Where To Live In London
Where to live in London? Gravity has created a full guide on the best places to live.
London is full of distinctive and vibrant neighbourhoods which all differ in cost, vibe and amenities. We will answer your questions about where to live in London, if you should commute and other things to consider before you move.
Should I live or commute to London?
Is it cheaper to live in London or commute? That's a difficult one. London has lots to offer as a place to live, although you may be thinking of saving money living elsewhere and commuting in. Always check the price difference this will make, quite often long commutes on trains five days a week can not only take its toll on your bank account but is exhausting. You can use trainline to see how much the commute would cost you. You can compare your commuting costs and living costs to the price to live in London. One thing to also consider is your ability to make friends in the city. If you are starting a new job, quite often there are a lot of social activities happening. By living out of the city, you can be restricted by train times, limiting your ability to connect with other employees. London as a city has a lot to offer and there is always activities and things to do that you would miss out on if you are not living here. However, if you enjoy your current set-up and prefer to live outside of the city, it could be a great option to commute to work. Speak to your hiring manager and see if flexible working is an option, this would mean you don't have to do long commutes every day into the office, instead only coming in a couple of days a week.
Things to think about when you are choosing where to live in London:
What's your budget?
On average people in London spend at least 30% of the median pre-tax pay on rent. Start by calculating how much your salary will bring in each month and then research the cost of living in London, so you understand how much will be spent on bills, utilities, going out and shopping.
Where are you working?
If you are working in London looking for where to live, it's a good idea to work out what areas of London you could live in without long commutes to work. You don't want to spend all your time in the city, travelling to work. You can use citymapper by adding in your work address, then adding in your favourite places in London to see which would work best for you. The average commute in London is around 30-45 minutes. Anything under an hour is ok but longer than that - it can become exhausting to waste two hours+ each day travelling.
What are you into?
Areas of London are very different, and depending on what stage of your life you are in, you may want to think about this before choosing where to live in London. Do you like nightlife? Shops? Great places to walk? Brunch spots? Gyms and fitness opportunities? Quite often, by selecting a neighbourhood well matched to your personality, you will find it easier to find friends with likeminded people. There is a neighbourhood in London for everyone. London is well connected to different areas; however, it makes all the difference by having local amenities on your doorstep.
What's it like to live in London?
We spoke to some Londoners about what it's like to live in the city:
"You can never be bored living in London; there are so many people to meet and things to do. It's no wonder why so many people move here."
"I have fallen in love with London; nothing compares to the feeling I get when I'm here. It's a place I very easily felt at home."
"I first came to London for work, and it's so different from where I grew up. I think living in London is great for networking, career opportunities and some fun along the way."
Where can I live and commute if working in London?
We have compiled the top three best affordable places to live and commute to London for work.
St Albans is one of the most popular commuter towns in London. There are nightlife, restaurants and bars right on your doorstep. Are you looking for a commuter town with history? St Albans is a historic market town with medieval buildings, cobbled streets and grand Georgian buildings. St Albans has a vast centuries-old cathedral, Verulamium Park which has ornamental lakes and even a museum.
Transport and Travel Times: City station has regular direct services to London and stops at St Pancras International (18 minutes), Farringdon (25 mins), London Blackfriars (30 minutes), and Gatwick Airport (70 minutes).
Rent: You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for just over £1,000pcm.
Reading is a thriving town with everything you need on your doorstep. Reading is full of activity, things to do and is best known for the annual Reading Festival. Reading is a university town, so there is no shortage of independent and well-loved bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Transport and Travel Times: Be connected with trains, buses and close to major airports. You can get a train from Reading station and arrive at London Paddington station within 30 minutes.
Rent: Average rent in Reading is around £1,091pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Luton is very family-friendly with lots of activities such as a trampoline park, sports village, swimming pools and a discovery centre. There is also a large shopping centre with over 100 shops, restaurants and bars. Luton is also home to the 5th largest airport in the UK.
Transport and Travel Times: Get to London within 35-45 minutes by train arriving at London St Pancras.
Rent: The average rent price in Luton is around £850pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Where to live in London Zone 2 if you don’t want to commute?
We have compiled the ten best places to live in London. We have included a mixture of the most popular areas right now and more affordable neighbourhoods.
