The secret’s out: top three West London villages causing a stir
West London is renowned for its period architecture, expansive parks and boasts some of the top schools in London. Add to this a real community, independent shops and summer fetes and you have the recipe for village life.
There are many well known areas of London that rightly own the ‘village’ label: Wimbledon Village and Hampstead Village to name just a couple. But let me steer you towards three lesser known West London ‘villages’ that are causing a stir. Leave the commotion of the city behind; London ‘villages’ are re-emerging.
1. Pitshanger Village, W5
Pitshanger Village is currently basking in the glory of its new title: London’s Best Great British High Street.
Standing to the north of Ealing Broadway, Pitshanger Village truly lives up to its name. It is centered around the Lane, which is made up of almost entirely independent shops. These include several coffee shops, a superb bakery, a traditional free-range and organic butchers and a bookshop. Tuck into a great Sunday roast or enjoy a quiet drink with locals at The Village Inn.
Half way along the Lane, head down Barnfield Road and you will be greeted by 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 the village. The closest is North Ealing Primary School, which is very much a part of the community.
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 Arts & Crafts houses ranging from two bedroom cottages to larger four bed houses.
Within easy reach of Ealing Broadway station, where Crossrail is due to arrive in 2019, Pitshanger Village has it all: excellent transport links, an outstanding level of living and a perfect place in which to invest.
2. Brackenbury Village, W6
Nestled between Ravenscourt Park and Hammersmith Grove, Brackenbury Village is the most well known of my top three west London ‘villages’ and is within easy reach of central London.
Brackenbury Village enjoys a friendly, laid back feel where all are welcome. It’s no wonder that it is home to many well-known, public figures, but this really is a place that suits everybody.
Its period architecture provides residents with many beautifully restored and converted homes. The real sense of community shines through when you visit the independent shops centered around Brackenbury Road and Aldensley Road. These include the ‘famous’ Stenton Family Butcher, which is totally committed to selling meat from English farms. Just across the road, Brackenbury Deli serves sumptuous coffee and treats including gluten-free brownies and vegan breakfasts. For fine dining with a local feel, The Brackenbury certainly delivers. Its emphasis is on French and Italian food made from quality British produce.
With Ravenscourt Park within easy reach and several outstanding state and independent schools on its doorstep, Brackenbury Village is an extremely attractive proposition. And it’s very easy to see why.
3. Isleworth Village, TW7
Isleworth Village usually refers to Old Isleworth, which was originally a village and small port. However, head further towards Isleworth station and you will find another ‘village’ emerging centered around St John’s Road. I stumbled across this little gem during a recent property search and was totally enchanted by the area.
St John’s Road leads up to the station, off which many pretty roads lie adorned with charming Victorian cottages. Many are being extended to become more suitable for families, but head a little further from the main drag and you will find an array of impressive detached houses. The beauty of this area is that it is certainly the most affordable of my three ‘villages’. If you are happy to lose your London postcode and settle for a 35 minute train journey to London Waterloo, this could be the place for you. However, the residents are currently campaigning for a faster train service into the city, which would further add to its appeal.
It is not just the property that makes this area so attractive, but independent shops are beginning to pop up and settle in well. Syon Coffee House made my taste buds dance with the best coffee that I have sampled this side of London. And don’t miss out on the delicious breakfasts and light lunches. Next door is Stargazer Flowers whose staff really know their floristry stuff. It professes to be one of Isleworth’s and Richmond’s best kept secrets and I don’t disagree.
At one end of St John’s Roads sits St John’s Gardens, a beautiful open space for young and old to enjoy. There are several state primary schools to choose from, most of which are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Yet you may have to travel a little further for a selection of independent schools.
Having lived in London for 20 years, I could happily settle in any one of these three London ‘villages’. Each one offers so much to any judicious house buyer. So go ahead and take your pick; you could be making a wise investment in every sense of the word.
If you would like to find out more about these areas or require assistance with your property search please visit www.nplhome.co.uk or call Harriet Rowlands on +44 (0) 782 532 1564 to discuss your property search requirements.