If your pockets are deep enough, NW3 in London offers an affluent, village lifestyle with enviable access to Hampstead Heath.

The NW3 postcode in north west London has been a property hotspot for film stars, artists and celebrities for years.

It’s easy to see why – the area is packed with grand houses and open green spaces and is known for its close-knit communities. Independent bookshops, grocers, butchers and cheese shops complete its urban village appeal.

The postcode includes some of London’s priciest areas: most of Hampstead and Belsize Park as well as parts of Primrose Hill, Chalk Farm, Gospel Oak and Frognal.

As a result, you’ll need an average of £1,562,000 to snap up a home here, and considerably more if you want one of the desirable mansion houses. You can check the latest prices here.

Learn more about north London by reading our detailed and informative guide.

Living in NW3: what to expect

Pastel-coloured terraces, white stucco-fronted townhouses and smart red-brick mansion blocks give NW3 its grandeur and class. Streets are wide and lined with mature trees and the area is dotted with independent shops, pubs and eateries.

Dominating the area is Hampstead Heath, which provides locals with an idyllic green getaway. It also boasts panoramic views of the city.

Living here doesn’t mean that residents are cut off from the city centre, however. Central London is a short Tube or train ride away and residents can also travel out of the city via the nearby M1.

In addition to large homes and plenty of green spaces, families can benefit from the appealing local schools. Christ Church Primary School was rated ‘outstanding’ at its last Ofsted inspection, while the likes of the Royal Free Hospital Children's School and Fleet Primary School and were both rated as ‘good’ at their last inspections.

Terraced houses in NW3

Where to start your property search

NW3’s property is characterised by big, expensive houses bursting with character and period features. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can find and where.

Hampstead: Hampstead is a sophisticated area that boasts 18th-century cottages as well as stately double-fronted mansions. Towards the station are elegant Victorian terraces, whereas Downshire Hill, Keats Grove and Church Row have attractive Georgian homes. For 19th-century townhouses, scour streets such as Gayton Road and Gayton Crescent, or scoop up a roomy Edwardian home on Redington Road or Templewood Avenue. Covetable views over the heath are available on East Heath Road.

Belsize Park: This area is a particular favourite among celebrities. Along its tree-lined roads are elegant Victorian properties with occasional examples of Art Deco architecture. Roads such as Belsize Avenue and Belsize Grove have grand white stucco-fronted terraces with airy bay windows. Many have three or four storeys as well as elegant gardens. For a colourful flat-fronted Georgian building, look towards Belsize Terrace, which has attractive flats sitting above the shops.

Gospel Oak: This family-friendly area has a cluster of Victorian terraces and sizeable Edwardian mansions. Streets backing onto the Parliament Hill lido include the desirable roads of Oak Village and Elaine Grove, which have a selection of pastel-hued terraces. If you want something even roomier, look to the mansions on Lissenden Gardens. Also on offer is the Dunboyne Road development, which is now Grade II-listed. Check out this area for Modernist housing from the 1970s.

Frognal: In its early years of modern development, Frognal became a favourite settling place for artists and architects. As a result, it has a choice selection of unique properties. Take a look at Frognal Road for red-brick detached homes, some of which have as many as seven bedrooms. For those with slightly smaller budgets, keep an eye out for the occasional one- or two-bedroom flat that comes up in a converted property.

Primrose Hill: This charming village is another celebrity hotspot. It has spacious leafy streets that are filled with three- and four-storey, white-stuccoed buildings. Primrose Hill Road is generally the most expensive, but you will need to move quickly to snap up any home here as the area is highly desirable among wealthy families. For something a little different, take a look at Elsworthy Road. As well as substantial semis, it also has a collection of stand-out Art Deco properties.

Detached mansion in Hampstead Heath

Getting around NW3

By rail: The nearest Tube stations are Hampstead, Belsize Park, Swiss Cottage and Chalk Farm. All bar Swiss Cottage connect to the Northern Line; Swiss Cottage can be used to access the Jubilee service. From Hampstead, locals can reach King’s Cross St Pancras in just 10 minutes.

