Continuing our series of ‘where to live in London’ posts, this article discusses 5 popular areas to live with stations on the London Overground network, which you may find useful if you need to take this route to your workplace. The London Overground currently serves 5 rail routes around London which includes 83 stations. These lines are the North London line, the West London line, the East London line, the Gospel Oak to Barking line and the Watford DC line. At the end of this year (2012), the South London will be added which will run from Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction via Surrey Quays. London Overground may not be classed as the ‘tube’, but the trains are extremely regular and it’s nice to be a large air-conditioned carriage which is mainly above ground – much more pleasant that a hot, sweaty tube journey on a hot summer’s day.
There are many areas to choose from if you wish to live near a station on the London Overground line, but here are 5 popular places that you may consider living in:
Highbury & Islington
Technically more Highbury than Islington as the station is situated at the very far north end of Upper StreetA. But either Highbury or Islington are both crazily trendy and popular areas to live in, with beautiful period properties, a buzzing social scene and great independent shops to stroll round on a Saturday morning with a coffee cup in your hand. In terms of open space you’ve got the Highbury Fields right next to the station which happens to be the largest park in the borough of Islington (although still pretty small in terms of many parks and commons across the capital). Prices aren’t cheap here, but if you want to live here try to stretch your budget as much as possible as you won’t regret it, it’s a great area. For more information about these two areas, please view our Islington or Highbury Area Guides.
The beautiful rolling grass of the heath lies to the north of the station with Highgate High Street and village only a stones throw away to the west. Hampstead is extremely posh and crawling with celebrities who want to do ‘normal’ things like going for a pint in the Flask or Holly Bush pubs. The village is full of independent and vintage shops. It’s ubercool, but very charming. If you think about what an American expects London to be like, this is it. The heath is just shy of 800 acres large and is full of wildlife such as squirrels, deer, foxes and even grass snakes!!! To find out more about living in Hampstead, please view our Hampstead Area Guide.
This hilly area is situated in South East London. Also known as Upper Norwood, the Crystal Palace Park is the site of the ill-fated palace which burned down in 1936. The park itself is beautiful, yet functional and is home to a small farm (free to visit), the Victorian dinosaurs, remnants of the palace itself (the terraces and Brunel Water Tower), a museum, a cafe, playground and probably most famously the National Sports Centre. Socially, the heart of Crystal Palace lies around the ‘Triangle’, which is a collection of 3 roads jampacked with pubs, restaurants, independent food shops and bric-a-brac shops. It also has a great (yet undiscovered by many outsiders) market called the Haynes Lane market. Although the pubs are always full, the nightlife in Crystal Palace isn’t quite as happening as it is down the roads in Brixton or Clapham – people who live there tend to be in their 30s rather than 20s. But it’s a green and safe area well worth considering. For more information on Crystal Palace, please view our Crystal Palace Area Guide.
Don’t be put off by East End tales of living in Hackney, these are largely in the past, although it does still have it’s dodgy parts. However, Hackney is now a magnet for trendy 20 somethings who are into fashion, art or music. A particular lovely part of Hackney is situated to the north of Victoria Park and is called Victoria Park Village. You’ll find it to be filled with quality pubs (some on the park), organic food shops, wine merchants, restaurants and even a smattering of designer clothes shops. Hackney is well placed for quick and easy journeys into Central London, or into nearby Shoreditch and Hoxton if that’s more your scene. To find out more about the area, please view our Hackney Area Guide.
To start with, Clapham Junction is confusingly located in the Battersea area, but it’s a short bus ride away from Clapham Common and high street.
A quick walk down the Northcote Road in this location will tell you why it’s such a popular place to live. Pubs, bars, restaurants, street cafes and independent shops line the long road which runs from Clapham Junction up to Wandsworth and intersects with Battersea Rise (upon which you’ll find more of the same). Even though it’s not Central London, the establishments on this road are packed every night of the week with drinkers. It’s a very sociable place to live indeed. For functional shopping, you’ll find a Debenhams department store in the area and a huge Asda store. The train station is absolutely huge and can get you into many parts of Central London, or a multitude of other places, within a few minutes. Depending on what you’re looking for, prices aren’t too dreadful in this area – there is quite a bit of decent ex-council housing available to live in, or period conversions on roads off Lavender Hill or St John’s Hill. For more information on Clapham Junction, please view our Battersea Area Guide.
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