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News / City Life

It's official: the best area of London to live in is...

Runners on Clapham Common.
© Mark Higham

In our biggest ever City Living Survey, over 12,000 Londoners rated their areas for friendliness, accessibility, eating and drinking options, family vibes and affordability. Our survey-takers even told us how happy and relaxed they felt personally, so we could find which districts were hotbeds of anxiety or oases of calm. And now we've crunched the numbers to find the places with the highest overall score.

In first place... it's Clapham!

Yes, it comes in for more than its fair share of stick from the rest of London, but it turns out there are plenty of reasons to feel smug in SW4 – not least the outstanding transport links (including three tube stops and Europe’s busiest railway station) and spacious common, ideal for pushing a buggy, flying a kite or necking a G&T. Moreover, when we surveyed Londoners, those from Clapham gave their area supremely high ratings across all categories – trendiness, friendliness, happiness, affordability and eating and drinking.

© Jonathon Thompson Photography

So be you party animal, bon viveur, yummy mummy or ambitious young professional it may well be time to head south and check out 2015’s Best Place Overall...

▶ Unusual fruit, weird fitness regimes and a subterranean wine bar: it’s the best bits of Clapham
▶ The best restaurants in Clapham
▶ The best bars and pubs in Clapham

And here are the full top 20:

2) SW12 Balham
3) N1 Islington
4) E8 Hackney/Dalston
5) E2 Bethnal Green
6) SW2 Brixton
7) E20 Olympic Park
8) SW11 Battersea/Clapham Junction
9) SW9 Stockwell
10) SW17 Tooting
N5 Highbury
W10 North Kensington
SE22 East Dulwich
NW5 Kentish Town
SE24 Herne Hill
W4 Chiswick
SE19 Upper Norwood
W11 Notting Hill
E18 Woodford
NW1 Camden

See more results in our full report: the best places to live in London

Love your area? Nominate your favourite local stuff in the #LoveLondonAwards

Who's happiest? Who's friskiest? And who's drinking the most? London's most extreme postcodes revealed

Don't let city life grind you down: how to be happy in London

Want to move? Find out where you should live in London with our handy new property tool.



Lily H

Ugh, a list of where NOT to live in London.



I've just started a new blog on called ' Diary of a South London house hunter'

Please take a look, there will lots of reviews coming in the next few weeks.

Mrs B xx

David L

This was only a survey of areas of London with a London postcode, NOT all of London. Many London Boroughs were excluded, including KT coded areas (because they would win hands down?). Why have a survey using boundaries that only the Post Office (and apparently TimeOut) recognises. Let's have a borough by borough survey please!

Tony M

@David L TimeOut keep perpetuating the myth that London only has 25 boroughs.  Presumably they think that London's population is something like 5.8 million.  

In fact, since 1965 it has had 33 boroughs, when boroughs like Sutton, Kingston and Richmond became London boroughs. So, that makes TimeOut exactly 50 years out of date!


No sign of Central London in the top 20? Waterloo / London Bridge / Borough / Soho / Covent Garden / Southwark / Farringdon etc. I don't think so...

Dave C

Pedantically, "Europe's busiest railway station" is in Battersea, not Clapham.

Ian F

@Dave C That's not being pedantic - it's being correct. You'd think Time Out would know better.

Callum R

Wait. So the survey results come from the people who live there? Then this just proves what we already knew: the smuggest people in London are from Clapham.

no n

According to 0.11% of the population of London.....