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10 Best Neighborhoods in North London

Best Neighborhoods in North London: Your Useful Must-Read Guide

Known for its diversity, cultural richness, and open green spaces, life in North London neighborhoods encapsulates everything that England’s capital city has to offer. From its quiet residential areas that are better suited for those with deeper pockets to its young enclaves that are budget friendly and bustling until the early hours, there really is something for everyone in this part of the Big Smoke. 

 

The sheer diversity on offer in North London can make it difficult to choose where to settle down, which is why we’ve put together this guide on the best places to live in North London. Explore ten different neighborhoods, all of which offer up their own unique peaks and pitfalls, and discover which suits you best of all.

1. Hampstead

Home to the famous Hampstead Heath, this North London neighborhood is a mixture of leafy green parks, grand Georgian townhouses, and independent shopping streets. Its village-esque feel, friendly community, and great transport connections to central London makes it a popular choice for families and young professionals hoping to settle down. 

 

Plus, with five highly-rated schools within close proximity, including Hampstead Hill School, which is regularly rated as one of the best in London, you can guarantee quality education here.

 

When the time comes to relax in Hampstead Heath, there’s no end to the cultural attractions to enjoy. On a rainy day, why not pop into the Freud Museum, Hampstead Theater, or Kenwood House Art Gallery? Alternatively, take advantage of those sunny afternoons with a dip in the bathing ponds in Hampstead Heath.  

 

With all of these idyllic features, it’s no surprise that living in Hampstead does come at a hefty price. In fact, it is considered one of North London’s most expensive neighborhoods, and you’ll regularly spot an A-list celeb out and about at the weekend. Saying that, if you do have the budget to spare, life in Hampstead is incomparable to many other North London neighborhoods, offering a glimpse of suburban life while still being close to the city.

 

North London Neighborhoods: Hampstead Heath

2. Camden

On the other end of the spectrum to Hampstead is the urban, chaotic, and comparably more affordable North London neighborhood of Camden. Made famous for its eclectic live music scene, seeing the likes of Amy Winehouse, Blondie, and Jimi Hendrix, you’ll still find a booming art and culture scene here, noticeably in the 800-capacity Roundhouse or intimate Jazz Club. 

 

Camden’s vibrant streets mean that there is almost always something to do in the area. Its famous Stable Market offers up endless shopping opportunities, from fashion to antiques, while Camden Lock Market is a hub of street food, bars, and cafes. 

 

Housing in Camden is a melting pot of spacious Victorian townhouses, affordable ex-council flats, university accommodations, and shared houses. Its mixture of accommodations, along with its convenient location in Zone 2, makes it a popular choice for students, young professionals, those on a budget, and even families. 

 

What’s more, located on the well-connected Northern Line, as well as the Overground, and with several major bus routes running along its high street, getting around London is a piece of cake. 

 

 

While the center of Camden can be characterized as chaotic, escaping the hustle and bustle is easy when Primrose Hill is just a 15-minute walk away. Embark on a short stroll to the top of the park, stopping for a coffee at one of the many independent cafes, and take in the panoramic views of London.

North London Neighborhoods: Camden

3. Kentish Town

Just around the corner from Camden is its quieter neighbor, Kentish Town. Sitting in the shadows of Camden for decades now, Kentish Town has recently been making headlines for its excellent schools, affordable housing, and lively high street. Continuing with the arts scene, Kentish Town is, too, home to some of London’s most iconic music venues, including the O2 Forum and The Bull and Gate, a famous gigging venue here in London.

 

Peppered along the neighborhood’s one-mile-long high street is a welcomed mixture of Italian delis, traditional English pubs, hip coffee shops, and well-known restaurants. Along with a selection of supermarkets, this varied high street offers everything you could need right on your doorstep. 

 

Sprawling out from the central high street is a maze of streets boasting a mixture of houses, most commonly Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses that are occupied by families or with shared occupancy. Lying under the radar of North London neighborhoods for so long, rent still remains affordable in the area, and you should get more for your money here compared to districts that are close by.

North London Neighborhoods: Kentish Town

4. Primrose Hill

If you’ve heard anything about North London neighborhoods, you most definitely would have come across the name Primrose Hill – if only for the stunning view you get from the area’s namesake park. On an evening, you’ll find friends, couples, and families sitting down to enjoy the city’s skyline over a picnic before moving on to one of the quaint pubs nearby.

 

What many don’t realize is that Primrose Hill actually comprises a small but very affluent area that peters out to the east of the grassy park. Here, picture-perfect streets are lined with grand, white-washed Victoria and Edwardian townhouses, along with a small scattering of modern apartment complexes. As you can imagine, rental prices here are some of the highest in London, due mainly to the quality of life you can enjoy in Primrose Hill.

 

Its quaint high street is one of the only in London that has managed to remain completely independent and avoid any chain coffee shops and restaurants. Every single shop along the street is owned and managed by a local resident, and the same goes for the farmer’s market, which is held in the community center each week. Pick up a range of organic vegetables, fruits, and only the best quality meat for your weekly shop.

North London Neighborhoods: Primrose Hill

5. Belsize Park

If you love the idea of living in a North London neighborhood with leafy streets and grand townhouses but don’t quite have the budget to stretch to the likes of Primrose Hill or Hampstead, Belsize Park might just be the right place for you. It’s actually sandwiched between those two areas, which means you’ll still have access to some of the best neighborhoods in North London. It simply doesn’t have the same green spaces, prestigious schools, or indy high streets directly in its realms; – but that means that rental prices are considerably lower here. 

 

What is in plentiful supply here in Belsize Park is its community spirit. Smaller than its neighbors close by, Belsize boasts a village-type atmosphere where everyone knows everyone, and they look out for each other as though they are family. While shopping along the high street in Belsize Park, otherwise known as England’s Lane, it’s not uncommon to see someone you know, to strike up a friendly conversation with the butcher or stop for a coffee with a neighbor. It’s just that kind of place.

 

Despite its small size, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy on a quiet weekend. From the Everyman cinema to the Arthouse Theatre, the community swimming pool to the chic spa, you don’t need to leave the neighborhood to keep yourself occupied. You’ll also find one of the entrances to Hampstead Heath in Belsize Park.

North London Neighborhoods: Belsize Park

6. Maida Vale

Slightly different from the North London neighborhoods that we’ve explored so far, Maida Vale sprawls along the banks of the idyllic Regent’s Canal and provides the chance for a quiet life while still being within close proximity to central London. Housing options here are vast, home to the classic Victorian and Edwardian houses that are seen across North London as well as modern apartments and new build houses, attracting a diverse range of people to the local community.

 

One of the major pulls to Maida Vale and the reason why it is one of the best places to live in North London is its many green spaces. As well as strolls along Regent’s Canal, Little Venice is just a hop, skip, and a jump away and offers up the chance to explore many of London’s waterways. 

 

When it comes to amenities, Maida Vale doesn’t disappoint. Harboring a mixture of independent eateries, including the much-loved Maida Vale Pub, as well as supermarkets, there’s everything you could need right on your doorstep. And, for when you do feel like venturing outside of your neighborhood, the Bakerloo Line connects you to Charing Cross, where you can find connections to almost every corner of the capital.

 

North London Neighborhoods: Maida Vale

7. St John’s Wood

St Johns Wood is widely regarded as one of the best neighborhoods in North London due to its combination of high-end amenities, excellent transport links, and stunning properties. Similar to Primrose Hill, this North London neighborhood is known for its grand Victorian and Edwardian houses, many of which have been converted into stylish apartments. This has made it a popular choice to settle for both high-net-worth individuals and families.

 

One of the key attractions of St Johns Wood is its proximity to the expansive Regent’s Park, which offers a range of recreational facilities, including tennis courts, sports fields, and boating lakes. The park also boasts a healthy schedule of events throughout the year, including many open-air theatre performances and the popular Taste of London food festival that stretches across five days each summer. 

