London will always be somewhere that people from all over the world either choose to live and work, or come out of necessity.
Despite arguments over gentrification, London remains the international hub it has been for centuries. It’s a world leader in culture and has an established multi-cultural heritage and tradition with residents that have settled here from all over the world since even before the time of the first trade ships.
There are ancient influences that are visible in architecture, artefacts or old ruins and roads, as well as invisible but important cultural influences that began to be introduced by foreign invaders over the years, including Romans, Germanic peoples, Vikings and Noresmen from Sweden, Denmark and Norway as well as the Dutch and the French. This has created the melting pot which is England, and the capital of it all, London. This important influence of foreign cultures has continued over the years and is one of the reasons London is such an exciting place to live compared to many other big cities in the world.
If you’re looking to move to London, choosing where to live can be difficult. Even when you’ve chosen, finding the property that’s right for you, or you and your family, is an even harder challenge. Luckily there are some really easy ways that you can get help.
Companies like SnapdUp put you in touch directly with local property experts. Instead of scrolling through hundreds of properties yourself, they do the hard work for you, for free! They find the best properties for sale or for rent in each area that matches your requirements – sometimes they source property that isn’t even on the market yet. In such a fast moving property market, this can make all the difference!
So, on that note…
Let’s check out some of the most popular places to live in London in 2018!
There’s no definitive graph, study or guide when it comes to qualifying the most popular places to live in London as there are so many variables. We looked at some of the most featured, talked about and written about places in the last five years to come up with this list. If there’s any places you think we should add, let us know in the comments.
SE15 Peckham, South London
We’ve heard a lot from Peckham over the past few years as more and more young professionals, students, artists and families located themselves there due to the cheaper property prices compared with many other areas in London.
Predictably, more independent cafes, shops, restaurants and bars opened in the area – providing jobs and a service for local residents. As is the way, this encouraged more and more people to start considering Peckham as the best up-and-coming (as it was coined) place to be in London.
Soon a major arts venue, Peckham Levels, opened up on the top of a huge disused concrete multi-storey car park off Rye Lane. The venue hosts all kinds of events from literature and theatre to music, food, drink and visual arts. If you perform a Google image search of “Peckham” no doubt you’ll see an image pop the top 10th floor where Frank’s Cafe resides. This is one of the best places to see the sun go down and grab a drink from owner Frank Boxer, one of the famous foodies in the family headed by grandmother Arabella Boxer, the food writer.
The famous Bussey Building built by the Victorians has a rival arts programme and a rival rooftop bar and cinema where you can also watch the sunset.
If you get sick of watching the sunset, you can head down to the quieter Rye Lane to check out some of the shops, cafes and restaurants hidden on Bellenden Road.
The area has good transport links, with overground trains that run from Peckham Rye and Queens Road, both running to Shoreditch High Street (perfect for young professionals working in East London). There are trains running to Victoria and Blackfriars and London Bridge taking just 13/14 minutes.
SW12 Balham, South London
South London remains strong on the map with Balham still proving one of London’s most popular places to live. There’s lots of reasons people want to live in Balham, not least because it’s got the second lowest council tax in London.
Other things attracting people to this unassuming corner of London are its cute cafes, restaurants and bars – a million miles away from some of the cheesier chains – as when it comes to chains, with Franco Manca, Hache and Chicken Shop, Balham usually go for the best!
Thanks to being in the middle of Clapham, Wandsworth and Tooting commons, Balham is also a relatively green area of London which makes it popular with families and people with pets.
Transport is also pretty good. The Overground can take you to Victoria in just 14 minutes and it’s connected to the underground by the Northern Line.
SW2 Brixton, South London
Brixton is one of our favourite places in London. Situated in the London borough of Lambeth, this long been one of London’s coolest places to live. Living in Brixton is almost an institution, with plenty of families, young professionals and hipsters who wouldn’t consider living anywhere else. At the famous Brixton market, as well as the famous selection of vintage fashion, the multicultural vibe of the area makes itself known with a variety of amazingly tasty street food and produce that take a nod to the Caribbean roots of the area.
