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Where to live in London – an expert guide

Ready Flats is committed to finding the right area for you to live in

Discover London

Our experienced agents can provide advice on the best neighbourhoods for your particular needs, whether you’re renting on a budget, looking for a family-friendly area or hoping to be near the hottest restaurants and nightlife.

Read our breakdown of London’s many different neighbourhoods and what you can expect to find in them.

Central London

City: Perhaps a confusing term for non-Londoners, but the ‘City’ refers to the area housing London’s major business and financial operations. It’s also features some of the oldest places in London. In the City, not only will you likely be close to your office, but you’ll also have access to restaurants, private members clubs and fitness centres all dedicated to professionals of all trades.

Mayfair: An area of wealth and commerce with residential buildings that are a blend of the old and the new. Here you’ll find large traditional townhouses nestled beside modern apartment blocks. With a range of designer fashion labels and luxury goods, nearby Bond Street has all your shopping needs covered.

Marylebone: A neighbourhood atmosphere in the centre of London. Marylebone High Street has a range of high-end boutiques, gourmet butchers and fishmongers and restaurants, bistros and gastro-pubs. The always-bustling Oxford Street is only a short walk away.

Knightsbridge: Perhaps best known for its exclusive department stories – such as Harrods – Knightsbridge has so much more to offers its residents. Some of London’s best restaurants are within walking distance, and the area’s mix of new and old architecture showcases London’s distinct style.

Regent’s Park: The main feature of this area is the beloved park of the same name. A beautiful, secluded London idyll and a dream for many on the property market: just minutes from central London and right beside one of the most famous green spaces in the world.

Bloomsbury: A historical area with great literary and intellectual traditions. The many students and universities in the neighbourhood keep this spirit alive, with University College London, Birkbeck College and SOAS all in close proximity to each other. This area has a great range of cafes, restaurants and libraries and solid transport links within and out of London from Euston Station.

Central South

SE1: From Bermondsey to the Waterloo, this south central postcode has multiple attractions and a diverse population. Shakespeare’s Globe, the Southbank, the London Eye and the Tate Modern are just some of the many highlights spread along the Thames. Families, tourists, street performers and South London’s many markets all contribute the buzzing atmosphere to be found below the river. The perfect place for those looking for residential living near the heart of the city.

Central East

EC1, E1, E8: Five years ago, Old Street, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Brick Lane were up-and-coming – now they’ve truly arrived. Artists and creative types have flocked to the streets of East London, and while the area has retained its alternative atmosphere and warehouse living, there’s less value for money to be had. To the north, Dalston has emerged as a trendier, grungier and cheaper option for those looking for a creative vibe on a budget. You will be confined to using the Overground and bus routes into the centre of London, but some would say this trade off is more than worthwhile.

PRIME AREAS

Mayfair
Marylebone
Knightsbridge
Belgravia
Chelsea
Regent's Park
St John's
Wood
City of London
Notting Hill
South Kensington

AREAS ON A BUDGET

Hammersmith
Ealing
Fulham
Putney
Clapham
Battersea
Wandsworth
Balham
Wimbledon
Dulwich
East Dulwich
Greenwich
Blackheath
Docklands
Islington
Highgate
Finchley
Kilburn
West Hampstead

BEST VALUE AREAS

Merton
Raynes Park
Sheperd's Bush
Bow
Stratford
Bethnal Green
Plaistow
Leyton
Willesden
Tooting
East Clapton
Forest Gate
Stoke Newington

West London

Shepherd’s Bush, Acton and Hammersmith:
Here you’ll find a neighbourhood vibe, great local restaurants and gastro-pubs and a wealth of transport links providing access across London. Hammersmith in particular offers nightlife next to quieter residential living.

Belgravia and Chelsea: Some of the most affluent areas in London, with quiet, leafy streets and architecture that mixes old townhouses with new apartment buildings. The shops of Kings Road and Sloane Square lie just around the corner and offer plenty of high-end shopping options.

South Kensington: Fashionable restaurants, boutiques and museums abound in this area, situated just slightly further from central London. The residents are a mixture of high-flying professionals and young, trendy families occupying some of the most exclusive real estate the city has to offer.

West Kensington: A varied, cosmopolitan neighbourhood that tends towards a younger population, with many students enjoying the area’s close proximity to universities.

Holland Park: This area is known for its large, eye-catching Victorian houses, one of the main factors in its reputation as a fashionable and affluent hub. The crème de la crème choose to live in this area, which sits close to the centre of London and well-connected to all that the city has to offer.

Earl’s Court: With many hostels and hotels, this area is a bit of a traveller’s hub. But it also has a lot of reasonably priced accommodation for residents and good transport links to the rest of London. Putney and Fulham are more residential, with fewer travel options and some picturesque leafy English streets. Wimbledon, of course, is the place to be for tennis enthusiasts, while Southfields is known to have a wide range of flat shares for renters seeking housemates.

St John’s Wood: This area sits just north west of Regent’s Park and offers a residential setting close to the centre of London. Stay occupied with great restaurants, ideal transport links and the famous Abbey Road all within walking distance.

Maida Vale: Very similar to its close neighbour, St John’s Wood, this is an ideal area for people looking for good transport links and proximity to central London all from the comfort of a family home. With tree-lined streets, a range of shops and well-reputed local restaurants, Maida Vale can provide all that you need from your new home.

Bayswater: Just moments away from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Bayswater has a classic London charm. The streets are lined with white Victorian terraces and the local residents come from many cultures and countries. Great transport links and a high number of hotels keep the area alive at night, with a truly dynamic atmosphere.

South London

South West: With nearby tube stations, Clapham and Brixton have the best transport links, but Battersea and Wandsworth are also well connected by bus and rail. Accommodation is also sensibly priced in these areas, while Clapham High Street offers all the shopping and restaurant options you could possibly need. Check out nearby Battersea Park for one of London’s most beautiful green spaces.

South East: Greenwich, Docklands and Canary Wharf are London’s modern hub – luxury high-rise developments abound in these riverside spots. Transport links are also good, with the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) connecting you to the rest of the city. Where the Docklands and Canary Wharf have a newer, more corporate atmosphere, Greenwich is your best bet for a neighbourhood feel. It’s also home to the famous Billingsgate Fish Market and the historic Royal Observatory.

To the South East, Dulwich, Camberwell and Peckham are also areas to watch. They have overtaken East London’s claim as the city’s hub for creative types. These areas are less well known, but the next generation of artists has flocked to them due to the cheaper rent and vast amount of industrial space for exhibitions, studios and grungy warehouse living.

North London

North East: The village feel of Highgate and Archway makes it hard to believe you’re still in London. Local pubs abound in these areas, and the beautiful wilderness of Hampstead Heath is within walking distance.

North West: This is an eclectic mix of areas. Notting Hill and Camden have trendy markets, with Notting Hill tending towards more upmarket stalls. This is in addition to a wide variety of restaurants, pubs and cafes. If you’re on a budget, Willesden Green, Kilburn and Wembley also have a lot to offer, although in less picturesque settings. The North West is also home to Hampstead and Primrose Hill, areas slightly further away from the centre of London where distance buys you an upmarket village retreat. The rich and famous have made their homes here, in close proximity to Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park respectively. Both neighbourhods are picturesque in their own way, with Primrose Hill’s pastel-coloured townhouses and Hampstead’s blend of mansions, modern developments and classic English cottages.