Belsize Park Area Guide
Belsize Park is an area of north-west London in the London Borough of Camden. It gives its name to a ward of the borough, called Belsize, which covers most of Belsize Park; the rest of Belsize Park is part of Hampstead Town.
It is located 3.4 miles north-west of Charing Cross and has a London Underground station on the Northern line.
Hampstead Heath is approximately a ten minute walk away and Primrose Hill Park is a five minute walk from England's Lane. Both of these areas provide some of the best views of Central London.
The name Belsize is derived from French bel assis meaning 'well situated'. The Manor of Belsize dates back to 1317 and a 17th-century manor house and parkland (built by Daniel O'Neill for his wife, the Countess of Chesterfield) once stood on the site.
The area became built up between 1852 and 1878, by which time it extended to Haverstock Hill. After World War I, the construction of blocks of flats began, and now a great many of the larger houses are also converted into flats.
In World War II, a large underground air-raid shelter was built and its entrance can still be seen near the tube station at Downside Crescent. The area on Haverstock Hill north of Belsize Park underground station up to Hampstead Town Hall and including part of a primary school near the Royal Free Hospital was heavily bombed. When the area was rebuilt, the opportunity was taken to widen the pavement and build further back from the road.
Today, Belsize Park is a lively area with many restaurants, pubs and cafés along Haverstock Hill and England's Lane.