Belsize Village

Belsize Village, Camden

An agreeable group of shops and eateries focussed on the junction of Belsize Lane with the pedestrianised Belsize Terrace

Hidden London: Belsize Village

Built on the site of Bel­size Farm, the vil­lage was part of the Bel­size Park estate, first devel­oped by Daniel Tidey from the 1850s. Tidey went bank­rupt in 1869 and the Bel­size project was tak­en over by William Wil­lett senior, one of the prog­en­i­tors of the gar­den sub­urb con­cept.

Wil­lett built the first shops, orig­i­nal­ly called Bel­size Park Ter­races, in a style that has been described as ‘stan­dard speculator’s Ital­ianate’. He gave up some of his land in 1876 to widen Upper Bel­size Ter­race (now Bel­size Ter­race) and cre­ate a vil­lage green.

Bel­size Vil­lage lat­er evolved into a ser­vice zone for the grander homes in neigh­bour­ing streets, with a set of mews for ser­vants and hors­es. Many of these prop­er­ties have since been whol­ly or part­ly rebuilt – often very styl­ish­ly. In 1880 Wil­lett added a long range of half-tim­bered liv­ery sta­bles at the cor­ner of Bel­size Lane and Bel­size Place.

Bel­size Vil­lage is nowa­days a charm­ing spot, with use­ful, inde­pen­dent shops and ser­vices (plus sev­er­al estate agents) inter­min­gled with a remark­able selec­tion of restau­rants for a local­i­ty so off the beat­en track.

Postal district: NW3
Website: Belsize Village Association (with some delightfully opinionated views, and a strongly pro-local stance)
Community enterprise: Little Hands Design