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A guide to London's Best Neighbourhoods

London is truly one of the best cities in the world and each of its neighbourhood's are worth exploring for the diverse cuisine, culture and communities present here. Our local experts have put together this guide to give you a snapshot of all the best bits that you would'nt want to miss.



West End & Oxford Street

Is the epicentre of London and, as well as featuring the most expensive property in the capital, houses the most luxurious residences in the world. It has a close network of busy streets that string countless high-end department stores, fine dining restaurants, energetic nightlife and fabulous entertainment together in the one neighbourhood.

What's in the area:

Stretching 1.5 miles (2.4 km), Oxford Street is Europe's longest shopping high street and a Mecca for any shopaholic. If the term 'shop til you drop' can ever be justified, it's here!

The iconic West End is London's theatre and entertainment district and it's exactly the place to go to take in a play or cabaret show. Encompassing the areas of Oxford Street, Mayfair, Marylebone, Piccadilly Circus, Soho and Bloomsbury, it's where you will find both high street & high end stores, London's top theatres and some of the city's major attractions: The British Museum, The National Gallery, Covent Garden Market, Hyde Park, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Selfridges and the Royal Opera House.

What we recommend:

  • Get a seat at a West End show. Our picks are the award-winning and long-running The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and the irreverant Book of Mormon.
  • Be at the centre of Covent Garden’s cobbled square and renowned piazza in Punch & Judy, one of London’s busiest and most iconic pubs.
  • While big-budget theatre is plentiful, Cabaret is cheap-and-cheerful option. Hit Circus, five minutes walk from Covent Garden square, for stylish cabaret entertainment.
  • Moments from Oxford Street is Claridges, a luxury five star hotel, whose Afternoon Tea is legendary (advanced booking required).
  • Head to Bone Daddies Ramen Bar in Soho for some of the best ramen in town!
  • The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is famous for it's movie marathons and 'Singalonga' events
  • Princi on Wardour Street do mammoth Italian breakfasts and gorgeous pastries!
  • The Dog & Duck Pub is steeped in history and serves great ale too

 



Bayswater, Paddington & Notting Hill

Lie north of Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens and around the areas surrounding Lancaster Gate and Queensway. The neighbourhood is cosmopolitan and always bustling with Londoners and visitors from all over the globe who come to visit its many independant shops, traditional English pubs, bowling alleys, cinemas multi-cuisine restaurants and parks and green spaces.

What's in the area:

Dignified period-style buildings with grand entrances sit alongside idyllic garden squares while easy access to local tube stations make the area a popular choice for any kind of stay. Whiteleys Shopping Centre on Queensway (the areas busiest street) in Bayswater is famous for being London's first department store and is a must if you are staying in the area.

Notting Hill is a very popular area of London and entices visitors with it's colourful rows of houses and the famous antiques market, Portobello Market, where you can find everything from vintage clothing to an 18th century tea set. Walk the streets made famous by Richard Curtis' film of the same name or join the party at the annual Notting Hill Carnival which celebrates all things Caribbean with dancers, rhythmic drums, great food and legendary after parties.

Edgware Road is famous for it's Middle Eastern inspired restaurants and boasts a multi-cultural community and vibrant atmosphere.

Paddington is more well known as a transport hub with direct access to Heathrow airport as well as many other parts of the city via the Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith and City lines. Within arms reach of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park as well as Little Venice and Regents Canal, Paddington is an ideal spot for a short stay in London.

What we recommend:

  • Sipping on some stylish cocktails at Beach Blanket Babylon, just off Westbourne Grove
  • Visting Chinese restaurant Four Seasons for its famous roast duck.
  • Admiring the swans while relaxing around a pond in Kensington Gardens
  • Spending an interesting afternoon exploring the Museum of Brands
  • The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill is a wonderful experience with leather armchairs and cocktails.
  • The Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens is a great place to take the kids
  • Grab some brunch at Granger & Co in Notting hill. The Full Aussie Breakfast is epic!

