London is a city of incredible variety. It’s also still one of the UK’s best cities to raise a family in, with a plethora of areas offering a little something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to live in London for families.
Quite simply, Richmond ticks all the boxes. Not only is it brimming with green space, including Richmond Park with its famous deer and Kew Gardens, but its famous streets are lined with boutique and independent stores too. Fantastic transport links balance a suburban atmosphere with easy access to the city. Central London is a mere 30 minutes away by tube, the M25 only a short drive, and Heathrow airport lies well within easy reach. Its schools rank as some of the best in the country as well, with 28 institutions boasting an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted ratings and a further 26 classed as ‘good’. If that wasn’t quite enough, Richmond has been voted the happiest place to live in London five years in a row now. This isn’t surprising considering the area’s low crime rates and tranquil riverside setting.
If you’re looking for a location designed specifically with families in mind, then Brixton might be for you. The council here have invested heavily in making Brixton as family oriented as possible, resulting in refurbished parks, playgrounds, and abundant picnic areas. Child-friendly festivals occur throughout the year, including Guy Fawkes firework night and plenty of arts-and-craft themed events such as the Country Show. This family first attitude has fostered a community spirit, so you’ll find it incredibly easy to make new friends. You’ll always find ample support on hand from the plethora of toddler and play groups too. Fortunately, house prices remain low compared to the rest of London, with Brixton being one of the more affordable areas on this list.
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Barnet’s concentration of high-performing schools is its biggest draw for prospective families. An impressive 42 schools are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and 20 of its primary schools boast a 90% KS2 rating (six of those managed 100%). Moreover, Barnet’s GCSE pupils topped the 2019 league tables, further cementing its position as a national leader. Beyond the school gates, Barnet also has plenty of parks for families to enjoy, including the 400-acre Highland Gardens. Central London is only 23 minutes away on the National Rail service, meaning Barnet is well connected for professionals.
Despite being the most expensive location on the list, Maida Vale still has plenty to interest families and represents a substantially lower-priced alternative to neighbouring Paddington and St John’s Wood. It offers an array of family friendly activities, including a zoo, the sprawling Regent’s Park, the famous Puppet Theatre Barge, and a Paddington Bear walking tour which covers locations from the beloved books. Local primary schools St Saviour’s CofE, Gateway Academic, and Ark Atwood are all rated as ‘outstanding’, with a further three local comprehensives have also achieved the ‘outstanding’ rating. With its low crime rate, proximity to central London (just a short walk or tube ride away), and the meandering canals of Little Venice, it’s no wonder that so many families choose to make Maida Vale their home
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