An Insider’s Guide to London’s Best Villages
In the past year, we have seen a huge surge in demand for homes in the country. In fact, at the end of 2020, prices in rural areas climbed to a staggering four-year high. Many Londoners, who don’t need to be tied to the city for work, are looking for a new life in the country.
But for some, being faced with a part time commute into London along with more time spent ferrying children around in the car, country living just doesn’t appeal. In essence, the convenience, culture and diversity of London is too good to leave behind.
There is a solution. Our Insider’s Guide to London’s Best Villages will help you to find a greener, quieter location whilst keeping all that London has to offer at your fingertips.
During the past 20 years of sourcing property in central and west London, I have been lucky enough to come across some true locational gems. But why should London’s best villages keep you in the capital? Read our insider’s guide to find out.
1. Pitshanger Village, W5
Five years ago, Pitshanger Lane was the worthy winner of London’s Great British High Street award.
Undiscovered by many, Pitshanger Village is centered around the award winning Lane, made up of almost entirely independent shops. These include several coffee shops, a superb bakery, a traditional free-range and organic butcher, a deli and a bookshop.
Half way along the Lane, head down Barnfield Road and you will find the glorious Pitshanger Park. This vast green, open space is a haven for dog walkers, exercise lovers and energetic children. In the summertime, amble past the bowling green to the wild garden for a sensory delight and quiet contemplation.
There are several excellent state and independent schools in the vicinity of Pitshanger Village. North Ealing Primary School is popular with many local families and is situated towards the end of the Lane. St Benedict’s School, well known for its rugby, is a short stroll up the hill whilst Notting Hill & Ealing Girls School is within easy striking distance to the west.
Properties range from larger Edwardian houses (with many backing on to the park) to those found in Brentham Garden Suburb conservation area. This is home to a pretty array of wisteria-clad Arts & Crafts houses ranging from two bedroom cottages to larger four & five bed houses.
Within easy reach of Ealing Broadway station, a soon-to-be Crossrail station, Pitshanger Village has it all: excellent schools and transport links, an outstanding level of living and a peaceful village feel all within London. Undoubtedly, one of London’s best villages.
2. Barnes Village, SW13
This beautiful riverside enclave in the borough of Richmond Upon Thames is well deserving of its village title. It boasts both quaint and grand homes, independent shops and cafés galore and, the icing on the cake, a duck pond. For nature enthusiasts, Barnes Wetlands Centre offers 100 acres of natural riverside marshland and is home to over 180 species of birds.
Property prices in Barnes do demand a premium, but they hold their value well. From Regency villas and Georgian riverside homes to spacious Edwardian houses and Victorian cottages, there really is something for everyone. Barnes is such a draw to its residents that many upsize and downsize within the village, staying put for many years.
With just a 30 minute train journey into central London and home to St Paul’s School, a highly selective indepedent school, Barnes rightfully deserves a place on the list of London’s best villages.
3. Highgate Village, N6
Walking through Highgate Village is like stepping back in time. Once there, you feel instantly connected to its history through its cobbled streets and Georgian architecture whilst still feeling a strong link to the city.
Pond Square is at the centre of Highgate Village. Here, you can sit and watch the Highate residents go by before popping into The Flask for a drink with the locals. Within a short stroll of the village centre is Highgate Wood. Wonder through this ancient woodland and image you’re a world away from London.
Prime property in Highgate village doesn’t come onto the open market very often. Once you’re lucky enough to own one of these beautiful houses, you won’t want to move on.
A huge draw for families is Highgate Primary School. Often viewed as the most nurturing school you’ll find in north London. Parents love its holistic approach that provides each child with an inclusive educational experience.
Greens of Highgate is an institution with its gloriously colourful array of fruit and flowers. For a sublime chocolatey gift for yourself or for a special someone, head to Kokoa London on the high street.
4. Hampstead Garden Suburb
To the west of Highgate, and to the north of Hampstead, sits another garden suburb. Hampstead was built after the success of Brentham Garden Suburb in Pitshanger. Luckily for the residents of Hampstead Garden Suburb, the houses here are just as charming and the roads are equally as quiet. Here, the selection of larger houses trumps its predecessor.
Tree lined streets offer a selection of detached and semi-detached family homes as well as pretty terraced cottages. The larger homes are, quite understandably, forever homes for buyers that desire a village feel within London. Step off the main drag and you could quite easily feel that you’re walking onto a Miss Marple set.
Hampstead Garden Suburb is hugely popular with families looking for good schools within a safe environment whilst being strongly connected to the vibrancy of the city.
5. Wimbledon Village, SW19
Perched up high in all its glory, Wimbledon Village has so much to offer. For those that love everything quintessentially English, spend a day here and you will forget that you’re in London.
Wimbledon Village is a shopping haven with an array of independent shops along with well known high end boutiques. Take your pick of places to grab a quick coffee or linger over lunch with friends.
Don’t be surprised to hear the clatter of horse’s hooves with Wimbledon Village Stables, a Multi Award Winning riding school, situated in the heart of the village.
The wide open space of Wimbledon Common is a place to exercise, dog walk and breathe. Or, if you’re like me, admire the beautiful array of homes that surround the common.
Families who move to Wimbledon Village rarely need to leave. Large family homes, an English village feel yet with top London schools on its doorstep gives you the reasons why this is one of London’s Best Villages.
Our Insider’s Guide to London’s Best Villages will have given you an insight into areas of London that you might not have considered. Which London Village would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.
To find out more about any of these locations and to discuss using our services, contact Harriet on +44 782 532 1564. Please visit www.nplhome.co.uk for information about our property finding services and follow us on Instagram: @thelondonpropertyfinder