 


Kensington & Earls Court

The focal part of the area is Kensington High Street, where you'll find a superb selection of upmarket shops, high culture, arts, fine dining and entertainment. With all the popular high street names as well as luxury boutiques, Kensington High Street is a welcome change from busy Oxford Street. South Kensington and Earls Court stations connect you to every corner of the city, with direct trains to London's major international airports.

What's in the area:

Kensington Palace is a must-see spot, whether you want to step into the rooms that Queen Victoria once resided or simply fancy an amble through the Sunken Garden's solitary oasis.

World renowned museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum are based here, and popular event venues like the The Royal Albert Hall, Earls Court, 02 Shepards Bush Empire and Olympia Exhibition Centres draw many visitors to the area. A park inside a park, Kyoto Gardens is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden in Holland Park with free-roaming peacocks which is ideal for a picnic on a Summer's day.

What we recommend:

  • Chug ales amongst unique Churchill memoribillia at The Churchill Arms, one of the most famous pubs in town.
  • Dine at The Roof Gardens’ Babylon restaurant on Kensington High Street while taking in spectacular views of London.
  • Keep an eye out for what’s on at the Earls Court & Olympia Exhibition Centre. A host of events take place here throughout the year from exhibitions to gigs.
  • Have dinner in one of the many ethnic restaurants that are located in Earls Court.
  • I highly recommend the Royal Afternoon Tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace
  • Stroll around the Victoria & Albert Museum and then take a break by the beautiful central fountain
  • The Red Velvet Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery is delicious as are their cupcakes

 


Knightsbridge and Chelsea

Is one of London's wealthiest areas and therefore the property in this affluent district does not come cheap. Beautiful period buildings combine with pretty garden squares for a quintessentially London experience and the area also boasts some of the capitals most popular cultural attractions in the V & A, the Natural History Museum and Science Museum.

What's in the area:

One of the first and most recognizable areas that commuters from the West encounter, Knightsbridge offers exclusive dining and luxury fashion designer labels, not to mention world-famous departments stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Chelsea meanders from the south of the River Thames along Chelsea Embankment to the Sloane Square area. Saatchi Gallery and Royal Court Theatre are amongst Chelsea's cultural gems, and it's King's Road marks the most prominent spot in the neighbourhood. A fashionable haunt since the swinging sixties, the road offers an infusion of contemporary art galleries, chic boutiques and cafes, as well as a mecca of high street retail and lifestyle stores like Peter Jones and Habitat.

What we recommend:

  • A day at Harrods is a must. Stay until the sun sets to see the buildings spectacular silhouette lighting.
  • Classic afternoon tea with waterfront views over Chelsea harbour at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel brasserie.
  • Book in advance to dine at the two-michellin starred Marcus Wareing restaurant 'Marcus' at the famous Berkeley Hotel for an evening of elegance and sophistication.
  • Gaze up at the grand, stately mansions that circle Belgrave Square, the heart of Belgravia, before taking a stroll around Belgrave Square Gardens.
  • Harrods Food Hall is the best spot to pick up nibbles for a gourmet picnic in nearby Hyde Park
  • Boating around the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park on a Summer's day
  • The Creme Brulee cocktail at Bluebird in Chelsea is deliciously moreish
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is extravagant but definitely worth it if you can get a booking!

 



Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell & Kings Cross

Sit to the right of the entertaining West End district and to the left of the commerical City of London "Square Mile" area. Plenty of major attractions, such as the British Museum, British Library, Museum of London, Smithfield Market, The Barbican Centre and Monument are within walking distance, and the eclectic sights and sounds of Camden are also nearby.

What's in the area:

Clerkenwell is this district's most eastern point and, what once was a heavy-handed industrial part of the city riddled with manufacturers, is now a concoction of boutiques and bistros in Georgian and Victorian style buildings. It is now very well known for its gastronomic reputation with restaurants such as Bistro Bruno Loubet, Morito and Caravan located there as well as the popular Exmouth Market.

