Today I want to bring you my guide to the best places to live in north London for your style. I often get asked where to live in London, and I want to answer that question in this blog post. There are so many north London areas you can choose from, and I’m going to show you where you can move based on your own personal preferences, tastes, work situation, and circumstances. I’ve included an interactive map of the neighborhoods as well.
Best Places to Live in North London
One of the toughest things about picking the best place to live in north London is that there are a lot of great options. London is vast, and the northern part of the city covers an expansive geographical area.
Where to live in the northern part of the UK capital depends on a range of factors. These include your budget, personal style, and commute to the office (if you have one).
Where your friends live is equally important since traveling from one part of London to another can take a long time. One of the best pieces of advice I got when I moved to the UK was to live in an area near people I knew.
North London is a great area to live in because it can be less expensive than central London and it’s well-served by public transport.
Most places are in easy reach of the tube, Overground, or train. Whether it’s your work or a friend’s place, you’ll often have a convenient commute.
Bearing that in mind, my guide to the best places to live in north London aims to offer you a variety of ideas for areas for you to move to.
Whether you’re an expat, young professional, couple, family, student, or something else, there’s a place that’s right for your style, budget, and situation.
This post also has links to my individual blog posts about north London neighborhoods that will give you more information and ideas about each one. Think of this as the highlight reel and those posts as places where you can dig deeper.
After you’ve taken a look, you can decide which part of north London is right for your style and circumstances. If you want to purchase a property, my guide to how to buy a flat in London can help with next steps.
Either way, I hope you find the best places to live in north London for you. If you need more inspiration, my self-guided north London walks will take you through some of the areas on my list.
They’ll show you high streets, side streets, and secret places around north London, and they’ll help you get to know the neighborhoods and their personalities.
Since it was the very first place I lived in London, I’ll start my list of the best places to live in north London with Hampstead. This part of London is a true gem, and it’s still one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city.
The area is known for Hampstead High Street, pretty houses on story-book side streets, tucked-away pubs like The Holly Bush, and green expanses like Hampstead Heath. The combination makes it one of the most village-like places to live in London.
Pros of living in Hampstead include the picture-pretty surroundings, parks and gardens, and the tube station in the heart of the area.
Cons of living in Hampstead include high housing prices, a slightly longer commute into central London, and the lack of a large supermarket for grocery shopping (I ended up getting mine delivered most of the time).
2. Primrose Hill
Next on my list of the best places to live in north London is Primrose Hill. This is one of the nicest neighborhoods in London for its abundance of colorful houses, pretty shops, and canalside charm. There’s a great park, too.
The Regent’s Park Road is one of the best high streets in London, and the view from the top of Primrose Hill itself is worth the walk up it. The neighborhood is brimming with good pubs, restaurants, and cafes, too.
Pros of living in Primrose Hill include the proximity to central London, the Chalk Farm tube station, picturesque streets, fun shops, and green space.
The main con of living in Primrose Hill is that housing prices are high in comparison with other parts of the city.
My guide to the best places to live in north London continues with Highgate. The home of the famous Highgate Cemetery and lots of pretty streets and squares, this village-like area is one of the most beautiful parts of London.
There are loads of green spaces, including Highgate Wood, Waterlow Park, and Hampstead Heath. The shops around the high street have colorful facades, and Holly Village is a true London gem.
Pros of living in Highgate include the tube station, the elegant houses, the views of London, and the parks.
Cons of living in Highgate include high housing prices and a slightly longer commute into central London.
4. Belsize Park
Belsize Park is next on my list of the best places to live in north London. This is where to move if you want a slightly more affordable area than Hampstead without compromising on pretty streets and houses.
Sandwiched between Hampstead and Primrose Hill, Belsize Park is a residential area that’s home to a high street featuring everything from independent restaurants to a branch of London’s beloved Daunt Books.
Belsize Lane also has a cluster of fun shops and cafes, and there are lovely mews to discover around the area.
Pros of living in Belsize Park include the tube station, pretty houses, proximity to Hampstead village, Hampsted Heath, and Primrose Hill, and slightly less expensive housing prices than Hampstead (this is true of nearby South End Green as well).
Cons of living in Belsize Park include the fact that housing prices are still high and you have slightly more of a commute into the city center than you would if you lived in the heart of London.
