Part 1: London's Top Neighbourhoods
If you’re planning a trip to London for the first time, you're probably wondering ’where is the best area to stay in London?’… right? Well you’ve come to the right place!
Actually, there is no universal “best” neighbourhood to stay in London. Why is that? Because our city has many incredible neighbourhoods with attributes that make each of them unique and special for different reasons.
Many guests first get in contact with us expressing desire to stay somewhere central, within walking distance to all of London’s major attractions. While you could technically walk your way between each of London's major sights (those on a time limit might want to reconsider however), an important thing to know about London is that our treasures are spread out all over the city, and so no one area is the really "best" neighbourhood stay for sightseeing.
Luckily London has one of the best transport systems in the world, and so getting around London to see all of the sights is incredibly easy. So that’s why we recommend picking a neighbourhood to stay in based upon the type of holiday you’re looking for, not just for it's physical proximity to the attraction you will probably only go to see once.
So we hope we can help you discover the best areas to stay in London with our helpful guide on some of London's most popular neighborhoods. And if you're still not sure where best suits you, please just get in touch with our friendly enquiries team. We are more than happy to share our local knowledge of our amazing city with you!
Note: this the first part of our guide to London's top neighbourhoods - stay tuned for information on London Bridge & Borough, West End & Marylebone, and Clapham and Battersea! Or in the meantime, see our full Area Guides here.
Out towards west London are the gorgeous, white fronted townhouses of Notting Hill. Here, you’ll find wide, sweeping streets lined with wisteria, brightly coloured rows of homes, and arguably the world’s most famous market (there is a song about it…) Portobello.
Notting Hill has always been a desirable place to live, and has a rich and long history. In the early nineteenth century, there was a huge shortage housing, and so James Well Ladbroke transformed London’s existing farmland into residential areas – designing a beautiful series of crescents with gardens on either side. These spectacular half moon streets can be found throughout the area, and are historically protected.
What to do in Notting Hill?
Portobello Market of course! Many of the market stall’s have been owned by the same families for generations, and Portobello Road’s antique market dealers have a particularly interesting heritage. Following the Blitz during WWII, home owners were forced to abandon their houses thus leaving behind a mass of furniture. The unclaimed items were then sold as antiques, and the trade has been a huge success ever since!
Although an antique armchair may not be so easy to squeeze into your carry on, head to Portobello Market for its vintage fashion stores, beautiful London prints, and delicious food stalls. By simply walking along this iconic road, you will truly experience the heart and soul of Notting Hill.
Where to eat in Notting Hill?
Looking for restaurants in Notting Hill? Go to Arancina for a slice of traditional Sicilian pizza, and the most sumptuous of treats – an arancina ball. If you'd rather something more eclectic, why not stroll down Portobello Road and choose from one of the many food stalls lining the road? Here you can eat burgers, falafel, fresh fruit salads, vegan dishes, roast pork and more!
Where to stay in Notting Hill?
Fancy staying in an iconic Notting Hill holiday home? Try this two bedroom London holiday apartment!
Contact us for more recommendations on our top holiday rentals in Notting Hill.
Read our full Notting Hill Area Guide here.
Did you know that the 20 most expensive streets in England are all in London, and 12 of those are in Kensington and Chelsea!?
Chelsea is known for being fashionable, sophisticated and affluent - it’s no wonder why it is frequented by rich and famous! So if you’re hoping to spot a famous face or two during your visit to London, Chelsea is definitely one of the best places in London for celebrity spotting!
While exploring the myriad of high-end fashion boutiques along the King’s Road, or dining one of the many top-quality eateries in the area, you never know who you’ll bump into!
Some famous faces you might see out and about include Eric Clapton, Kylie Minogue, J.K Roweling, Stella McMartney and Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson), whom all own houses in the area.
What to do in Chelsea?
- Explore the glamourous shops along the King’s Road and Fulham Road.
- Sit in the middle of Sloane Square and watch the world go by.
- Catch a play at the Royal Court Theatre.
- Walk along Chelsea Embankment by the River Thames.
- Visit the Saatchi Gallery.
Where to eat & drink in Chelsea?
- Bluebird – an upmarket restaurant specializing in European food and cocktailsa (hotspot for celebrity spotting!)
- The Ivy Chelsea Garden – Stunning interior, food menu and cocktail list. Popular among well-heeled locals.
- The Jam Tree – a quirky gastropub with a Modern British menu and one of the best pub garden’s in London!
- Goat – A New York-Italian restaurant on the King’s Road serving grills, wood-fired pizza (and it has a hidden drinks room!)
Where to stay in Chelsea?
An impeccably decorated, spacious and elegant apartment, boasting high ceilings and lots of light. This property is perfect for couples looking to explore the metropolis in style.
Contact us for more recommendations on our top holiday apartments in Chelsea.
Read our full Chelsea Area Guide here.
