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Woman looking at a London landmark as she decides on the best places to live in London

Best Places to Live in London: A Round-Up

19 May 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 7 min
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Simon Banks

It’s hard to argue against London being one of the most desired cities in the world. “But Paris”, you say? Sure, it’s got the Eiffel Tower and a certain je ne sais quoi. But they’ve only got one football team (London has 13!). “What about New York”, you ask? We love the Big Apple, but it’s tiny in size when compared to London (with the same population!).

It’s hard to beat England’s capital when it comes to finding a home. Whether you’re in North, South, East or West, there’s always something going on. And it’s a matter of fact that you only need to live in the city for six months before getting your official “Londoner” licence (trust us; it’s a thing).

Ok, so we’ve sold you on good ol’ Londinium. But maybe you have one more question, something like: “where are the best places to live in London?” We’re glad you asked. Over the years, we’ve compiled extensive guides about where to live in the capital. In this post, we’re rounding up a selection of the hottest of hotspots.

So, read on and discover where you can find the cream of the crop in the capital.

Best places to live in London if you’re looking for opulence

Marylebone, W1

Marylebone high street

If money is no object, then you’ll probably want to find yourself a fairly central postcode. Marylebone is one of London’s most sought-after areas, thanks to its charming high street that seems a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London. Even more impressive is the fact that Marylebone is actually a hop and skip away from the West End. Did someone say shopping on Bond Street?

Expect to pay around £2,500 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Chelsea, SW3

Row of Edwardian houses in Chelsea

The King’s Road, Sloane Square, celebrity spotting — what more could you ask for in Chelsea? How about boutique designer stores, Michelin-starred restaurants and modern art galleries? The SW3 postcode is one of the most exclusive in the UK, and a favourite with those who don’t see money as an object.

Expect to pay around £2,300 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Knightsbridge, SW1

Red phone boxes in Knightsbridge with Harrods in the background

There’s an apartment in Knightsbridge that is listed on the rental market for £45k per month, just in case you were wondering about the area’s exclusivity. Fortunately, you can find “cheap” one-bed homes in Knightsbridge for closer to £3k. Some say it’s a price worth paying for having Harrods and Hyde Park on your doorstep.

Expect to pay around £3,000 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London on a budget

Croydon, CR0

Croydon high street

Croydon is fast becoming one of the capital’s hotspots, with a growing number of people enquiring about properties in the southeast London neighbourhood. Extensive regeneration has put Croydon on the map, and it’s now filled with flashy community apartments, an eclectic mix of restaurants and a Boxpark.

Expect to pay around £1,000 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Lewisham, SE13

Lewisham DLR station

Let’s stick with southeast London for a minute, this time heading further east to Lewisham. Another postcode with plenty of regeneration, Lewisham features The Renaissance (apartments that put the area on the map). Despite lots of shiny new buildings, the SE13 postcode has kept its charm thanks to places like Lewisham Market, which started 1906 and sells everything from fresh fish to jewellery.

Expect to pay around £1,100 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Hornchurch, RM1

Houses in Hornchurch

The suburban town of East London is one of the most affordable in London. Hornchurch offers good travel connections via the District Line and is full of open spaces so that you can get back to nature. There’s even an afternoon tea spot. Who said living on a budget doesn’t mean being posh?

Expect to pay around £940 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London for the village lifestyle

Hampstead, NW3

Trees and lake at Hampstead Heath

Cobblestone streets, quaint cafes and one of the most popular open spaces in London make northwest London’s Hampstead a desirable village neighbourhood. Browse Heath Street and window shop the boutiques before settling down at a local cafe for a homemade cake and coffee. Then head to Hampstead Heath, which offers 790 acres of woodland, meadows and rolling hills.

Expect to pay around £1,800 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Dulwich Village, SE21

Dulwich Village

If it’s got the word “village” in the name, it must be one of the best village-y areas in the capital. Fortunately, for southeast London’s Dulwich Village, the sentiment rings true. Cosy cafes and independent restaurants line the streets, while Dulwich Park offers open spaces. If you really want to feel like you’re in the country, put on the wellies and head to Dulwich Woods.

Expect to pay around £1,300 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Highgate, N6

Highgate Square in Highgate

Not far from Hampstead is where you will find Highgate, another village gem. The tiny town is filled with gastropubs and charming period properties, while Hampstead Heath and Highgate Wood are nearby. And it’s got a stop on the Northern Line, so you can go from the village lifestyle to West End bustle in just 15 minutes.

Expect to pay around £1,500 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London for good connections

King’s Cross, N1

King's Cross Station

King’s Cross has benefitted from a major overhaul in the last few years with a ton of plush new homes and upgraded facilities. As well as having access to a tube station with stops on the Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, residents in King’s Cross can enjoy the Eurostar. How does two hours to Paris sound?

