Those who work in the city and don’t want to miss out on precious family time by spending hours commuting each way are often forced to hunt around London’s outlying boroughs to find affordable accommodation in a decent area.
There are many lists to be found online regarding the best places in London to raise your family, but ours takes into account such factors as schools, commuting distance, green space and, of course, the costs of housing. After spending hours trawling through this info to save you the hassle, without further ado here is our list of the top 10 places in London to raise your family.
10. Primrose Hill
The beautiful urban village of Primrose Hill, with its many attractions and green, open spaces is one of the most popular areas in London for families. It is best known for its famous park, which it takes its name from, and is a relatively quiet place to live despite being only a short distance from the heart of the city. There is an air of affluence about the wide, tree-lined avenues around the park area and there is a fine selection of schools. The postcodes within this area are NW1, NW3, and NW8, and while the housing cannot be described as cheap, you get an awful lot for your money here.
9. Holland Park
Holland Park is both a district and the public park from which it gets its name that is located in Kensington and Chelsea. It has a long-standing reputation for being both affluent and fashionable and the most popular housing around here are the imposing Victorian townhouses. Residents of Holland Park have access to excellent shopping areas and some of the best schools in London. All told, there are few places better to raise your family in London than Holland Park.
8. Muswell Hill
For many, Muswell Hill is the epitome of family life on the outskirts of the city. The leafy suburbs in this area of north London in the borough of Harringay are perfect for those who want to enjoy a peaceful life yet be only a short commute away from the center of London. There are 8 primary and 2 secondary schools within the boundaries of Muswell Hill, as well as a number of activity venues which are great for families.
7. East Dulwich
Young families are flocking to East Dulwich as this typical London village offers a great standard of family life. Long considered to be the poor relation to neighboring Dulwich Village, the house prices have risen sharply thanks to this new influx of interest. Boasting artisan stores, several parks, 6 highly rated state primary school and 3 of the most famous private schools; Alleyn’s, James Alleyn Girls’ School and Dulwich College, this area takes some beating when it comes to London family life.
A few may be surprised to see Penge on this list as, quite frankly, it doesn’t have anywhere as much going for it like those mentioned so far. The thing about Penge is that it is effectively sandwiched between two great areas for families; Crystal Palace and Beckenham. Both of these are within easy walking distance and offer some beautiful parks and open spaces. You get a lot more for your money in terms of property in Penge than in these other areas but the close proximity gives you the best of both worlds.
An upper-middle-class area which boasts several private schools Chiswick is a lovely place to raise a family. It’s riverside location, parkland and a fine choice of shops and restaurants make it one of the most popular locations for young families who need to have good transport links into the city. There is a good variety of housing ranging from mansion apartments to Edwardian terraces and Victorian cottages. It is little wonder that it is so popular with families.
Balham is located in south west London and is a neighborhood made up of casual taverns, neat Victorian townhouses and one of the friendliest atmospheres you will find anywhere. This really is a great location for all concerned as far as family life goes. The area has its own tube station allowing you to get to work easily, plenty of open space courtesy of the commons in the vicinity, great shopping and several well-respected schools.
It is not much you can say about the beautiful suburb of Richmond on the Thames that hasn’t been said already. However, one statistic you may not be aware of is that those who live in Richmond have the highest life expectancy of anyone in the UK, just another great reason for moving to this southwest London suburb. Life rolls by at a completely different pace in Richmond and it is hard to believe you are a mere 15 minutes from the city via the river bus.
Plaistow lies in the east London borough of Newham and is a mainly residential area that is starting to make its mark as a popular location to raise a family. It has affordable housing, is far enough east to make you feel like you are outside of the city but still within easy commuting distance, and has several good schools including primary, grammar and private. There is a good choice of accommodation here from apartments to ex-local authority housing to townhouses and many families have been settling happily here over the past few years.
1. West Hampstead
West Hampstead is in the borough of Camden in northwest London. It started life as a village before the advent of railways caused its growth and expansion yet it still manages to retain that English village ambiance. There is an abundance of small independent coffee shops, bakeries, and shops giving the area an artisan feel. Housing here doesn’t come cheap and renting is a popular option for those families who want their children to have plenty of outdoor space courtesy of the famous heath and several parks as well as some excellent schools on their doorstep.