Overground train services are also available from Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak and Finchley Road & Frognal stations. Hampstead Heath provides trains to Stratford, Clapham Junction and Richmond.

By car: Residents are a 15-minute drive from the M1, which is used for journeys north to Luton, Milton Keynes and Northampton. The M30 is also only 30 minutes away. From here drivers can connect to the A1 for journeys north to Peterborough and the M11.

By air: London City Airport, Heathrow and Stansted are all under an hour’s drive away. Heathrow Airport alone has 80 airlines flying to 185 destinations in 84 countries.

Views from Hampstead Heath

Things to do in NW3

History: The Regency villa of Keats House was the home of Romantic poet John Keats. Visitors can explore his life and works by viewing the immaculately kept rooms and the displays of original manuscripts. Special events, such as poetry readings, are also held regularly. The house is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but open the rest of the week from 11am to 5pm at a price of £6.50 for adults.

The Freud Museum is housed in the final home of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his family. The study is preserved just as it was during his lifetime and the couch used by his patients is on display. Visitors can also see his extensive collection of antiques, numbering around 2,000. Entry is £8.00 for adults and the house is open from Wednesday to Sunday between 12pm and 5pm.

Cultural: Everyman Cinema in Hampstead was the first of an independent chain of boutique, luxury cinemas. Seating includes plush armchairs and sofas and staff serve you food and drink at your seat. Screenings include both mainstream and independent films for a more eclectic choice.

Hampstead Theatre prides itself on promoting new talent and nurturing emerging writers. Its main auditorium has 325 seats but there is also a more intimate area for 80 people, which is dedicated to new writing.

Outdoors: Regent’s Canal is a perfect location for a peaceful walk along the towpaths. The canal was once a busy waterway carrying timber, coal and foodstuffs in and out of London, but today it is a quiet haven for walkers, boaters and cyclists.

The grassy hilly park of Primrose Hill is a favourite with walkers. From the top of the hill it’s possible to get a panoramic view of the city. Excellent views are also available from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath.

Views are not the only benefits of a visit to the Heath. Visitors can roam through the meadows and woodland or visit the free small zoo and butterfly park in the adjoining Golders Hill Park. An athletics track, three swimming pools and a lido at the Heath are also open to the public.

Shopping: Hampstead High Street is the go-to area for mainstream stores as well as fashion favourites such as Hobbs and Kurt Geiger. Independent shops and boutiques as well as butchers, fishmongers, bakers and bookshops also line the road. While on the High Street it is also worth slipping down the Flask Walk alley, which has a host of quirky shops including JM Pennifeather pen shop.

Belsize Park also has an excellent selection of specialist shops, including the Black Truffle deli, while further shopping districts can be found on England’s Lane, Haverstock Hill and Steele’s Village.

For fresh, local produce residents can head to one of the markets. Swiss Cottage Farmers’ Market sets up every Wednesday and sells fresh fruit and vegetables as well as cheese, game and hot food. From July to September residents can also visit Hampstead Farmers’ Market to buy bread, jam, poultry, eggs and pickles.

Food and drink: Nostalgia is served alongside pints in The Washington, a traditional Victorian pub that was first established in 1865. It has speciality ciders and beers on tap, including brews from local breweries, as well as homemade house tipples. Traditional pub food including a hearty Sunday roast complements the ales and beers.

A short walk from Hampstead Tube station is Jin Kichi, a pint-sized Japanese diner. Favourites include the yakitori skewers but the sushi and tempura dishes are also popular among regulars.

Mimmo la Bufala is another local haunt. It specialises in traditional southern Italian pizza and pasta and has its own wood-fired oven for a more authentic flavour.

Town house in NW3

Hidden NW3

Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath is a favourite of film-makers as well as visitors. The English Heritage house featured in the iconic British film Notting Hill in 1999.

6 reasons to live in NW3

  • Affluent, fashionable area
  • Well connected by Tube and rail
  • Elegant period homes
  • Access to Hampstead Heath and other green spaces
  • Packed with pubs, markets and shops
  • Good schools

Does the postcode of NW3 tick everything on your checklist? Let us know in the comments below…

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