Once home to legendary literarys EM Forster and Virginia Wolf, Bloomsbury is a small but ardent area full of charming bookshops, museums, theatres, classic cinemas and scenic squares, one of which is Russell Square - the largest square in London. Sandwiched between Euston Road and the Holborn area, Bloomsbury is home to University College Hospital and is only a five minute walk to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.

Kings Cross sits North of the two neighbourhoods and borders the southern part of the Borough of Camden, thus being on the doorstep to Camden Market, Primrose Hill, London Zoo, Regents Park, Regents Canal and the British Museum. Kings Cross St Pancras is a major international railway station and is the terminus for the Eurostar rail, where trains can reach Paris and Belgium destinations in just over 2 hours. It is also home to the longest champagne bar in Europe where you can sip a glass of bubbly before boarding your train!

What we recommend:

  • Be stripped of their sight and expertly guided through uncertain surroundings and surprise tastes at Dans Le Noir's unique sensory dining experience.
  • Indulge in idyllic green settings at The Cafe in the Garden in Russell Square.
  • Prepare the perfect afternoon picnic by visiting Smithfield Market early in the morning and roaming through the impressive selections of meat, pies, cheese and other savoury snacks.
  • The Crab Burgers from Crabbieshack at KERB are awesome!
  • If you like beer and table football, Cafe Kick is the place to go
  • The Craft Beer Co. is a great spot for after work drinks
  • Drink, Shop & Do have some great quirky craft classes such as Tote Bag Printing

 



Victoria and Westminster

Lie to the south-east of Green Park and Hyde Park and Westminster boasts one of the most famous attractions in London, Buckingham Palace. The London Eye, Big Ben, Tate Britain and Westminster Abbey are just some of the other major attractions in the area in this historic part of London.

What's in the area:

Westminster is the civic centre of London and is home to many government offices and official headquarters. Visitors to the area will find many of the iconic buildings and landmarks that are mostly associated with London. The Gothic structure of Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral will be familiar to most while Big Ben towers over the River Thames and Westminster Bridge.

A little to the West and away from the Thames, you'll find Victoria which is home to one of the busiest stations in London with fast connections to all cross-sections of the city. If you love the romance and enchantment of train journeys then this is also where the historically famous Orient Express departs for its signature London-Paris-Vienna route. Victoria is not just a transport hub however and you can indulge in a bit of retail therapy at Cardinal Place or Victoria Place shopping centres or head to see a show in one of the many theatres in the area.

In Victoria, you can find a range of casual eateries that offer Asian flavour to traditional English fare, and you can even splash out and dine at the elegant Michelan-star Quilon restaurant located between Victoria and St James Park tube stations. Pre-theatre set menus are common in the area's restaurants as just seconds away from the train station is Victoria Palace Theatre and Apollo Victoria Theatre where you can catch performances of Billy Elliot and Wicked, one of the most watched shows on the West End.

What we recommend:

  • Walk across Westminster Bridge and follow the road to St James Park to feed the ducks, then onto Buckingham palace to see the Changing of the Guard.
  • Take a guided tour (free, four times daily) at Tate Britain to view the collection highlights
  • Sip cocktails at The Sky Bar whilst enjoying stunning views over Westminster at the top of Millbank Tower
  • The Churchill War Rooms are a great insight into the planning of the war effort for World War II
  • Westminster Cathedral (not to be confused with Westminster Abbey) has beautiful mosaics
  • A perfect setting in an old library and modern Indian Cuisine at The Cinnamon Club
  • Take a leisurely stroll from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square along Pall Mall

 


Regents Park & North London

North London has become one of the most desirable areas to live in the city and areas like Kings Cross, Camden, Maida Vale & Islington have grown in popularity over the past ten years due to major redevelopment and investment. Regent’s Park is one of central London’s largest Royal Parks, boasts beautiful landscaped gardens, over 300 acres of open parkland and the London Zoo.

