with its range of handpicked designs.