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“In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.”
— The Bear From ‘Paddington’.
People say that New York is a city that never sleeps. Well, London definitely competes for that title.
Aside from London being one of the most famous cities in the world, it is also an amazing place to live in.
The scale of choosing where to live in London becomes clearer, when you realise that Greater London comprises of eight inner London postcode districts and 15 outer London postcode districts, not to mention the so-called postcode lottery.
So, how do you choose?
This guide should help.
How to choose the best place to live in London? – The Basics
Now, a lot of people are of the opinion that only the uber-wealthy can have a decent life in London, but if this was true, why do so many students, young professionals and families eventually settle here?
In this article, you will discover which are the best neighbourhoods in London for you and your family, and the list is replete with the amenities and facilities that are available for each listed greater London community/area.
Oh, and there is no cause for worry either: areas like Mayfair and Chelsea are not on this list: we are a tad bit more realistic and grounded than that.
You can also head to our top London Lifestyle Blogs guide to follow London influencers as they share London tips and if you’re looking for more affordable co-living places to rent in the areas listed below, please head to our top co-living places London guide.
Where to live in London? – An Overview
No beating about the bush then: Let’s cut right to the chase. The best places to live in London are listed here.
How did we decide which places are the best to love in London?
- the cost of renting a 2-bedroom house
- the ratings of the schools in the catchment area
- the crime rate in the area
- the availability of medical services in the area
- the availability of decent retail facilities in the area
Here’s our well-researched list of the top places to live in London:
- Camden/ Camden Town: Family-friendly, younger demographics, inner-city.
- Maida Vale: A relaxed, laid-back place situated in the Northwestern part of London.
- Hampstead: Has people from everywhere, affordable, quaint village-like feel.
- Fitzrovia: Offers most of the things youngsters want: restaurants, bars, theatres, and shopping.
- Shoreditch: Fashionable, upper-middle-class neighbourhood in East London.
- Croydon: Extremely well-connected, affordable outer London area suburb with good amenities.
- Kentish Town: An area that is on the up-and-coming, has good transport links, family-friendly.
- Dalston: Popular with students, affordable, close-knit communities.
- Battersea: Lots of green covers and the iconic Battersea Power Station, very popular with small families, including immigrants.
- Paddington: Lively neighbourhood, always busy, well-connected in and outside London.
London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and this holds true for all of its 32 separate districts, that, together with the city of London, makeup what we call “Greater London”.
We’ve summarised our list in this short video:
Diving Deeper into London
Let us now explore the above-listed localities in a more detailed manner. Going listwise, each place will have a short description, followed by a table of amenities.
1. Camden/ Camden Town
Camden is one of London’s most diverse and lively neighbourhoods. It is popular among both English natives as well as ex-pats in London.
Camden also boasts some of the best-designed family housing in London, and these are in sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of Camden’s high streets as they are peaceful, relaxed, and quiet.
Camden is a utopia for those who are social butterflies as one needs a minimum of three lifetimes to fully explore the place.
From flats to villas, to bungalows, you will find all types of housing here.
Amenities In Camden:
|Schools||● Primrose Hill Primary School|
● Cavendish School
● Haverstock School
● Richard Cobden School
|Hospitals||● Royal Free Hospital|
● University College Hospital
● St. Mary’s Hospital
● Whittington Health
|Shopping Centres||● Camden High Street|
|Other Facilities||● Camden Centre For Learning (Special Education Needs)|
|Greenery||● Regents Park|
2. Maida Vale
Maida Vale has been constructed along the sides of the Regents Canal and is widely known for its green boulevards and avenues that look like they are straight out of a storybook.
Disclaimer: the properties that line the canal (i.e., the waterfront properties) will not come cheap, but there are loads of other development options towards the interior of the neighbourhood that is far more reasonably priced.
Despite the calm, laid-back atmosphere in Maida Vale, the hustle and bustle of London is never far away, with upmarket places like Notting Hill and Bayswater being only a stone’s throw away.
Amenities In Maida Vale:
|Schools||● St. George’s Catholic School|
● St. Albans High School For Girls
● St. Mary’s Primary School
● Kilburn Grange School
|Hospitals||● St. John And St. Elizabeth Hospital|
● Chelsea And Westminster Hospital
● The Royal Free Hospital
● Charing Cross Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● Maida Vale High Street|
● Kilburn Mall
● Westfield London
|Other Facilities||● The La Petite Nursery is a nearby creche.|
● There are numerous Childcare centres around Maida.
|Greenery||● Paddington Recreation Gardens|
● Little Venice Gardens
● The Queens’ Park Gardens
Here we have yet another of those neighbourhoods that are a potpourri of people: those from all walks of life reside here, and Hampstead is also popular among London ex-pats.