Located just below Hyde Park, Knightsbridge is home to London’s rich and beautiful, boasting fine dining, luxury department stores, and beautiful homes. It is quite honestly, an unbeatable London location, being within walking distance to the museums and South Kensington as well as have numerous eateries and cafes on your doorstep. You would never be at a loose end when in Knightsbridge.
What to do in Knightsbridge?
Hightail to Harrods and Harvey Nichols for a luxury shopping experience to remember! They sell the largest collections of clothes, accessories and shoes than anywhere else in the city, and their bright lights lure in both tourists and locals alike, so you would be in good company rubbing shoulders with London's elite.
If retail therapy is not quite your (shopping) bag, why not visit one of London’s royal parks? Three of the green expanses are meters apart in Knightsbridge. St James’ Park is a beautiful space, with wonderful views over the lake to Buckingham Palace and exceptional foliage in autumn.
Green Park similarly follows suit, offering a peaceful oasis right next to Buckingham Palace. Apparently King Charles II's wife demanded all flowers be removed from Green Park after she found him picking blooms for another woman. The park to this day has no formal flowerbeds, but during spring is a sea of yellow daffodils.
And of course there is the world famous Hyde Park, set in the very heart of London, which offers a great array of activities for every season. Try your hand at boating, horse riding, or tennis, perhaps an open water swim in the Serpentine, or ice skating when Winter Wonderland opens – fun for all the family!
Where to drink in Knightsbridge?
The Enterprise is a chic London bar – the perfect locale for people watching! A visit to the Thomas Cubitt is always a fabulous idea - enjoy a locally brewed ale, a perfect cocktail, or a delicious roast dinner surrounded by classic open fireplaces, and elegant decor. The wine list is extensive, although we would always recommend a glass of champagne - when in Rome!
Where to stay in Knightsbridge?
A perfectly quaint 1 bedroom apartment on a peaceful mews street, right next to Hyde Park – who could ask for more?
Contact us for more recommendations on our top holiday rentals in Knightsbridge.
Read our full Knightsbridge Area Guide here.
There’s no doubt that Royal Borough of Kensington is one of London’s most desirable postcodes. When people think of Kensington, they will usually think of glamour, elegance and opulence.
Originally a small village, Kensington grew up quickly into the cosmopolitan sophistication with which it is synonymous today.
The affluent area is home to many swanky bars, glamorous restaurants, myriads of charming shops, and some of the world’s most prestigious museums.
Kensington is brilliant for visitors wanting to stay in a central location while still experiencing true London residential life, while being in close proximity to London’s top museums. We have many holiday rentals in Kensington suited to families, couples or solo travellers.
What to do in Kensington?
- Explore our world famous museums! The Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are all right on your doorstep here.
- Visit Kensington Palace, the home to the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge.
- Explore the stunning greenery in Kensington Gardens.
- Walk up Brompton Road to Harrods and Hyde Park.
- Go for lunch and take pictures in and outside The Churchill Arms pub.
Where to eat & drink in Kensington?
- Bumpkin – an organic British restaurant (a great brunch spot!)
- L’Étranger – Japanese influences French cuisine (head here for a fancy dinner).
- The Hereford Arms – a relaxed Victorian pub (a popular favourite among locals)
- Franco Manca – London’s most loved pizza chain (small menu, big flavours!)
Who where to stay in Kensington?
A beautifully decorated flat with high ceilings and open-plan living, just a short walk to West Brompton station with direct links to the heart of London. If you're looking for a chic, modern and a touch of luxury in your London home. This London holiday rental is for you!
Contact us for more recommendations on our top vacation rentals in Kensington.
Read our full Kensington Area Guide here.
Family friendly, ever so peaceful and village-like, Fulham is a haven for those wishing to escape the hubbub of the city, whilst still offering excellent links to the heart of the action. Truly the best of both worlds!
Did you know Fulham got its name from the Saxon word ‘Fullenhame’ which means ‘the place where the birds live’, as hundreds of species of wild bird and waterfowl lived along the Fulham riverside.
What to do in Fulham?
Stroll along the Fulham Road and window shop its luxury stores selling chandeliers, antiques and bespoke furniture. There are also particularly great charity shops in this area, selling designer clothes at a fraction of the retail price, and it all goes to a good cause!
Where to eat & drink in Fulham?
Foodies are in for a treat in Fulham! Gola on the Fulham Road serves deliciously authentic cuisine from Puglia, with excellent service and a terrific atmosphere. The site Horse is an iconic London dining and drinking spot, which is famous for its summer BBQs, splendid beer garden, and cosy interior -- it's a location perfect for every season, which is necessary in England's unpredictable climate!
Where to stay in Fulham?
A fabulous two bedroom apartment on a peaceful residential street, with stunning roof terrace.
Contact us for more recommendations on our top vacation homes in Fulham.
Read our full Fulham Area Guide here.
We hope you've enjoyed our guide to London's top neighbourhoods - Chelsea, Kensington, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Fulham.
Stay tuned for information on London Bridge & Borough, West End & Marylebone, and Clapham and Battersea next week!