Perhaps the district that London forgot, Kentish Town has the same vibrancy as its neighbour Camden, with streets lined with unique independent retailers and award-winning restaurants and bars. It makes for a great hybrid neighbourhood between bustling, alternative, tourist-filled Camden and the upmarket green spaces and designer stores of Hampstead.
This area is the best of both worlds when it comes to London’s extremes, and can be a lovely place to stay. HFS London has homestays in and around Kentish Town, and can give you advice and recommendations on things to do and see throughout the local area.
Where is Kentish Town located?
Kentish Town is in north west London, directly north to the area of Camden. There are two postcode areas covered by this neighbourhood, NW1 and NW5. It’s neighboured by the Hilldrop Estate to the east, Belsize Park to the west and Gospel Oak to the north.
The are was originally a small settlement on the River Fleet, but there is no longer a waterway here. Despite popular misconception, the name is completely unrelated to the British region of Kent.
What transport links does Kentish Town offer?
The area is extremely well-connected and its transport links are one of the factors that makes it so popular with professionals. The London Underground’s Northern Line links through Kentish Town station (and takes just 11 minutes into Leicester Square). The same station links through National Rail services to St Pancras, Farringdon, Surrey and Luton. Two London Overground stations are nearby; Gospel Oak and Kentish Town West, and numerous London Bus routes run through the area.
You’re a little too far north for Santander Cycles in Kentish Town, but docking stations are within walking distance.
What is there to do Here?
It’s often underrated, but Kentish Town has plenty of facilities and amenities for residents and visitors alike. You don’t need to stray far afield to find distractions and amusements.
Swim in the sun
When warmer weather does hit (and it does happen in the UK, honest!), the Parliament Hill Lido makes for a great destination to enjoy the rays and get in some exercise whilst not leaving the comfort of the big city, not having to grimace through sandy sandwiches and not having to trek for hours on the train. Its pools are unheated but open year-round. You may be surprised by the number of hardy Brits willing to swim in there 365 days a year!
Head underground for cocktails and mocktails
The now disused public loos that once formed part of the old London Underground station, you’ll probably spot the ‘Ladies and Gents’ sign but not look at it twice. It’s worth heading down though, as you won’t find toilet facilities but you will find a new award-winning cocktail and mocktail bar that has a menu curated by a craft mixologist. It’s an experience like no other!
What’s the typical accommodation type Here?
Kentish Town is home to Victorian terraced houses both large and small. It is famous for ditching the traditional white frontages in favour of brightly and pastel-colours exteriors. You will find some new-build blocks of flats and warehouse conversions, as well as a whole estate of mansion flats. New developments include family homes with internal courtyards and roof gardens.
How safe is Kentish Town?
This is a very safe place to visit and stay. Unlike the busy Camden Town just south of it, you won’t find tourists in the area at all times of the day and night. There are plenty of residents in the area and around travel hotspots. Crime is low here, and if you do feel uncomfortable alone in the evenings or at night, there’s plenty of transport options both public and private to get you around.
What type of people live Here?
The residents of Kentish Town are primarily professionals and city workers. They favour short and easy commutes into more central areas of London. Estate agents comment that whilst a few years ago, most chose to live in Kentish Town simply because of its affordable housing compared to neighbouring areas such as Hampstead and Highgate, now many list the neighbourhood as their first choice. There’s also some families and older people living here who have kept family homes in the area.
Homestay in Kentish Town
If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay accommodation (“host family”) in Kentish Town or close by, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Kentish Town home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch with us.