London’s a big old place, so choosing where to rent your home can often seem somewhat of a challenge at first – but thankfully, if you jot down a few personal priorities, it then becomes much easier to narrow down your perfect area.
So with that in mind, here are, in our opinion, the 10 best places to rent in London – according to your likes, budget, and lifestyle choices.
1. The best places for young professionals
Young professionals have a great choice of ideal London areas. You’ll be looking for areas with fast transport links into the centre of town, making the daily commute as little of a trudge as possible.
Areas to consider could include Shoreditch (in the East End) and the borough of Hackney. Here, city bankers rub shoulders with those in the fashion trade, entrepreneurs vie for space with media types…
This lends itself to a wonderful mix of people – and it’s within zone 2 of the London Underground, making the trip to wherever you may work a short and easy one.
2. The best places for those on a budget
Renting in London is expensive – and no one’s going to try to kid you otherwise. However, by choosing to live in areas that are more “up and coming,” rather than already well known, it really is possible to find a place at a much more affordable price than some of the uber-expensive areas.
According to London Property Watch, the cheapest places to rent in London as of October 2015 include Mill Hill, Willsden, Streatham, West Wimbledon, and Blackheath. These are all nice areas, each with good links into the centre of town via the tube and London Buses.
3. The best places for foodies
London is a mecca for food lovers. The eclectic mix of nationalities and cultures means that it’s possible to eat authentic food from literally anywhere in the world you can think of.
And of course, you’ll also want a good choice of food shops to purchase ingredients to create your own dishes.
Richmond on Thames and neighbouring Kew definitely hit the spot on both aspects. For meat lovers, Gaucho offers a riverside view as you chow down on delightful Argentinian steaks.
If you like French food, then Chez Lindsay offers traditional Breton Cuisine. The Glasshouse at Kew is a Michelin Starred restaurant, and for the best sushi for miles around, try Matsuba for mouthwatering delicacies.
4. The best places for dog owners
For those with a canine member of the family, having nice open spaces close by for your pooch to stretch his legs is a must.
Stoke Newington, in North East London, is a great option thanks to a large number of parks within easy walking distance. Plus it’s an easy tube ride into the centre of town for work…
Clissold Park and Abney Park (an overgrown cemetery and local nature reserve), provide you with easy access during the working week for good walks. And at the weekend, you can head to the 115 acres that make up the Green Flag Award winning Finsbury Park about 2 miles away.
5. The best places for students
Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a place close by your uni, then criteria such as price and transport links are going to be high on the priority list.
And naturally, you’re going to want to be close to some storming nightlife…
According to Rentonomy, the top place in London for students to live is Woolwich, thanks to relatively low rental prices and good transport into the centre of time.
Deptford, Leytonstone, Stratford and Streatham all score well too, with Wembley Park and Greenwich snapping closely at their heels.
6. The best places for expats
Many expats tend to migrate to where fellow country folk live – after all, sometimes you can’t beat a bit of conversation from home.
Aussies can be found in areas such as Shepherd’s Bush and Earl’s court, lots of Kiwis live in Acton and Fulham, and many from South Africa favour areas in South West London.
US expats tend to live anywhere and everywhere in the city, although the American School in London is in St. John’s Wood, so this is a draw for many.
7. The best places when money’s no object
If you come into this category, then lucky, lucky you…
You’ve got some amazing places to choose from. Kensington and Chelsea will probably be at the top of many people’s lists, and if you can afford it, Notting Hill is now one of London’s trendiest areas.
8. The best places for nightlife lovers
London is one of the best places on the city for nightlife, and for many people, Soho and Covent Garden can’t be beaten.
However, if you’re looking for nightlife that’s a bit more “raw,” then be sure to check out Brixton. In addition to some excellent clubs, it’s also home to the O2 Brixton Academy, where some of the best names in music hit the stage on a regular basis.
9. The best places for art and culture buffs
East London has become home to many artistic types, and thanks to this, it’s a wonderful place to mix with the bohemian crowd.
In addition, there are tons of galleries, including the Whitechapel Gallery that runs an amazing event on the first Thursday of every month, where over 150 galleries come to one place to run workshops, exhibitions, and talks.
Shoreditch is a nice area, if a little expensive. Dalston, Shadwell, Hackney Wick, and Hackney Central are also good options, and a little less tough on the pocket.
10. The best places for families
For those with families, you’re actually spoilt for choice for great areas.
West Hampstead is a great option, with Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park on your doorstep. It boasts a low crime rate, good schools, and property prices are reasonable (for London).
In addition, getting into the centre of town is simple, thanks to being in zone 2. Other areas to consider might be Barnet, Muswell Hill, and Wandsworth.
Websites such as Right Move, Zoopla, and Prime Location are a great place to start your property search. You can narrow down your search by area, price, property size, and multiple other aspects as you wish.
Another place to look, and where private landlords often advertise, is Gum Tree. And for those who’re looking to flat share or rent a room, try Easy Room Mate or Spare Room to hook up with others wanting to do the same.