London is a truly global city, and it goes without saying that anyone wanting somewhere to live in the capital is spoiled for choice. Whether you want to be in the thick of the nightlife, experience a vibrant and diverse community, or want somewhere quieter and more peaceful, you can be certain that there’s a place to suit your tastes.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best places to live in London and check out some of the up-and-coming locations that may not immediately spring to mind. And as the cost of living is such an important consideration when looking for property, we’re putting extra emphasis on areas where rental values are cheaper, so that you can get more for your money.
The best places to live in Central London
When you live in Central London, it feels like you’re living at the centre of the universe. You’ve got entertainment, food, drink, art, music and culture almost literally on your doorstep, and with the Tube, train and bus network at your fingertips, you can get anywhere you want as easily as you like. There’s only one problem, though: the price of living in Central London reflects its popularity, so you’ll need deep pockets to live right in the heart of the action.
"You don’t have to go too far out of the city centre to find good accommodation on a much more sensible budget."
But there is a solution: you don’t have to go too far out of the city centre to find good accommodation on a much more sensible budget. We recommend going south of the river to Elephant & Castle: still in Zone 1 and with excellent transport links, a place with a real community feel thanks to the burgeoning Latin American population, and some cracking pubs to enjoy, too.
The best places to live in North London
Living in North London offers a very different pace of life compared to living in the city centre. There’s plenty to see and do for those who like an urban lifestyle, but there is also plenty of green space for walking and picnics, like Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and the hilly area around Alexandra Palace.
Of course, one of the biggest focal points of North London is Wembley, not only for the football, sport and concert events there, but also because the area around Wembley Stadium has become a major hotspot for shopping and leisure. Close enough to the city centre to get there with ease, but with plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy in the close vicinity, Wembley stands out as a strong option for living in North London.
The best places to live in East London
Over the last few decades, East London has been transformed from an old-fashioned area still bearing the scars of the Blitz into a vibrant and energetic place to live. Huge investment has been made across the east, starting with the regeneration of Docklands and the associated Docklands Light Railway, and continuing more recently in Stratford with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Westfield shopping centre.
All this has meant that prices have shot up in East London, especially north of the river. But the DLR and the London Overground makes it easy to access all the area’s highlights from the other side of the Thames, and from no better spot than New Cross. It’s easy from there to get into Central London or across the river to Docklands, and Lewisham is nearby with a wide range of shopping options.
The best places to live in South London
Going south of the River Thames used to be seen as a bit of a poor relation in London living terms (especially by some black cab drivers!). But times have long changed, and there are so many things to see, do and enjoy in South London that it can be a fantastic place to live in its own right.
For a place with excellent transport links that’s still close to the city centre and offers excellent value for renters, you can’t do much better than Stockwell. Its position on the Northern and Victoria lines means it’s easy to be right in the heart of London in a matter of minutes. And there’s plenty to enjoy in the immediate vicinity, too: you’ll be within walking distance of the O2 Academy Brixton, the KIA Oval cricket ground and Clapham Common. And what’s more, the sizable Portuguese and Brazilian population in the area means the local cuisine is superb.
The best places to live in West London
Of the four directions you can travel out of Central London, it’s by going west that you get perhaps the most relaxed feel. West London is a mix of soothing suburbs, copious lakes and waterways, and even some charming villages if you travel a bit further out. And wherever you are in West London, you’ll always be within easy reach of Heathrow Airport, connecting you with just about anywhere in the world that takes your fancy for a holiday.
One good-value place to live in West London is Southall. It’s close enough to Heathrow to be handy, but not so close that aircraft noise is a major problem, and it’s on the main Great Western railway line for quick travel into Paddington. There’s a good-sized Asian population in the area, and so there are some truly superb restaurants serving some of the best Punjabi food you’ll find anywhere in the capital. And just around the corner is Osterley Park, a National Trust property that acts as an oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle of London.
Renting with UNCLE in London
Wherever you want to live in London, UNCLE has an apartment that will fit your lifestyle. We have modern, stylish apartments in Elephant & Castle, New Cross, Southall, Stockwell and Wembley available for rent now, with a mix of one, two or three bedrooms, and a host of extra on-site facilities such as gyms, sky lounges, yoga rooms and much more.
If you’d like to find out more about renting with Uncle at some of the best places to live in London, get in touch with us today to book a viewing.