Holland Park is a serene and unique area of West London, which, despite being surrounded by busy, bustling Kensington, Notting Hill and Shepherds Bush, has remained as exclusive as it was in the 17th century.
Once the site of a major Roman road, the area takes its name from Lord Holland and the Holland House Estate, a Jacobean stately home built in 1605 on 500 acres of farmland which stretched as far as the current location of Earls Court Station. The estate was gradually sold for residential development, leading to the birth of Holland Park, as a desirable destination for affluent Londoners. The original Holland House was destroyed during the Blitz, although ruins can still be seen in Holland Park, a public park created from the last remaining portion of the estate today.
Insiders often refer to Holland Park as the ‘new Notting Hill’, due to the influx of privacy-seeking international residents and well-known public figures who have migrated here from Notting Hill, to escape the crowds and tourists, while still enjoying luxurious amenities, beautiful properties and a European ambience. In addition, with easy access to the M4 and M40, Holland Park is particularly popular with those who own a second home in nearby countryside, such as the Cotswolds.
Architecture in Holland Park
As a result of various periods of residential development in Holland Park, a range of different architectural styles can be found here, including Georgian terraced properties, Victorian townhouses, detached villas, Grade II listed stucco-fronted properties, historic mews houses and cottages. For those seeking an apartment, there are also a number of red-brick mansion blocks overlooking Holland Park.
What makes Holland Park so special?
Holland Park allows residents a sense of privacy which can be difficult to find in West London, while not forcing them to be removed from cultural attractions and high-quality services. The area has a distinct village atmosphere with close relationships between neighbours and families who have based themselves Holland Park for many years. The beautiful green spaces of Holland Park and Avondale Gardens, along with the excellent schools, also make this pocket of London particularly attractive to families.
Holland Park property types
Holland Park Square is one of the most expensive streets for property in Britain, and the homes available in this area reflect the wealth and preference of the residents. Campden Hill Square, Borland Square, Holland Park Villas and Melbury Road offer large, characterful properties from the Georgian and Victorian periods, while Ilchester Place has a number of detached, Italian-style villas. Meanwhile, Addison Avenue, Norland Square, St James’s Gardens are arguably some of the most attractive residential streets in Holland Park, with wide, tree-lined roads and immaculate garden squares.
Schools in Holland Park
Among the many renowned independent schools in Holland Park, the area boasts Wetherby Prep, the alma matter of Princes Harry and William. Other highly-recommended institutions include Norland Place Preparatory School, Tabernacle School, and a number of Montessori schools including Bassett House, Orchard House and Dawmouse Brunswick.
Things to do:
Holland Park is dominated by the eponymous park, one of London’s finest public parks which offers Japanese Kyoto Gardens, a number of children’s play areas, woodlands, and tennis, football and cricket facilities. During the summer nearly fifty new and classic operas are performed at the Opera Holland Park marquee by the remains of Holland House.
Other cultural attractions in the area include Leighton House Museum, former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton, and the new Design Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2016. The Electric Cinema, in nearby Notting Hill, is one of London’s most luxurious cinemas, and is attached to the Electric House members club, part of the Soho House group.
Cosy Clarendon Cross ‘village’ within Holland Park offers shops, restaurants and a Cowshed Spa, while the Belvedere, Cibo, Daylesford and Julie’s are the dining establishments of choice for refined residents.
Shopping in Holland Park
Reflecting the needs and tastes of Holland Park’s affluent and discerning residents, the shops of Holland Park Avenue and Clarendon Road are largely independent boutiques with expertly curated collections and family-run organic delis which have an established reputation of good service forged over decades.
Popular cafes, delicatessens and specialist food stores include Lidgates Butchers, Jeroboams, Patisserie Valerie, Maison Blanc and Speck Deli, while Harper and Toms and Bursting Buds are the local choice for floral arrangements. Wolf and Badger offer clothes by current and emerging fashion designers, as well as one-off pieces, and Hop Like a Bunny is the favoured children’s clothing boutique in the area.
Nearby Portobello Road Market is famed for antiques and unusual jewellery, and the Holland Park branch of Daunt Books is ideal for stocking up on the latest releases or browsing the recommended selection.