What’s it all about?
Thanks to its attractive Victorian and Edwardian housing, good transport connections, independent boutiques and, of course, the lovely park itself, Queen’s Park is a popular area with a strong community feel. Residents tend to be families and people involved in media and creative industries, many of them migrating here from nearby Notting Hill when they have children. As well as lots of places to eat and drink, there are yoga studios and a popular farmers’ market; schools and nurseries are good and increasingly, houses have been extended into the lofts and side returns. In the 1980s, the streets around the park became a conservation area, giving the area its own identity. Annual events including Queen’s Park Day and the Queen’s Park Book Festival attract much community support and contribute to the area’s village feel.
Queen’s Park is a lovely example of a Victorian park, opened in 1887 and named in honour of Queen Victoria. Local football team Queen’s Park Rangers was formed in the area in 1886 but moved to its current Shepherd’s Bush location in 1917. The present Queen’s Park Ward is part of Labour-run Hampstead and Kilburn constituency. Famous residents include Alexandra Shulman, Thandie Newton and Lily Allen. Stanley Johnson, father of Boris Johnson is often spotted in the park, as was Matt Hancock while he was Health Secretary. Local author Zadie Smith grew up here and set her novels White Teeth and NW in the area. The video for The Jam’s When You’re Young was filmed at the park bandstand in 1979. Yusuf Islam – aka Cat Stevens – set up the Islamia School here in 1983, which became the UK’s first Muslim school to receive government funding.
Architecture and property
The streets between Salusbury Road and the park are highly coveted – Hopefield, Summerfield and Montrose – for their stylish Victorian terraces, and sell at a premium for having the park on their doorstep. The stock is typical of the area – two storeys, three bedrooms, or four with a loft conversion. Edwardian houses on Kingswood Avenue, Chevening Road and Milman Road, overlooking the park, are larger, and families after more space often move slightly further north to the 1930s houses towards Brondesbury – Christchurch Avenue, Aylestone Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road, for instance – for larger plots with bigger gardens and garages. Between Salusbury Road and Kilburn High Road are lots of Victorian terraces, many of them painted in cheery shades, and much of the area is protected by conservation area planning rules. Flats are mostly conversions with two bedrooms, or three if there’s a loft bedroom.
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Eating: Salusbury Road local The Salusbury is a popular pub and has its own attached Deli and Winestore too. The pizzas are a standout on the Italian menu. Michiko Sushino serves authentic sushi in stylish surroundings. Milk Beach in Lonsdale Road is an Australian café offering excellent coffee and brunch, while the recently expanded Jack’s has been popular for more than 20 years. For the best fish and chips, go to Mr Fish.
Drinking: A disused garage on Lonsdale Road is home to the Wolfpack Brewery and its vast range of craft beers. For cocktails, there’s Alice House in Salusbury Road, or just across the park in Kensal Rise there’s Paradise By Way of Kensal Green and Parlour (which is excellent for dinner too).
Culture: Nearby Kilburn High Road is home to the Kiln Theatre (formerly The Tricycle) and The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise is a popular local two-screen independent cinema that donates 100% of its profits to a South African sustainability charity.
On Sundays, what seems like the entire population of NW6 congregates at the farmers market in Salusbury Primary School’s playground, and no wonder because it’s one of London’s finest. Here you’ll find organic fruit and vegetables as well as cheese, flowers, bread and oysters, plus excellent ostrich burgers, gyozas and cakes. Shopping on Salusbury Road is good all week – there’s a Planet Organic and a Gail’s, as well as lots of good eateries. Sid Fiz is a stylish neighbourhood optician, while Ediit has a good selection of women’s fashion; there’s a post office and several florists as well as hairdressers, chemists and an excellent independent bookshop, Queen’s Park Books. Everything you need, in short. Kilburn Library on Salusbury Road is well-maintained and runs popular drop-in sessions for parents and toddlers. On cobbled Lonsdale Road there’s a new women’s workspace, The Hearth, as well as the well-established The Interior Design School.
Queen’s Park is a small and friendly park, yet big enough to be home to a small children’s farm, a good playground with a paddling pool and large sandpit, tennis courts, pitch and putt and a cafe, plus a designated Quiet Garden. The popular annual Queen’s Park Day in September draws a large crowd of locals with its donkey rides and fairground attractions as well as baking competitions, food stalls and bric-a-brac market. Nearby Tiverton is a smaller open space popular with dog owners, and larger open spaces within striking distance include Roundwood Park, Gladstone Park and Wormwood Scrubs, while Hampstead Heath is a short journey away.
The brutalist South Kilburn Estate has been mostly demolished as part of a 15-year regeneration plan and replaced with award-winning new development by Alison Brooks Architects, the Kilburn Quarter. Queen’s Park Place is a new development built on unloved land near the station to create a stylish contemporary residential block, popular for its M&S Foodhall on the ground floor.
Rail: The Bakerloo Line gets you to Oxford Circus in under 20 minutes from Queen’s Park, while the Overground Euston to Watford Junction line takes just 12 minutes from Queen’s Park to Euston. Nearby Brondesbury Park and Kensal Rise stations are on the North London Line, connecting Richmond, Kew and Clapham Junction with Stratford via Hackney, Highbury and Islington and Hampstead Heath.
Bus: Route 6 serves Edgware Road, Oxford Street and Charing Cross, while the 36’s long route takes in Paddington, Victoria, Camberwell, Peckham and New Cross. Other local routes connect with Ladbroke Grove, Finchley Road, Willesden and Wembley.
Road: Traffic is generally heavy on Salusbury Road, Chamberlayne Road and Kilburn High Road, but still you can drive to Portobello Market in 10 minutes or to Brent Cross in 20.
Cycle: The wide cycle lane along Carlton Vale connects Salusbury Road with Maida Vale and St Johns Wood.
Getting away: Paddington is 15 minutes away by tube; Heathrow airport is less than 10 miles away and a 45 minute drive, while Luton airport is a short train ride from West Hampstead.
Salusbury, Malorees, Wilberforce and Ark Franklin primaries are all rated Good, and generally oversubscribed. Queen’s Park Community School, the area’s only state secondary, is also rated Good. Private schools within easy reach include South Hampstead, UCS, Francis Holland, Godolphin & Latymer and Latymer.
If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let in Queen’s Park, contact the KFH Queen’s Park branch today.
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