Property insider: Bloomsbury, WC1

Local estate agent Laurence Glynne shares his insider knowledge of Bloomsbury - from the most sought-after addresses to the area's hidden property gems.
Bedford Square, Bloomsbury
© Graham Jepson
Bedford Square is one of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London
Bloomsbury has been enchanting its homeowners for centuries, with literary greats from Virginia Woolf to Charles Dickens finding creative inspiration in this inner-city quarter that sits between the West End, King’s Cross and Covent Garden.

Today, this fashionable residential district is also a renowned cultural centre and home to the British Museum and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, as well as a hub of university campuses and medical centres.

Find properties for sale in Bloomsbury.

Fine Georgian townhouses and Victorian terrace homes sit alongside modern apartment blocks, many of which overlook quiet, traffic-free garden squares. Some of the capital’s top restaurants, boutiques and theatre districts are within strolling distance.

Local estate agent Laurence Glynne of LDG has worked in this area for 24 years. With no official boundaries, Glynne describes Bloomsbury's borders as "Euston Road to the north, Bloomsbury Way/Theobolds Road to the south, Gray’s Inn Road to the east and Tottenham Court Road to the west."

“The charm and attraction of Bloomsbury is exemplified by the ‘villagey’ feel which can be found in Lambs Conduit Street and Marchmont Street, and the tucked away Dukes Road areas. Each street has an individual, quaint feel yet they are all part of this historical location,” says Glynne.

What types of properties are typical to the area?
There is an eclectic architectural mix of properties, ranging from classical Queen Anne-style homes to Regency, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian mansion buildings and Art Deco properties. This is why the area appeals to a broad section of people.

What buyers are attracted to the area?
As there is such a variety of properties in Bloomsbury, this area appeals to professionals, including lawyers who like to be close to the legal chambers, City professionals who like the transport links, academics, including a large number of international students, and private British buyers.

What are the 'hottest' properties in the area?
John Street, Doughty Street and Great James Street are hotspots for large houses, typically with five bedrooms. Bedford Court Mansions rises above most of the other fine buildings and would be “top of the blocks”. Charm and character make Lambs Conduit Street, a pedestrianised street, a favourite - local shops and restaurants add to the buzz and village atmosphere. Paramount Court is a splendid property, Bloomsbury Terrace is a high-quality modern development and Bloomsbury Mansions is in an enviable position overlooking Russell Square.

Where are the 'hidden gems'?
Cosmo Place, between Southampton Place and Queen Square, is living up to its name with a true cosmopolitan feel thanks to smart local restaurants. Queen Square is certainly an unknown, quiet residential location with a small number of excellent flats and houses. Pied Bull Court of Bury Street is a modern courtyard development that is somewhat tucked away, but still moments from the British Museum.

What are the best investment opportunities in the area?
There is a shortage of rental properties with three times as many students looking to rent this year (due to fees going up next year at the Universities). There is also high demand from legal, medical and City professionals too. Prime rental streets in Bloomsbury include Bloomsbury Terrace, Ridgmount Gardens and Bloomsbury Mansions.

How is local parking?
There are a large number of residents' parking bays in the area but Camden, the local authority, are now very strict on issuing permits for new developments under Section 106 which prevents owners obtaining the certificate.

What are service charges in the area like?
Like most areas, service charges in converted properties with flats would be low and in the local authority buildings, such as Gordon Mansions, Russell Street Chambers and Chenies Street Chambers, service charges are also reasonable - expect excess charges for major works every five-to-seven years.

The higher status blocks, including Bedford Court Mansions, Bloomsbury Mansions and Whitehall on Bloomsbury Square which have porterage, lifts and require serious upkeep, cost more. Overall figures would range from £1,000-£7,000 subject to size and the type of property.

What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
I have a soft spot for Lambs Conduit Street and there is something special about Mecklenburgh Square, a verdant Regency corner adjacent to Coram's Square in the heart of Bloomsbury. Also, the houses in Doughty Street are fine properties and often have exquisite period features.

Where would you buy in the area?
It would have to be either Lambs Conduit Street or overlooking one of the squares - Queens, Tavistock or Mecklenburgh Squares. I’d be happy with eclectic modern or a classic Queen Anne or Regency-style property.

Laurence Glynne is a partner at West End specialist agency, LDG

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