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London Area Guides

Practical guides to London’s key regions, including information on amenities, architecture and transport links.

Guides to living in London

Explore the different areas of London and find the place you’ll be happy to call home.

London is a rich and diverse city, with a mix of different areas each exuding their own identities, communities and cultures.

Read our guides to the various London areas to find out what it is like to live in each location. The informative guides below bring each region to life by explaining what amenities are on offer, what kinds of properties you can expect to find, and who might be best suited to living here – the latter being of particular importance to investors looking to place their capital into the right rental opportunity in the city.

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What to expect

North London offers attractive alternatives to inner city living. Close enough to the city centre to make commuting easy, this region also somehow feels removed from the intensity of the central district. Many of North London’s suburbs are lined with impressive art deco 1920s and 1930s properties, along with always-in-demand Georgian and Victorian homes. There are also a range of modernist developments here for those with a more contemporary eye. It’s a haven for professional young creatives and culture lovers, yet also a firm base for growing families who don’t want to move more than half an hour away from all the action.


Amenities

The high streets of North London are well-equipped to meet your everyday needs. Larger retail hubs, such as Friern Barnet Retail Park, Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Edmonton Green offer an impressive mix of branded stores and independent outlets alike. Travelling to and from North London is easy, too. Boasting excellent tube and bus links, the region is served by the North Circular Road, so access by car is a breeze.


Places of interest

  • Primrose Hill
  • Hampstead Heath
  • Regent’s Park
  • Highgate Cemetery
  • Alexandra Palace
  • Green Lanes
  • London Zoo

Top reasons to move to North London

  • Properties to suit people in all stages of life
  • Eclectic architecture
  • Culture steeped in politics and the creative arts
  • Attractive green spaces
  • Varied cuisine
  • Close to some of the city’s best golf courses
  • Fast access to central and outer London
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What to expect

A great deal of investment has been placed into East London in recent years, particularly in the wake of the 2012 London Olympics, which injected new life and vigour into Stratford, Hackney Wick and the surrounding areas. East London’s gentrification has attracted a plethora of young professionals looking to enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle within walking distance of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions.


Amenities

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is at the heart of the so-called ‘new’ East London, and knits together the London Stadium, the Lee Valley VeloPark, the hugely popular Westfields shopping centre, and many other venues and outlets into one impressive multiplex. Other nearby boroughs offer insights into ‘traditional’ London living; residents here can skip between the hustle and bustle of Bethnal Green Road to the hipster vibes of Shoreditch and its famed Brick Lane in a matter of minutes. The expanded overground and underground networks make light work of getting around East London and reaching neighbouring areas, while the Emirates Air Line runs regular cable cars between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.


Places of interest

  • London Stadium
  • Lee Valley VeloPark
  • ArcelorMittal Orbit
  • Westfields Stratford
  • Billingsgate Market
  • St Katherine Docks
  • Canary Wharf
  • Victoria Park
  • Spitalfields City Farm
  • Museum of London Docklands

Top reasons to move to East London

  • Heavily redeveloped area
  • Diverse, multi-cultural communities
  • Thriving local economy
  • Mixture of traditional properties and quirkier developments
  • Fun attractions and plenty of things to do
  • The most parks and open spaces in the city
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What to expect

From the cultural exuberance of the city’s South Bank to the countryside vibes of Old Bexley, the boroughs in South East London and the surrounding settlements in North Kent offer a dynamic way of living to those who demand variety and excitement from their home town. When it comes to property, there’s truly something for everyone in South East London. The Victorian houses and tree-lined streets in boroughs like Crystal Palace, Lewisham, Camberwell and Bromley appeal to families (and, in fact, anybody craving extra space), while the modern apartments in more urban locations like Vauxhall, Greenwich and Bermondsey make great bases for busy professionals.


Amenities

There are plenty of parks, leisure centres and sports facilities here, so those who like to keep active will be spoilt for choice. When it comes to shopping, South East London is home to plenty of chain stores and high street brands, but you’ll also find a great array of markets, like Horniman’s Farmer’s market, which all help to create that feeling of closeness amongst the communities here. Some parts of South East London are not serviced by London’s tube network, but there are great links to the rest of the city with regularly-running overground trains and buses.


Places of interest

  • O2 Arena
  • Cutty Sark
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Greenwich Market
  • Bermondsey Square Market
  • Crystal Palace Park

Top reasons to move to South East London

  • Lower property prices than many other London regions
  • Feels like a town within a city
  • Vibrant arts and music scene
  • Great cafés and restaurants
  • Close proximity to excellent schools
  • Good overground train network
  • Straightforward transport links to Kent and the rest of South East England
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What to expect

Most of the property here is tied up in contemporary developments, though some boroughs such as Clerkenwell do offer beautiful Georgian and Victorian townhouses, such as those that can be found along City Road. There are also several 1960s estates nearby. The high end, much-coveted riverside apartments within London’s historic centre do of course come at a premium, but many consider the one-of-a-kind city views across the Thames to be worth the additional investment.


Amenities

When you choose to live in East Central London, the delights of the inner city are right on your doorstep. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from the impressive array of parks, museums, bars, restaurants, and shops that sit within Zone 1. But if you need to go a little further afield, you can reach any of the major train stations or bus stations in just minutes.


