Where to live in London?(48 Posts)
DP and myself have started to look to buy a place in London. Budget is around 600k - Though we can spend a bit more if required. We both need to commute to the city, and are looking for a minimum of 2 bedrooms. We've spent the last 5 years living in and around London Bridge. We love it here, but it seems unrealistic to find a suitable flat. We currently don't have any children, but hopefully this will change in a few years (at least 2/3!).
The problem we're finding is where we'd like to live!
Currently I have few suggestions, but would like opinions on these said areas and any other areas to consider. We are quite commute sensitive and want to stay in "london" but don't want an excessive commute ~30 mins would be ideal.
Crouch End/Stroud Green - Has the overground into Moorgate, though no tube. Only wandered round once and it seemed quite friendly, lots of kids at the park, which I will take as a good sign!
between clapham common and wandsworth common - Seems good for primary schools. Not keen on the northern line commute.
wandsworth town/earlsfield - On the overground network and appears to be quite leafy.
Any suggestions on areas/particular roads would be much appreciated. At this point I'm trying to research many areas, to understand what people think who actually live there.
Took advantage of the nice weather to take a long walk through some of the areas mentioned.
Started off wandering in the roads between Tooting Bec park and Streatham High Road. Interesting mix of houses, high street seemed lively, though a bit rough around the edges.
Herne Hill - the houses were absolutely beautiful. Not something we're after right now (very big, but most importantly out of budget!), but in the future I wouldn't mind living here.
Onto Dulwich Village, again very pretty, much like Herne Hill.
Did manage to get to Dulwich East by zig zagging along the roads near Lordship Lane. Again was very impressed with the area, did sense a community feeling. Appeared the houses/flats were more within budget. Definitely will be going for another visit.
On the whole was very impressed with Herne Hill/Dulwich!
How about Balham/Brixton border? Henry Cavendish School is a good school and for 600k you should be able to get a nice 2 bed flat within the school catchment. My friend lives there and she really loves it.
Clapham South and Balham are the closest train stations so you will be on the dreaded northern line - no getting away from that - although you could try the trains at Balham.
Balham/Clapham great for restaurants, baby friendly and generally great part of london.
Schools in the Nightingale triangle (between the commons) are very good but catchment is tiny and doubt you will get a decent 2 bed for your budget there.
East London - the nicer bits of Bethnal Green/South Hackney/Bow are very convenient for the City (Central, District/Hammermith and City lines, mainline into Liverpool St). Still quite happening and easy to get back from night out in Shoreditch, but greener than London Bridge and you could afford a small house/large flat.
Come to Furzedown between Streatham and Tooting. Gorgeous Victorian houses much cheaper than between the commons but similar styl. Cool restaurants bars etc short bus ride away in Tooting, Balham, Streatham, Wimbledon, clapham...
West Hampstead. You have tube and the Thameslink train into Farringdon, City Thameslink etc.
Brook Green, lovely village feel, poor mans Notting Hill but great vibe. good state and public schools. good tube links to the city from Hammersmith or Shepherds Bush end.
Nr Westfield for great shopping, Nr Thames for good walking and riverside pubs!
"just due to convenience of getting back home after a night out. "
You know, you dont have to go out in the west end!
You can go out in Putney, Barnes, East Sheen, Richmond, Brixton, too you know!
Sounds to me like you're not quite ready for a nappy valley type place yet. What about wapping or limehouse? We moved there from london bridge about 2-3 years before having our first child.
For example www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-37210972.html?premiumA=true
Easy walk to the city or canary wharf.
Tbh 600k is a fair bit. You can get a nice 2 bed flat in Kensington with that.
Do have a look at New Cross/Telegraph Hill. 7 mins to London Bridge, a few nice pubs (and a few student dives) and you'd get a lot for your money, more than you would in say Stokey and you're closer in.
Crouch End is really nice and if you want the sort of life with kids where you get to pop into the pub for a Sunday afternoon drink while they run around with other kids, or go for brunch, it works really well. There is loads to do and good schools.
I associate Stroud Green with being slightly less child orientated but thoroughly nice/better for Finsbury Park. Your budget would get a really nice flat in these areas.
I like East Dulwich and Stoke Newington too - similar vibe to CE in a way. You still get a bit more for your money in south London
Hackney? Perfectly placed while you still have a social life before kids arrive, and then family friendly especially for smaller kids - lots going on, and some great schools.
