London is such a huge city and it doesn’t matter, whether you’re coming here for a week or for 10+ years, it’s important to know, where is it best to live in London. In this post, we’ll discuss the best areas to live in London – 15+ amazing family-friendly districts that are loved by many Londoners!
I know this topic is a bit controversial and everybody has their own opinion of the best and worst districts to live in London. It’s very subjective, as everybody is different. So this list of the best family-friendly districts in London is my personal opinion based on my experience pretty much all the districts in London, living in 5 areas and having friends in 10+ areas of London.
Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:
Who is this post for?
Before moving to London, I was trying to research the best and worst places in London and didn’t find much real information. Most of the posts about the best places to live in London were written by letting agents promoting districts, where they had properties or property developers trying to sell their apartments for more money. The same people were sponsoring articles in blogs and newspapers to boost public opinion on places that historically weren’t very desirable (and still aren’t desirable or very safe these days either).
Having lived in London for almost 4 years now (I have lived in 5 different areas: Greenwich, Isle of Dogs (Crossharbour), Elephant & Castle, East Finchley and Southgate) and having done countless vlogs and area guides in other parts of London, I feel like I have gained enough knowledge to share with you my top of the best family-friendly areas to live in London.
So who is this post for? For anyone moving to London or looking for another district to live in London that is safe, good looking and has a nice community. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this top districts to live in London is only suitable for families with kids: it’s for everyone who values safety, quiet life, nice architecture and lovely brunch spots / bakeries / cafes nearby. I know that everybody has a different budget, so I tried to include great places to live in London for any budget.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the best family-friendly zones in London!
Best Areas To Live In London: 15+ Amazing Family Friendly Districts
My absolute favourite: Chiswick
If a person I don’t know asks me about a place in London I would recommend, I always name Chiswick. Chiswick is a great place for all. Located in the zones 2 & 3 of London (Chiswick, Chiswick Park, Turnham Green, Gunnersbury), it has areas suitable for all budgets. Chiswick is very photogenic, has a stunning park (and a few other gardens), a lot of good coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants, quite a few shops on a high street (you don’t need to go to the city centre almost at all) and also some excellent schools in case you have kids.
The only downside (for me): if you work in an office and your workplace is located in Central London (think Soho) or in North London, getting to work might be a little problematic.
Another amazing family-friendly area to live in London is Muswell Hill. Muswell Hill is a leafy district located between East Finchley, Highgate and Wood Green, right next to the famous Alexandra Palace and Park. Muswell Hill doesn’t have a tube station nearby and that’s its only downside. However, it’s very safe and has amazing and friendly community. It has an incredible amount of green spaces nearby, from Alexandra Palace to Coldfall Wood and Highgate Wood to other parks and forests. It’s well connected to Central London via buses as well. There are plenty of nice restaurants, small delis and lovely coffee shops. If you’re interested in reading a bit more about Muswell Hill, I have a separate post about Muswell Hill area guide here.
Hampstead is one of the nicest and poshest areas to live in London. Located in Zone 2, away from Central London (yet, just 50 minutes walking to it), Hampstead resembles a wealthy village. Owning a house in Hampstead will make you a millionaire and renting a nice 1-bedroom flat would be at least £1800-1900 pounds a month (plus a huge council tax and bills). So living in Hampstead is not cheap. However, if you have that money to spend on an apartment or a house and you’re fine using the Northern Line, you will love living in Hampstead!
If you have kids and looking for one of the best areas to live in London for families, then High Barnet is a great option. High Barnet has some of the best state schools in London (and the entire England), if I remember correctly, it has 2 outstanding free schools. Despite being a bit far away from the city centre; if you live close to the tube station, you will be able to commute to Central London within a reasonable time.
High Barnet has a few nice restaurants including my favourite L’Antica Pizzeria, fresh air, a lot of nice walks nearby (Dollis Brook walk, for example), beautiful architecture (including a few historic buildings) and a proper countryside feel!
Notting Hill / Holland Park
Owning one of the pretty colourful houses in Nothing Hill is a dream of pretty much every single young Londoner. Notting Hill is a fabulous vibrant and beautiful area of London, which transforms into a huge antique & food market on Portobello Rd on Sunday. Notting Hill probably has the biggest concentration of brunch places on a square km in London! However, as you can imagine, Notting Hill is expensive! Usually, people who live there, also have funds to send their kids to public and private schools!
The Isle of Dogs: Island Gardens / Mudchute area
The Isle of Dogs has some sketchy bits, but the area around Island Gardens & Mudchute is pretty nice. If you always wanted to live in a stylish loft or an ex-warehouse, the Isle of Dogs is your best bet. Moreover, it’s not so expensive! While the places to eat out are generally limited there, you can either walk to Canary Wharf or cross the tunnel under Thames to go to Greeenwich. This area is especially suitable for those, who have a job in Canary Wharf!
Greenwich is another area in London that is very popular among families: it has an amazing park, a lot of museums, great food & artisan market (Greenwich Market) and a lot of small shops and delis. While houses in Greenwich are somewhat expensive (especially around the park), there are quite a few affordable apartments in the new builds around Greenwich.
Don’t confuse Greenwich (Cutty Sark & Maze Hill area) with North Greenwich. I’m not the biggest fan of North Greenwich (it needs a few years to have more infrastructure), but I love the “Old” Greenwich!
