Best places to live in London

Top 7 Best places to live in London with the Best quality of life – 2024

United Kingdom England London

4London is a lively city in the United Kingdom with a rich history and an abundance of activities. It’s a great place for work, education, and leisure. You can explore renowned places like Buckingham Palace, the residence of the Royal Family, or visit London landmarks such as Big Ben and the London Bridge. The city’s skyline is dominated by an iconic clock tower, offering beautiful views of the city.

For nature enthusiasts, Kew Gardens and numerous green spaces offer a breath of fresh air in London. The city is considered safe, with low crime rates compared to other major global cities, and each borough accommodates diverse lifestyles. If you’re considering a move to London, there are some things to know before you make the move.

Read on to find out the best places in London to live with the best quality of life.

Top 7 Best places to live in London, UK with the Best quality of life

Methodology

Based on “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in London, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and quality of life. 

Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of crimes, which is derived from the London Metropolitan Police Service as of June 2023. The data compares the crime rate in the local area to the average crime rate across the force area. 

It shows the total number of crimes over a twelve-month period per thousand residents for the crime type selected. The crimes include bicycle theft, burglary, criminal damage and arson, drugs, possession of weapons, public order, robbery, shoplifting, theft from the person, vehicle crime, violence, and sexual offences. The data derived from the UK Police website has been calculated as the average number of various crimes per 1000 people.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. We collected the data from UK House Price Index England and Zoopla.uk. To help you compare, as of September 2023, the average cost of buying a property in England is £310,000 and the average rent for a 1-bedroom flat is £1,649.00 as of December 2023. 

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Richmond upon Thames

1. Bexley - Best places to live in london
  • Crime rate: 59.54 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,750
  • Average property buying cost: £756,000

In southwest London, Richmond upon Thames is considered the happiest borough to live in. Residents claim that their happiness is attributed to the sense of community, access to green spaces like Richmond Park and the Kew Gardens, and the proximity to shops, restaurants, and bars. Moreover, it has the lowest reported crime rate at 59.54 crimes per 1,000 people.

The borough is favored by commuters due to its excellent transport links, offering a quick 25-minute ride on South Western Railway to Waterloo Station and convenient access to the London bus network for local transportation. The average rent for a 1-bedroom flat is £1,750, and the average property price is £756,000 as of December 2023.

Visit Richmond (Dec 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Richmond upon Thames, London

2. Sutton

2. Sutton - Best places to live in london
  • Crime rate: 65.5 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,350
  • Average property buying cost: £438,000

Sutton is the ideal borough for young people seeking a blend of urban and suburban living. Residents enjoy shopping centers in the heart of the town, such as Times Square and the Saint Nicholas Shopping Centre, which offer different amenities like groceries, restaurants, cafés, and nearby schools. It also provides abundant green spaces like Beddington Park, creating a serene environment with a low crime rate of 65.5 crimes per 10,000 people.

Commuting around Sutton and neighboring towns is easy thanks to its convenient transportation options. There are 54 buses for an easy commute, and the Sutton Station is connected to three major South-East London stations by train. Living in Sutton is also budget-friendly. As of December 2023, the average property price is £438,000, and the cost of renting a 1-bed flat is around £1,350.

Enjoy Sutton (Dec 2023), Gov.uk (Dec 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Sutton, London

3. Bexley

3. Havering - best places to live in london
  • Crime rate: 65.74 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,400
  • Average property buying cost: £396,000

Bexley is a suburban borough in the southeast of Greater London, renowned for its blend of green spaces and residential areas, providing a quiet atmosphere with a low crime rate of 65.74 crimes per 10,000 people. Residents not only enjoy leisurely walks through over 100 charming parks, but also have access to a variety of health programs and services designed to support their physical and mental well-being.

Residents have easy access to a diverse range of amenities, including great shops, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs, making it an ideal choice for young professionals in London. As of December 2023, the average property price is £396,000 and 1-bed flats are renting for around £1,400.

Bexley.gov.uk (Dec 2023) & Gov.uk (Dec 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Bexley, London

4. Harrow

Apartments in Harrow
  • Crime rate: 66.14 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,650
  • Average property buying cost: £521,000

Harrow is home to the prestigious Harrow School, founded in 1572, and 8 superior secondary schools that have consistently performed above the national average in London. One of its upper-class areas is Harrow on the Hill, featuring historic Georgian architecture buildings. Also, commuting here is facilitated by the Metropolitan and Bakerloo lines, Chiltern Railways, and a local bus network.