Music lovers will appreciate famous venues such as the O2 Academy Brixton and the festival-like, Hootananny – showing a variety of rock gigs, reggae and electro swing as well as the many thriving thriving pubs and bars in the area.
Transport links are amazing, with loads of busses, trains and tubes to connect you with anywhere else in London. Brixton is connected to the tube by the Victoria Line, running from Walthamstow in North East London and passing through many popular stops on the way including Kings Cross, Euston, Oxford Circus and Victoria.
W4 Chiswick, West London
Close to West Kensington and Hammersmith, Chiswick feels like a small village, with most of its shops, restaurants, bars and cafes sitting along its main arterial Chiswick High Road.
It’s known as a fairly affluent district, with trees lining many of the residential streets and mainly low rise buildings. Walk along the Thameside Strand-on-the Green and admire the 18th century Georgian buildings or visit Chiswick House and enjoy a picnic in the huge, manicured gardens (which recently benefited from a £12.1 million restoration project).
It’s easy to escape London from here as the A4 and M4 both run through it, so if you fancy a weekend away, you don’t have to drive through city traffic to get away. Heathrow takes around 20 minutes to get to.
Transport links are good, with two tube stations including Chiswick Park on the District Line (Zone 3) and Turnham Green (Zone 2 / 3 border) for the District and Piccadilly Lines. You can get to Victoria in 22 minutes from Chiswick Park and it’s just 30 minutes to King’s Cross from Turnham Green.
Overground train services go from Chiswick station to Waterloo in less than half an hour and to Victoria in 31 minutes via Clapham Junction.
W11 Notting Hill, West London
Notting Hill is situated in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is one of London’s most expensive areas to live and rent, next to Chelsea and Knightsbridge.
The area is popular with fashion designers and musicians. In fact, it’s hard not to spot someone famous at least once a day when you live in Notting Hill.
Portobello Road hosts one of London’s most iconic markets where you can find anything from antiques and jewellery to vintage cut-off Levi jeans. The yearly event of Notting Hill Carnival, started by Notting Hill’s vital Afro Caribbean community, now brings people from all over the world to watch the iconic samba floats and to join in the dance through the streets. This yearly event reminds us how rich and full of culture this area of London is.
Notting Hill has great transport links, with the Circle, District and Central line accessible from Notting Hill Gate tube station. Oxford Circus and Oxford Street are around just 8 minutes away and Westminster around 12 minutes. Hammersmith and Baker Street are both under 10 minutes away making it easy to get to Paddington with just one stop from Baker Street.
E8 Hackney Central/Dalston, East London
These areas of east London are still two of the most popular places to live despite having been touted as two of the coolest places in London regularly for the last ten years, (which in normal circumstances would be enough to put anyone off). Despite constantly rising prices, this is still one of London’s trademark hipster areas. Here you’ll find everything from graffiti tours and cult art book and magazine shops, the famous Broadway Market, to trendy cafes and restaurants full of young professionals
Although there’s no tube stops, Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland have overground links and there’s also a rail station at Hackney Central and Hackney Downs (with frequent departures to Liverpool Street), all in Zone 2.
NW5 Kentish Town, North London
Kentish town, sitting just to the north of Camden, north London, is really popular for lots of reasons. As well as being in walkable distance to Hampstead Heath and other north London treasures, the great transport links and attractive period architecture mean that attract all kinds of people to live in the area. Many students from Central St Martins have made this their home, as well as families who want to live close to the Heath as well as benefit from some of the good schools in the area.
This popularity has been good and bad for Kentish town. Rising rents have been an issue for local shops, but locals are adamant about keeping their high street as independent as possible.
There are countless great restaurants, cocktail bars and eateries in the area too, which makes it the perfect middle ground between quiet Hampstead and bustling Camden.
Kentish Town is in zone 2 and transport links include the Northern Line (which takes just 14 minutes to reach Leicester Square and 14 to Waterloo), Thameslink and National Rail as well as the overground. Trains link to St Pancras and Farringdon as well as Luton and Surrey.