5. West Hampstead
West Hampstead is another of the best places to live in north London. This area offers a mix of picturesque residential streets and a fun high street.
West End Lane has everything from bookshops to butchers and bakeries, and the neighborhood has some of the best transport links to London airports and international train stations of any place in the UK capital.
Pros of living in West Hampstead include the tube, Overground, and train stations, lovely side streets, an exciting high street, and international travel connections.
Cons of living in West Hampstead include relatively high housing prices for a non-central location and less to do than some other London neighborhoods (but you’re close to Hampstead, which is a bonus).
The neighborhood is also known for its exciting pubs and great nightlife scene. Streets like Parkway are packed with restaurants and cafes, and Camden High Street retains some of the colorful facades and goth clothing shops the area was once known for.
Given its lively atmosphere and the fact that it’s one of the coolest neighborhoods in London, it’s a popular place to live for young professionals.
Pros of living in Camden include the tube station with access to both branches of the Northern line, proximity to central London and Regent’s Park, the nightlife scene, and Regent’s Canal.
Cons of living in Camden include relatively high housing prices and heavy crowds at the market on the weekends.
7. Maida Vale and Little Venice
Next on my list of the best places to live in north London are Maida Vale and Little Venice. These neighboring areas are famous for their canals, but there are beautiful streets and houses to get excited about as well.
Maida Vale and Little Venice are ideal places to live if you like Canal walks in London and being by the water.
They’re residential, too, which means they offer a nice escape from the bustle of the city center without being too far removed from it. This makes them a popular choice for expats.
Pros of living in Maida Vale and Little Venice include the canals, tube stations, local restaurants, shops, and cafes, and proximity to central London.
Cons of living in Maida Vale and Little Venice include the relatively high cost of housing and lack of a single high street.
8. St John’s Wood
Next on my guide to the best places to live in north London is St John’s Wood. This area is known for Lord’s Cricket Ground and The Beatles’ Abbey Road Studios (and the famous zebra crossing outside).
American expat families like it because the American School in London is here, too.
St John’s Wood High Street has lots of shops and cafes along it, and the Saint John’s Wood Church Gardens are peaceful for walks. The area is right by Regent’s Park, too.
Pros of living in St John’s Wood include the high street, tube station, and proximity to central London.
Cons of living in St John’s Wood include the relatively high cost of housing and slightly smaller high street than other areas.
9. Crouch End
Crouch End is another of the best places to live in north London. This neighborhood has a truly local feel, and the shops, restaurants, and pubs around the Crouch End Clock Tower offer a great mix of independent names.
The Broadway is one of the best shopping streets in London. There are bookshops and design-led stores galore here.
Given the area’s elevation, some of the side streets offer great views of London, too.
Pros of living in Crouch End include the good shopping streets, views, and the local feel.
Cons of living in Crouch End include the lack of transport links in the heart of the area (although there are train and Overground stations nearby) and slightly farther distance from central London.
Next on my list of the best places to live in north London is Islington. Along with neighboring Angel, this area is one of the best parts of the UK capital for its long high street, attractive side streets, and fun atmosphere.
Upper Street is lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, and there’s always something to lure me into the market in Camden Passage. Leafy squares abound, there are colorful doors throughout.
Pros of living in Islington include the shops and restaurants on Upper Street, Camden Passage, the tube, train, and Overground stations, and the area’s proximity to central London.
The main con of living in Islington is the relatively high cost of housing in the area.
Next on my guide to the best places to live in north London is Highbury. Just north of Islington, this area is home to the expansive green space of Highbury Fields.
The neighborhood also has a great high street with lots of independent restaurants and shops, and lovely side streets lined with picture-pretty houses.
Pros of living in Highbury include slightly lower housing costs than Islington, the high street, and the good transport links.
The main con of living in Highbury is a slightly farther commute into central London than from some other places.
Next on my list of the best areas to live in north London is Canonbury. This place is just east of Islington and it’s home to attractive houses, hidden pubs, local cafes, and a long, narrow park with a river running through it.
Canonbury also has small museums, green squares, and beautiful streets to explore. It benefits from its proximity to Upper Street as well.
Pros of living in Canonbury include its residential feel, location near central London and Islington, and transport links.
The main con of living in Canonbury is the relatively high cost of housing.
