As I write this article, I do so in Google Docs, while using Google Chrome. I’ll then send it to my editor via Gmail. If you’re entrenched in the online world, it’s hard to escape the weird-sounding word that is Google. Then again, why would you want to escape it? Especially if you work for the tech company.
Google has a reputation for having some of the coolest working spaces for young professionals in the world. In the UK alone, the company houses over 4,000 staff and have even begun working on a state-of-the-art office in King’s Cross that can accommodate everyone.
For the time being, however, there are three active offices: one near Victoria, another just off Oxford Street and one at King's Cross, where the new site will be. But if you’re one of their employees, where should you live so that travelling to work isn’t a hassle? With the average UK Google employee said to earn £160,000, options are plentiful.
Much like our guide about where to live if you work at WeWork, we’re bringing you the best postcodes in London to live if you’re a Google employee - even if you don’t earn £160,000 per year.
Where's Your Google?
All three of Google’s offices are located within close distance of each other - under five miles. Which means all the areas on our list are suitable, no matter which office you're working from.
Victoria is your best bet if you want to be within walking distance to your Google office. The area is buzzing with lots of businesses and has one of the UK’s leading transport hubs: Victoria Station. You might be able to walk to work, but you can reach pretty much anywhere from Victoria thanks to trains, tubes (Victoria, District and Circle Lines) and a coach station.
There is also a mix of red-brick mansion buildings and new residential developments, while nearby Pimlico features elegant white stucco homes. A choice of theatres, restaurants and bars will soon put an end to the idea of boredom in SW1. Expect to pay between £1,500 and £3,500 per month for a one-bedroom flat in Victoria.
South of the river to Victoria lies Vauxhall, a postcode that is slightly more affordable than SW1. The area doesn’t offer anywhere near as much as its neighbour in terms of travel and amenities, though there is a train station (not as big as Victoria's) and a tube station on the Victoria Line.
Still, it’s only a one-mile journey if you work at the Google in Belgravia, while the office near Oxford Circus is less than 10 minutes on the Victoria Line. And if snazzy residential developments with views over the River Thames are your thing, Vauxhall might just be the place for you. Expect to pay between £1,300 and £3,000 per month for a one-bedroom flat in Vauxhall.
Brixton certainly offers more in the way of amenities than its Vauxhall neighbour, and a stop on the Victoria Line means that Google employees can be at one of the two offices in less than 20 minutes. Over the years, Brixton’s popularity has soared, with an abundance of restaurants, bars and shops springing up. The Ritzy cinema is a firm fixture in the area and was the first ever purpose-built picture house in the UK.
There are Georgian and Victorian-era homes in Brixton, as well as a selection of newer builds, although they don’t feature the lavishness of the ones you will find in Vauxhall. Rents have been on the increase in the last few years, yet they are still more affordable compared to areas like Victoria. Expect to pay between £1,200 and just under £2,800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
West Dulwich, SE21
If you’re looking for a more low-key area, West Dulwich should be on your list. Green spaces, local shops and good schools are on the agenda in SE21. West Dulwich train station also offers direct services to Victoria in just 11 minutes, meaning that you can enjoy living in a leafy residential area and still be close to the Google life.
Most of the properties are of Victorian and Georgian ilk, with many buildings converted into apartments. Nearby East Dulwich has an abundance of restaurants, while Dulwich Village is seen by many as the Hampstead of the South. Expect to pay between £1,000 and £1,500 per month for a one-bedroom flat. A three-bed family home averages around £2,000 per month.
Earlier this year, Google began construction of their new office in King’s Cross that promises to be one of the best working spaces in the UK. Yet they currently have a smaller office in the same area and there are plenty of options nearby for those who want to be a stone's throw away.
The area has seen significant regeneration over the last few years, and the result is a plethora of shiny new developments in one of London’s most exciting hubs. King’s Cross station and St Pancras International also offer an abundance of travel options, with the latter providing trains to France, Holland and Belgium. Expect to pay between £1,300 and £5,000 per month for a one-bedroom property in and around King’s Cross.
Within walking distance to King's Cross, you will find Camden - one of London's most eccentric and lively towns. A plethora of alternative bars, funky restaurants and the famous Camden Market await those who want to call the NW1 postcode their home.
Property is varied, with a selection of Georgian townhouses converted into apartments and a few new builds around the Camden/Euston border. Camden Tube station is on the Northern Line and the area is a 10-minute walk to nearby Hampstead and Belsize Park, two of London's most village-like towns. Expect to pay between £1,300 and £4,000 per month for a one-bedroom flat in Camden, although the higher end properties tend to be located near Regent's Park.
Angel, Islington and Highbury, N1 and N5
If King’s Cross is too “new and shiny” for you, head to Angel, Islington or Highbury in North London for a bit more character. Islington’s Upper Street has some of the most sought-after bars and restaurants in London, not to mention a selection of classy boutique shops. Angel is slightly more commercial with a shopping centre and tube station on Northern Line.
Highbury is the most residential out of the three. That is if you willing to overlook the 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium, which is home to Premier League football club Arsenal. If you’re a football fan, however, the area just became that much more appealing.
If you live in the Angel end, it’s possible to walk to the new site at King’s Cross. For those residing in the Islington and Highbury ends, Highbury & Islington station is on the Victoria Line and has direct stops to King’s Cross, Oxford Street and Victoria - perfect for getting to your Google office in no time at all. Expect to pay between £1,300 and £3,000 per month for a one-bedroom flat in Angel, Islington and Highbury.
One of London’s most unique areas, Soho is within walking distance to Google’s Oxford Street office. Which is a good thing, as living in Soho means you will be tempted to party 24/7. From theatres to bars and restaurants to clubs, the area attracts a wide mix of people and is the embodiment of central London’s vibrant atmosphere.
There isn’t a residential area as such in Soho; instead, expect to live in apartments right in the heart of the action. If getting a quiet night’s sleep is high on your agenda, it might not be the best option. But if you want to live right in the heart of the action, Soho will likely offer one adventure after another. Expect to pay between £1,600 and £10,000 per month for a one-bedroom flat in Soho.
Marylebone is the total opposite of Soho, with residential streets and a village-like atmosphere. Hence its nickname, Marylebone Village. What’s even more impressive is that it manages to create chilled-out vibes right in the heart of central London. For those who want to live in a central pad but without the hustle and bustle, Marylebone is for you.
Properties come in the form of red-brick mansion blocks, converted apartments and a small selection of new developments. The high street features bars, restaurants, patisseries, boutique shops and a few sought-after schools. Expect to pay between £1,600 and £10,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
That’s a Googly
If you’re going to work for one of the most exciting tech companies in the world, you might as well have the digs to match. These areas offer convenient access to London’s Google offices, while also standing on their own as fantastic places to live. Do you work at Google? Let us know in the comments below where you like to call “home”.