When starting a family, couples will often think about moving somewhere a little more suitable for children. Although there are a lot of areas in London that are family friendly, some boroughs in particular offer great parks, good schools and numerous activities to keep little rascals busy. When looking for a home while planning for a family, or even if you have small children, there is a lot more to consider, including whether there is a garden or a green area nearby, the amount of bedrooms that are in the property and if there is enough space for when the children grow up. Below we take a look at some of the best places to live in London if you are planning for, or already have, a young family.
Crystal Palace has the advantage of being further out of the city but still on the Overground line. It’s close to big towns like Croydon, but is a little bit quieter, and there are tonnes of things to do with your children.
Crystal Palace is within five different boroughs in London: Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. The neighbourhood is home to the ‘Crystal Palace’, a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, then reconstructed in Crystal Palace Park. The area has a number of schools marked between ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ by Ofsted, and there are other good schools closeby in neighbouring areas.
As well as boasting beautiful parks and great facilities, Richmond has also been voted as having the highest quality of life in London in the past. There are lots of schools in the borough with high Ofsted ratings. It is also known as one of the quietest and most picturesque areas of the city, and if you enjoy going for long walks there is a huge choice of parks and green areas, including the largest of the city’s eight royal parks.
It is also a firm favourite with celebrity families: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bought a home there after renting for a summer, and other celebrities like Colin Firth and David Attenborough also reside here. If you’re interested in a quieter life with lots of child-friendly things to do on the weekends, Richmond might be the area for you!
This area is steeped in history and is a beautiful place to bring up children. There is tons to do and see in the area, including the Naval College, the Royal Observatory, a selection of museums, the Cutty Sark and several markets. There is also a cinema along with several restaurants and cafes, including some great pie and mash shops if you’re looking for the authentic London experience.
Greenwich has a number of good schools, such as Harris Academy, which is ‘Outstanding’ in every category according to Ofsted. Greenwich is often seen as a great place to look at if you’re a first-time buyer, so if you invest there and discover you like it, you may wish to upgrade in the same borough once you start your family. With the help of a buying agent you can find a property around the £500,000 mark that is ideal for a growing family, close to transport links via the DLR and without compromising on space.
Dulwich is a very old borough, with historical mentions from as early as 967 AD. This area in South East London is located in a valley surrounded by a number of different areas including Crystal Palace, Peckham, Forest Hill and Sydenham. It’s set in the borough of Southwark, with small parts in Lambeth, and is split into East Dulwich, West Dulwich and Dulwich Village. There are a huge number of transport links in the area, with trains taking as little as 12-14 minutes to get to London Victoria/London Bridge.
Certain houses between North Dulwich station and West Dulwich station have clauses in their title deeds that protect the right to build an underground railway under the land, though this still hasn’t happened even after 140 years. Beautiful and spacious three-bedroom homes can be found for under £550,000.
Islington is a lovely part of the city and is quite close to the centre without being too near the hustle and bustle. Although Islington and surrounding areas like Angel are a little bit pricier than elsewhere, they offer a great quality of life and a lot of places to socialise. There are several shops, restaurants, markets, as well as regular shows in the Royal Agricultural Hall. There is a wide selection of schools and universities in the area including the Musical Theatre Academy and Moorfields Eye Hospital for postgraduate training.
You can get around the borough with a number of Underground and Overground lines and everything is very accessible. Whether you want to live close to the action in Old Street or tucked away with a village feel near Stoke Newington, there are lots of houses and interesting properties you can make your own in Islington.