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  • 5.0 star rating
    6/3/2008
    First to Review

    Belsize Park serves the busy shopping centre along Haverstock Hill, as well as the Royal Free Hospital area, and is close to the southern part of Hampstead Heath.

    It is located on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, in zone 2, and gets a frequent service throughout the day - every 2 to 5 minutes between 7h and 23h weekdays, and every 3 to 5 minutes 8h to 23h on Sundays - for first and last trains, see 'Opening Times' above.

    This part of the Northern Line is a proper 'deep level' tube, and was opened as part of the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway in 1907, initially running to Golders Green, before being extended to Edgware in 1924. The section through Belsize park was originally known as the 'Hampstead Tube Railway', and this is what appeared on the station frontage when it was opened. The platforms are over 33m (108ft) below the ground and are served by lifts. There is a staircase as well, although you are warned that there are a lot of steps (over 200)!

    The line's stations were designed by Leslie Green, and featured entrance halls with ruby-red glazed tiles. Belsize Park was unusual in having a frontage with iron railings and Portland stone entrance posts. Below ground, the original colour scheme featured maroon and cream glazed tiles, with tiled bands across the apex of the tunnels. The station has recently been restored (2007) to its original condition, both above and below ground, albeit without the original 'Hampstead Tube Railway' signage.

    Below Belsize Park station is a very large deep-level air-raid shelter built in 1940, designed to sleep over 9,500 people in individual bunk beds. There are separate entrances to this - the history, construction and design of the shelters is described on Subterranea Britannica, at: subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/…

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