One of the largest and most populated capital cities of the world, London is made up of different areas and various boroughs which were once former estates, villages and parishes. Whilst London has grown into a large modern urban city, the areas have retained their names and are now known as distinct districts and boroughs of the capital.

These include the residential areas of Bayswater, Belgravia, Pimlico, Mayfair, Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Marylebone and Notting Hill which are all located to the south and south west of London.

Each area of London has its own distinctive personality, with a diversity of architecture, community and culture.

The most prestigious residential areas are located in the city of Westminster and the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea. They are Belgravia and Mayfair which were part of the Grosvenor estate in the city of Westminster and Knightsbridge and South Kensington and Chelsea.

Central London areas are divided into postal districts known as post codes. Each post code area corresponds to its compass location followed by a number and 2 letters to distinguish it from adjoining streets within that area.

The most prestigious residential areas by post code are SW1, SW3 and SW7 which cover Belgravia, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington.


Bayswater benefits from being close to the refined district of Kensington yet affords a reasonable way of living in central London.

Sharing some of the same wonderful stucco fronted houses and quaint cobbled mews as its smarter neighbour Bayswater has a diverse range of shops, restaurants, clubs and bars influenced by the local Arab and Muslim communities.

There is an abundance of temporary accommodation available in the area, which attracts an interesting and diverse population of different cultural mixes. There are significant Brazilian, Arab and Greek communities.

House prices have risen significantly until recently. However prices are expected to settle as buyers will concentrate on the more prestigious areas in SW1, SW3 and SW7. Like much of central London, regeneration is planned for the most deprived areas.


Belgravia is one of the most prestigious residential areas of London. The streets are lined with large, elegant six-storey stucco fronted houses that attract wealthy individuals from all over the world.

It is famous for its beautiful squares such as Belgrave Square and Eaton Square where the graceful houses surround beautiful private gardens.

There are also a large number of embassies and prestige offices scattered among its residential streets.

Belgravia benefits from its closeness to the shops of Knightsbridge and has excellent transport links at Victoria railway station which covers the south of England including Gatwick airport.

It is an area blessed with character with many small traditional English pubs such as the Antelope, the Grenadier and the Belgravia which are tucked away in delightful and quiet mews away from the main roads.


Located to the south of Belgravia bordering the river the area attracts many young professionals who want a central location but cannot afford the prices of Belgravia. It has a vaguely bohemian air, architecturally similar to Belgravia but a little more untidy. However, rising property prices mean that the area is becoming more and more exclusive.

There are a few community housing blocks but these are mainly privately owned and the location is excellent whilst it also affords its residents relative peace and quiet at night.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a charming area of London although nowadays it has become fairly touristy. Nevertheless, the cafes, shops and boutiques, coffee houses and pubs are as inviting as the bright lights of Theatreland and Leicester Square, which is literally a stroll away.

Covent Garden has always attracted creative professionals such as artists, designers, actors and filmmakers. Houses are rare and most residents live in converted flats such as lofts. It is a very busy area and it is a desirable place to live for those who want bustling London life right on their doorstep. However, this is not a particularly residential area and accommodation is limited.

Kensington and Chelsea

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is typically English in character with architecture that is a mix of Georgian and Victorian terraces and stucco fronted buildings. Like neighbouring Belgravia there are many embassies in the area.

The property prices are quite high due to the beautiful buildings and excellent amenities and residents benefit from superb fashion shops and quality restaurants.

Kensington Gardens is a beautiful park in the middle of the city which is not normally frequented by tourists and incorporates Holland Park.

South Kensington, which is the favoured residential district, is home to famous museums and art galleries as well as some of the most beautiful architecture London has to offer.


Knightsbridge is well known for its variety of high quality shops selling top quality brands. The shops include the well known stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols as well as the exclusive clothes designer shops along Sloane Street.

Some of the residential roads either side of Brompton Road near Harrods have exceptional houses and the area is extremely exclusive and consequently one of the most expensive.

Although predominately a shopping area, Knightsbridge is not far from South Kensington and Chelsea and the architecture of the buildings is beautiful and there are many extremely good quality apartments and mews houses in the area.


Marylebone Road is an extremely busy commercial thoroughfare. However Marylebone Village offers an idyllic residential area with stylish Georgian houses, mansion blocks and mews avenues.

Marylebone High Street is picturesque with chic boutiques, cafes and a variety of restaurants. However, the area to the North of Marylebone Road is a little neglected and is not as attractive as the Village.

Property prices in Marylebone Village have increased significantly due to its character and accessible location. Paddington station is close by with the Heathrow Express offering the fastest route to Heathrow and for motorists a six-lane highway makes it really easy to access the countryside to the west of London.


Formerly part of the Grosvenor estate Mayfair is, with Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Kensington and Chelsea, the most exclusive residential area in London where some of the world’s most expensive properties can be found. Splendid mansions are found next to contemporary apartments of the highest quality and design.

Full of stylish bars, world-class restaurants and London’s best hotels, Mayfair offers some of the best nightlife in London.

Mayfair also has some charming quiet areas that are frequented by local residents of the area giving it a village feel. Shepherd Market boasts charming coffee shops, tiny art galleries and good restaurants. Park Street, Hill Street and Farm Street are predominantly residential roads and are very desirable.

The area is within easy access to some of the world’s most fashionable shops, Michelin starred restaurants and wonderful theatres. It is close to Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It also borders Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’ Park.

Notting Hill

Famous for its annual carnival and the film ‘Notting Hill’, Notting Hill remains a vibrant enclave in central London with avenues and streets of beautiful residential buildings.

It is well known for its artistic community. Indeed many actors and show business stars have made their home there. Portobello Road Market is world renowned for its weekend antiques and art market.

The area has a fashionable bohemian feel, with streets buzzing most nights until past midnight and a carnival further transforms the area once a year.

The properties are mostly stucco fronted Georgian villas, pretty pastel mews and some more modern conversions and most of the area is very smart and quite expensive.


Soho is an area that is both artistic and chic with a diverse cultural mix. Located next to bustling Covent Garden it is historically famous for its sex shops, but Soho is no longer as sleazy as it once was.

Home to Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Chinatown and the famous streets that run northwards from Old Compton Street to Oxford Street, the area is less residential than other areas of London.

Soho is home to many ethnic communities, especially Chinese and like neighbouring Covent Garden Soho attracts artists and designers of all types. Chinatown offers limitless restaurants and Berwick Street Market has delicious fresh foods on offer.

It is an extremely lively place, during both the day and evening, so may not appeal as a residential area. Like neighbouring Covent Garden accommodation is limited and mainly restricted to studio and loft apartments.

Saint John's Wood

St John’s Wood is located centrally in the City of Westminster and is within close proximity of both Trafalgar Square and Regent’s Park.

Made popular by the gentry in the 19th century the area remains an affluent residential suburb to this day. Famous locations within the St John’s Wood district include Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Abbey Road Studios, renowned for being the place where The Beatles recorded their records.

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