Chiswick is a popular and prosperous west London suburb which occupies a large kink in the Thames, north of the river. It has a famously long shopping street full of independent outlets and chain stores which runs from Hammersmith to the Chiswick roundabout.
It is west London’s best foodie destination with butchers, greengrocers, delicatessens and top restaurants. Deborah Lewis, of estate agents Chesterton Humberts, says that Chiswick is particularly popular with young families and that once settled, they tend to stay.
Lord Burlington’s Chiswick House is a picturesque, 18th-century Palladian mansion with gardens designed by William Kent. The birthplace of the English Landscape Movement, the gardens, with their statuary hedges and vistas, has had a £12 million makeover which includes a new café by architects Caruso St John.
Bedford Park, north of Turnham Green Tube, was built between 1875 and 1886. With its fine Arts & Crafts houses, many designed by Richard Norman Shaw, it lays claim to being the first garden suburb.
What’s on offer?
Everything from mansion flats along the High Road and on Sutton Court Road, to pretty Victorian cottages on the Glebe Estate, south of High Road; large, Victorian, detached houses in Grove Park, Arts & Crafts houses in Bedford Park and elegant Georgian houses on the river at Chiswick Mall and Strand on the Green.
The most expensive house currently for sale is in Grove Park Gardens, through Foxtons (020 8996 6000). The 10-bedroom, detached Victorian property has more than 9,500sq ft of space and an 80ft garden, for £7.5 million.
The area attracts: everyone from young professional singles to couples and families.
Staying power: people tend to stay and most sales are within the area, both up and down the property ladder.
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Postcodes: Chiswick is W4.
Best streets: Chiswick Mall and Strand on the Green for riverside houses; Hartington Road and any road with Grove Park in its name; and Priory Avenue, Woodstock Road and Queen Anne’s Grove in Bedford Park.
The little enclave between Gunnersbury Avenue and Chiswick High Road has become increasingly popular because it is close to sought-after Belmont Primary School. Homes in Silver Crescent and Thorney Hedge Road range between £600,000 and £1.4 million which is cheaper than a similar house in Bedford Park.
Chiswick Village behind Strand on the Green is a Thirties flat development where prices remain reasonable. People either love it or loathe it. Those who love it often start by renting and then go on to buy. Flats cost from £220,000. Edward d’Arc (020 8995 9394) is currently selling a three- to four-bedroom apartment for £335,000.
What’s new? Number 520 Chiswick High Road is a development of 12 two-bedroom flats and two penthouses, with prices from £500,000 to £650,000. Contact Chesterton Humberts on 8995 3443.
Schools: the best primary schools are Belmont in Belmont Road, judged “outstanding” by Ofsted; St Mary’s RC in Duke Road and Grove Park in Nightingale Close, both judged “good with outstanding features”.
The two prep schools are: Orchard House in Newton Grove (boys three to eight, girls three to 11); and Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School (boys four to seven, girls four to 11). Chiswick Community School, the local state comprehensive, is judged “satisfactory and improving”; Arts Education in Bath Road is a private performing arts school.
- © Danny Elwes
Mortimer & Bennett is a top-notch deli and the Grove Park Deli on Fauconberg Road is also popular. Iris on the high road is the best independent boutique, and The Old Cinema has a good selection of antiques. Abode on Devonshire Road is best for modern home accessories, while Eco is the environmentally aware shop started by actor Colin Firth.
Chiswick’s top restaurant is La Trompette in Devonshire Road. Also French is Le Vacherin on South Parade. The High Road Brasserie is part of the Soho House empire; while Sam’s Brasserie on Barley Mow Passage is supported by Rick Stein. Michael Nadra is a talented chef whose restaurant on Elliott Row bears his name. The best café is quirky cake shop, The Outsider Tart, on the High Road.
Open spaces: Chiswick House grounds are free. Gunnersbury Park has two run-down 18th-century mansions, which are now on the English Heritage “at risk” register and the park is listed, but there is no agreement yet on a regeneration plan. The Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve has six acres of woodland in Bollo Lane. Duke’s Meadow is a riverside park which is being restored by a trust made up of local people.
Leisure and the arts: there are private and local council swimming pools. The council-owned New Chiswick Pool is being refurbished and will reopen soon. Esporta health club has swimming pools at its branches at Chiswick Park - the very successful Richard Rogers-designed business park - and at Duke’s Meadow. There is another pool at the Hogarth Health & Fitness Club on Airedale Road. The Tabard Theatre is a fringe theatre above the Arts & Crafts pub in Bath Road.
Transport: four Tube stations on the District line: Stamford Brook and Turnham Green (both in Zone 2, annual travel card £1,032), and Chiswick Park and Gunnersbury (both in Zone 3, annual travel card £1,208). Trains from Chiswick station (Zone 3) take 29 minutes to reach Waterloo.
Council tax: Hounslow (Labour controlled) has a Band D council tax of £1,400.47 for 2010/11.
Average house prices: W4
One-bedroom flat: £284,000
Two-bedroom flat: £384,000
Two-bedroom house: £558,000
Three-bedroom house: £698,000
Four-bedroom house: £931,000
Average rental prices: W4
One-bedroom flat: £250 to £350 a week
Two-bedroom flat: £300 to £500 a week
Two-bedroom house: £400-plus a week
Three-bedroom house: £500-plus a week
Four-bedroom house: £700-plus a week
(Source: Chesterton Humbert)
Pictures by Barry Phillips
All details correct at time of publication (1 September, 2010)