Where to live in London now: A guide to the capital’s prime neighbourhoods

Zoe Dickens

15 April 2021

Thinking about moving to or within the capital? Here’s the lowdown on London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods – and the finest properties within them.

In partnership with: JLL

15 April 2021 | Zoe Dickens

They say moving house is one of the most stressful events in life – after all, no-one really enjoys packing. Enlist an agent like JLL to help you, however, and house hunting can be pure pleasure. Its experts know London’s prime residential neighbourhoods like the back of their hands, and have the luxury properties you need to know about at their fingertips, making finding your next dream home, dare we say it, fun. If you’re thinking about making your next move to or within the capital, read on for JLL's guide to London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods (and the properties to snap up before they’re gone).

Knightsbridge

Image courtesy Supermac1961

The vibe: All out opulence with homes to match

Local attractions: It’s impossible to talk about Knightsbridge without mentioning Harrods. The world-famous department store is the linchpin around which life in Knightsbridge revolves. However, while the neighbourhood is also home to Harvey Nichols, there’s far more to the area than just high-end shopping (although it’s a good place to start). Architecture fans should pay a visit to the Grade II-listed London Oratory on Brompton Road while those with children will be happy to find themselves within walking distance of some of the capital’s best schools and parks.

Typical properties: Property prices in Knightsbridge have climbed by over 110 per cent in the last nine years and, with the changes that have taken place in the market over the last year, now is a brilliant time to buy in the area as the prime central London market is on the rise. Property types are varied, from modern apartments housed in converted period townhouses to elegant mews buildings tucked down quiet lanes away from the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfare.

The home to know: Located in the highly coveted Ennismore Gardens area of Knightsbridge, this semi-detached two bed, two bath mews house is perfect for small families or those looking for a chic pied-à-terre in the city. Designed by John Pawson, huge windows flood the spacious entertaining areas with natural light, making it ideal for those looking to host memorable parties.

£3 million, jll.co.uk/primecollection; to enquire contact Richard Barber (+44 (0)20 7493 6040)

Chelsea

The vibe: Quintessential British elegance with a village feel

Local attractions: Whether you like to spend your weekends wandering through farmer’s markets and dropping into independent boutiques or partying the night away at the hottest new nightclub, Chelsea offers it all. Centred around the shopping and dining areas of Sloane Street and King’s Road, Chelsea is also home to a vibrant high-end art and design district guaranteed to come in handy when furnishing your new home.

Typical properties: Chelsea properties tend to come in the form of spacious terraced houses and grand detached mansions, rather than high rise flats, making it a great option for those looking for family homes. The average price for a house in the area is now a little over £3.8 million, so you’ll need deep pockets, but Chelsea’s blend of laid back village-style living and proximity to London’s most exciting attractions make it more than worth it.

The home to know: Always thought of yourself as being the epitome of style and glamour? This blue plaqued-home at 10 Burnsall Street was once home to Golden Age film star Diana Dors and is now a contemporary family home boasting four large bedrooms and generous living spaces, including an eat-in kitchen, dining room and spacious living room. There’s also a pretty patio perfect for al fresco cocktails should the British weather permit.

Available to rent for £2,308/week, jll.co.uk/primecollection; to enquire contact Kate Flynn (+44 (0)20 7493 6040)

Kensington

The vibe: Period grandeur complemented by world-class culture

Local attractions: Being home to the V&A, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Natural History Museum, Kensington is one of London’s most important neighbourhoods for culture, making it a great base for families and couples alike. A stone’s throw from Knightsbridge and Chelsea, it is also home to some of the capital’s best restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Launceston Place, as well as world-class shopping.

Typical properties: Just like its local attractions, homes in Kensington tend to come full of period charm and plenty of space, with Georgian and Victorian architecture common in the area. Many homes are complete with their own outdoor space (or access to communal gardens) while the average house price remains slightly lower than in neighbouring areas, at an average of just over £2 million. Perfect for those looking for maximum bang for their buck.

The home to know: You'd be hard pressed to find a better example of a classic Kensington property than this Grade II-listed terraced townhouse on Neville Street South. Boasting four bedrooms, three bathrooms and four stunning living rooms, it was completely refurbished by the current owners two years ago and now offers a fantastic mix of period features and modern touches. Of particular note is the private west-facing garden, which affords plenty of space for dining and outdoor entertaining, as well as a spacious basement which could be used as a seperate flat.

Available to rent for £12,000/week, jll.co.uk/primecollection; to enquire contact Thomas Middleditch (+44 (0)20 7493 6040)

Mayfair

Image courtesy Francisco Anzola

The vibe: Elegant living in the heart of the action

Local attractions: Bond Street, Savile Row, Mount Street – living in Mayfair means just one thing: have the world’s best shopping right on your doorstep. Of course, being a literal stone’s throw from Soho and Fitzrovia, you’re also privy to the hottest new restaurants and bars, count five-star hotels like Claridges and Brown’s as neighbours and are a mere stumbling distance from members' clubs including Annabel’s and The Arts Club. Living in Mayfair is, in essence, all about enjoying the good life.

Typical properties: While there have been some recent new build developments in the Mayfair area, the historic nature of the neighbourhood means space is very much at a premium and properties that do come to market tend to be two or three bedroom flats and duplexes rather than townhouses. What you are sacrificing in square footage, however, Mayfair properties tend to make up for with style. If you like high ceilings and Regency-style features, this is the neighbourhood for you.

The home to know: Housed in a refurbished period building on Green Street, mere moments from the independent boutiques and restaurants of South Audley Street, this beautifully designed triplex apartment offers a rare blend of spacious reception rooms, outdoor space and enviable location. Its two bedrooms are airy and well proportioned while the open-plan living space has been designed to make the most of the flat’s natural light and unusual architecture.

Available to rent from £6000/week, jll.co.uk/primecollection; to enquire contact Hayley Peverley (+44 (0)20 7493 6040)

Marylebone

Image courtesy Philafrenzy

The vibe: Peace and sophistication in central London

Local attractions: Like artisan coffee, artfully made brunch and independent boutiques full of unique and stylish finds? Marylebone might just be your ideal neighbourhood. Famously the home of Madame Tussauds and 221b Baker Street, local residents wisely avoid the crowds and instead spend weekends wandering the halls of the Wallace Collection, perusing local art galleries and dropping into Chiltern Firehouse or Orrery for a luxuriously long lunch. This is central London living at its most relaxed.

Typical properties: Like nearby Mayfair, Marylebone is dominated by modernised period properties, many of which are townhouses that have been divided into smaller flats and apartments. This, combined with its proximity to central London’s main business hubs, make it a brilliant option for those in need of a home away from home in the city, with both rental and purchase prices typically lower than those in Mayfair, particularly following the recent lockdown dip. The market is bouncing back quickly though, so if you’re interested in moving to Marylebone don’t delay.

The home to know: This one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment tucked away on a quiet street just off Marylebone High Street promises an enticing blend of period features and modern convenience in a package perfectly sized for a couple or single resident. An open plan area offers spaces for living and dining, as well as a fully fitted kitchen, while the large bedroom is flooded with natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows which open on to a pretty Juliet balcony.

Available to rent from £950/week, jll.co.uk/primecollection; to enquire contact Hayley Peverley (+44 (0)20 7493 6040)

To learn more about JLL's Prime Collection, visit jll.co.uk/prime-collection