I have to admit something. I’m not proud of it, but it needs to be said. I’ve always overlooked London’s Belsize Park. When I lived in Hampstead I saw Belsize as the runner-up that could never quite match its northern neighbor’s beauty. After I moved away I didn’t feel a need to go between Primrose Hill and South End Green. But lately something’s started nagging me, and I’ve been tempted to take a second look. So today I’m here to find a few things to do in Belsize Park. And—spoiler alert—I find far more than just a few.

Things to Do in Belsize Park

Things to Do in Belsize Park

Emerging from the tube at Belsize Park station, I find myself enveloped in snow flurries. It’s a cold start to my mission, but I’m determined to persevere. I’m right in the middle of the high street, surrounded by shops and restaurants on all sides.

Belsize Park, London

As I begin my exploration, I’m delighted to find that favorites like Daunt Books and the Everyman Cinema are still going strong, and happy to discover new-since-my-last-visit additions like Franco Manca. I’m already glad I came.

Belsize Park, London

But if I’ve learned anything since moving to London 9 years ago, it’s that the really exciting bits are always on the side streets. Off I go along Ornan Road, where pretty doors greet me as I make my way down to Belsize Lane.

Ornan Road, Belsize Park

Once there I’m reminded why Belsize Park is so underrated. A cluster of pretty shops and restaurants huddles around a square filled with benches. As soon as I see it I get nostalgic for all the dinners I ate with my neighbors here at XO.

Crescent Fruiterers, Belsize Park

Behind the street, Belsize gets better. Belsize Court Gardens and Princess Mews are as lovely as any side streets I’ve seen in Notting Hill. In fact, just the name Princess Mews makes my inner 5-year-old want to put on a Cinderella dress and dance across the cobblestones.

Princess Mews, Belsize Park

Down the hill I fall back in love with Primrose Gardens. The crescent ticks my whole photographic list, with the combination of red phone boxes, beautiful houses, and strategic color blocking making me a very happy travel blogger.

Primrose Gardens, Belsize Park

And just when I think it can’t get better, I find myself on England’s Lane. Lined with shops and cafes, it offers plenty of things to do in Belsize Park. Not only could I linger over a coffee at Ginger & White, but also take in the houses along neighboring Chalcot Gardens and Elizabeth Mews.

Chalcot Gardens, Belsize Park

Back out on the high street, I follow Haverstock Hill down towards Primrose Hill and Camden. As I go, I get sidetracked in an attractive area that seems to have re-branded itself Steeles Village.

Sir Richard Steele Pub

The Sir Richard Steele pub was always packed when I lived in Hampstead, but despite its welcoming exterior I’m more interested in exploring Steele’s Mews around the corner. Its arched entrance reminds me of its Kensington counterparts, and I love it as soon as I see the colorful walls and doors.

Steele's Mews, Belsize Park

Heading south again, I detour onto Prince of Wales Road to find a few final things to do in Belsize Park. Well, one anyway. I’m intrigued by the Zabludowicz Collection, a contemporary art exhibition space and cafe in a former chapel. Sadly it’s closed when I arrive, but that doesn’t stop me from peering through the gates to take a look.

Zabludowicz Collection, London

And it looks like it’s worth returning for. Which is pretty much how I feel about all of Belsize. I hop on the tube at Chalk Farm wondering how I let this London neighborhood fly under my radar for so long. But now that I’ve rediscovered it, I’m going to find a lot more excuses to come back.

Steele's Mews, Belsize Park

Have you been here? What are your favorite things to do in Belsize Park?

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Things to Do in Belsize Park

16 comments on “Lady’s Reasons to Discover Belsize Park”

  1. Yeah, Belsize looks like a lovely place, you’ll have to go back and tell us how the Zabludowicz Collection is. I like how ornate the red bricks are around the door of that house; you don’t often see red bricks like that.

    great post! 🙂

  2. I don’t know why but I always assume that a place called a ‘park’ will be a ‘park’! but each time, you draw my attention that there is so much more to explore and in London they are lots of little villages making one big place.
    Thanks for the post!

  3. This post brought back some lovely memories… My first visit to London I stayed in flat via Air BNB in Belisize Park (I am from
    Chicago). I wandered the streets in Belsize down to Primrose Hill where I admired the colorful houses on Chlacot Crescent. From my flat in Belsize I would walk up Haverstock Hill to Hampstead to explore… Belisize Park turned out to be a perfect location to stay for a tourist like myself, a real taste of London life away from the crowds nearer to the city center. The following visit to London I stayed in Kensington, and while lovely there, I actually preferred the lower-key feel and pace of Belsize Park!

  4. I haven’t been yet, but I will definitely go in April-time, as I have a strong suspicion that the annual Dutch King’s Day celebrations will be held at the Sir Richard Steele pub. It’s a shame that we can’t have it on Trafalgar Square anymore, but this pub which now has a Dutch owner, will definitely do. And everyone, Dutch or non-Dutch, is welcome of course!

  5. On one of my many trips to London, I stayed at a hotel along Haverstock Hill a little bit north of the tube station. It was such a perfect place to stay. Your street scenes look very familiar to me.

  6. I stumbled across this post and your site as I’m researching our upcoming move to London with a 6 month old baby. I’ve lived in London before but that was before kids! Trying to pick an area to live in is a bit daunting when coordinating price/atmosphere/proximity to tube. Is Belsize Park a safe area for young families? It looks to be a good commute to Soho and maybe what we are looking for, but will have to go check it out once we land (still in US awaiting VISA’s at the moment).

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