Where to live in London?

(48 Posts)
Honest1 Sun 24-Feb-13 16:35:47


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.

Many thanks

I live in Wandsworth, nr WW Town. V good for commuting into London, plenty of nice places to eat/have a drink. Huge green spaces plus a massive shopping centre with cinema etc. It is mixed though. You'll be on a road of £1 million houses then turn a corner and be in a dodgy road. Maybe that's just London though

MrsHowardRoark Sun 24-Feb-13 16:47:01

Have a look at Stoke Newington. Loads going on, flats within your price range, some really pretty parts and although the commute would mainly be by bus or bike it is literally down the road from the City. I used to cycle in 20 minutes.

legalalien Sun 24-Feb-13 16:48:25

Key question, are you buying on a 5 year basis, or are primary school catchments relevant? I say east dulwich or herne hill.

happyAvocado Sun 24-Feb-13 16:52:04

have you got kids, how old ar they?

legalalien Sun 24-Feb-13 16:54:35

I like this one.


legalalien Sun 24-Feb-13 16:54:53
forevergreek Sun 24-Feb-13 16:55:56


islingtongirl Sun 24-Feb-13 17:01:52

I live in Islington (N1) and work in the city and me and OH love it here. Ive lived here for about 4 years, bought a flat back then near Sadlers Wells back in 2008 and late last year sold that and bought just off Essex rd. I really like the housing stock here, nice period terraces if thats the sort of thing you like, decent amount of green space and everything you need on Upper St. Takes 15 mins on bus max for me to get to Monument, and about 35-40 mins if I walk.

islingtongirl Sun 24-Feb-13 17:03:11

Ps am currently pregnant with our first and stayed here with this in mind, good mix of city folk, young people and parents with young kids we have found

Honest1 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:04:32

Thank you for the quick replies.

Nothing is set in stone, but we'd like to live in this place for at least 5 - 10 years. So Primary school catchment is a factor.

I will take a look at Stoke Newington. Any particular streets/post codes to centre a search around?

East Dulwich/Herne Hill. Have a friend who used to live in ED and speaks very highly of it. It was very suburban when I visited. Though that could have been just been the time of day/route I took.

Do not have any kids at the moment.

Southeastdweller Sun 24-Feb-13 17:06:34

Do you both work in the London Bridge area?

Putney. Barnes.

Gigondas Sun 24-Feb-13 17:17:33

Putney or Barnes are nice but I would
Think your budget might be tight for
Anything more than small 3 bed in decent catchment area plus there are issues on primary oversubscription.

Ed is nice but It depends on what you mean as suburban- quite often that goes hand in hand with more young families in the area.

Turniphead1 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:19:09

C End/ S Green great for the City. And S green only 10 min walk to Finsbury Pk tube which is super because has both Vic & Picadilly line. 30min drive to West End or London Bridge.

The part of S Green east of S Green Rd is nice - triangle around ridge road/Stapleton hall rd even nicer and a short walk to C End.

For 600k you wouldn't get a house but you'd get a lovely garden maisonette or large flat.

If you do decide on this area pm me if primary school catchments an issue. There are some dead spots that need to be avoided.


Turniphead1 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:22:26

And obvs you've highlighted the overground into Moorgate which is fab. From either Hornsey or Haringey.

Almost quicker to London bridge is Vic to Euston (not K Cross) and northern line down to L bridge. Due to proximity of platforms.

Putney and Barnes are lovely - but have always been shock as to why people live there for the City. And all the flight noise would drive me demented.

MrsDeVere Sun 24-Feb-13 17:28:31

You could buy the whole of my street on that budget and set up your own little commune. (ok slight exaggeration)
Or build an underground tunnel and connect all the houses in one big circle (I live on a close).

Oh do that! That would be brilliant. We have tubes an overgrounds to Liverpool Street!

The only snag in the plan is that my house is right in the middle so you would have to divert the tunnel a bit..

You could be the couple to make Walthamstow desirable grin

Southwest Sun 24-Feb-13 17:31:51

I'm not sure what you are looking for?

Something that suits you now?

Ie young commuting couple with no kids

or something to grow into?

remember if you have a dc in 3 yrs primary school is 8 yrs off

ghoulelocks Sun 24-Feb-13 17:41:33

In east or north east London with that budget you could have a huge house, or private school fees. Wanstead north Chingford Woodford or Houghton are at least worth looking at.

Mrsdevere, sorry but glad to have moved up the road...

Gigondas Sun 24-Feb-13 17:43:37

Isn't there a very desirable house with a gym next door to you Mrsdev? Maybe op could offer to buy that.

MrsDeVere Sun 24-Feb-13 17:46:29

no need to apologise grin
Wanstead is lovely.
Personally if I had the money I would move inwards. But I am a city girl frew and frew...smile

MrsDeVere Sun 24-Feb-13 17:47:08

I a sure they would flog the gymbalow for 600k OP. Its lovely, honest.

Southeastdweller Sun 24-Feb-13 17:50:09

Just seen that you work in the City.

I would go for Islington for the great transport links, masses of things to do and generally nice atmosphere. I can't recommend specific streets as I never lived there (but have hung around there for years and work nearby) plus it's close to your old haunts in London Bridge. I used to live in Highbury - not as lively as Islington but still quite smart and with two underground stations. Clissold Park is nearby, as is Stokey. My road was off Highbury Park and I lived it. You could get a good two bedroom flat in either areas.

daytoday Sun 24-Feb-13 17:59:26

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.

missismac Sun 24-Feb-13 18:10:53

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.

CelticPromise Sun 24-Feb-13 18:12:57

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.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 24-Feb-13 18:54:04

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.

lalalonglegs Sun 24-Feb-13 19:16:14

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.

HalleLouja Sun 24-Feb-13 19:19:15

Enfield? You can get trains straight into Moorgate or Liverpool Street.

You could buy a nice big house not far from the station and near good schools - though you would need to investigate catchment areas.


or here.

mymatemax Sun 24-Feb-13 19:24:21

What aboout going south of the river?
Blackheath & greenwich are lovely.

lucidlady Sun 24-Feb-13 19:27:55

Yes Blackheath is great, DH works at London Bridge and it's a 12 min train journey.

yummymumtobe Sun 24-Feb-13 19:53:04

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!

TinyDiamond Sun 24-Feb-13 19:58:24

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

ghoulelocks Sun 24-Feb-13 20:56:35

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

Honest1 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:58:13

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 smile

Southeastdweller Sun 24-Feb-13 21:25:04

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.

imip Sun 24-Feb-13 21:51:28

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.

crazyhead Sun 24-Feb-13 22:23:42

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

CelticPromise Mon 25-Feb-13 07:41:05

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.

forevergreek Mon 25-Feb-13 09:50:57

Tbh 600k is a fair bit. You can get a nice 2 bed flat in Kensington with that.

legalalien Mon 25-Feb-13 11:46:15

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. smile

For example www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-37210972.html?premiumA=true

Easy walk to the city or canary wharf.

"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!

fatnfrumpy Tue 26-Feb-13 00:19:50

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!

LittleFrieda Tue 26-Feb-13 13:00:22

West Hampstead. You have tube and the Thameslink train into Farringdon, City Thameslink etc.

spotty26 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:11:50

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...

MooncupGoddess Wed 27-Feb-13 18:11:02

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.

Moknicker Wed 27-Feb-13 18:24:39

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.

Honest1 Sun 03-Mar-13 21:49:53

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!

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