Moving to, or within, London takes a lot of consideration, particularly when it comes to finding the right location for your new home. If you are moving to London with a young family, there is even more you will need to factor into the equation. For example, potential schools, outdoor facilities and the area’s crime rate will be things you will want to research. With this in mind, we explore the 10 best areas to live in London for families.
When considering parks and open green spaces in London, many will immediately think of Richmond Park. Richmond Park is 9.55km² of beautifully maintained public gardens, popular with families, runners, picnickers, cyclists and deer.
The area of Richmond itself is in south-west London and sits conveniently on the District underground line. It also has an overground railway station and is well serviced by bus routes. This makes it very commutable, and during weekends and holidays, it’s easy get out and about with the children.
According to the Metropolitan Police crime stats, Richmond has one of the lowest crime rates in London. Between September 2018 and November 2020, the crime rate was 143.25 (per 1,000 residents), making it one of the more family-friendly boroughs.
The quality of schools in the area is also very high. There are 28 state schools in the borough that have an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating and a further 27 that are rated ‘Good’. Richmond is also close to many of the top independent, private schools in London. This abundance of good schools, one of the nicest parks in the city, good transport links and a safe neighbourhood, makes Richmond a good choice to live with a family.
Another popular London neighbourhood for those seeking parks and open spaces is Crystal Palace. Most of the Crystal Palace area is occupied by the beautiful park, which is often filled with families enjoying the surroundings. The park includes a parade of dinosaur statues, a skate park, one of the largest outdoor mazes in the country and a boating park. Near to the park is the railway station and the National Sports Centre – a 15,500-seater athletics stadium and popular attraction for sports fans.
Crystal Palace falls within the London Borough of Bromley, which has a below-average London crime rate of just 159.7 (per 1,000 residents). Another interesting aspect enjoyed by its residents is that Crystal Palace has one of the highest points in the city, meaning there are some fantastic views of the capital.
According to estate agents Foxtons, the average property price in Crystal Palace is £429,545 (as of December 2020), making it not just one of the safest places in London, but also one of the best-value neighbourhoods too.
A popular choice among city workers who want an easy-going pace of life outside of work is Chiswick. It has good transport links, offering commuters a choice of three tube stops (Chiswick Park, Turnham Green and Gunnersbury), each of which boasts a short 30-minute ride to central London. In the other direction, it’s close to the M4, which makes it ideally located for those who need good access to the road networks or enjoy escaping to the country. There’s a good selection of amenities for families to take advantage of in Chiswick too, including swimming pools, bakeries, the popular food market and plenty of bookshops.
Chiswick is often regarded as having a genuine village feel that residents enjoy and make the most of, thanks in no small part to the tranquil Turnham Green. There is also a wealth of coffee shops, restaurants and boutique shops that make perfect neighbours to the ornate and leafy rows of Georgian and Edwardian houses.
With the average family home at just over £1 million, you get more for your money in Chiswick than some of the other premium areas of London. Its location, amenities, community feel and picturesque scenery make it an idyllic location within London to move to with a family.
Considered to be one of the safest areas of London, with a crime rate of just 152.15 (per 1,000), Bexley is often unduly overlooked as an area in London to move to with a young family. Located on the east side of the capital and bordering Greenwich, Bexley is also one of the best-value areas of London to live in. A semi-detached family home sold for an average of £446,802 in September 2020.
Reportedly having 100 parks, some of which have trees that are nearing 200 years old, Bexley has more than its fair share of green spaces. This makes it a fantastic location to move to as a family, especially during the summer months. Other than the ample selection of parks, there is a very popular leisure centre, Crook Log, which has a 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, a gym and a handful of outdoor sports pitches.
If you are tempted to move to Bexley, you will join a star-studded list of residents; Roger Moore, Bernie Ecclestone and Kate Bush have all called Bexley home at some point in their lives.
Just to the west of Bexley is Greenwich, a beautiful and leafy area that’s famously popular with young families and commuters thanks to its wide-open spaces. In particular, the Royal Park is a beautiful spot for a picnic or sports, while taking in the elevated views of the city.
Prices have been rising in Greenwich recently, as its popularity has boomed. According to Foxtons, the average property price is £661,956 (as of December 2020), which is a 49.11% increase in the last year alone.
Greenwich has a wide selection of respected schools to choose from. There are 13 ‘Outstanding’ state secondary schools within three miles of Greenwich, and some 46 ‘Outstanding’ state primary schools.
Despite not having a tube station, Greenwich is still within easy reach of the city centre for commuters. A short 20-minute ride on the Docklands Light Railway can get you to the heart of London’s financial district. There is also a large number of museums in the area, not to mention the O2 arena, which is almost a town in itself with shops, bowling alley, cinemas, restaurants and, of course, the concert venue.
