Commonly known as Hampstead Village, this leafy and affluent suburb is part of the Borough of Camden and is reputed for being the home of intellectuals, liberals, artists and musicians – and millionaires! More millionaires live within the boundaries of this neighbourhood than any other in the UK.
The area is primarily residential but also has its share of parkland with Hampstead Heath.
Whether you are moving to London to live or just planning a short trip, read on to find out more about Hampstead (including the types of homes available, safety and transport links).
Where is Hampstead located?
Hampstead has an NW3 postcode. To the north east of the neighbourhood is Hampstead Heath, the parkland which separates the area from Highgate. To the south is Belsize Park and to the west, Fortune Green and Child’s Hill.
The area is central enough that its well connected to the rest of the capital but is fairly quiet in comparison due to its residential nature. This isn’t a tourist-y place to visit as the attractions are understated and well-hidden. Hampstead is approximately four miles north west of Charing Cross.
What’s the typical accommodation type in Hampstead?
This is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK, so you won’t find small dingy flats here. Instead, houses are large and often detached, with townhouses that have been converted into flats still offering a good size. Typical London terraced houses are also found in this district, but they’re larger than you’ll find elsewhere in the city and often have leafy front gardens on proud display.
How safe is Hampstead?
Its affluent nature means that Hampstead is considered one of the safest areas in London to visit, and you should experience no issues even when travelling solo. As with any parkland or quiet grassy areas, it’s not recommended that you spend time alone in Hampstead Heath at night.
Hampstead’s built-up areas are mainly residential and so you’ll find them quieter in the evenings and at night than more central districts of London.
What type of people live in Hampstead?
The cost of living here means that those who reside here are high-earners; attracting celebrities, notable professionals and businesspeople. However, the community here breaks from the stereotype of conservative high-net-worth individuals, instead being well known for their liberalism which is often (less than favourably) referred to as “Hampstead Liberalism”.
The population here is fairly small, predominantly white and mainly Christian or Jewish. Notable current residents include Sting, Harry Styles, Judi Dench, Ridley Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch and Charles Saatchi.
What transport links does Hampstead offer?
Hampstead has a major bus terminal at South End Green linking the neighbourhood with pretty much everywhere in the capital. The area is also served by six London Underground stations; Hampstead, Golder’s Green, Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Chalk Farm and Belsize Park, serving the Northern, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. There’s also three rail stations; Finchley Road & Frognal, Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak.
The neighbourhood is well served by private transport too, and outside of the congestion zone for drivers.
What is there to do in Hampstead?
Despite not being an area that many first-time London travellers would flock to, Hampstead has many charming attractions that can give you an experience a little ‘off the beaten track’ compared to mainstream tours. If you do spend time here, be sure to try out some of the following.
Step back in time… into the pub
The Holly Bush pub was, until very recently, entirely gas lit, and still feels like a historic experience when you step through the door. Very much feeling like a ‘proper country pub’, The Holly Bush is a 200-year old listed building and was originally the studio of artist George Romney. Now, it’s home to some great real ales and a selection of spirits.
Shop the community market
So few residents in the neighbourhood means that there’s a real community feel in Hampstead, and there’s no better place to experience it than the Community Market. Every Saturday from 10am until about 3pm, the market makes for the perfect place for you to find recipe inspiration with fresh produce direct from British farms, dairies, fruit and vegetable growers and craftspeople. If you do opt for a homestay here, visit the market and grab some ingredients to make a family dinner!
Watch the sunset over Parliament Hill
If the weather holds out, grab a picnic and walk up the high point of Hampstead Hill to watch the sun set over some of the best views of London. It’s a very romantic spot but also a great place to visit with friends or colleagues for a nice chilled evening in an otherwise very hectic city.
Homestay in Hampstead
If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay accommodation (“host family”) in Hampstead or close by, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Hampstead (NW3) home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch.