10 Best London Neighborhoods for Families
As one of the largest cities in all of Europe, London is, without doubt, one of the most popular destinations for families to live on the entire continent. From its vast multiculturalism and multilingual communities to its endless job opportunities as a global economic powerhouse, there are many reasons why the family-focused flood to the UK capital.
Yet, with so many different areas and neighborhoods in the city of London, it is important to know what you’re getting when you settle in a certain community. Some London neighborhoods are known for their great ex-pat communities, some for their affordable housing, others for their convenient location within the city. All of these make attractive reasons for wanting to settle in London with your family.
Let us take a look a the best neighborhoods in London and see what they can offer in terms of family-friendliness.
Located in the South West of the city, the neighborhood of Richmond is one of Lonon’s most affluent residential areas. Ecompanising a village-in-a-city environment, Richmond is surrounded by two of London’s greenest areas, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park. This greenness is only heightened by the fantastic views of the River Thames, adding to the tranquility of the area.
The affluence and green calm both make Richmond an attractive location to settle with a family. This family-friendliness has done nothing to take away Richmond’s London-centric reputation, and the neighborhood is only a half-hour journey from the center of the capital. With one of the lowest crime rates in the city, Richmond is inarguably a favorite amongst families, both young and old.
2. Maida Vale / St John's Wood
Full of wide streets, quiet roads, and elegantly designed Victorian buildings, the Maida Vale/St John’s Wood area of London is another favorite amongst families looking to settle in the capital. The gently flowing canal gives this area of central London a far more relaxed and charming feel, perfect for city walks with the family and the reason this neighborhood is known as the ‘Little Venice’ of London.
The leafy green and attractive atmosphere of the Maida Vale area of London may not be the cheapest of places to live, but the calmness and slower pace of community life is worth every penny. The numerous independent outlets also give this area of London its own unique image and feel, only adding to its popularity.
Another of London’s leafy and affluent neighborhoods, Chiswick, lies to the west of the city center and has an almost village feel to the area. Famed for its quiet streets, its relativity low crime rate, and its myriad of independent and boutique stores, Chiswick is ideal for those seeking a family-friendly neighborhood away from the city center. There is also a selection of high-performing schools in the area, making it a great choice for families with children of school age.
This combination of a quiet neighborhood with a low crime rate and a range of successful schools makes Chiswick a large contender when it comes to family-friendly neighborhoods in the UK capital. Only a few miles west of the City of London, Chiswick also provides a neighborhood that is both village-esque and close to the city center.
4. Stoke Newington
A surprisingly open and green space for London’s east end, Stoke Newington’s reputation has grown exponentially over the past few decades, resulting in a rise in its popularity. A mixture of red brick Victorian and Georgian four-bedroom houses blend seamlessly with apartment buildings of all sizes, making this appealing to all kinds of families, no matter their size. An array of parklands also call Stoke Newington home, parks such as Abney Park and Clissold Park provide acres of green space in a city overrun by highrises and cityscapes.
Apart from its residents and green spaces, Stoke Newington’s selection of restaurants, bakeries, and nighttime bars, all of which add to the neighborhood’s lively and fun-loving reputation. This balance of energy and family-centric attributes makes Stoke Newington an appealing neighborhood for a whole range of people.
One of London’s most famous neighborhoods, Hampstead encapsulates everything you could want from a family-friendly neighborhood in the heart of the city. With the huge Hampstead Heath taking a vast area of the neighborhood, you could easily forget you are in one of Europe’s most built-up cities. This heath offers plenty of space for dog walking, exercise, or simply to get some much needed fresh air in the city.
Home to few A-list celebs, Hampstead’s appeal is felt by a huge range of people and it is easy to see why. From the green open-air spaces and luxurious homes to the multiple good schools and retail options found locally, there is so much to like about this North London neighborhood.
6. Notting Hill
Gaining catapulting fame from the famous ‘90s film of the same name and the internationally loved carnival, the West London neighborhood of Notting Hill has much to love about it before you decide to call it home. The tree-lined streets and multiple green squares all give Notting Hill an air of openness and an array of green textures that make a living here a pleasant experience. Notting Hill housing is a broad mixture of colorful homes, terraced buildings, and apartments.
The Notting Hill area is also home to an eclectic mix of boutique stores, independent shops, bookstores, and handmade shops. This gives the neighborhood a far greater community feel and one that permeates through the area. With restaurants and bars some of the best in the city, the sociable aspect is never too far away when living in Notting Hill.
Often seen as one of the most expensive places to settle in the capital, there is far more to the London neighborhood of Kensington than high-priced retail. Home to a multitude of museums, including the V&A, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum, providing children a huge array of educational locations right on their doorstep. Apart from these, there are also expanses of green spaces such as Holland Park and the famous Kensington Palace gardens, ideal for getting out and into the fresh air.
As you would expect, the schools throughout the Kensington area are of high quality and ranked amongst some of the highest achievers, with The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial RC School and Chelsea Acadamy amongst some of its most notable.
8. Primrose Hill
The neighborhood of Primrose Hill has long been an attractive location for creative professionals, celebrities, and the wealthy. It has also now begun to open up its doors as a prime location for families looking for their own slice of London. Green spaces are easy to come by here, especially the hill that gives the area its name. Primrose Hill provides stunning, uninterrupted views of the city from one of its highest points. Boarding The Regent’s Park and the London Zoo, the green attractions to the Primrose Hill area continue.
The Primrose Hill community Libary offers a range of services to the children of the Primrose Hill neighborhood. These include services include student tutoring, a monthly film club, and homework clubs. Primrose Hill has a feeling of pleasant disconnection from the hustle and bustle of London’s city center, creating a neighborhood of relative peace and quiet.
Lying on the south bank of the Thames, the area of Battersea has become one of the city’s new favorite neighborhood in which to live. Just over the river from London’s affluent Kensington and Chelsea, Battersea mimics the affluence of London’s west end, without all of the obvious financial hangups. There are also an array of picturesque green spaces such as the huge 200 acres of Battersea Park to soak up the London sun, home to a boating lake, children’s zoo and playgrounds, bandstands, an art gallery, and cafés. If this wasn’t enough, there is also Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common to enjoy.
Housing in Battersea ranges from the high-end townhouses to the more affordable apartments, ideal for younger families just starting out. With the local Clapham Junction in the Battersea area, connections to all over the city are possible at a minute’s notice. Staying a little closer to home will open you up to Battersea’s fantastic local markets and more.
Far out in the West End is the Greater London borough of Hillingdon. Hillingdon grew from the economic boom, born from the local Heathrow Airport. This has transformed Hillingdon into one the largest boroughs in London at the city’s furthest western tip. Among some of the cheapest house prices in London, Hillingdon is an attractive place to settle for young families who still wish to be close to the capital. Apart from the economic points of view, Hillingdon is famed for its multiculturalism, dining experiences, and much more.
Hillingdon is a perfectly balanced area if you wish to have accessibility to the center of London, yet still live within a neighborhood that is practically semi-rural. The sky-rocketed house prices are yet to hit this part of west Greater London, only adding to its family appeal.