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Neighbourhood Watch: Bloomsbury

Central and scenic: Bloomsbury Square

There is never a dull moment in this vibrant, central but sometimes underrated area

Setting the scene

WHETHER you’re a culture vulture, architecture aficionado, academic, foodie or shopaholic, Bloomsbury’s bound to get you excited. The British Museum and the Wellcome Collection are just two of its many museums; buildings range from elegant Georgian terraces to the Brutalist Brunswick Centre; it’s home to world-renowned universities and other seats of learning, and has dozens of restaurants and stores. Although very central, it’s quieter than Soho and Covent Garden, and you won’t have to worry about running a car, as much of Zone 1 is within walking distance and you’re never far from a station.

Snooping around

Iconic: The British Museum

MANSION flats are popular with the area’s large student population and there are also Georgian townhouses, period conversions and ex-local authority homes in the Grade-II listed Brunswick Centre. ‘Doughty Street and John Street are a buyer’s favourite, consisting of Georgian buildings which have been converted into flats or are large family homes,’ says Michael Keating of Dexters. ‘Despite Brexit frustrations, Bloomsbury has had a fairly good year,’ adds Alex Taniewski-Elliott of Fyfe Mcdade. ‘There has been a four to five per cent downward market correction and the entry point is £330,000 for a studio in a period red-brick building.’

Popular look: Red-brick homes

RENT REPORT

‘BLOOMSBURY brings in young professionals and students from all over the world, and tech companies based in the area contribute to a high percentage of corporate lets. On average, a two-bedroom apartment rents out at £600pw,’ says Adam Green of Portico.

What’s new

Lots of light: The Old Dairy

THE Old Dairy is a rare new-build scheme of 13 one and two-bed apartments and three-bed townhouses on the site of the old Express Dairies. Tucked down a private mews off Wakefield Street, they feature open plan living and dining rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and engineered wood floors in the main rooms. Two-bed apartments are available, from £1.45million, and the townhouses, complete with glass partition walls and exposed concrete and timber staircases, are from £2.75million, goldenstone.co.uk.

Boutique collection: Warwick Court

In John Street, a handsome Georgian building has been transformed into eight generously-proportioned apartments. Four remain, from £1.095million for a one-bed, via dexters.co.uk. The same agent is also marketing Warwick Court, a boutique collection of five converted apartments close to Grays Inn. Two are left: a one-bed at £799,999 and a two-bed at £1.495million.

Generous sizing: John Street

And only a pair of two-bed flats remain (out of 13) in Halsey House on Red Lion Square. Priced £1.15million and £1.175million, they incorporate high ceilings, large windows and open plan layouts, dexters.co.uk.

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) £1,488.43

Commuting time: in Zone 1

Annual Travelcard: £1,364

Amenities: ★★★★★ Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, chain stores and eateries in the Brunswick Centre; independents on village-like Lamb’s Conduit Street and Marchmont Street; Thursday farmers’ market in Torrington Square; Curzon Bloomsbury cinema; The Horse Hospital arts venue; British Museum, Foundling Museum, Wellcome Collection, Charles Dickens museum; Bloomsbury Festival, October 17-21.

Open space: ★★★★☆ Russell, Bloomsbury and Gordon Squares; Coram’s Fields

Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average; Ofsted calls majority of primaries ‘outstanding’

Crime: ★★☆☆☆ Slightly above average

Who lives there? Academics, architects, lawyers, students

Local girl: Catherine Tate

Famous faces: Batman Begins, The Theory of Everything and Dr Who filmed in University of London’s Art Deco admin centre. Comic Catherine Tate grew up here.

Schools and profile supplied by Zoopla

Property ladder

First rung

£329,995 Dexters

IT MIGHT be tiny but this studio flat, located on the eight floor of a mansion block with lifts and a 24-hour porter, couldn’t be more conveniently located as it’s two minutes from Russell Square station.

Average for Bloomsbury

£750,000 Foxtons

In excellent condition throughout, this light-filled flat is on the fourth floor of a red-brick mansion block and comprises a spacious living room, two bedrooms, a contemporary kitchen and shower room. (The average property in Bloomsbury is currently valued at £764,374, according to Zoopla)

Luxury home

£3.5m Portico

THIS Georgian freehold townhouse is on one of Bloomsbury’s best roads and currently divided into seven flats. It would make a fantastic renovation project for someone with deep pockets.