Until the late 19th century, the area was a small village called West End. Modern West Hampstead emerged with the arrival of the railways and the transformation of the area from farm land to housing estates. In 1879, the Metropolitan Railway adopted the name West Hampstead for their station on West End Lane, the main road through the area. Their motivation seemed to be to avoid confusion with the main retail area in central London, also known as the West End.
A few hundred yards south, toward central London, West End Lane becomes Abbey Road . Follow this for a mile or so to St John’s Wood , and you reach the recording studio where the Beatles recorded their album named after the road. The famous zebra crossing, seen on the cover of the album, is still there and the walls of the studio are covered with fans’ graffitti despite frequent whitewashing.
West Hampstead’s proximity to the Metropolitan Line at Finchley Road and its own Jubilee Line stop, together with a high concentration of fashionable bars and restaurants, means that the area is a popular destination for a night out for people who live in the northwestern suburbs of London. Both Thameslink and Silverlink have stations in West End Lane making the area one of the best served by public transport in London.
Famous residents include Stephen Fry ,Emma Thompson , and Rachel Stevens .
London Borough: Camden
County level: Greater London
Ceremonial county: Greater London
Historic county: Middlesex
Police force: Metropolitan Police
Fire brigade: London Fire Brigade
Ambulance service: London Ambulance
ITV franchise: ITV London
BBC region: BBC London
BBC Local Radio: BBC London 94.9
Post office and telephone
Post town: LONDON
Postal district: NW6
Dialling code: 020
UK Parliament: Hampstead and Highgate
London Assembly: Barnet and Camden
European Parliament: London