What's in the area:

The ever popular Camden Market is at the north-eastern point of the park and attracts thousands of visitors each year with its eclectic market stalls, vibrant atmosphere and dynamic music scene. St. John's Wood is one of the most affluent areas of London and Lord’s Cricket Ground one of the most popular sports grounds in the city. Primrose Hill sits at the tallest natural peak of London, offering some of London’s finest panoramic views of the capital. Islington is home to a vibrant arts scene as well as a vast array of independant cafes, bars and restaurants while Maida Vale offers a more laidback lifestyle with boating in 'Little Venice' and stunning Edwardian streets and buildings.

Islington is an upmarket residential area with a trendy reputation and a diverse community. Trendy bars and restaurants such as the Earl of Essex and Isarn combine with victorian architecture to make this one of the most fashionable residential addresses in London, a far cry from it's poverty stricken past.

North London has excellent transport links to more Central London areas, making this an ideal choice for both business and leisure travellers. There is also easy access to International destinations such as Paris and Strasbourg via the Eurostar Train line from Kings Cross St. Pancras.

What we recommend:

  • Spend a day at the RAF Museum in Colindale exploring the British Military history and aircraft.
  • Head to Emirates Stadium in Highbury to see local team, Arsenal, play or take a stadium tour.
  • Take a stroll around Hampstead Heath for panoramic views of London and perfect picnicing spots.
  • Primrose Hill is a superb summit for a cosy evening's entertainment. The Pembroke Castle pub has one of the best views in the city and hosts comedy nights every Saturday.
  • If South African game and cocktails are your thing, then Shaka Zulu in Camden is the place for you!
  • Ottolenghi in Islington sells the most vibrant Middle Eastern cuisine in London
  • Highgate Cemetary is the resting place for many a famous face from Karl Marx to Malcolm Mclaren
  • Alexandra Palace is a great spot for events and ice skating and also has awesome views across London

 


London Bridge and Waterloo

This district is significant for its history, heritage and culture, and is close by to the Westminster area, and within arms reach of popular tourist desintations such as Victoria, Charing Cross, Tower Bridge and the West End.

What's in the area:

London Bridge is the perfect location for a family day out at the London Bridge Experience or even just a quick drink after work at one of Tooley Street's many bars and restaurants. The district itself covers the area from the bridge itself beyond Potters Fields Park to Tower Bridge on both sides of the Thames.

Stroll twenty minuntes south-west of London Bridge and you will find the trendy Waterloo area. Stay in this area for its close proximity to Westminster's landmark attractions, such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Millenium Bridge or for Waterloo's great atmosphere and local attractions. The Southbank Centre is a vital contributor to London's creative art scene with a variety of shows and events staged here along with food festivals and free exhibitions.

The Tower of London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre are a must-see while other notable attractions in the areas are the BFI London IMAX cinema, the Old Vic and Young Vic theatres and the Royal National Theatre.

The London Bridge and Waterloo district has a wealth of diverse, artistic landmarks and incredible River Thames views, as well as being within walking distance or short tube journeys to London's energetic West End.

What we recommend:

  • Visit BFI Southbank and get free access to its academic library and film and TV archive of nearly a million titles.
  • Indulge in Chinese dim sum in the sleek interiors of Ping Pong South Bank.
  • Look out for what’s on at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, a working theatre that recreates the 16th century open-air playhouse setting.
  • Witness the history behind the horror at The London Bridge Experience and Tombs.
  • Jose on Bermondsey Street serve authentic and delicious pintxos and sherry
  • The Garrison Pub has a relaxed atmosphere and modern style
  • The Red Lantern crab dish at Hutong at The Shard is stunning and that goes for the views too
  • Take a break in Potter's Field in the shadow of Tower Bridge

 



City & Tower Bridge

Extends east around the commercial and financial core of the capital from Chancery Lane to Barbican; Liverpool Street to Whitechapel; Tower Bridge to Bermondsey and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Often referred to as ‘The City’ or 'Square Mile', this area has a history that dates back to the middle ages when it was first established as a prime trading port. Today, it boasts a rich variety of architecture, ancient churches, thriving markets, modern art centres and famous attractions.

