A Guide to: Belsize Park
Nestled cosily between Camden, Primrose Hill, Hampstead and St John’s Wood, Belsize Park is slap bang in the middle of one of the most beautiful and trendy neighbourhoods in London. Home to one of our north London hostels, Belsize House, there are a lot of great gems in this area that makes it great place to live. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking of staying in Belsize Park.
Its name coming from the French ‘bel assis’ – meaning well-situated – Belsize Park has always been popular with gentry and aristocracy alike, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, since the 1300s. The area was destroyed during World War II, but once rebuilt, Belsize Park developed as a suburb and many beautiful Victorian houses were built as well-to-do Londoners began to move in.
Universities and colleges near Belsize Park
You can get to many of London’s great universities from Belsize House in just under half an hour via public transport, which is great news if you love a lay in. For example, Central Saint Martins has a campus in neighbouring Archway, the Royal Veterinary College has a campus in Camden, and London Metropolitan University and City and Islington College both have sites in Holloway. But even if your university or college is in central London, or further afield, you won’t struggle with finding ways to commute, which brings us to…
How to get to and from Belsize Park
Lucky for you, Belsize Park is located in Zone 2 of the London Underground system and is on the Northern Line, nestled between Chalk Farm and Hampstead stops. Close by is also Swiss Cottage station (which is on the Jubilee Line) and Hampstead Heath Overground. In terms of buses, the N5 bus offers a 24-hour service straight to Oxford Circus – so you won’t be lacking options when it comes to getting around London!
What to do in Belsize Park
If you’re not bound by a strict work or study schedule, Swiss Cottage Farmers’ Market takes place on Wednesdays between 10am – 3pm. Only a 12-minute walk away from Belsize House, it is a great source for locally sourced meat, vegetables, fruit, juice, bread and much more. There’s also a great meat-free section at the March House Farm Stall, which was voted as the favourite stall in 2019.
Alternatively, there’s the famous Camden Market, which is open every day of the week between 10am – 7pm, only a 22-minute walk away (or 10 minutes on the 168 bus). You will be spoilt for choice with an array of mouth-watering food stalls, and you’ll be able to shop to your heart’s content with the eclectic mix of stalls selling vintage and original fashion, handcrafted accessories and unique gifts.
On sunny days, you won’t be far from Primrose Hill Park – 13 minutes away – which has some of the most fantastic views of the famous London skyline. Take a walk around, or hire one of the Santander bikes as you take in the gorgeous views. Or maybe you’d like to pay a visit to some exotic animals, as ZSL London Zoo is only a 20-minute walk away from Belsize House. Check out their website for the best off-peak prices and seasonal offers.
And when it comes to nightlife, you certainly won’t be stuck for things to do. Nearby you have the Roundhouse and KOKO in Camden, which are great live music venues.
Where to eat in Belsize Park
You won’t be short of some great eateries when staying at Belsize House. A popular spot among locals is The Washington, a classic Victorian pub that boasts a popular weekly Quiz Night. The food menu provides you with quality pub grub with a modern edge. Neighbourhood celebs often pop in for a quiet drink, so try not to get too starstruck if you come across an A-lister!
On the same road, there is Bonjour Brioche Café, a bakery that prepares fresh food daily, with lots of veggie and dairy-free options. Whether you’re looking for a light breakfast, healthy brunch, or a snack on your way to work, you’ll be spoilt for choice from the freshly prepared selection of baked goodies on display.
Near Belsize Park Underground station, there’s Chez Bob, a stylish French American brasserie with a relaxed atmosphere. Popular dishes there include steak frites, ribs, classic onion soup, salads, sandwiches and great brunch-style, gluten-free dishes. They have a Prix Fixe menu, which is available weekdays from noon until 7pm, which is a great way to eat some great food at a reasonable price.
Retsina is an award-winning family-run restaurant serving traditional Greek and modern Mediterranean cuisine, and has had its praises sung by Gordon Ramsay! Their promise is to serve delicious, affordable food that people will want to come back to week after week, so if you’re in the market for some moussaka or grilled octopus, pay them a visit.
As you can see, there are lots of things to see and do when you stay at Belsize House in the beautiful Belsize Park. But if for some strange reason you don’t fancy staying in NW3, we have 12 other properties around Zone 1 and 2 that might tempt you instead…