Barnsbury is another of the nicest places to live in north London. This neighborhood is located between Islington and King’s Cross, and it’s home to pretty houses, fun pubs and restaurants, and green spaces like Barnard Park.
Caledonian Road is home to some good cafes as well, not to mention access to the Regent’s Canal Towpath.
Additionally, Barnsbury offers lovely squares, colorful doors, and a great residential atmosphere. It benefits from its location on Regent’s Canal and its proximity to Upper Street and Granary Square, too.
Pros of living in Barnsbury include the residential feel, the location near the city center, and the transport links.
The main con of living in Barnsbury is that its high street isn’t quite as exciting as others in the area (although Upper Street is nearby).
14. Muswell Hill
Next on my list of the best places to live in north London is Muswell Hill. This part of the city is home to Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Park, and some of the best views in London.
Muswell Hill has a distinctly local feel. The neighborhood is famous for the independent shops on Muswell Hill Broadway and the unique Parkland Walk, which runs along a former railway line and has lots of natural highlights and viewpoints.
Pros of living in Muswell Hill include the shops, restaurants, park, streets, nature, and views.
Cons of living in Muswell Hill are the distance from central London and the lack of transport links (although there’s a train station at the east end of Alexandra Park and the tube stations in Highgate and East Finchley aren’t miles away).
15. Kentish Town
Kentish Town is another of the best places to live in north London. This area is right next to Hampstead Heath, and it’s known for its pastel houses and fun cafes and bars.
Kentish Town has a good local atmosphere, and its proximity to Highgate and the heath make it an ideal place to live in north London.
Pros of living in Kentish Town include lower housing costs than Highgate and Hampstead, a lively high street, the green space, and good transport links.
The main con of living in Kentish Town is a slightly farther commute into central London than from some other places.
16. Tufnell Park
Just north of Kentish Town and south of Highgate and Archway, Tufnell Park is a great little area to live in north London. There are lots of shops along the high street, and the side streets are graced with pretty houses.
Tufnell Park has a good residential feel, and it’s a nice place to live if you want a local neighborhood experience in London.
Pros of living in Tufnell Park include lower housing prices than Highgate, a nice high street, and the tube station.
The main con of living in Tufnell Park is a slightly farther commute into central London than from some other parts of the city.
Finchley is another of the top places to live in north London. This residential area is full of historic houses, and it almost feels like it’s not in the city.
There are good nature walks in and around Finchley that transport one into the countryside. The Dollis Valley Greenwalk, Riverside Park, and Windsor Open Space are ideal places to get into greenery in this part of north London.
Pros of living in Finchley include lower housing prices than many other parts of north London, the tube, and the abundance of green space.
Cons of living in Finchley are the farther commute into central London and a relative lack of hip places to eat, drink, and go out in the area.
18. Hampstead Garden Suburb
Not far from Hampstead village, Hampstead Garden Suburb is another of the best places to live in north London. This area is a unique example of a planned community featuring early 20th-century domestic architecture.
Hampstead Garden Suburb is bursting with pretty brick houses and manicured gardens. It’s a great place to get away from the bustle of the city and be somewhere that feels like a town in itself. For this reason, the area is popular with families.
Pros of living in Hampstead Garden Suburb include the quiet residential atmosphere, leafy streets, and proximity to Hampstead Heath.
Cons of living in Hampstead Garden Suburb include the relatively high housing prices, lack of restaurants and shops, distinctly suburban feel (if you don’t like that kind of thing), and distance from public transport links (although Golders Green tube station isn’t far).
19. Golders Green
Right by Hampstead Garden Suburb, Golders Green is another great part of the city. Given the area is home to a large Jewish population, the high street has delicious kosher restaurants.
The area also has a residential feel, making it one of the best places to live in north London for families.
Golders Green has an abundance of gardens and parks, too. The Hampstead Heath Extension is a peaceful place to walk, and Golders Hill Park has some of my favorite spring gardens in London.
Pros of living in Golders Green include lower housing prices than neighboring Hampstead, lots of green spaces, and the tube station.
Cons of living in Golders Green are the slightly farther commute into central London and a relative lack of trendy places to eat, drink, and go out.
Map of Areas to Live in North London
Best Places to Live in North London
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the best places to live in north London and that it’s helped you pick the right fit for your life and circumstances. If you want to see the whole city in one place, my map of London neighborhoods can help. Happy moving!
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