The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Be in London
The 10 Best Neighborhoods to be in London shows which of the capital’s neighborhoods is right for you.
London is one of the largest cities in the world. Fusing the gritty, historic pomp of shimmering modernity, the capital of the United Kingdom has it all. World-class culture, fashion-forward shopping, and a surprisingly innovative food scene, there’s something for everyone. Better yet, London’s transit system is one of the best in the world. Find out more in the 10 best neighborhoods to be in London Guide.
But if you chose London over the other great cities in the UK, how do you know which neighborhood is right for you? In the 10 best neighborhoods to be in London guide, we will examine which part of the city has the best playgrounds and parks? What’s the area with the best craft beer scene or outdoor yoga? Where can you find the hippest bookstores or all-night food shops? To help you answer these questions and more, here is our guide to the 10 best neighborhoods to be in London.
Just north of the capital’s only international station, St Pancras, Camden is well-established as one of the liveliest neighborhoods in North London. Its heart is Camden Lock, a trendy mix of canalside bars, cafes, market stalls, and artistic venues. It also features some of London’s best live music venues, including Electric Ballroom and the legendary Roundhouse. Although your new favorite is probably Primrose Hill, you’ll find plenty of nearby parks, which offer spectacular views of the city.
Accommodation in the heart of the action, near the metro station of Camden Town, is likely to be apartments. For larger homes, head to the exclusive Primrose Hill area next to the park. Generally speaking, the boho-chic vibe of Camden doesn’t come cheap, but more affordable homes can be found in adjacent neighborhoods just a few minutes away. They include Chalk Farm, Kentish Town, and Barnsbury.
Not many of the best places to live in London include North Greenwich – but expect it to change in the years to come. The Greenwich Peninsula neighborhood is developing rapidly, stretching south from the iconic dome of the O2 leisure complex. As well as modern high-rise dwellings along the banks of the River Thames, a growing number of restaurants, cafes and world-class retail outlets now call North Greenwich home. Popular riverside trails and a stunning driving range keep locals active.
Homes in North Greenwich are almost exclusively apartments, making them popular with young professionals and couples. It’s also a good option for workers based in Canary Wharf – just a metro stop away – or those who travel frequently as London City Airport is nearby. More family-friendly homes can be found near Greenwich, a historic neighborhood and home to the world-famous Royal Observatory.
As its many warehouses suggest, this former East London industrial area was once the heart of London’s cheap clothing industry. Nowadays, however, the trendy neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Hoxton are where fashionable locals flock. You can expect a surprising array of clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops all around the corner. There are not many green spaces, but local Shoreditch Park is definitely a place to see and see when the sun comes out.
Shoreditch and Hoxton are intriguingly mixed communities, combining young hipsters and local families with urban professionals and celebrities. The housing stock is mostly old town halls and terraced streets. That said, as ever in London, you’re going to find pockets of modern living in every neighborhood. Prices generally drop as you move east, further away from the nearby Liverpool Street station. Perhaps you prefer a cheaper option on the local Regents Canal. Houseboats are increasingly popular with young Londoners.
Looking for a little quieter while staying within easy reach of central London? Putney could be the answer to that. Nestled along the banks of the River Thames in South West London, this is more like a lively market town than a suburb of London. Central Putney offers a mix of local independent shops and national chains, and there are plenty of atmospheric pubs to explore in the area. Meanwhile, the leafy banks of the Thames offer popular walking and walking trails. But to truly escape from the city, head to nearby Richmond Park, which is about three times the size of New York’s Central Park.
Putney is the furthest from the city center of all the London neighborhoods on this list. However, the area has a direct rail link to Waterloo Station, which takes about 15 minutes to get there. Homes in Putney are a mixture of new apartments, family homes, and Edwardian mansions, mostly set in quiet residential streets. This makes the area very popular with young couples looking for a little more space and family-friendly activities.
Silently tucked between Paddington and Euston, Marylebone is a surprisingly sedentary central London neighborhood. Stroll down its quiet residential streets or dine in one of the many eclectic restaurants in the area, and you’ll probably forget that you’re just a short walk from Oxford Street. This unique atmosphere attracts families and young professionals alike. The heart of the area is the lively Marylebone High Street, where you’ll find plenty of pubs and cafés to choose from.
