North, South, East or West? When you’re first moving to London it can be hard to decide where the right place to move to is, so here’s my guide to some of the best places to live in London…
Shoreditch is the home of the trendy. Some say Shoreditch isn’t as ‘cool’ as it once was, but I personally disagree, you only have to walk down Brick Lane, or go to one of their many independent restaurants/cafes to see that spark is definitely still there. If you’re looking for an area with an electric and eccentric mix of people, this is the area for you. It’s a mix of the hot shot money makers from the city, market traders, fashionistas and silicon roundabout entrepreneurs. The dress code is strictly retro – ankle grazers and no socks. There are plenty of cool bars, places to eat and shops to buy your hipster gear. On the negative side, it’s not the prettiest place to live and unless you are effortlessly cool you will always feel like a complete loser whenever you leave the house. If you’re looking for big gardens and posh schools this isn’t the place for you.
Clapham attracts young professionals (stereotypically Australians and City types) who have moved to London to kick start their career. The only requirement? You must love Rugby. One of the biggest pros is its proximity to central London without the busy hustle and bustle of the city. It also has a beautiful common which offers music festivals in the summer along with great sunbathing opportunities. The biggest con? Infernos (if you haven’t heard of it – look it up), although it does offer amazing people watching on a Saturday night! House prices can be extortionate depending on what part of Clapham you choose to live in, but it is still possible to find a bargain…
Clapham’s cool alternative neighbour is a multi-cultural hub with lots happening. It’s biggest selling point is the indoor market; Brixton Village – where you’ll find lots of fantastic food – Mexican, street food, Thai and delicious tapas - you name it, it’s got it! The bars and clubs are also pretty decent with lots of different nights out for all sorts of tastes, not forgetting Brixton Academy which regularly attracts big artists. Although increasingly gentrified, Brixton still has a great mix of people from young professionals to families – there’s no stereotypical person who lives here. House prices are rising but compared to Clapham the property is reasonable priced and the Victoria line can get you into central London in less than 15 minutes with the added benefit that from September the tube will be 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays!
This is a lovely part of North London. It has brilliant leafy parks, cute boutique shops and numerous places to eat for all types of budgets and not forgetting they have a castle! It’s close to popular Angel and Hackney but the major downside is that it’s not on the tube line (although some would argue this is part of its charm). Stoke Newington is favourite with young families who like to only eat organic foods, spend Saturdays in Wholefoods and love to recycle, if you’re a party animal this may not be the right choice for you.
This east London spot is very popular for young professionals. Thanks to the Olympics it has become really easy to access the city and trendy East London. Stratford is the place to live if you like the Shoreditch vibe but you can’t keep up with it 24/7. Love shopping? Westfield Shopping Centre is minutes away (although this could be a con if shopping and crowds aren’t your thing…). You also have the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the O2 and Canary Wharf all nearby, views of the ArcelorMittal Ortbit tower and the Emirates Airline cable cars which might interest you but if you’re looking for a nice leafy area, Stratford probably isn’t for you.
Camden never gets old, it’s iconic and attracts every type of person. There isn’t a stereotypical “Stratford person”, however it is a favourite with Punks, Goths and Indie kids. This established location is well known for being great for drinking, gigs and shopping – the market is still a tourist hot spot and you can buy anything from antiques to clothes. It is expensive, so you would need to do a lot of hunting around to find somewhere affordable. However if you did find somewhere, it would definitely be something to boast to your friends about.
Tooting has been dubbed ‘the new Shoreditch’ claiming it has the vibe that Shoreditch arguably now lacks and I can definitely see why. Housing is affordable, great transport links and full of independent and BYOB restaurants - it’s no surprise that the area is starting to attract more young people, which means even more great bars and pubs are popping up all over the place. The 'Tram and Social' and ‘The Castle’ are two great places to spend a Friday night.
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