If you’re looking for a new home in London, there are some areas that are particularly famous for being amazing places to live – provided you can afford the high price tags. Should you be planning to pick up a prime slice of the capital’s real estate, read my guide to the top three areas to buy a home in.
Just as a word of advice before you fall in love with a particular location, make sure you factor in stamp duty when working out whether individual properties fit within your budget, as this is something often forgotten until the process of buying is underway. Now, as the below areas all rank among the most affluent in the city, it is worth consulting a specialist about how to avoid paying stamp duty on your chosen property.
When you ask someone to name wealthy areas of London, Mayfair is a location likely to be cited by most people. Named after the boisterous May fair that took place here until it was relocated in 1764, Mayfair is a central district that encompasses many of the city’s top shopping areas, such as New Bond Street.
A lot of the grandiose old homes here have now been converted into offices, but there are still many stunning residential properties to be snapped up – though, as you’d expect, these tend not to stay on the market for long.
So, what are the top attractions of living in Mayfair? Two of the most obvious are the calibre of the properties available and its fantastic central location, which also means it has excellent transport connections.
Great restaurants, bars and shops are also just steps away, which makes it an ideal location for someone keen to live in the heart of the hustle and bustle of London. Among the top stores to look out for is Bernard J Shapero, which sells a host of fascinating products – including out of print books – and proves that there is more to this district than designer stores.
Next on my list is Chelsea, which is another district famous for its affluence – and, these days, for the reality TV programme Made in Chelsea. Located on the River Thames, it is home to scenic areas like Chelsea Embankment, as well as the well-known Sloane Street, where you’ll find some of the area’s most exclusive shops.
There is also a wonderful market to visit in Chelsea – the Farmer’s Market on Sydney Street. A great place to purchase organic produce, it may well become one of your favourite places to shop, should you choose to buy a home in this part of the capital.
King’s Road is the main thoroughfare through Chelsea, spanning almost two miles in total. Once upon a time, it was reserved for use by royalty as a means of getting to Hampton Court, but today it is home to big fashion labels and a cluster of antiques stores.
Last, but certainly not least, Kensington is another district that is certainly worth adding to your shortlist. Part of the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it is where some of the capital’s best shops are located, as well as a number of prestigious museums.
In fact, in the south Kensington area, you will find the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to name but a few. Other top attractions in the district include the grand Kensington Palace (it may not look too dazzling from outside, but head inside and you will be greeted with some truly incredible interiors) and the Royal Opera House.