The neighborhood is defined by its large terraced streets and hidden parkland squares scattered throughout the area. While many of the original houses have been converted into apartments or offices, some of them remain the same, if you need more space. While living in the city center comes at a high price, Marylebone remains slightly cheaper than nearby Mayfair and Fitzrovia. And with much of London’s West End within walking distance, you can expect to save on transport costs as well.
There are a few neighborhoods in London, just like Brixton. As soon as you get out of the metro station, you’ll be swept away by the sheer energy of the place. Enticing smells, sounds, and colors come to you from every direction and every hour of the day and night. Despite its somewhat clumsy reputation, Brixton is now every inch of the multicultural face of modern London. This eclectic corner of South London offers great places to eat, drink and socialize, all wrapped in a lively community spirit.
The buzzing nature of Brixton makes it incredibly popular with young professionals moving to the city. This has pushed rent and housing prices up and down. That said, they’re still lower than in other popular parts of London. Houses are a mixture of terraced houses, old town halls, and new buildings. Brixton is well-connected via the metro, making it popular for commuters to Soho and King’s Cross.
The leafy South London neighborhood of Dulwich is another great option for ex-pats. For many Londoners, due to the lack of a metro station, Dulwich remains off-track. However, this has allowed the neighborhood to develop into one of the best-kept secrets in South London. The small-town vibe of Dulwich is evident in the relaxed pubs and cafes off the main streets. Dulwich Park also has a popular boating lake, and soccer fans can enjoy cheering on the local Dulwich Hamlet FC team.
The village feel of Dulwich has made it popular with families and young professionals looking for a different part of London’s life. Direct trains from Dulwich to London Bridge take about 15 minutes on average, and cycle routes to the city are constantly improving. The housing stock is a mixture of Edwardian and Victorian buildings, some of which have been converted into flats. You can expect to pay more for the view of the park or the proximity of the mainline train station within easy reach of central London.
The unforeseen riverside neighborhood of Bermondsey offers an intriguing place to live for expats. Stretching east of London Bridge Station, the area is a mixture of modern London. Bermondsey Street is a bohemian mix of quirky cafés, restaurants, and one of London’s most unique weekly antique markets. Around Butler’s Wharf, dockside stores have been transformed into waterfront food stores, while further east you’ll find the popular Southwark Park.
If you’re thinking about moving to Bermondsey, you really have a choice of different housing options. Near the River Thames, you’ll mostly find modern apartments and waterfront lofts. But if you look further away from the water, you’ll find a more affordable mix of terraced streets, old town halls, and new buildings. The area is perfectly situated for those working in the City and Canary Wharf, which is only two metro stops away from Bermondsey station.
The North London neighborhoods of Highbury and Islington have long been among the capital’s most sought-after areas. Spreading on either side of the bustling Upper Street, Islington is the lively heart of the area. Here you will find bars, cinemas, theaters, and an impressive retail offering. Nearby Highbury is more residential than its southern neighbor, offering plenty of cozy pubs and stylish cafés. However, things can get busy when the local arsenal football team plays their home games.
The main residential area of Islington stretches north from the Regent’s Canal, with streets and squares lined with elegant old terraced houses. Outside this area, you will find a more mixed housing stock with social housing, rubbing shoulders with Victorian and Georgian townhouses. Highbury offers more family-friendly living, green spaces, and larger homes. Both neighborhoods offer easy access to the West End and the City, making it a great base for ex-pats to move to London.
When Londoners talk about Clapham, they could talk about several neighborhoods clustering around the sweeping Clapham Common Park. This may be confusing for ex-pats who are new to the area. Clapham High Street’s bars and restaurants attract a much younger crowd, while a more relaxed pace of life can be found in the nearby Clapham Old Town. Here, boutiques, cafes, and delis are the norm for local families and young professionals. The Common is the center of attention when the sun shines, attracting people from all over the capital.
The Clapham area is a sought-after part of London, and house prices in the area reflect this desirability. Homes are a mix of terrace homes, new-builds, and council estates, meaning there are options in most price ranges. Slightly cheaper areas to rent and buy can be found further down the Northern line, around Tooting and Balham. These areas are still easily accessible from central London, making them good options for ex-pats.