Herne Hill would be another good choice as it's not too far out (I'm out in a hinterland of the city - zone 4, almost in zone 5 - so I understand what you're saying about the convenience of being close to town after so any years of being in zone 2). It's very family friendly, there's some nice restaurants and bars and you can easily walk to Brixton (another area I used to live in and recommend) and East Dulwich. Brockwell Park is also there.
I also like the nightlife and transport links that Clapham has.
Sorry that I can't comment on schools.
Firstly, thank you for all of the replies. It has been an eye opener. When you live in your own little corner of london its very easy not to know whats on your doorstep!
To answer a few of the questions above:
1) I'm not 100% sure what we want from this place. Unfortunately we'll have to make a decision on what needs are most essentially. Currently we can stagger back from a night out in shoreditch/west end (though this is not a weekly affair!). I'm worried going too far out, that I won't be able to do this. Having said that, with kids on the horizon at some point, its probably better to do a bit of forward thinking, rather than buy a place only to move 4/5 years later.
I appreciate that each area has its advantages/disadvantages, and the thread has been helpful in discovering different areas we hadn't thought of.
2) We would prefer somewhere relatively close to the centre. Just due to convenience of getting back home after a night out.
3) I will investigate Islington, ED, Herne Hill and Stroud Green a bit further. I appreciate they will be different areas to London Bridge. I suppose I'm after a "half way house", somewhere a bit further out, but at the same time has a few decent bars/clubs.
4) I used to live in Greenwich and it was a bit too quiet for me. So I'm not quite ready for Blackheath (yet!).
5) Kennington, have looked at so many places near Kennington Lane. Unfortunately what we've seen hasn't been quite right for us.
Keep the advice coming
Mrsdevere, I must admit despite moving I still occupy the kids strolling up and down the market at the weekend! I've been doing the opposite, bethnal green, leyton, leytonstone, walthamstow, essex....soon I'll be out with rest at the east end by the sea
Stroud green is amazing! And only 5 min walk to finsbury park tube lots of good connections there and fab buses. Finsbury park great for kids and great pubs in the area for you two. I lived there 2005-2007 would move back with my little family in a heartbeat
I have lived in lots of these places! Islington is great but perhaps not so much for families, unless you are v high earner and can afford a house or private schools. Primary schools in islington are notoriously bad. Crouch end is amazing and we loved it. Lots of independent shops but very very pricy now. Buy within the catchment for a good school as the good ones are outstanding but the rest very mixed. I am currently in Wimbledon. Not 'cool' like crouch end which is full of media types but very good for commuting. As with all parts of London, some parts are better than others. There are some parts of Wimbledon I would avoid! Stroud green is very hip and cool shops but a big school issue. By the way, you often have to register for primary between 2-3 yrs old so maybe no such a distant thought!
Yes Blackheath is great, DH works at London Bridge and it's a 12 min train journey.
What aboout going south of the river?
Blackheath & greenwich are lovely.
Primary schools are very good between Clapham and Wandsworth Commons but catchment areas are very small and you will be hard pressed to find anything much beyond a badly converted flat for #600k. From most of the BTC area, it is easier to walk to Clapham Jcn (and get trains into Waterloo) than use Northern Line.
Come to Kennington! We can see Big Ben from our sitting room
if we stand on a chair. Primary schools are OK-ish (better if you are Catholic) but secondary are dire.
New Cross Gate. My sister lives there. Transport is brilliant and fast, and there are some really lovely family friendly roads up Telegraph Hill. Handy for Greenwich too.
I lived for years in Islington (proper - not StokeyN) & then Greenwich. I thank God every day that we moved to East Dulwich when pregnant with PFB (though I took some convincing at the time). Brilliant schools right through to secondary. Brilliant friends, great community (I know everyone who lives in our 50 dwelling street, also check out the thriving & often quoted in the press 'East Dulwich Forum'), lovely housing stock, loads of green space, great transport links (20 mins to LB on the train or scooter - 30 to Waterloo - door to door), great place. Frankly, you'd be mad to live anywhere else if you're planning on having children & want to stay in London (bit of bias creeping in there I admit).
However, maybe don't come here if you're going to look down your nose at us for being "suburban" - at under 4 miles from Big Ben, that won't go down well. Very odd to be looking at Crouch end/Stroud Green/Earlsfield/between the commons, but think that ED is 'suburban' - I don't get that at all?!
Hope you can find whatever it is you're looking for.
Go to Crouch End or Alexandra Palace. Outstanding primaries and 3 very good secondaries. Go for a walk in High gate Woods. Alexandra park and countless small parks.
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