There are many reasons for moving to London. There are, of course, the employment opportunities and the higher wages that go with them. Londoners benefit from world-class food with a variety of cuisines and plenty of fantastic markets peppered around the city. We can’t forget the seemingly endless supply of great entertainment, with music, theatre, comedy, art, opera and dance. There’s also the fact that you’d be living in one of Europe’s major transport hubs along with the diverse and often quirky people that make up London’s population.
Then, there is the fact that London is one of the greenest cities in the world. According to Lonely Planet, “London is the most verdant city of its size in the world. Green spaces cover nearly 40% of Greater London: parks, squares, public gardens and cemeteries – in all, some 173 sq km.” It’s a fact that is also related to London’s vast history. After the Reformation in the 1530s, King Henry VIII requisitioned some of the city’s best real estate to use for private deer hunting. Today, we know much of this area – which includes St James’s, Hyde, Regent’s, Green, Greenwich and Richmond Park – as London’s Royal Parks and we use them for the far more relaxed acts of walking, meeting friends and having occasional lunches in the sun.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to live in any of the Royal Parks. However, if you’re looking for a clean and green area of London to live there are many great areas spread across the city. Here are some of our suggestions.
Hampstead (North West London)
It’s easy to forget you’re just a few stops away from the centre of London when you’re in Hampstead Heath’s 791 acres of wood and heathland. It’s an impressive getaway from the city but still offers plenty of things to do, with a zoo, athletics track, indoor swimming pool, lido and loads of facilities for the kids. That’s not forgetting the green hills and peaceful ponds that are great for taking a walk. Plus, the views at the top of the hills, which reach all the way to Canary Wharf and the O2.
Hampstead Heath (which is known as “the lungs of London”) is the biggest of many parks in Hampstead. Further West in the area there are plenty more, including Kilburn Grange Park, Queen’s Park, Fortune Green and Gladstone Park. All in all, it’s hard to think of a greener place to live in London than Hampstead. The only problem you’ll have finding a home in this part of London is the loyalty of the residents. Many of them have lived in the area for generations, passing on property to their children and grandchildren. They’re also very vigilant and oppose any new developments that may affect the look of the area, which means that new housing developments are rarer than in other parts of London.
Properties in Hampstead Village and East Heath, which are the main residential areas of Hampstead and have an NW3 postcode, can be very pricey. However, some cheaper options are available in Belsize Park, which is still NW3. Roads like Constantine, Savernake and Agincourt, which are close to the Royal Free Hospital, are cheaper than those in the village.
Hackney (East London)
Though not possessing a park quite as expansive as Hampstead Heath, Hackney is still an area with an astonishing amount of green space for any resident to choose from. In fact, it’s the area with the largest number of green spaces in all of inner London. The largest of these is Hackney Marshes. It’s a haven for amateur footballers with a slew of football pitches on offer. There’s also Clissold and Springfield Park, which are both rich in history, London Fields, which is a favourite spot for many to relax in the sun, Victoria Park and Shoreditch Park.
10 years ago, it may have been hard to imagine Hackney on this list, as it was then seen as a rougher area. But due to recent developments, over the past decade, the area has been transformed. A huge number of people cycle and walk to work, thanks to improvements to routes in the area. This not only speaks of the safety of Hackney, but also of the potentially positive effects on the air quality.
If you’re looking for a clean, green and up-and-coming area of London, then Hackney might just be the choice for you.
Chiswick (West London)
A former fishing village, Chiswick is quiet, leafy, green and affluent. With lots of schools and a good quality of life, it’s one of the most family-friendly areas in London. The most desirable green spaces are in the southwest of the borough, where Richmond Park and the world-famous Kew Gardens are huge attractions. Chiswick also features Ravenscourt Park, which has tennis courts, a flower garden, and a children’s play area. There’s also Duke’s Meadow, a riverside park that has been restored by a group of local residents with funds made at the local farmers’ market.
Chiswick has a wide variety of properties, ranging from modern apartments and mansion flats to grand Edwardian and Victorian detached houses, quaint Victorian cottages and beautiful riverside Georgian houses. Unfortunately, like many other areas in London, none of these will come cheap. However, as one of the most family-friendly and community-orientated areas in London that also boasts plenty of clean, green space, Chiswick can be well worth the cost.
Greenwich (South East London)
For a green area of London that’s also got a healthy dose of history and culture, you can’t go wrong with Greenwich. Located in the southeast, buyers have often been put off Greenwich by the lack of a Tube station. However, it is well connected by buses, trains and the Overground, and residents will find very few problems getting into the city. This is highlighted by the fact that many city workers choose to live in Greenwich rather than central London. The green expanses, vibrant nightlife and choice of attractions in Greenwich all prove to be a hit with residents, and commuting does not hinder them.
The most popular green space in the area is Greenwich Park, which is a World Heritage Site located by the Royal Naval College, the Queen’s House and the National Maritime Museum. Outside of the parks, Thames Path is a riverside walk that’s attractive for anyone looking to take some time out by the Thames. The route starts at the historic Cutty Sark, heads past the O2 and on towards Woolwich in the West.
Generally, the most desirable properties in Greenwich are near Greenwich Park and Blackheath. Popular areas also include West Greenwich roads like Hyde Vale, Gloucester Circus, Circus Street and King George Street. East Greenwich, which is also a SE10 postcode, offers a slightly cheaper option.
Moving To London?
If you’re thinking of moving to one of the clean and green areas of London we’ve mentioned, Britannia Ryans can offer a reliable and cost-effective home removals service. We have over 35 years’ experience in removals and storage across North London and can assist with national and international moves as part of the Britannia Movers International network.