One would not expect to find a place like Hampstead in London, because the area can be summed up in one word: quaint.
Even though it has a reputation for being on the pricier side of residential neighbourhoods in London, if you are willing to split one of the gorgeous Georgian bungalows here with another family, the locality can actually turn out to be quite reasonable to live in.
Amenities In Hampstead:
|Schools||● Lyndhurst House Preparatory School|
● Highgate School
● St. Anthony’s School For Boys
● St. Mary’s School, Hampstead
|Hospitals||● The Royal Free Hospital (Common to Maida Vale too)|
● The Tavistock And Portman NHS Foundation Trust
● Finchley Memorial Hospital
● Whittington Health
|Shopping Centres||● Hampstead High Street|
● Various Boutique Stores
● Various Independent Stores
|Other Facilities||● Hampstead has a lot of nurseries for working families.|
|Greenery||● Hampstead Village|
● Hampstead Heath
● Golders Hill Park
● Talacre Gardens
Located in what is practically the heart of the city, Fitzrovia is surrounded by places like Tottenham and Oxford Street and is rather well connected for such a busy place.
Many people would not even consider Fitzrovia a good residential neighbourhood, but a little hunting around will uncover some of the nicest places to live in the borough.
Fitzrovia is the place to live if you want the full “London experience”, replete with pubs, shopping malls, and a good collection of housing options. The demographic here leans towards the younger side.
Amenities In Fitzrovia:
|Schools||● Ecole Jeannine Manuel UK School|
● Regent Independent College (A Levels)
● Portland Place School
● The University Of Westminster
|Hospitals||● Weymouth Street Hospital|
● The Queen Anne Street Medical Centre
● The Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals
● University College Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● Rathbone Square|
● Phoenix Centre Mall
● The Brunswick Centre
|Other Facilities||● Oxford Street, plenty of day-care centres, and loads of clubs.|
|Greenery||● Regents Park|
● Fitzroy Square Gardens
Shoreditch is often called London’s most chic neighbourhood and originally became famous for textile, fabric, and furniture manufacturing.
Many students as well as a decent number of families call Shoreditch home. It has excellent public facilities, a line of highly regarded restaurants, loads of activities, and if you hunt around, some of the best semi-furnished and fully furnished houses in the city.
The area also has quite a few parks and other public spaces, most of which are very child friendly.
Amenities In Shoreditch:
|Schools||● Shoreditch Park Primary School|
● Haggerston School
● Waterside Academy
● Mulberry School For Girls
|Hospitals||● Homerton University Hospital|
● St. Thomas’ Hospital
● The Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children
● London Independent Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● The Mercato Mall|
● Shoreditch High Street
● The Southside Wandsworth Mall
● The Boxpark Shoreditch Centre Mall
|Other Facilities||● Spitalfields market is world famous and has a huge amalgamation of shops.|
|Greenery||● Mark Street Gardens|
● Aske Street Gardens
Even though Croydon is fairly on the outskirts of London, one can journey to the city centre in just under twenty minutes on the express train line, and Croydon has loads of other transport networks available too.
Being situated a little bit further away from the city proper means that the housing and utility payments here will be a good deal lower than that in the city itself.
This is why Croydon is a great choice for families, especially slightly larger ones, given the fact that Croydon has a veritable buffet selection of schools and public amenities.
Amenities In Croydon:
|Schools||● Combe Wood School|
● Oasis Academy, Shirley Park
● The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy
● Meridian High School
|Hospitals||● Croydon University Hospital|
● Shirley Oaks Hospital
● Princess Royal University Hospital
● Purley War Memorial Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● The Centrale Shopping Centre|
● Whitgift Centre
|Other Facilities||● The Glades (Bromley) is one of the largest shopping centres in London, with a trading space of half a million sq. feet.|
|Greenery||● Lloyd Park|
● Coombe Hill Gardens
7. Kentish Town
Kentish Town is the single most happening residential neighbourhood in London — boasting everything from multiple bustling high streets to cineplexes, to several independent and brand stores.
Situated in the northern part of London, Kentish Town is cosily nestled between Primrose Hill on one side and Camden Town on the other, so each of these localities can benefit from the other’s amenities and facilities.
Kentish Town is a rather green area, and what is surprising is that though it was once considered a run-down part of the city, it now offers everything from affordable studio apartments to split independent townhouses.
