Best Places to Live in London

Finding the best places to live in London can be daunting!  This great city can seem particularly vast when you’re about to move to London or are new in town. The choices can still be tricky for established Londoners, perhaps when making the leap from renting to owning. Here are a few resources to help get you started.

Area guides

London + Property: London Guide
The introduction gives some thought-provoking advice about choosing where to live and what things to consider.  This feeds into the well-written area guides about 24 places to live in London, which even list things like bus routes and eating out recommendations. The site also offers detailed guidance and advice for renters and buyers.

A number of estate agents also provide detailed area guides, including Ludlow Thompson, Foxtons and Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, although these may focus on areas covered by their branches.

But which area is the best place to live for…

We’re steering tactfully clear of making sweeping generalisations about any neighbourhoods, but here are a couple of articles that give some simple off-the-shelf opinions…

My Great Move: Where to Live in London
Classifies the best places to live in London areas for groups like families or young professionals. The post is written by a property search agent, and focuses on some of the more expensive Inner London areas. Other resources on the site are well-suited to people moving from outside the UK.

Inside London: Where to Live in London
Similar to the above, giving the author’s view on places to live in London, but a little more entertaining and opinionated.

Profile maps

There are many data resources and maps that profile the city in different ways.

Greater London Authority: Borough Profiles
This shows a wide range of data in a sophisticated map tool. It is only at the crude level of London Boroughs, so doesn’t reflect the more complex pattern of local neighbourhoods.

London Profiler
This impressive web map lets you view all sorts of local area data over Google mapping. Once you’ve chosen a layer from the menus on the right, click one of the % transparency buttons to see the mapping underneath. Some of the data sources are getting a bit dated now, and haven’t yet been replaced by 2011 Census results.

Getting around

Transport for London
If you want to get around London, you’ll need TfL, and probably their online content too. The journey planner might be especially helpful for new arrivals or unfamiliar areas.

A to Z London maps
If you’re out and about looking for a room or a house, your trusty A-Z can be a vital companion. A-Z are a London icon, publishing many London street atlases to help you navigate the city. The fold-out London sheet maps can be ideal for getting an overview of your area of interest. The London A-Z is now available on various digital devices so you can save on bag space but still look at the detailed A-Z mapping while underground.

Property search

Rightmove: London
The biggest UK property website is an obvious place to start looking for homes to buy or rent. Other great tools and information on house prices around the capital.

Spareroom: London
A top resource if you are looking for a room to rent or a flatshare. The simple search tool allows search by commute time, travel zone or tube line.

My Property Guide
A listing of estate agents and letting agents by London area, with some accompanying articles and links.

Buying to invest

Here are a few interesting sources from the perspective of buying a house as an investment:

The Rat and Mouse blog
An influential and prolific London property blog, although somewhat ad-strewn.

Homes & Property: London’s top property growth areas
Explores emerging property hotspots in London and what you can get for your money.  Mentions a few new developments of the more affordable variety.

London loves Business: Where to buy property in London
A series of articles looking at investment in some potentially up-and-coming London locations, with property guide prices as well as local information. Also a piece on 7 unlikely signs that an area is on the up. Look out for building works, skips and dead high streets!

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