Maida Vale: Quiet yet central

Maida Vale: Quiet yet centralOne of the many attractive factors of living in London is the sheer variety of what's on offer. No matter your preferences, you're always likely to find something appealing, which makes house hunting a relatively pleasant experience.

Our last feature covered the attractions of Holborn and the benefits of living right in the thick of Central London. Noise, activity, culture and convenience on your doorstep.

For contrast, we now turn to Maida Vale, a quiet yet central district located in West London adjacent to Paddington. Its largely residential and quiet environment make it one of the most desirable areas for families or soon-to-be parents. But there's more to this district than meets the eye and its (it's) also famed for its collection of shops and restaurants, which make up for their lack of quantity with some serious quality. Read on below for a more extensive look at the area.

The houses

Maida Vale has an excellent reputation when it comes to the quality of its residential housing. The buildings are largely made up of late Victorian and Edwardian blocks of mansion flats, complete with gorgeous-looking ornamentation and balconies. If you're looking for an attractive house to live in, look no further.

But be warned - you'll have to shell out a pretty penny to stay in such an affluent area. Flat rental prices average out somewhere north of the £500 mark per week, although there are occasionally properties on the market for as little as £300. Only the higher end flats are likely to have access to a communal garden and a more spacious environment, however. Houses are more pricey at £925 per week on average.

Particularly alluring streets include the identically-designed Lauderdale Mansions South, West and East, located in Lauderdale Road. Elgin Avenue and Grantully Road are also especially attractive. However, those hoping to live in a really unique location would be advised to seek properties in Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield road, as well as the streets overlooking Browning's Pool. The houses in this southern part of the district benefit hugely from close proximity to the junction shared by Regent's Canal and the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal. A resulting maze of waterways has led to the nickname of 'Little Venice', supposedly coined by Robert Browning who lived in the area between 1862 and 1887. Fanatics of alternative transport might be attracted by the regular waterbus service in the area, which makes a change to the Tube.

Eating and drinking out

Boroughs in London usually follow a set layout, the common equation being formed of a residential area curled around a Tube station and high street, with all of the shops and restaurants located in one place. Maida Vale is known for being the exception to the rule. Venture out of the Tube station and you'll be confronted with a street of beautiful residential buildings.

So where does it all happen? One has to do a little bit of searching to find out where the fun is at. Just around the corner from the station, you'll find the Warrington, a former Gordon Ramsay pub with a rather beautiful beer garden at the front - a rarity in Central London.

However, you'll need to go a little further to Clifton Road in order to locate the bulk of the district's high-end restaurants, boutiques and shops. Feel free to stop off at Cafe Rouge or Raoul's Cafe for a quick breather, or nip into Baker & Spice for a bite to eat while you get your bearings. You'll also find a wine shop, a florist and a Tesco for all your grocery needs.

If this isn't enough, Maida Vale has a second miniature high street in Formosa Street, containing a Red Pepper, an excellent Italian restaurant and a Prince Alfred, an old traditional Victorian pub which is packed with people and atmosphere every evening. It's evident that, while Maida Vale has no single obvious high street, there are a number of retail concentrations scattered around within walking distance where you're sure to find whatever you're seeking.

Green areas

Another attraction of Maida Vale as a family area is the abundance of parks and open green spaces. Paddington Recreation Park is within very easy access and it has plenty in the way of facilities - tennis courts, running track, gym, cafe and rose gardens.

Other smaller green areas dotted around the district include Violet Hill Gardens, Randolph Gardens and Little Venice Gardens. These and the tree-lined streets break up the urban atmosphere of London and present the impression that you're further away from the centre than you actually are, which is sure to be appealing to residents who prefer to be separated from the hustle and bustle.

Transportation

Being close to the centre of London and on the Tube network, Maida Vale is fantastically accessible. Served by the Kilburn Park and Warwick Avenue Tube Stations, as well as the eponymously-named underground service, the primary line is the Bakerloo for Elephant & Castle and Queens Park. However, St John's Wood is also within walking distance for those who require the Jubilee line, and Kilburn High Road provides a good overground service.

Rail comes in the form of the ever-reliable Paddington Station, famous for being the haunt of the Peruvian bear from children's literature of the same name. Make sure you get a picture next to his bronze counterpart if you ever need to hop on a train.

The lowdown

When seeking beautiful housing and convenience, Maida Vale scores top in both categories. Good schools and plenty of open green areas also lend itself (themselves?) to being a perfect location for families, and there's enough happening to keep you occupied even if it is a little quieter than other areas in the capital. It's a great all-rounder.

Published 26th March, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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One of the many attractive factors of living in London is the sheer variety of what's on offer. No matter your preferences, you're always likely to find something appealing, which makes house hunting a relatively pleasant experience.

Maida Vale: Quiet yet central

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