The lovely London neighbourhood named best place to live with high street full of independent shops

By Staff

Clerkenwell has beaten stiff competition to be named London’s best place to live by The Sunday Times. The Islington neighbourhood has stole this year’s prestigious award from 2023 winner Crouch End as judged said it “embodies all that’s best about life in London”.

Although Clerkenwell lost out to North Berwick in Scotland for the national awards, judges were really impressed by its historic feel coupled with a whole host of vibrant additions. As high streets continue to struggle across the country, judges paid particular attention this year to independent businesses that kept neighbourhoods going.

Helen Davies, the editor of Best Places to Live, told MyLondon she particularly loved the hairdressers ‘Barber Streisand’ which she dubbed one of the best shop names in the entire country. Describing what Clerkenwell has to offer, she said: “Something that has really captured about Clerkenwell was the history. It also has an amazing culinary scene with great restaurants, along with great cultural spaces at the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells.”

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She added: “We’ve noticed that Clerkenwell attracts lots of downsizers. People might have lived and worked in London in their younger years before leaving the city, but then decide to move back to Clerkenwell in order to enjoy its vibrancy and culture once more. The area has now been made even more attractive by the Elizabeth line [with the nearest station being nearby in Farringdon].”

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The North London neighbourhood wasn’t the only part of city which impressed the judges, who also put forward Crouch End, Forest Hill, Highams Park, Little Venice, London Fields and Wimbledon Village. The delights of Crouch End are well known after it won last year’s award for London, but judges said Forest Hill could be the ‘next big thing’ for first-time buyers.

The creative neighbourhood in South East London has a vibrant artistic community and wonderful views towards the City from the Horniman Museum. Judges also said Forest Hill is an ideal option for first time buyers with relatively cheap prices compared to most of London, while also be a place you can stay in throughout this time.

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Average property prices in the area are currently sitting at £589k according to Rightmove. Highams Park was given similar praise by judges who saw it as a “bucolic” alternative to Walthamstow. They said: The lively, leafy neighbourhood is fringed by glorious woodland and, there’s a plentiful supply of houses with good-sized gardens.

“Highams Park is a friendly neighbourhood where people greet each other in the street and residents are keen to support their independent shops and community events.”

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