Amenities In Kentish Town:
|Schools||● Carlton Primary School|
● Brecknock Primary School
● Holy Trinity & St Silas C of E Primary School
● Leighton College
|Hospitals||● Park Hospital|
● Medanta — The Medicity
● North Middlesex University Hospital
● Kings’ College Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● The Coal Drops’ Yard|
● Westfield, London
|Other Facilities||● The Kentish Town High Street will never disappoint you, no matter how many times you visit it.|
|Greenery||● Sunder Nursery|
● Waterlow Park
Dalston is one of the most “first-time-friendly” neighbourhoods in London, catering to all sorts of demographics, from first-time renters to first-time buyers, to families that have lived there for generations.
The locality offers housing options ranging from open, spacious accommodations that are perfect for families, to affordable, new-build apartments that are more suited to students or young professionals.
Dalston has a lot of bakeries, is famous for them, and has a thriving underground nightclub culture. It has a very active high street, and a lot of university students choose Dalston as their roost during their college days.
A lot of immigrant families also settle down in Dalston, and the community bonds in the area are pretty tight, making Dalston a good choice to live in, especially if you have children, or if you are the social kind.
Amenities In Dalston:
|Schools||● Caldew School|
● Lime House School
● Newlaithes Junior School
● Randal Cremer Primary School
|Hospitals||● Homerton University Hospital|
● The Royal London Hospital
● Whipps Cross University Hospital
● St. Thomas’ Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● The Kingsland Shopping Centre|
● The Lanes Shopping Centre
|Other Facilities||● The London Fields are the perfect place for the weekly family picnic|
|Greenery||● Stonebridge Gardens|
● The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
Once a centre of London’s industrial revolution, this erstwhile factory-laden neighbourhood is now a well-developed residential hub, with a lot of people settling down permanently here.
Battersea has a slightly older demographic, and in the last ten years or so, has started to become increasingly popular with the retiree generation too.
Located in south London, Battersea is also home to a boatload of celebrities, though most of these choose to live in the posher part of the borough, towards the waterfront.
Fun is never far when one is in Battersea, as the rest of London is at your fingertips, night, and day. It is a family-friendly, safe environment to live in, and has loads of entertainment and recreational facilities.
Amenities In Battersea:
|Schools||● Harris Academy Battersea|
● Westbridge Academy
● Emanuel School
● Ecole De Battersea
|Hospitals||● Chelsea And Westminster Hospital|
● Guy’s Hospital
● The Lambeth Hospital
● St. Geroges’ Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● Southside Wandsworth|
● Clapham Junction
|Other Facilities||● Battersea Park is a nationwide landmark —and you could be living right next to it.|
|Greenery||● Shillington Park|
● Christchurch Gardens
Paddington is a classic London locality and has become as much of a landmark as Big Ben or the Tower Of London.
Arguably brought into the spotlight by the world-famous television series of the same name, Paddington is the definition of well-connected.
Almost everything you think of is just a hop, skip, and a jump away when you live in Paddington, and thanks to the excellent rail connectivity, even the rest of the country is pretty much just a stone’s throw away.
Paddington caters to any and all demands that you can throw at her, from several different ranges and tiers of housing to various schools, medical centres, to recreational facilities.
Aside from being so developed, a nice thing about Paddington is that there is a fair amount of greenery around — it isn’t just a concrete jungle, making it a very nice environment to live in.
Amenities In Paddington:
|Schools||● St. James & St. John CofE Primary School|
● Hallfield Primary School
● Edward Wilson Primary School
● City of Westminster College, Paddington Green Campus
|Hospitals||● Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust|
● London General Surgery Clinic
● St. Harry’s Hospital
● St. Mary’s Hospital
|Shopping Centres||● The Edgecliff Centre|
● The Stockland Piccadilly Shopping Centre
|Other Facilities||● Paddington is, in general, extremely well connected to the rest of the city (and country) through various means of transport.|
|Greenery||● Dozens of Public Parks|
● Hyde Park
Final Destination: London
Whether you are emigrating to the United Kingdom as a working ex-pat, shifting there from one of the many commuter towns around London, or even if you are a bona fide Londoner looking to change localities, hopefully, this article has served as a rough guide, a place where you can begin your research.
The most important aspects to consider when choosing the neighbourhood that you will be moving to have all been covered in this article, and it is important to cover all bases because it is not like one can simply pack up and move on if you don’t like the area — it is impractical to think like that.
Thus, do your research well, and pick wisely. London is an amazing city that has loads to offer and you can find various guides on our blog that provide London tips such as:
And with that, congratulations on deciding to move to London — you will not regret the decision.
- Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.
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