If you’re moving to London with a family, or thoughts of starting a family, then you’ll be wondering where are the best places to live. Schools, levels of crime, open areas in which to play – these are all aspects that need to be taken into consideration when children are involved.
Picking your home neighbourhood is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make when considering your move. And it pays to get it right first time.
So with that in mind, the following are the top seven areas in London that are particularly family friendly.
Dulwich in South London consistently scores highly as a great place to live with children. This delightful region boasts Dulwich Park, consisting of 72 acres of open space with sports facilities, a boating lake and café.
There’s a great choice of both public and private schools to choose from and crime levels are exceptionally low.
Dulwich is in zone 2 of the London transport region, with direct trains to the centre of the city taking around 15 minutes.
The North West region of West Hampstead is also in zone 2, and offers an easy commute into the city centre. Outdoor spaces include Regent’s Park and Hampstead Heath for great weekend days out. It’s a trendy area, with plenty of shops, eateries and facilities to suit every budget.
Schools are well catered for, and once again, the crime level is satisfyingly low. There’s a good mix of people living in this area, including those with young families and young professionals alike. Property prices are slightly lower than others close by (such as Hampstead itself), and you can get a feel of these using sites such as Zoopla and Right Move.
Richmond consistently sits at the top of the safest places in London to live, and really is a delightful area. Located next to the River Thames, there’s never a shortage of places to visit, take a gentle walk or find a super restaurant in which to dine. There’s also the amazing Richmond Park, an area covering 2,360 acres and home to wildlife such as herds of deer. And for lovers of nature, the wonderful Kew Gardens is but a short bus ride away.
Train links into the centre of town are well served by both Richmond Tube Station and Mainline station, making it a good area from which to commute. You’ll be spoilt for choice here regarding schools, and if you’re looking to privately educate your child or children, then there are plenty of top educational establishments to choose from.
The South West borough of Wandsworth is a family friendly area with great facilities. Shopping is well catered for, and Tooting Bec Lido is a fabulous freshwater swimming area to enjoy in the summer. Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common are also close by to get away from urbanization and enjoy picnics in the sun.
Wandworth is the safest borough in inner London when it comes to crime – one thing that is sure to lead many families to make their home in the area.
Schooling is well catered for and commuting into the centre of London is a cinch, taking around 12 minutes to get to London Victoria.
Suburban living doesn’t get much better than Muswell Hill. Close to Alexandra Park, this leafy area is the perfect antidote to city life, and a fabulous place for a summer evening walk. The good amount of open spaces mean that if you have a family dog, there’s no shortage of places where you can exercise him (or her).
There are plenty of good schools in the area, including many excellent private ones that regularly feature in top educational statistics. And as for crime? Well, that’s not something you need worry about here, as the police figures show.
Facilities in and around Muswell hill are superb, with plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes, and each Sunday a great farmer’s market sets up in town. The centre of the London is an easy train ride away, and takes around 20 minutes to get to King’s Cross.
Barnet, in North West London, offers the great advantage of having the rolling greens of Hertfordshire countryside nearby. Whilst not the cheapest place in the world for property, choosing this area for your home provides a safe, highly sought after place to live.
And you won’t be short of things to do, either, with Copthall Leisure Centre for sporting activities, some superb restaurants and more than satisfactory shopping. There are plenty of excellent schools in Barnet as well, that will see your kids though playschool right up to college.
Trains take around 24 minutes to get into the centre of London, so this means no problems in getting to the office.
Last on the list, but certainly not least, is Sutton – an area that is considered one of the most affordable and desirable places for families to live in and around London. Green spaces are well catered for, thanks to the close proximity of the North Downs. Crime figures here are low, especially when you compare them with other neighbourhoods, and it’s an easy commute into the centre of London, taking around 30 minutes.
Shopping is a delight, with every high street store you can think of having a presence, as well as a number of unique boutiques. Schools in the area are considered to be amongst the best in the country, regularly scoring amongst the top in OFSTED reports.