Let’s be honest: there’s nowhere in London where it's properly cheap to rent a room, but it turns out there are neighbourhoods where you can still get a space for less than £600. Want to get to know what they are, where they are and what they’re like? Look no further. Here are the key details to know – from parks and pubs to big supermarkets and transport connections.
10. Palmers Green, N13
Average room rent £598.
What’s it like? A suburban area beyond Tottenham. Broomfield Park is nice. River Lee isn’t far away.
Best places to eat and drink Cypriot cuisine rules these quarters, the food at Nissi is a prime example.
Big supermarkets nearby There’s a Waitrose in a weirdly fancy building, a Sainsbury’s and a big Morrisons.
Transport connections Arnos Grove is just outside the postcode. Otherwise, buses run to central, and Palmers Green station has Great Northern and Thameslink trains.
9. Upper Edmonton, N18
Average room rent £595.
What’s it like? A bustling, diverse area with a big Ikea and an even bigger park (Pymmes).
Best places to eat and drink Lincoln’s Patisserie is a gem. Hilal Restaurant does great Turkish food. And try Enfield Brewery for pints.
Big supermarkets nearby A huge Lidl, with a car park and all the rest.
Transport connections There’s Edmonton Green Overground, a couple of buses and national rail from Meridian Water to Stratford every half an hour.
8. Wanstead and Leytonstone, E11
Average room rent £592.
What’s it like? A slice of east London, further out than Stratford. Lots of woodland and an up-and-coming food-and-drink scene.
Best places to eat and drink Singburi, a BYOB Thai restaurant serving up both lovely food and a great time. Luppolo Pizza is among the trendiest.
Big supermarkets nearby Tesco superstore, baby.
Transport connections Loads, if you like the Central line.
7. Winchmore Hill, Bush Hill and Grange Park, N21
Average room rent £591.
What’s it like? Green spaces on every corner, a few good pubs and a small-town, family-friendly feel.
Best places to eat and drink The Kings Head is the best (gastro)pub.
Big supermarkets nearby There’s a big Sainsbury’s at either end of the ’code, and a Waitrose. If you’re the deli counter type, you’ll want to stock up at The Larder.
Transport connections You can get into the city in no time from several rail stations. Southgate is on the Piccadilly line and looks like something out of ‘Star Trek’.
6. Eltham, SE9
Average room rent £587.
What’s it like? Golf courses, big parks… It’s a docile part of London with good walks. Dogs would like it.
Best places to eat and drink Contemporary Turkish spot Zavi.
Big supermarkets nearby Sainsbury’s, with a car park. And Polish shop Anna is worth a visit.
Transport connections Trains to Charing Cross and Victoria from Eltham, some buses.
5. Plaistow, E13
Average room rent £585.
What’s it like? Officially suburban, formerly in Essex. A nice 40-odd minute walk from the River Thames and Stratford.
Best places to eat and drink Find Ghanaian food galore at Kate’s Cafe and Restaurant, and BJ’s Pie & Mash is top.
Big supermarkets nearby No big bois in the neighbourhood, I’m afraid.
Transport connections The District, and Hammersmith & City lines run from Plaistow tube. Plus buses.
4. South Norwood, SE25
Average room rent £583.
What’s it like? South. Historically Surrey. There are a couple of schools and a large park.
Best places to eat and drink Tasty Jerk is the top spot as far as we’re concerned. You get a good pint at The Craft Beer Cabin.
Big supermarkets nearby Four letters: Aldi. Sainsbury’s too, sure. But Aldi.
Transport connections Norwood Junction has the Overground, Southern Rail and Thameslink, so it’ll get you places, which will get you places, you know?
3. Edmonton and Lower Edmonton, N9
Average room rent £579.
What’s it like? Nice. North of Tottenham, with Firs Farm Wetlands Park & Playing Fields to the left and reservoirs to the right.
Best places to eat and drink Turkish places abound here: Capital Restaurant gets a lot of love, deservedly so, but Kervan warrants a mention too.
Big supermarkets nearby There’s a Lidl, plus loads of small markets with produce from across the world.
Transport connections Buses and several Overground and national rail stations.
2. East Ham, E6
Average room rent £568.
What’s it like? A busy area with a lot of history, a huge football pedigree and some of the most diverse communities in London.
Best places to eat and drink Loads of good eating here. Thattukada, for instance, serves food from Kerala: it’s well worth a visit wherever you live.
Big supermarkets nearby No big ones, lots of small ones.
Transport connections East Ham is on the District, and Hammersmith & City, lines, otherwise it’s buses.
1. Abbey Wood, SE2
Average room rent £563.
What’s it like? A quiet spot between Greenwich and Bexley. Tall trees and the lake in Southmere Park offer especially tranquil vibes. And the Thames is just north of the postcode.
Best places to eat and drink K’s Spice African Express is top notch, as is The Abbey Arms for food and drink, and The Olive for brunching.
Big supermarkets nearby Huge Sainsbury’s and a big Lidl. Tick, tick.
Transport connections Abbey Wood will get you to London Bridge, Charing Cross or Cannon Street. Crossrail is coming here too.
All prices from www.spareroom.co.uk. October 2021.