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The best places to live in North West London
That old famous quote from Samuel Johnson has it that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Well, with all due respect to Mr Johnson, he never had to contend with 21st century London. Trying to build your life in the capital can have you feeling all out of whack, so here at Movebubble we can help point you in the right direction – and that direction? North West West.
North West London is an interesting slice of the city, due in most part to the fact that the NW postcodes cover a very wide – and widely diverse – section of the city. We have compiled a list of the best of the North West based on whether you are looking for London’s most beautiful open spaces to rest with the family or the best culture to feast your young eyes on.
North West London succeeds in a way unrivalled by other areas in the city; space. Ideal for those with a higher income or a family, North West London offers a sampling of real village life… without the need to uproot and abandon the West End, Uber, Deliveroo, and reliable Wi-Fi.
Gourmet bakeries, cobbled streets and a distinct lack of tourist traps – this is the spot for those who can afford the price tag. Noticeably absent from this charming, quintessentially ‘British’ neighbourhood are the strangleholds of franchise brands and overcrowded chains. The general affluence of the residents mean that bakeries, boutiques and bistro pubs get to flourish free from the clutches of capitalism. With narrow, cobbled streets leading to colourful houses and hidden Cul-de-sacs, this is the best place for those seeking out small town life. Of course, Hampstead Heath is a massive draw – power your way up Parliament Hill and soak up a view too profound for a price tag. Just as a side-note: this is also one of the best places for celebrity-spotting, though we are sure you are far too cool to lose your composure around the likes of Emma Thompson and Ricky Gervais…
Read our full guide on Hampstead in North West London.
Belsize Park quite literally does what it says on the tin… if your tin happens to be in French, that is. The name is derived from the French for ‘well situated’ (bel assis) and that is an indisputable fact. Offering similar community vibes as nearby Hampstead, but with a slightly more affordable edge and a manageable commute to Central London (the leafy, wide streets are perfect for bicycling), Belsize Park is the best for young professionals looking to enjoy London’s green spaces whilst still feeling very much tapped into the heart of the city. There is also the advantage of having accessible, affordable amenities, such as the large gym, Odeon IMAX cinema, Waitrose and O2 Centre a stone's throw away at nearby Swiss Cottage. Lined with boutiques, cafes and stunning Victorian and Art Deco buildings – many of which have been converted into two or three bedroom flats – Belsize Park offers the best of city living for those who need the occasional breather.
Read our full guide on Belsize Park in North West London
For those who don’t mind the quieter life, Golders Green is one of the best suburbs for city living with a difference. Excellent schools, great transport links and some pleasant parks (one of which comes with a zoo) make this one of the best choices for families. The schooling in particular boasts some of the best performing schools in the region. The benefit of being a bit more secluded from walkable hotspots here is in the price difference; it is generally agreed that the prices will be lower for more space than neighbouring areas such as Hampstead. A predominantly Jewish populace has ensured relative safety in the area, so if you are looking for a bubble of tranquillity a short tube ride from the bustle of the city, you’ll strike gold with Golders Green.
We know that not every renter is looking for peace and quiet, in fact some of you are just escaping the suburbs and want to throw yourself into the good, bad and ugly of a capital city. But fear not, North West London has you covered there too…
How could we not mention Camden? Once a no-go for most ‘respectable’ Londoners this market town is now one of the best cultural landmarks in the country. Famous residents have included the late Amy Winehouse – who still looks over the place in statuesque form – and it is easy to see why the young and hungry come in their droves. Check out our guide to Camden to get the lowdown on the best tourist attractions which are worth a visit, but remember that living in Camden is about more than the markets. The NW1 postcode is the embodiment of the phrase “If we build it, they will come.” The diversity of its residents has built the area – from the punky bars, the protesting street art to the more upmarket shops and restaurants – renting in Camden promises something for everyone. Unbeatable transport links – the Northern line, the Overground and a short walk to Euston – is the whisky-soaked cherry on top of this rock and roll landmark.
Truly a jewel in North West London’s crown, Kentish Town offers a perfect-medium; it isn’t quite as crazy as Camden but it isn’t quite at the quaintness of Hampstead. Kentish Town is the best for affordable rates in a prime location due in part to its only-recent renaissance. With charming rows of colourful Victorian houses, as well as some Modernist 1960s buildings, the area really is perfect for most people, being able to recreate the vibe of Hampstead and nearby Tuffnell Park with a friendlier budget and more DNA with neighbouring Camden. We do suggest you don’t wait around for too long though, the prices are set to boom with on-going gentrification so let Movebubble get you in before the bubble bursts. Read our full guide on Kentish Town in North West London
St John's Wood might be famous for Abbey Road and Beatles, but it's also one of the most affluent areas in London and is nestled comfortably between Hampstead and the West End. From boutique shops and high-end cafes on the high street to Lords Cricket Ground and the open spaces of Regents Park (London Zoo included), St John's Wood does well to capture the city living feel and village vibes all in one place. Properties are a mix of period homes, mansion blocks and modernish developments and cater to families and single professionals. Read our full guide to St John's Wood here.
We hope we’ve convinced you to give North West London a look-in, as we truly believe it hosts some of London’s most beautiful, most cultural and most unique offerings. We’re not alone, either. Kim Kardashian loved the area so much she named her baby after it...
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North West London not for you? We've also written guides on other areas of London, such as;
The best places to live in North London,
The best places to live in West London,
The best places to live in East London
The best places to live in South London.