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Inspiration of the Week: parklife and potential in a handsome red-brick in north London

Not far from the heath, this Hampstead apartment offers simple space and greenery in ample quantities – and it’s for sale

Inspiration of the Week: parklife and potential in a handsome red-brick in north London

It was walking the vast expanses of Hampstead Heath that inspired John Keats, who lived on an adjacent street, to write I Stood Tiptoe Upon a Little Hill, a rambling romantic rhapsody on the sublime splendour of nature. Reading it, we have to agree with the poet when he says that the heath’s far-reaching fields offer “wide wand’ring for the greediest eye”. As the possessor of one such eager eye, we can confirm that there’s nowhere quite like it, making this flat on Fitzjohns Avenue, just a short walk away and currently on the market, even more desirable.

The apartment itself is a gem: set back from the wide boulevard-style street, with a front and communal back garden, this large two-bed has been carved out of the top floor of a handsome red-brick townhouse. It was built in the late 19th century, when this former village north of London had become a buzzing bohemian community of artists, performers and intellectuals.

Set up in the eaves, the flat benefits from ceilings that seem to soar, making the 1,349sq ft footprint feel even more spacious. Many of its Victorian details – namely the sash windows and stripped-wood doors and casements – remain, lending the place a powerful sense of provenance.

And while it’s ready to move in as is, the apartment is also a blank canvas of sorts. There’s a mezzanine that would just as easily make a lovely bedroom as it would a lofty study. The decoration in all the rooms is simple; their plain walls feel ripe for transformation – or simply a good picture or two – while the baby-blue bathroom has a retro vibe that we’re all over. And the views! We hardly need to explain what they’re like from up here.

From the flat, you can walk briskly north-west and be in the heath in 10 minutes. To paraphrase another, rather more modern poet talking about parks: that gives us a sense of enormous well-being.

Fitzjohns Avenue, London NW3

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