A tale of two London villages: Brackenbury village and Askew village

The best trick for London buyers is to catch an area before house prices are set to soar. We discover the west London neighbourhood that is quietly turning itself into a 'village', with period homes, new independent shops, a pub and a high-achieving school.
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The railways may have turned London from a series of villages into a suburban sprawl, but with our innate desire to mark out territory, Londoners are reclaiming those villages — complete with traditional shops, a pub, period housing and a friendly yet high-achieving school.
Of course, once village life has been restored, house prices soar — a problem for buyers on a budget. The trick is to catch an area just as it is turning itself into a London village — getting in before the Farrow & Ball brigade arrive.
Brackenbury Village has up and come. West of Shepherd’s Bush and just south of Goldhawk Road, its leafy streets positively reek of a fresh coat of Wimborne White, and Brackenbury Road is stuffed with artisan coffee shops and traditional bakers.
Just north of Goldhawk Road lies a less well known village, centred on Askew Road. Askew Village, however, is still in the making but it is showing all the signs of rivalling Brackenbury Village, less than a mile away but where property costs up to 35 per cent more.


“The streets around Askew Road are very much becoming a London village,” says Simon Waller of Winkworth estate agents. Its credentials include plenty of green space: Wendell Park and Cathnor Parks on the doorstep, and Ravenscourt Park less than a mile away.
Like Brackenbury Village it also has great schools. Younger children have options including the Good Shepherd RC Primary School, rated outstanding by Ofsted, or Southfield Primary School and Wendell Park Primary School, which are both rated good. For seniors, Hammersmith Academy also merits a “good” rating.
It also ticks the village-pub box thanks to The Eagle, with a gastropub menu and a garden littered with beanbags and swing chairs for relaxed hanging out. The Orchard Tavern is more traditional.
Until 2011, Askew Road looked like any normcore London shopping street, all dreary discount supermarkets, pawnbrokers and minicab offices. These days they are interspersed with higher end offerings such as posh butchers the Ginger Pig and cute coffee shop Brackenburys.

“The only thing Askew Village has been lacking is this sort of finishing touch,” says Waller. “It now needs a couple of clothes shops and an art gallery or two. It has always been an area with great transport links but it needs to become more of a destination location where people want to stay.”

At present, Askew Road has an artier, edgier vibe than mumsy Brackenbury Village. There are plenty of small architects’ practices and photographers’ studios, as well as Leiths School of Food and Wine.

Fashionable fare: Leiths Food and Wine

The area is brightened up by a great public art project, Art on Askew, which invites artists to paint murals on otherwise hideously ugly metal shop shutters.
“It still has some tired shops and houses,” agreed Waller. “In Brackenbury Village you will be hard pressed to find an old lady who has lived in her house for 40 years — they have all sold up and moved away.”

Askew Village is full of Victorian terrace houses. Robyn True-Cheswright, a sales negotiator at Philip Wooller estate agents, estimates that a three-bedroom house would cost from £1.2 million, which is not cheap but compares favourably to Brackenbury village, where a similar property would probably cost closer to £1.4 million, a difference of about 15 per cent. 

Two-bedroom flats cost about £740,000, while in Brackenbury Village they would cost £850,000 to £900,000, a difference of up to 20 per cent.
Waller agrees that the price difference between the two areas can be significant — he suggests it could be as high as 35 per cent in some cases.

Jamie Lester, managing director of Haus Properties, is another fan of Askew Village. “It is like Northcote Road was 10 years ago — it has really got the same feel and vibe,” he says.
Buyers, predictably, are young families priced out of neighbouring postcodes and professionals attracted by its great transport links. The nearest stations are Stamford Brook, Goldhawk Road or Shepherd’s Bush, all within 15 or 20 minutes’ walk, giving commuters a choice of Central, District, Circle or Hammersmith and City lines (all from Zone 2).
“You get infinitely more for your money in Askew Village, and although the Tube isn’t right on your doorstep, the connections are still really good,” says Lester.

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