 

Back in the confines of the neighborhood, you’ll find St Johns Wood High Street is where all of the action happens. Though small, it packs a punch with a range of high-end shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The entrance to the nearest tube station – also called St John’s Wood – is also found along the high street, connecting locals to other parts of London via the Jubilee Line.

 

Families will be glad to hear that St Johns Wood is renowned for its excellent schools, both private and state-funded. Overall, with its combination of luxury properties, green spaces, and high-end amenities, St Johns Wood is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in North London.

North London Neighborhoods: St Johns Wood

8. Crouch End

Like many North London neighborhoods, Crouch End offers a high quality of life, with a unique blend of independent shops, green spaces, and community spirit. Over the last decade, it has really come into its own, and the neighborhood’s popularity continues to grow as more people seek a vibrant and diverse area that offers easy access to the city.

 

Centered around Broadway and its prominent 19th-century Clock Tower, you’ll find a mixture of artisan bakeries, independently-owned boutiques, and antique stores along the high street, together with The Arthouse – a locally owned cinema that has a varied schedule of old favorites and new blockbuster films. For those who prefer to spend their time outdoors, Crouch End Playing Fields is open for community use and features football pitches and small formal gardens. The picture-perfect Alexandra Park is also just a 15-minute walk north of this North London neighborhood. 

 

With a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities, it’s no wonder that Crouch End has become a popular choice for families. Add to this a range of excellent schools, both private and public, as well as affordable housing and strong links to the city center, and we have a great contender for one of the best places to live in North London.

North London Neighborhoods: Crouch End

9. Islington

With its unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, Islington can be considered as one of the best neighborhoods in North London. Known for its elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses, as well as its vibrant nightlife, independent shops, and excellent restaurants, Islington offers residents a taste of all sides of life.

 

This North London neighborhood also boasts several major attractions, including the iconic Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club, and the renowned Sadler’s Wells Theater, which hosts a range of international dance performances throughout the year. The neighborhood is also home to several cinemas, including the historic Screen on the Green, which dates back to 1913.

 

In addition to its cultural and recreational offerings, Islington has excellent transport links, with several Underground stations providing easy access to other parts of London. The neighborhood also has a strong sense of community, with numerous local events and festivals, including the popular Angel Canal Festival.

North London Neighborhoods: Golders Green

10. Golders Green

Golders Green is a sought-after neighborhood in North London, known for its strong sense of community, green spaces, and excellent transport links. The neighborhood boasts a diverse population, with a large Jewish community, making it a hub for kosher food and cultural events.

 

One of the many reasons why Golder’s Green is so popular is because it is home to several parks, including the expansive Golders Hill Park, which features a butterfly house, zoo, and ornamental gardens. The neighborhood is also a top destination for shoppers, with a range of independent boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.

 

Another of the key attractions of Golders Green is its excellent transport links, with the Northern Line providing easy access to central London and several bus routes connecting the neighborhood to other parts of the city. The neighborhood is also well-served by local amenities, including several schools, community centers, and sports facilities.

 

Overall, Golders Green offers a high quality of life, with a strong community spirit, green spaces, and excellent transport links, making it one of the best places to live in North London. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly neighborhood or a vibrant cultural hub, Golders Green has something to offer.

A lovely neighborhood street in Cambridge

Final Thoughts on North London Neighborhoods

Choosing the best North London neighborhood for your wants and needs isn’t always an easy task. After all, there will be factors, including your budget, transport connections, and proximity to work, to think about. However, the good news is that when you base yourself in any of these ten neighborhoods, you’ll be just a quick bus or tube ride away from the others, so you can enjoy all of the sights and sounds of North London no matter where you choose to base yourself.

 

To know more about London, read our articles on London’s best neighborhoods, London’s richest neighborhoods and family-friendly neighborhoods in London.

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