IF YOU’RE finding it hard to fall in love with the towers of London and you want something a bit more traditional, then look into living near Regent’s Park.
The north west London beauty spot started life as a hunting ground for King Henry VIII. But at the start of the 19th century the Prince Regent – later King George IV – commissioned architect John Nash, famous for Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace, to draw up a new masterplan.
Spanning 410 acres, the Royal Park is now the largest recreational space in the capital for grass sports and it’s home to such pleasures as the ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s College, and around 100 species of wild bird.
Regent’s Park borders the affluent residential neighbourhoods of Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood, and up-and-coming Marylebone. The architecture of the Outer Circle and surrounding streets, such as Park Road and Prince Albert Road, are home to a number of classic terraces and villas.
“Virtually all of the buildings are John Nash or Decimus Burton architecture or they’re Grade II, or even I, listed,” says Mark Pollack, of Aston Chase. “So while their status comes with strict building regulations on extensions, there’s no reason why you’d want to extend in most cases.
“There’s lots going on in the way of culture with the fantastic Open Air Theatre, the Frieze Art Fair is held there and the schools are great, too.” Pollack adds that asking prices have risen around 15 per cent since 2011.
Stephen Lindsay, head of Savills’ office in nearby St John’s Wood, says, “We are seeing a significant number of new buyers who would previously only want to live in Mayfair, Knightsbridge, or Belgravia, who now consider Regent’s Park as an established London address.
“These buyers have substantial budgets and they recognise the value their money affords them, which is a larger property with green views in a more tranquil setting.
“Regent’s Park is now considered more of a prime central London address than an inner city suburb and there have been around 15 sales at or above £10m since the start of 2011.”