Life & Culture

Is this the new Bishops Avenue?

There’s only one road in London that comes close to The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead. Dragon’s Den judge James Caan knows where it is. He used to live there.


Stars vie with tycoons to live on Broad Walk in Winchmore Hill – but you need the money. Even today, property prices here do not drop below seven figures and can go into eight.

Dragons Den judge James Caan says he rates the road second only to The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead as the most desirable in North London.

He likes it for being wide and tree-lined so passing traffic is some distance from the front doors, making it safer for young children. He lived there for ten years with wife Ayesha and two daughters.

Other Broad Walk former residents include rock star Rod Stewart, who had a Tudor style house there. Matchbox Toys tycoon Leslie Smith lived there for many years until his death in 2005 at the age of 87.

Mr Smith’s house stood in the middle of a plot of almost two acres. Now it has now been replaced by two Georgian-style houses from housebuilder Rectory Homes. Designed by architect Nash Partnership of Bath, each house has an acre of garden.

Greystoke, the largest of the two properties, has a total internal area of 12,500 sq ft. You walk in to an elliptical hall with circular cantilevered limestone staircase. With its wide treads, the staircase spirals through the middle of the house all the way up to the galleried landing on the second floor where a roof lantern floods the central part of the building with natural light.

The ground floor has a 38ft drawing room, a large Pedini kitchen/breakfast room with Miele and Gaggenau appliances, a family room, 21ft dining room, cinema and a 46ft indoor swimming pool complex with sauna. Oversize oak double doors open from one room to another wile the doors to the garden are glass folding. The 41ft master bedroom and private sitting room open on to a balcony and the suite includes a bathroom and 20ft dressing room.

The neighbouring house – Levens – is equally attractive but, instead of an elliptical hall, it has a grand walnut central staircase which separates into two as it nears the first floor galleried landing. Levens’ total area is 11,600 sq ft, with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms including five ensuite, together with an indoor pool.

Estate agent Statons is asking £6.95 million for Levens and has not yet released a price for Greystoke.

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