Londoners hankering after all the charms of country life without the misery of a long commute need only cross Hammersmith Bridge and into the heart of Barnes.
© Barry Phillips
There they will find all the attributes of a quintessential English village - from a pretty duck pond and village green to a thriving farmers’ market.
Find properties for sale in Barnes.
Swift trains from Waterloo take only 22 minutes to reach this charming enclave bordered by the Thames, Richmond Park and lovely woodlands.
Local estate agent Kelly Stafford says that her office in Barnes is referred to as the “country homes” division of Marsh and Parsons, and it’s easy to see why: handsome Victorian villas, Georgian mansions and pretty cottages set within idyllic surroundings are constantly in high demand.
Excellent schools and all the perks of country living mean that once families have discovered this "London village" they tend to stay.
Which properties are typical to the area?
Barnes is predominately a house market catering to an increasing number of buyers seeking family homes. Large Victorian villas with up to five bedrooms are common, as well as period conversions and grand mansion block apartments. Little Chelsea is a popular area filled with pretty cottages.
Who is buying here?
The market is primarily fuelled with people moving within the area, trading up and down. Very few people leave the area once they have a home here. Families from central London are drawn to Barnes due to the excellent choice of schools. It is not uncommon for locals here to have a big house in the country and then a smaller, £2 million house in Barnes itself.
What are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
Little Chelsea, just off White Hart Lane, is a particularly desirable pocket characterised by two- and three-bedroom cottages. It is in the catchment area for the well-regarded Barnes Primary School - the properties surrounding the school in hot demand. There can be 15-20 viewings on the first day of a home coming on to the market in this particular area, resulting in multiple offers in the current market.
Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Mill Hill and Scarth Road are the two most hidden and private gems in Barnes. They are exclusive and private roads, with the most incredible calibre of individual houses along them. Prices range between £3 million and £7 million.
In terms of entry-level homes in Barnes, Cowley Road, First Avenue and Second Avenue have small, two-bedroom garden flats that sell from about £450,000 upwards.
What are the best investment opportunities?
There are some buy-to-let investors in the area, many of whom are residents themselves. There are many Swedish families in this area who will rent big homes to be close to The Swedish School in Lonsdale Road.
How is local parking?
Compared to other London areas, parking is particularly relaxed in Barnes. The restrictions are between 10am and 12 noon on most days and there is some metered parking in the area.
What are service charges in the area like?
Mansion blocks are reasonable, with fees typically about £2,000 a year. The charges for apartments in purpose-built blocks by the river, such as Harrods Village, would be particularly high at around £6,000 a year.
What would be your “dream” home in this area?
I would buy one of the spacious and elegant "Lion houses" in the heart of Barnes village on Glebe Road.
Kelly Stafford is the Sales Manager at Marsh and Parson's Barnes office
All properties available at time of publication.