Expect to pay around £1,500 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Hammersmith, W6

Exit to Hammersmith Station

West London’s Hammersmith is one of London’s best-connected neighbourhoods, so much so that it has its own dedicated line on the tube. You can access the Hammersmith & City, Circle, Piccadilly, and District lines via its two tube stations. There’s also direct access to Heathrow and cultural and entertainment activities to enjoy in the W6 postcode.

Expect to pay around £1,800 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Victoria, SW1

Victoria train and bus station

Arguably London’s best-connected area, Victoria also happens to be filled with theatres, charming red brick mansions, and popular restaurants and shops. Victoria station has trains that go in and out of London, a tube services on the Victoria, Circle and District lines and a bus and coach station.

Expect to pay around £2,000 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London for hipster vibes

Shoreditch, E1

Shoreditch street art

Shoreditch might feel a little too commercial for some people’s tastes these days, but the essence remains. Whether it’s street art from Banksy, all-night dive bars or Boxpark and Dinerama, Shoreditch has the 18-40s crowd on lock and will continue to remain London’s de facto hipster hotspot.

Expect to pay around £2,200 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Deptford, SE8

Deptford street market

South London somewhat lacked in bohemian vibes. That was until Deptford suddenly became cool with its artsy bars, markets under railway bridges and cafes which, of course, feature vegan options. Throw in a slice of strong maritime history for added effect.

Expect to pay around £1,300 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Peckham, SE15

Peckham

It looks like South London might be sweeping in for the win when it comes to “too-cool-to-care” hipster spots. Peckham has gone from one of London’s most feared neighbourhoods to one its most sought-after. From cinema Peckham Plex to The Beer Shop, there’s something to fit all your hipster needs.

Expect to pay around £1,400 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London for riverside views

Canary Wharf, E14

Canary Wharf skyline

Skyscrapers don the landscape in Canary Wharf, but it's the riverside settings that provide tranquillity. This bustling business mecca has found its residential roots over the years with green spaces, waterside settings and some of London's plushest apartments. There's also a huge shopping centre, Everyman cinema, Michelin-starred restaurants and local bars.

Expect to pay around £1,700 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Wapping, E1W

Wapping

Warehouses converted into apartments with brick-walled interiors, pubs overlooking the Thames and cobbled streets make up the neighbourhood of Wapping. There are no battles in Wapping these days; only culture, maritime history and plenty of riverside haunts.

Expect to pay around £1,650 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Kew, TW8

Kew Village in Kew

Kew sits on the edge of West London and offers residents a peaceful area with plenty of green spaces. Kew Garden will be a regular hangout if you decide to call the TW8 postcode “home”, but the Thames settings also make it a popular place to live — especially if one of the apartments has direct views over the River Thames.

Expect to pay around £1,500 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London with Rugrats

Greenwich, SE10

Greenwich Park

Families flock to Greenwich, thanks to its vast open spaces and cultural amenities. Teach the kids about the stars at the Greenwich Observatory; then take them on an adventure at the Cutty Sark. Round the day off with a trip to Greenwich Market, one of London's most popular markets.

Expect to pay around £1,800 p/m for a two-bedroom home.

Ealing, W5

Shopping area in Ealing

The W5 postcode is a favourite with families, who enjoy the many green spaces and a strong sense of community. Ealing Broadway is the most sought-after spot in the area, while West and South Ealing also chip in with the family vibes. Head to FARA Kids Charity Shop to get some clothes for the little ones.

Expect to pay around £1,900 p/m for a two-bedroom home.

Bromley, BR1

Bromley

Excellent travel links that go into central London in just 20 minutes makes Bromley popular with commuters, while the open spaces and pedestrian-only shopping streets are a hit with families. Bromley’s affordable rental prices only increase its appeal.

Expect to pay around £1,350 p/m for a two-bedroom home.

Best places to live in London if you’re an artiste

Hackney, E8

People cycling along the canals in Hackney

Hackney continues to grow from strength to strength, taking the mantle of one of London’s most creative areas. Once an industrial behemoth, today the East London area offers an artistic ambience and peaceful settings with its parks and canals. Hackney Arts, London Centre for Books Arts and Banner Repeater are just some of the artistic hangouts in the borough of Hackney.

Expect to pay around £1,700 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Southbank

Southbank

Southbank is awash with creativity and is London’s cultural and creative district. It’s home to national centres for art and culture, the Globe Theatre and architectural marvels like the National Theatre, Southbank Centre and London Eye.

Expect to pay around £1,650 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Camden

Shops in Camden

Camden is rooted in creativity and was the birthplace for many iconic acts. From the Sex Pistols to the Clash, venues like Koko and the Roundhouse have provided to be the birthing grounds for some of London's most disruptive artists. Even today there is an aura about Camden that says it wants to rebel against the system, even if it is one of London's most visited tourist areas.

Expect to pay around £2,000 p/m for a one-bedroom apartment.

Best places to live in London

No matter your taste, there’s a London neighbourhood that’s just right for you. If you want to dig a little deeper into each London neighbourhood, check out our individual London guides. You can also discover each area by location with our guides below. Enjoy!

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