Camden is one of the most iconic places in London situated between Kings Cross and Paddington. Camden Town is a bustling North London neighbourhood known for its market and the British punk scene's birthplace. Rich with culture, Camden is an eclectic mix of trendy restaurants and food stalls serving cuisines from all over the world, world-renowned music venues and a thriving art and fashion scene. Head to nearby Primrose Hill to catch some incredible city views and stroll around Regent's Park, home of London Zoo. You can take a walk down the canals to explore London like never before. Take a look at Camden Town or Camden Lock co-living properties in London.
Transport and Travel Times: Connected by the Northern Line, which connects to Kings Cross in 11 minutes, Oxford Circus in 13 minutes and Canary Wharf in 30. Camden Road Overground connects to West and East London. There are plenty of bus connections, and you can walk to Kings Cross in under 25 minutes. Commuting by bike connects you to Kings Cross in less than 10 minutes and Canary Wharf in less than 40 minutes.
Rent: The average rent in Camden is £1,660pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Hackney is an area that is currently seeing huge developments after hosting the Olympic games. Hackney is fashionable, vibrant and diverse - it's everything you think of when you hear about East London. It is a hive for creative talent, and the architecture is a mixture between new builds, 16th-century brick buildings and a more industrial feeling depending on the area within Hackney. It is very popular with young families, affluent couples and working professionals. There are many independent shops, high-quality restaurants, art galleries, venues and unique green spaces. Take a look at Finsbury Park, a co-living property in London within the borough of Hackney.
Transport and Travel Times: There is no Overground at Hackney Central; however, you can get into the city within 20-30 minutes on trains. There are also regular overground trains from Hackney Downs to Liverpool Street. A lot of people cycle in Hackney and safe cycling lanes are connecting you with the city. Commuting by bikes from Hackney will get you to Old Street in less than 15 minutes and Canary Wharf in 20 minutes.
Rent: The average rent is £1,800pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Notting Hill is an extremely famous London area, part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Notting Hill you will find elegant squares and communal gardens. There is an excellent atmosphere with independent cafes and the well-known Portobello Road. Notting Hill is also home to the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival which happens every summer.
Transport and Travel Times: Notting Hill Gate (Zone1/2) Central, District & Circle lines. Ladbroke Grove (Zone 2) Hammersmith & City line, Holland Park (Zone 2) Central line and Westbourne Park Station (Zone 2) Circle, Hammersmith & City lines. The Central line gives direct access to Bond Street and on to the City of London. Head to Shepherd's Bush for the Overground station that runs to Richmond, Clapham Junction and Stratford to the east. Commuting by bikes from Notting Hill will get you into central London in less than 30 minutes.
Rent: The average rent is £1,915pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Hampstead is one of London's most aspirational neighbourhoods, well known for Hampstead Health and the celebrity community living there. Fun fact, Hampstead has more millionaires than any other area in the UK. Hampstead is part of the London Borough of Camden and attracts creatives and artists worldwide. Living in Hampstead can make you feel like you are part of a unique village, a large amount of its attraction. Hampstead health is arguably the best green space in London and a total escape from city life.
Transport and Travel Times: Hampstead (zone 2) is on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, with direct trains to Euston and central London (20 minutes to Oxford Circus). Take the overground trains to Richmond and Stratford from Finchley Road & Frognal and Hampstead Heath. Commuting by bikes from Hampstead will get you into central London in less than 30 minutes.
Rent: The average rent for a one-bed is £1,550pcm.
Islington is home to families, students and those new to London. The borough has vast diversity depending on the area you visit, but always a good food scene, shopping and places to drink. Islington has historic Georgian and Victorian townhouses for Family homes, while new developments towards King's Cross and Finsbury for relocators new to London. One of the most popular assets to Islington is the connection to transport and easy, fast access to the city centre.
Transport and Travel Times: Angel Underground Station (zone 1) is serviced by the Northern Line, travelling directly to Kings Cross St Pancras Station and Euston Station (5 minutes). Highbury & Islington Station (zone 2) is serviced by the Victoria Line, with direct routes to Kings Cross St Pancras, Euston, and Oxford Circus (10 minutes). London Overground Services run from Highbury & Islington, running to Richmond to the West, and Stratford to the East. National Rail Services also run from Highbury & Islington. Commuting by bikes from Islington will get you into central London in less than 23 minutes.
Rent: The average rent for a one-bed is £1,772pcm.
Bermondsey is well known for its young crowd, craft beer mile, nightlife and industrial architecture. Bermondsey has seen colossal regeneration and has become a hotspot for affluent young professionals. Expect to spend your days visiting cute coffee shops, seeing art at the White Cube Gallery, or spend your morning eating street food at Borough Market.
