Dwell Well > Moving > What are the Five Best Neighbourhoods to Live in Central London?

What are the Five Best Neighbourhoods to Live in Central London?

London is an amazing place to live. It’s one of the world’s best loved metropolises and a buzzing hive of activity, especially in the centre of town. Did you know that the UK capital occupies just 0.65% of the country’s total land area but is home to around 13% of the population? Pressure on homes in London is high, as are prices. In January 2022, average property prices in London stood at £648,221, according to Zoopla figures.

Choosing the best area to live in Central London is a hard task, no doubt about it. There’s so much on offer, and with a wealth of neighbourhoods, boroughs and districts vying for attention, selecting the best place to live can feel overwhelming. Should you move to Kensington and Chelsea, Mayfair or Marylebone, Highgate or Islington? What are the up-and-coming neighbourhoods that are worth investing in?

To cover all of London’s desirable residential areas would be a mammoth job. We’ve selected five Central London neighbourhoods that we think might pique your interest and offer: 

  • attractive environments in which to live

  • convenient transport within the capital and

  • great lifestyle options.

1. Battersea

Centrally located in the London Borough of Wandsworth just south of the river, Battersea is a great place to buy for commuters and young families alike. The average property price here is £854,019 at the time of writing. Grand Victorian mansion flats along Prince of Wales Drive bordering Battersea Park to the south are particularly coveted.

The famous Battersea Park with a children’s zoo, boating lake, sports pitches and visual arts space provides plenty of green space. The area offers you the best of both worlds: a home in the centre of London with easy access to the West End, the City and beyond, and tranquil outdoor spaces to relax in at the weekend, or with the children.

New to the scene is the long awaited Battersea Power Station redevelopment offering a hub of retail, hospitality and entertainment amenities along with super luxe living. It is enviably situated right on the River Thames and the new underground station on the Northern Line is now open.

2. Bloomsbury

As Central London locations go, Bloomsbury is surely hard to beat. Perfectly placed within walking distance of the Piccadilly, Northern, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City line underground stations, this neighbourhood is as conveniently connected to any part of the capital as it is possible to be – and is set to improve even further with the imminent arrival of Crossrail.

Bloomsbury residents are a mixture of professionals and students who love the proximity to several London University Colleges as well as several museums including the famous British Museum. The area is steeped in British history and literature and is perhaps best known for The Bloomsbury Group of 20th century writers (which included Virginia Woolf).

Visit the quiet leafy squares and discover a wealth of period homes beckoning at prices currently averaging £824,827 according to Rightmove, which is lower than nearby Fitzrovia and Camden slightly further afield.

3. South Chelsea 

If you are looking for an already desirable residential area in Central London that has more growth potential, look no further than SW10 between Chelsea, Fulham and Earls Court. Property prices here have shot up by 36% in the last year, according to recent Rightmove figures. An apartment in South Chelsea will set you back an average of £2,236,813, a terraced home £3,538,977 and a semi-detached house £9,400,000.

Situated just north of the Thames, you’ll find a wide variety of property here including elegant townhouses in The Boltons Conservation Area between Old Brompton Road and the Fulham Road, the Brutalist architecture of the World’s End Estate and new-build homes around Chelsea Creek.

In terms of location, South Chelsea is not only central but has a wealth of local amenities too. What’s more, despite the high level of house prices, it is still a lot more affordable to buy here than in Chelsea proper.

4. Marylebone

In a quiet neighbourhood around the corner from Paddington Station and Euston Station, Marylebone has retained a village atmosphere in a prime Central London location. Take a stroll down quiet residential streets, visit one of the many varied bars, restaurants and cafes in and around Marylebone High Street – and it’s all just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.

It’s a tranquil part of London with a vibe that attracts both young professionals and families. There are grand terraced streets and hidden leafy squares surrounded by original architecture. Many houses have been converted into apartments and offices, but some original properties still remain.

Flats in Marylebone sell for an average of £1,520,791, while terraced houses fetch around £4,557,059. City centre living isn’t cheap, and especially not in London – however property in Marylebone remains better value than nearby Fitzrovia and Mayfair.

5. Victoria

Our final choice of Central London neighbourhood is Victoria SW1W. Demand for property in the streets near Victoria Station has increased by nearly 20% over the last 12 months. Average sale prices hover around the £1.4 million mark, with flats selling for an average of £1,082,965, terraced properties for around £3,205,640 and semi-detached houses for £6,350,000, according to Rightmove.

Interestingly, the ultra convenient location around Victoria is more affordable than some of the more established residential areas in Zone 1. What’s more, this neighbourhood is close to the River Thames, St James’ Park and Green Park, has superb shops, restaurants and leisure facilities – all of which are sure-fire signs that this once forgotten area is set to become a prime Central London postcode very soon.

Once a forgotten area with derelict property and a slightly seedy reputation, in the last 5-10 years Victoria has come on in leaps and bounds as an exciting, emergent place to live in Central London. If you are looking for a residential hub with inspiring modern architecture and plenty to see and do, all located within a stone’s throw of everything the capital has to offer, Victoria may well tick all your boxes.

Image courtesy of rightmove

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