London’s best areas to live
London is one of the world’s most desirable cities – the place where people want to live, work and play. And with transport links improving all the time, there’s plenty of choice on where to settle. Whether you are moving to the capital with your family, or on your own for the first time, we have picked eight of the best areas to live, including Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Regent’s Park, Paddington, Notting Hill and Mayfair. Here is our guide to living near London’s best parks, schools, shops, bars and restaurants, with homes for sale or to let nearby.
Marylebone Area Guide, London W1
Marylebone is a perfect example of urban village living. The district’s unique charm owes much to its history, with treasured Georgian streets and glamorous garden squares now providing homes for pop aristocracy and city slickers.
First-rate retail therapy can be found on Marylebone High Street and Chiltern Street, thanks to shops such as Conran and Cox & Power. For foodies, Moxon Street is a good choice, with La Fromagerie and the Ginger Pig just a debit card apart, while the Chiltern Firehouse is a destination restaurant. Despite its central location, Marylebone is increasingly popular with young families as it offers some of London’s top schools, plus terrific transport links across the capital.
For sale, at £5,150,000 Leasehold, this stunning two-bedroom duplex apartment in Marylebone has a 1,000 sq. ft garden.
Fitzrovia Area Guide, London W1
Home to hipsters and media types, the Sunday Times recently labelled Fitzrovia as the best place to live in London. And it’s easy to see why. With a seductive, Bohemian past, the area retains an achingly cool and artistic vibe. Yet despite being in the thick of things, Fitzrovia remains remarkably quiet and relaxed. With a cleverly cultivated sense of community, this appealing district has plenty of pubs and cafés (try The Larder), plus a tasty selection of high-end restaurants, notably on Charlotte Street. And although it looks like nothing else happens here, theatreland is just a short walk away.
For sale, at £6,995,000 Leasehold, this dazzling three-bedroom penthouse apartment has more than 1,600 Sq. ft of terraces.
Hyde Park Area Guide, London W2
An exclusive district of squares and crescents, colonnades and stucco buildings, Hyde Park Estate offers a unique quality of life in central London. Live here and you can enjoy all the facilities that the park provides, including horse riding, tennis and swimming in the Serpentine. Or join joggers and cyclists, who regularly make the most of London’s largest Royal Park. The luxury retail quarter of Connaught Village is also on the doorstep, offering an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. With a wealth of independent retailers, standout stores here include Lucy Choi footwear and the award-winning bridal designer, Ritva Westenius, both of which can be found on Connaught Street.
For sale, at £6,950,000 Freehold, this five-bedroom Georgian town house is located on a prestigious garden square.
Bayswater Area Guide, London W2
One of London’s most cosmopolitan districts, Bayswater combines handsome streets with glamorous garden squares. Most of these are lined with Victorian stucco terraces, many of which have been divided into desirable apartments. Queensway and Westbourne Grove are the major thoroughfares, each hosting a heady mix of restaurant and retail options. Whiteleys, once a department store, is home to youthful leisure facilities such as the Odeon cinema and a boutique bowling venue, All Star Lanes. It is about to undergo a £1billion refurbishment, dubbed the Harrods of Bays water, Whiteleys redevelopment will house a hotel, luxury flats and seven town houses, along with upmarket shops and restaurants. Bays water also accommodates the Nosh Garden Kitchen. Housed within La Suite West Hotel on Inverness Terrace, this stylish new eatery offers a superfood menu.
For sale, at £730,000 Leasehold, this one-bedroom period conversion is located on the second floor (with lift) of a stunning Georgian town house.
Regent’s Park Area Guide, London NW1
The roads around Regent’s Park are home to a handful of the capital’s most prominent properties. Some are spectacularly large and command prices to match. The extended area reveals an enticing mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian old-builds. Ideal for families, this district offers a superb selection of schools, while the park provides a popular choice of sporting options, including athletics, netball, softball and rounders. Regent’s Park also houses an idyllic Open Air Theatre, the world-famous ZSL London Zoo, and a beautiful boating lake. It is the ideal place to live close to a vast array of world cuisines available in the area.
For rent, at £895 per week, this spacious three-bedroom house is located on a quiet street, walking distance from Baker Street station.
Paddington Area Guide, London W2
Family friendly, with a good selection of schools, leisure facilities and cafés (try KuPP), Paddington offers a combination of traditional London architecture, alongside the new, slick development of the Paddington Basin. Perfectly positioned for the Regent’s Canal and the area that Robert Browning famously dubbed ‘Little Venice’, this is a district where ‘old’ meets ‘new’ to best effect. And with Brunel’s sublime station now providing the quickest connection to London’s Heathrow airport, it is well-positioned for international globetrotters, too. When not busy globetrotting, locals can enjoy outdoor ping-pong and giant chess at Norfolk Square Gardens and Talbot Square Gardens, while big-screen events (sports, film and culture) are also a seasonal draw at Sheldon Square.
For sale, at £2,250,000 Freehold, this charming four-bedroom Grade-II Listed Georgian town house is located on a quiet residential street
Notting Hill, London W10
Famous for its carnival and a Richard Curtis romcom of the same name, Notting Hill has endured a roller-coaster reputation for much of the last century. Now, the area is one of London’s most fashionable, known globally for its attractive, multi-coloured terraces of large Victorian townhouses. It is also renowned for its shops and restaurants (try 108 Garage), especially around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross. Fabulous for families, the area is home to some of London’s most exclusive schools, including Wetherby Prep, where Prince William and Prince Harry began their formal education. Coincidentally, the most notorious Hillbilly of them all, Hugh Grant, attended the same school.
For sale, at £650,000-£2,200,000 Leasehold, these new one, two and three-bedroom apartments all allow access to gorgeous and exclusive gardens.
Mayfair, London W1
Mayfair’s position on the Monopoly board tells you all you need to know. Prime property was never more prestigious, or pricey. Mayfair has not lost its sense of affluence or its social appeal over the years. People have aspired to a home here for generations and, for many, a Mayfair address remains a symbol of success and status, if only by association. After all, Winston Churchill lived here, as did Oscar Wilde and Jimi Hendrix. Property aside, everything else is pretty impressive, too. With some of London’s best bars and restaurants (you won’t beat Hélène Darroze at The Connaught), the world’s leading fashion designers all have an outlet here, too – typically, on or around Bond Street.