Places of interest

  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Barbican Centre
  • Mansion House
  • Smithfield Market
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital

Top reasons to move to East Central London

  • Close to London’s central business district
  • Easy links to the rest of the region by road or rail
  • Immersed in history and culture
  • Great creative scene
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What to expect

This region is home to some of London’s best-known destinations. Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Holborn, King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston all sit within this historically industrial area, which these days is alight with arts and culture. And because many of London’s top universities are based in and around Bloomsbury, West Central London is a sure bet for investors who are keen to purchase high yielding student accommodation.


Amenities

Live in West Central London, and you certainly won’t be short of things to do. There are plenty of supermarkets and stores here, but you may wish to head to Covent Garden’s fruit and vegetable market for fresh, locally sourced produce. West Central London is also one of the best-connected regions in the entire city, housing several of the centre’s biggest train stations that offer quick links to much of the UK.


Places of interest

  • British Museum
  • Central Saint Martins
  • Chinatown
  • Royal Opera House
  • Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Google HQ

Top reasons to move to West Central London

  • Close to London’s central business district
  • Easy links to the rest of the region by road or rail
  • London’s entertainment hub
  • Renowned ‘foodie’ destination
  • Impressive local history
  • Varied architecture
  • Strong student community
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What to expect

South West London delivers the best of two worlds. It combines the glamour and sophistication of city living with the ease, convenience and friendliness offered by the capital’s outer boroughs, some of which extend into neighbouring county Surrey. There are plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants and live performance venues here to keep life’s go-getters satisfied – but there’s also a wholesome feel to the area that makes it ideal for families and retirees seeking a more relaxed pace of life traversing its various parks and uncovering fabulous riverside gems. Properties here range from traditional red brick family-style houses to exclusive waterside apartments.


Amenities

As mentioned above, the stunning scenery served up by the region’s green spaces – including Richmond Park, and the so-called four Commons, which span Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Clapham and Streatham – makes South West London the ideal location of nature-lovers of all ages. There’s plenty to see and do, whether you prefer drinks by the river or a spot of horse riding or deer spotting. In terms of transportation, London Bridge serves much of London, with national links into Surrey and beyond; the area is also well-linked to London’s tube network.


Places of interest

  • Harrods
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Natural History Museum
  • King’s Road, Chelsea
  • Richmond Park
  • Hampton Park Palace
  • Kew Gardens
  • London Wetland Centre
  • Fuller’s Brewery

Top reasons to move to South West London

  • Spacious, thoughtfully designed locations
  • Suburban feel in places
  • Great variety of property types
  • Plenty of things to see and do
  • Notorious for its green spaces
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What to expect

It’s no wonder you’re expressing an interest in West London. It’s one of the most desirable places to live in the city, if not in Europe. High net worth individuals flock here to enjoy its glamour and its grandeur, which gives West London a celebrity-fuelled community that continues to fuel demand for housing here. But though it is something of a playground for the rich and famous, West London offers pockets of more affordable options for homeowners and investors working with modest budgets, too.


Amenities

We can’t take a closer look at West London without mentioning the incredible shopping facilities here. Oxford Street is a must-see for any tourist, and a much-loved mecca for local residents. It’s home to all kinds of outlets, from department stores like Marks and Spencer’s and House of Fraser to independent fashion shops and tailors. It takes a lot to exhaust the local area – but if you feel you want to travel further afield for things to do, just hop on a nearby tube or bus and you’ll be able to get elsewhere in the city in no time at all.


Places of interest

  • London’s West End
  • Hyde Park
  • Soho
  • Oxford Street
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Kensington Olympia

Top reasons to move to West London

  • Some of London’s most prestigious addresses
  • Fantastic connections with Central London
  • The UK’s undisputed retail hotspot
  • Home to London’s theatrical community
  • Close to world-famous green spaces
  • Stunning garden ‘suburbs’
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What to expect

The beauty of North West London is it provides varying degrees of busyness for homeowners, tenants and students who know exactly what they want from city life. Singles and young professionals will most likely prefer the hustle and bustle of Camden Town and Kentish Town; young families seeking stability and connections with excellent schools will thrive in Belsize Park, West Hampstead and St John’s Wood; while hippies at heart will fall in love with the bohemian charms of locations like Kensal Green, Brondesbury and Kilburn.


Amenities

Boasting everything from run-of-the-mill supermarkets to organic stores, world-famous bars and award-winning restaurants, North West London offers an unbeatable selection of facilities and attractions, ensuring it will turn the heads of even the most culture-conscious individuals. Music lovers will love being so close to the quirky bars and long-standing venues of Camden Town, and there are plenty of bars, galleries and shops out towards the western side of the area to satisfy those with curious minds and refined tastes.


Places of interest

  • Camden Town
  • Primrose Hill
  • London Zoo

Top reasons to move to North West London

  • Bohemian feel
  • Lots of village-style neighbourhoods to choose from
  • Interesting historic properties and period conversions
  • Trendy bars
  • World-renowned music scene
  • Strong community spirit