At first sight, London can be disconcerting, but once you know that the city is actually made up of multiple “villages” or neighborhoods, independent of each other, everything seems much simpler. We offer a guide to the 7 most pleasant districts to live and best placed for visitors wishing to discover the British capital. Once you have chosen your area, it’ll just find the apartment of your dreams, take a look at our offers in London .
Hackney’s transformation is now over. In the early 1990s, it was a neighborhood where social problems, poverty and delinquency were common. Barely 10 years later, it has become one of the most pleasant neighborhoods of the capital and the greenest. Its parks, from Fields to Hackney marshes, provide residents with quiet spaces to relax away from the noise of the city. Dalston, which was originally the Turkish enclave of the district, is today the most gentrified part. The market of Ridley Road and the Turkish grills are still present but the arrival of many artists and students has favored the opening of bars and restaurants. Stoke Newington, in the north of Hackney, is almost a village on its own where the wealthy population and the first inhabitants of the neighborhood live.
Brixton has a rich cultural heritage and the mix of Caribbean, Indian and Asian populations has an impact on stores and the music scene. Until the early 20th century, Brixton was a relatively wealthy neighborhood whose large houses were converted into apartments and boarding houses. Due to its convenient location, Brixton was originally very popular with actors and artists from the West End who first implanted and then developed the art scene. When Brixton fell into disfavour, the local population changed completely, crime increased, new social problems were felt and rental prices fell. This attracts many artists and students in search of small rents today. More recently, many design cafés have opened in Brixton and markets for producers have settled there. The halls of Brixton, known in the past as “the supermarket open 24/24 crack”, are now full of restaurants and small independent shops.
Set high on a hill overlooking northern London, Highgate Village borders Hampstead Heath and has 18th century architecture. Highgate Cemetery is the best known in the capital. It was built in the 17th century to compensate for a lack of cemeteries in the capital. Karx Marx and George Elliot are among the famous personalities whose names adorn one of the steles. Waterlow Park is another treasure offering fantastic views of the city. After these excursions, you can end the day with a stop at Gatehouse, a pub frequented by Dickens and Byron.
Notting Hill is certainly the most famous area of London. Immortalized on a big screen by Hugh Grant in the early 90s in the romantic comedy “Thunderbolt in Notting Hill”, the neighborhood’s postal code is one of the most popular in the capital. Although the Portobello market is open all week, the best time to go is on Friday or Saturday morning when small weekend sellers settle down on a 1-kilometer long section and turn the market into one Exceptional place. Portobello Market is one of the best street markets in the capital and, despite its now legendary status, it is still possible to do good business there. Portobello Road is also lined with pretty shops and merchants, including the Hummingbird Bakery, a must for all gourmands. In August, the neighborhood is transformed and hosts the largest street carnival in Europe, the famous Notting Hill Carnival. Thus, once a year, immense parades of chariots, dancers, artists and fanfares animate the district, in music and colors.
Bethnal Green is another neighborhood in London that has experienced a boom over the last 10 years. Despite a certain worker charm still very present, new shops and independent restaurants have followed the installation of many artists and students. To start off your day in Bethnal Green, it’s a must to start with a breakfast at E Pellici’s. This restaurant of category II has always existed (opened in 1900) and it is, still today, managed by the same family. Another must-see spot in the neighborhood is the V & A Museum of Childhood. You will spend a few nostalgic hours in the midst of your childhood toys. Victoria Park, on the border with Hackney, is one of the most beautiful parks in the city and is within walking distance of Bethnal Green Road.
Camden Town is known for its rebel side. The neighborhood is characterized by an eclectic mix of alternative culture and street scene. The postal code of the district, full of creativity, attracts every weekend tourists who come to discover the market installed. For visitors looking for “punk” London, Camden Town is the place to be.