Transport and Travel Times: Bermondsey underground station is on the Jubilee Line with tubes to Waterloo, Westminster and Bond Street in 5, 7 and 11 minutes respectively and eastwards to Canary Wharf in 4 minutes. South Bermondsey train station has direct services to London Bridge in 5 minutes. Commuting by bikes from Bermondsey will get you into central London in less than 23 minutes.
Rent: Average rent price for a one-bed is £1,500pcm.
Ealing is an area with everything you need on your doorstep. You get green spaces (largest being Ealing Common), local amenities, shopping centres and bars. You will find a mixture of independent businesses and household names such as H&M at Ealing Broadway. As the area is a bit further away from central, you can find lovely affordable homes across either Ealing Broadway, Ealing Common, South Ealing and West Ealing. Ealing is well known for Ealing Studios, which produced some of the largest and iconic British cinema classics, including Doctor Who.
Transport and Travel Times: Ealing Broadway has regular services to the West, with trains running to Slough, Reading, Oxford, and beyond. Ealing also gives you access to the District, Circle line and Central line for easy access to the city, 25 minutes to Tottenham Court Road. Commuting by bikes from Ealing will get you into central London in less than 50 minutes.
Rent: The average rent for a one-bed is £1,400pcm.
Clapham consists of Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham South and Clapham Junction. Clapham has a very youthful atmosphere and is full of students and young professionals new to London. There is a massive ex-pat community in Clapham and is very attractive as a place to find your feet in the city. Expect a considerable amount of cafes, bars, restaurants and nightlife. Clapham is also great for green spaces with Clapham Common, a place for everyone to gather in the summer months. Clapham is full of activity with a real hustle and bustle, while still giving you a sense of community. Its no wonder the area is so popular.
Transport and Travel Times: From Clapham Junction station, you can travel to central London within 10 minutes. Clapham High Street Station is on the Overground, with links to Canada Water, Shoreditch and Highbury & Islington. Clapham also has three tube stations on the Northern Line: Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South. You can be in the west end in only 15 minutes, Victoria and Waterloo under 10 minutes and Oxford Circus in 12 minutes. Commuting by bikes will get you into central London in less than 22 minutes.
Rent: Average rent for a one-bed is £1,550pcm.
A local favourite! Brixton, over the past years, has seen massive regeneration. Brixton is a multicultural community and a hotspot for nightlife, music and food in South London. If you are looking for somewhere cool to live with culture and fun things to do, this is the place for you. The best green space is Brockwell Park, home to festivals in the summer such as Cross The Tracks and The Lambeth Country Show with live music and farm animals. Brockwell park also brings visitors due to the Lido, one of the best outdoor pools in the summer months.
Transport and Travel Times: The Victoria line starts at Brixton underground connecting you quickly with the city, 10 minutes to Oxford Circus. Commuting by bikes will get you into central London within 23 minutes.
Rent: Average rent for a one-bed is £1300pcm.
Peckham is another trendy and vibrant multicultural area in south London. Home to creatives and often used with music videos and photoshoots. Peckham is an iconic London destination full of soul. The high street is a mixture of market-style shops and fashionable bars, award-winning restaurants and a strong community sense. Peckham comes alive with Londoners travelling to Franks rooftop bar and then moving to various clubs, bars around Peckham High St. Peckham has been voted as one of the coolest places to live and the best night outs you can get in London. If you walk 10 minutes from the High St, you will enter areas such as Nunhead which feels like a small village full of cute cafes and independent art shops. At Bussey building expect art shows, markets and nights out hosted by Boiler Rooms. Peckham Park is home to multiple festivals throughout summer months including GALA festival.
Transport and Travel Times: Both Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham have rail services getting you to London Bridge in less than 10 minutes. They both also have Overground services connecting you to Canada Water towards Dalston and East London. Commuting by bike will get you into central within 26 minutes.
Rent: Average rent for a one-bed is £1,400pcm.
Discover London like never before
At Gravity Co-Living, we create communities for today's mobile professionals. If you are new to London, discover a home gives you an instant network and friends for life. Gravity curates both personal and professional experiences to help you connect with others and grow. We have wellness at our core with regular fitness and mindfulness events as well as 24/7 mental health support. Moving to London can be stressful, and if you are looking to rent, Gravity has all-inclusive options to save the hassle. Speak to one of our community managers to help you find the best location for you.