What's in the area:

Visitors flock to sights such as the the Tower of London, St Pauls Cathedral, The Gherkin, Spitalfields Market, Museum of London, Barbican Centre and the Old Bailey Court House. The magnificent Tower Bridge is also a noteworthy destination; as well as providing a perfect place for your holiday snaps, the bridge hosts a number of theatre shows and exhibition, and is an exquisite venue for corporate events.

As well as being minutes away from the famous Spitalfields Market, Liverpool Street station has great transport links to the rest of the city. It is also the terminal for Stansted Express, the fastest link to Stanstead airport, and is a commuters haven for those living in east London, with direct train routes from Hertfordshire and Essex.

Shoreditch has a hip and trendy reputation and boasts vintage shops, independant cafes, craft pubs and both pop-up restaurants.

The famous Brick Lane Market takes place on a sunday and attracts throngs of people with its antiques, vintage clothes and music stalls. It is also the place to sample a variety of street food from around the globe while the further end of Brick Lane is home to an abundance of Indian restaurants.

What we recommend:

  • Judy’s Vintage Fair, Vintage Furniture Flea and Spitalfields Vintage Fair are held throughout the year at Spitalfields Market, making it a big competitor with Camden’s vintage scene.
  • The Barbican's Architecture walking tours allow you to gaze at most promiment post-war architecture in London.
  • Award-winning British Steakhouse Hawksmoor Guildhall, very close to Liverpool Stret station, is a perfect place to dine for a special occassion.
  • Stunning views, informative displays and virtual experiences at the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
  • Moshi Moshi Sushi at Liverpool Street happens to be some of the best in London - and it's sustainable
  • The salt beef bagels from Beigel Bake are amazing post-night-out food
  • The rooftop bar at the Queen of Hoxton is a great space to meet friends or to watch a movie
  • For drinks, fusion food and spectacular views, it has to be Sushisamba

 


Canary Wharf & The Docklands

Canary Wharf is the epicentre of the commercial and business sector in London and stretched beyond Tower Bridge as far as the Limehouse/Docklands area. Within easy reach of trendy East London with it's excellent transport links, Canary Wharf is ideal for those attending events, working in the area or even those who just want to stay outside of central London. Canary Wharf is home to several multi-million pound companies and it's reputation as a financial hotspot precedes it. But there is much more to Canary Wharf than pinstripe suits and stark office buildings.

What's in the area:

Once a derelict site, Canary Wharf now boasts impressive skyscrapers (One Canada Square is the second tallest building in London) and a bustling atmosphere. A great shopping destination with four shopping centres, over 200 shops (ranging from high street to luxury) and the flagship Waitrose Food & Home store, you will find everything you need here from storecupboard essentials to designer labels.

For those looking for a little culture on their trip to London, the nearby Museum of London Docklands can sate even the most discerning visitor with it's exploration of the history of Canary Wharf and Docklands and their important trading history.

If, for some reason, you would like a bit of an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Mudchute Park and Farm is the place to go. With goats, pigs and even alpacas, it's an ideal spot for those with a young family or those suffering from city fatigue.

Sleek wine bars, historic pubs and dockside restaurants are the norm in this area and some of the best include Boisdales and Gaucho.

Greenwich is just across the river from Canary Wharf and easily accessible by train. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, some of the most popular attractions in London including the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory where you can straddle the iconic meridian line.

What we recommend:

  • Walk 10 minutes from the tube station to West India Quay for an array of restaurants, bars, a cinema & other amenities.
  • On the edge of the water lies Hazev restaurant, bar and deli, offering the best of Turkish dining in Canary Wharf.
  • Gaze up at One Canada Square from Iberica, an authentic tapas restaurant in Cabot Square
  • Greenwich Park for sweeping views across London.
  • Greenwich Market is a lively neighbourhood market full of arts, crafts and delicious food.
  • Canary Wharf has one of the largest collections of outdoor art anywhere. See how many you can spot!
  • Goddards at Greenwich do the finest pie, mash and liquor in London
  • An 'Oriental Kamikaze' cocktail at The Pearson Room with stunning views onto Canada Square"

 

 




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