Residents claim it is ideal for those who prefer a quiet life with green areas and proximity to amenities, such as St. George’s shopping centre, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafés. All of this is within a safe environment, with a reported crime rate of 65.74 crimes per 10,000 people. As of December 2023, the average property price is £521,000 and 1-bed flats are renting for around £1,650.

Compare School Performance (Dec 2023), Harrow.gov.UK (Dec 2023), Gov.UK (Dec 2023)& Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Harrow, London

5. Merton

Apartments in Merton
  • Crime rate: 67.19 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,650
  • Average property buying cost: £588,000

Merton, located in Southwest London, is renowned as one of the best retirement places in the UK, based on resident scores for healthcare, green spaces, and proximity to GP services and pharmacies. With a low crime rate of 67.19 crimes per 10,000 people, it is also considered a safe borough.

Merton aspires to be London’s Borough of Sport, promoting physical activity for all ages through local sporting activities. The main commercial hubs are Mitcham and Wimbledon, each offering unique attractions such as Mitcham Common Large Park and Wimbledon’s tennis tournament and museum. As of December 2023, the average property price is £588,000 and 1-bed flats are renting for around £1,650.

Merton.gov.UK (Dec 2023), Gov.UK (Dec 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Merton, London

6. Croydon

6. Harrow - Best places to live in london
  • Crime rate: 87.96 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,750
  • Average property buying cost: £431,000

Croydon is a borough located in South London that offers a mix of modern amenities and historical charm. Its residents enjoy big shopping centers nearby, such as the Centrale Shopping Centre, and various cultural venues like Stanley Arts. Also, it hosts numerous cultural events that celebrate its diverse community and rich heritage, which is one of the reasons why in 2023 it has been named the London Borough of Culture.

Croydon features both skyscrapers and historic architecture, mixed with green spaces like Lloyd Park, providing residents with a serene atmosphere and a low crime rate of 87.96 crimes per 10,000 people. As of December 2023, the average property price is approximately £431,000, with a 1-bedroom flat renting for around £1,750.

Croydon.gov.uk (Dec 2023), Gov.uk (Dec 2023), Police.UK (Dec 2023) & Zoopla (Dec 2023)

Croydon, London

7. Barking and Dagenham

7. Kingston upon Thames - Best places to live in london
  • Crime rate: 104.84 crimes per 10,000 people
  • Average 1-bed flat rent: £1,490
  • Average property buying cost: £346,000

Barking and Dagenham, a borough in East London, is located just 9 miles east of Central London along the River Thames, offering residents scenic views of the city. With parks like Parsloes Park and nature reserves such as the Chase Nature Reserve, it provides opportunities for outdoor activities. The borough reported a low crime rate of 10.84 crimes per 10,000 people, reinforcing its reputation as a safe community.

It provides convenient access, eased by its public transport networks, particularly along key strategic routes connecting the east and west sides to central London and Essex. This enhances its appeal as a great place to live and work within the Greater London area. Moreover, it is more affordable compared to other boroughs, with an average rent of £1,490 for a 1-bed flat and an average property price of £346,000.

Ibbd.gov.uk (Dec 2023), Zoopla (Dec 2023), Gov.uk (Dec 2023) & Police.UK (Dec 2023)

Barking and Dagenham, London

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Conclusion

In your search to find the best places in London to live, it’s important to recognize the diverse living costs and characteristics across different boroughs. If you’re a fan of pop culture, boroughs like Harrow may interest you, as it is home to Harrow School where some scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot.

This article has highlighted factors such as educational opportunities, outdoor recreation, easy commute, healthcare quality, low crime rates, and reasonable housing prices. By referring to this information, you can make a well-informed decision that suits your preferences and lifestyle.

Planning to move soon? Here are the best removal companies in London to ensure a smooth transition.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Bexley
  2. Sutton
  3. Havering
  4. Hillingdon
  5. Bromley
  6. Harrow
  7. Kingston upon Thames
  8. Merton
  9. Barnet
  10. Richmond upon Thames

 

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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