East Dulwich / Dulwich Village
East Dulwich is actually bordering with Peckham, however, the difference between these two places is massive. Dulwich Village is such an amazing place with cute houses, a huge park and a feeling of living in a real village. By the way, Tom Cruise used to have a mansion in Dulwich Village!
Again, the only downside is that Dulwich is served by overground. If you work in West London or in North London, it might not be an option for you!
Balham is just south to the trendiest and most hipster part of London (the Clapham), however, it’s much quieter and more family-oriented, especially if you are going to be based between Balham and Wandsworth. Balham has a nice mix of families and young professionals, so you won’t get bored! There are a few brunch spots and as the area is getting increasingly popular, there are plenty of things to do! Wandsworth Common is the biggest park in the area and you can always see a lot of families there.
At some point in my life, I didn’t want to look for apartments further than zone 2, and oh, how wrong I was! When we moved to East Finchley, we loved it. Even though it’s in zone 3, getting to Central London takes about 30 minutes. You have two branches of the Northern line to choose: one goes via Bank and another one covers all the central London – e.g. Leicester Square, Charing Cross etc. East Finchley also has plenty of local restaurants and fabulous Muswell Hill is located just 15 minutes walking away. I also wrote a thorough review of living in East Finchley in case you’re interested. East Finchley has good schools, a great supportive community and a lot of green spaces nearby (including quite a few free tennis courts).
Ealing Common / Broadway
Another of the great quiet areas to live in London is Ealing Common / Ealing Broadway. Located in zone 3, it has access to District line, Piccadilly Lane (Ealing Common only) and Central Line (only Ealing Broadway). Crossrail is also coming to Ealing Broadway so in terms of connectivity, it’s really a great place to be. The prices for houses and apartments aren’t as high as in neighbouring Chiswick (which is great as well). Ealing is pretty, has a lot of shops and restaurants and a few green spaces as well!
Fulham Broadway and Parsons Green
Fulham Broadway and Parsons Green are two other amazing areas to live in London that are family-friendly, pretty and have a great feel! Fulham Broadway is located just steps away from the opulent Chelsea, but is significantly more affordable than its famous neighbour. Parsons Green is even further away, but it’s still an amazing place to live. There are plenty of delis, little coffee shops and small parks nearby and the area is very pretty as well!
Another area that I really like and would definitely recommend is Queen’s Park. Queen’s Park is located on the Bakerloo line, Zone 2 of London and it has the most families I’ve ever seen! I went there on a quiet Sunday morning and everybody seemed to have kids. If you have kids as well and would like to meet other parents with young kids, this is the place to be. There are also a few parks, good schools and a lot of bakeries nearby. Queen’s Park is also located very close to Central London, you can easily walk there if you want.
If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of Central London, yet be able to reach it in 30 minutes by train, Winchmore Hill is a great place to be. Located in North London, zone 4, Winchmore Hill is posh, yet not too pricy. It has access to great parks and gardens, a few nice cafes and coffee shops and a medium-sized Waitrose nearby (if that’s what you’re looking for). As we live nearby (in Southgate), we often come to Winchmore Hill for a walk or for a coffee.
Southgate is another one of the good areas to live in London for families. Out of all the places mentioned, Southgate is probably the most affordable (it’s in zone 4 as well) It’s a family-friendly area, where you can still buy a two or three-bedroom house for £525-550,000. There are a few good schools nearby and there is a healthy mix of families and older couples living in the areas. There aren’t so many young professionals living in Southgate (sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones), however, maybe it will change in the future. There are also quite a few nice coffee places around: Claud W. Dennis and Delisino to name a few and a lot of great Greek and Turkish restaurants nearby.
We bought our first home in Southgate! Here’s a post about our experience buying a house in case you’re interested.
Richmond is another one of my favourite areas to live in London. Richmond is a champion when it comes to green spaces – Richmond park is just enormous! Apart from that, you have Thames as well. Richmond is very pretty and it almost feels like another city (as if you weren’t in London anymore).
Finally, the last, but DEFINITELY not the least is Wimbledon. Wimbledon has two different areas: more affordable South Wimbledon and Wimbledon Park / Common. The area around the Wimbledon village is the most expensive – a lot of celebrities have their houses there. However, there are other parts of Wimbledon that aren’t as pricy, yet, you have access to Wimbledon village and a lot of restaurants and shops near the tube station.
Summary of the best areas to live in London for families & couples: 15+ best and quiet districts to live in London
I hope you found some new ideas about the best areas to live in London for families and couples who are looking for a quiet and safe district in London with a lot of green spaces and nice delis / cafes nearby. Here are some other posts that you might find useful:
Moving to the UK? Read this post to find out what do you need to do in the first weeks!
Also, here’s my post about the cost of living in London: how much do you actually need to have a decent life in London. In this post, I actually compare 4 salaries and explain what you can afford for minimum wage, 20K, 40K and 70K in London.
Also, if you just moved to London (or moving soon) and searching where to buy affordable furniture, I bought some of my furniture HERE (the quality is okay and the same-day delivery is perfect).
Read my post about the worst districts to live in London as well (in case you’re interested)
Interested in home renovations? Here’s how much it costs to renovate a bathroom in London