Located in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Teddington offers a suburban charm for young families in London. It borders the famous Bushy Park and is just over the river from Richmond Park, meaning there is no shortage of open space to enjoy. Olympian Mo Farah has a home in Teddington, and the actress Keira Knightley grew up in the area too.
It’s another area that, like Greenwich, is on the rise. It has seen a 48.29% increase in the average property price in the last year, sitting now at £760,814 (as of December 2020).
There are many reasons why families are being drawn to this suburb, beyond the attractive green space. It has plenty of amenities within close reach, including a long high street packed with restaurants, shops and pubs. It sits alongside the river, and the Teddington Lock is the lowest non-tidal lock on the Thames. The nearby Strawberry Hill House offers beautiful gardens for weekend outings.
There are numerous schooling options in the surrounding areas of Kingston Upon Thames, Twickenham and Hampton, with both ‘Outstanding’ state schools and a number of highly regarded independent choices too.
Fulham has long been an attractive location for affluent families living in London, with premium housing stock. With an average property price of just under £1.1 million, it’s a highly desirable location for its large period homes, offering better value than neighbouring Chelsea (which has an average property price of over £2 million), but with similar riverside charms.
The heart of the area is Fulham Broadway, which has everything a young family needs – shops, a multiplex cinema, cafes, bars and restaurants. The Fulham Palace House and Gardens offers 13 acres of botanical gardens to enjoy, and there are open green spaces on Eel Brook Common and Parsons Green, though much smaller than the large parks in other areas of London. But with numerous Underground stations, it’s highly commutable to both the City and financial district, as well as the leafier suburbs and Royal Parks.
There are plenty of good schooling options in Fulham, including the Kensington Prep School and Fulham Pre-Prep School. There are also a number of highly rated state Academies for secondary education, including The London Oratory School and Lady Margaret School.
Nestled in the north of London, Crouch End has become a popular residential location for those who want a break from City life, but still be within commuting distance of central London.
Crouch End doesn’t have its own Underground station, which can be a deal breaker for some, but it actually works to its advantage. Not being as easily accessible as some surrounding areas means that Crouch End still feels small and village-like. It doesn’t have huge tourist attractions, or vast new developments of apartments and high-street shops. Rather, it has a more independent vibe, with quirky boutiques and local cafes that have a community vibe. If you do need to get into the city, it is well served by the bus network, or it’s a walk to Highgate station on the Northern Line.
House prices are seeing a steady rise, and as of December 2020, the average property price is £722,707. It has a wealth of Victorian and Edwardian homes, which are the most coveted. While there are some newer developments, they are limited in size by the region and tend to be more boutique than high rise.
It’s a very family friendly suburb and often overlooked as an option for families moving to London. It’s a leafy area, within close proximity to Alexandra Park and Highgate Woods. In general, primary school standards are very high, and there are a few well-rated state secondary options too.
Another area that can sometimes be overlooked as a London suburb for young families is Willesden Green. There are very attractive, large period properties lining the streets that make it a perfect area for family life. It has great transport links too, with the Jubilee line running right through it – you can be in central London in less than 15 minutes. Being just five miles to the north-west of central London, it’s a perfect commuter spot.
The most desirable homes fall in the Mapesbury Conservation Area and Brondesbury Park, where it’s possible to snap up a large redbrick family house for better prices than nearby Queen’s park and Kensal Green.
It’s quite a diverse neighbourhood, and the shopping centre blends old with new. There are long-established traditional butchers and bakeries, as well as more well-known chains. There is also a big cultural representation, with shops selling African fabrics, Portuguese and Brazilian shops, and a tasty Italian deli.
Galdstone Park offers green space for children to play, with a playground, café and walled flower garden. However, when it comes to schools, it might be worth looking slightly outside of the area. The ‘Outstanding’ St Augustine’s C of E secondary school in Kilburn is one option, but there are numerous private schools in nearby Hampstead and Highgate.
Over to the west of central London is Ruislip, which is particularly attractive for families looking for good-value housing. The average house price here is just £485,553. Its main attraction lies in its peace and quiet – it is on the outskirts of London but has good Underground links to the City.
It also has some very good school options. Despite being quite a small area, there are 11 ‘Outstanding’ state schools. There are also a few good independent schools in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
There is plenty of green space in the local area, with Ruislip Common and Woods popular locations for a walk. Nearby Colne Valley Regional park offers farmland, woodland and water to explore, with over 200km of rivers, canals and lakes (of which there are 60). This area is a good choice for those who want to blend country living with city living, offering a quick, accessible route to both.
If you are considering moving to any of the areas we have mentioned, or anywhere else in London, talk to our specialist removals team about how we can help facilitate your relocation. Click here for more information on our London removals service.