Where to Live in London 

Advice for people moving to London

Whether you’re an underpaid actor, sports fanatic, musician, Russian Oligarch, squatter or even an Australian, I Know London has some advice on where to live in London.

Good places to live in London 

The following are recommended as good areas to live in London, separated by price.

Extremely expensive places to live in London

Central London – Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Hampstead

Very expensive areas to live in London

Belsize Park, St. John’s Wood, Maida Vale, Marylebone, Pimlico, Kensington, Chelsea, Primrose Hill, Notting Hill, Chiswick, Richmond, Barnes, Kew.

Slightly less expensive parts of London

Hammersmith, Ealing, Fulham, Putney, Clapham, Battersea, Wandsworth, Balham, Streatham, Wimbledon, Anerley, Penge, Sydenham, Crystal Palace, Dulwich, East Dulwich, Greenwich, Blackheath, Docklands, Islington, Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Hornsey, Highgate, Finchley, Cricklewood, Kilburn, West Hampstead.

Cheap (er) areas in London

Merton, Raynes Park, Tooting, Charlton, Bethnal Green, Bow, Stratford, Plaistow, Stoke Newington, East Clapton, Forest Gate, Leyton, Shepherd’s bush, Acton, Willesden.

Probably best avoided

These areas are certainly not without their good points but they're generally regarded as bad areas to live in London:

Harlesden, White City, Stockwell, Camberwell, Brixton, Peckham, New Cross, Elephant and Castle, Canning Town, Woolwich and  large parts of Hackney.

Where to live in London...

Good areas for young professionals.

Islington, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Battersea, Clapham, Balham, Streatham, East Dulwich, the Docklands, Tower Bridge, Borough. You may also find yourself drawn to the East End around Aldgate, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green.

Trendy areas in London.

Stoke Newington, Broadway Market, Columbia Road, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, Camden.

Good Areas for Families in London

Looking through the areas that I've mentioned, I can't think of too many that are not good for families (apart from the ones mentioned as 'trendy' and 'best avoided' above). I've got friends who live in Central London with children but I wouldn't recommend it. It's extremely expensive and, that being the case, by far the majority of the accommodation is in (small) flats.

As with everyone else, where you live is almost definitely going to be determined by your income - in general the further you get from Central London, the cheaper it gets. Family friendly areas that stick in my head would be places like Islington through Crouch End to Muswell Hill (not cheap) and beyond in the North. Much of the North-West - Kilburn and Willesden, West Hampstead, etc. - is residential, nice and relatively affordable. By far the majority of West London is pleasant and family-friendly but, once again, it can be extremely expensive here. It's hard to go too far wrong in the South (although see 'best avoided' above). I really like the South-East: Crystal Palace, Sydenham, Penge, Dulwich and so on. These places are leafy, peaceful and affordable. There is certainly nothing wrong with the East and this is certainly the most affordable part of London. As you go further East things, in general, get nicer and more residential: Plaistow and so on.

Keep in mind that the overland trains will get you to Central London from most parts of SouthEast England surprisingly quickly so living some distance from Central London is a viable option (even if you work in Central London). There are people who commute to London from Brighton (an hour on the train) and Cambridge. Once you get outside of the London sprawl there are some very pleasant, family-friendly areas that are much cheaper than London and still less than an hour from Central London by train.

Good parts of London for sports and fitness enthusiasts

You'll find and parks and sports fields all over London but for the sports fanatic I'd recommend Clapham in particular and most of the area of South London stretching from Streatham to Dulwich.

Good areas for cutting edge fashion / design / media.

Covent Garden, Soho, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Tower Bridge

Recommended areas of London for an artist / musician / actor (successful, minted and sold-out)

Notting Hill, Primrose Hill.

Recommended for an artist / musician / actor (starving)

In terms of displaying your work, the action is centred around Tower Bridge, Shoreditch, Covent Garden, Notting Hill and various places in Central London. In terms of lving, I’ve met quite a few artists and most seem to live in squalour in the rougher parts of town: Brixton, Peckham, Deptford and New Cross. Dalston, apparently, is a hotspot for reasons that I can't possibly fathom. London has quite a few live/work studios which are ever popular with artists (Try amazing-space.org for a selection of live / work studios in authentically rough (but cheap) parts of town.). There are some lovely ones in Forest Hill. If your inspiration requires Fight Club levels of dereliction, industrial waste and danger then there are many such places in Hackney Wick.

I am an American relocating to London. I want cute cottages, double-decker buses, cricket pitches and cups of tea Goddamit!

Kensington, Chelsea, Hampstead, Richmond, Barnes, Kew, Wimbledon and Dulwich. Slightly cheaper options could be Twickenham and Kingston.

I am a banker

The Docklands, Limehouse, Wapping, Aldgate, Tower Bridge.

Where do the Australians live in London?

There are large numbers of Australians in Shepherd's Bush, Fulham and Willesden.

Where do the South Africans live in London?

The Saffas seem to be drawn to Wimbledon in particular and the area surrounding - Merton and Raynes Park.


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