We all love a weekend getaway to the countryside – the acres of green space, quaint country pubs and the fresh air come as a welcome alternative to the usual hustle and bustle of London. Well, most of London, because there are a few areas in the capital that replicate many of the village towns found outside of the Big Smoke, country air permitting. But where are all these London villages located?
Hampstead village has been coveted by the rich and famous ever since the 1800s. In fact, it’s home to more celebrities than anywhere else in the UK. This north west London hilltop hideaway features winding cobbled streets, quaint country-style pubs, boutique shops and the magnificent open spaces of Hampstead Heath.
South London offers plenty of green spaces – and it’s in Wimbledon village where they combine with independent shops to create a warm country vibe. While Wimbledon is famous for its annual tennis tournament, it’s the village area where everyone wants to live. There is a blend of chic shops, cafes and bars for people to enjoy. You will forget you’re even in London.
It’s hard to believe that Highgate is located just over five miles from Charing Cross and takes less than 20 minutes to get into the centre of London by tube. Highgate offers a different type of lifestyle from the perceived 24/7 buzz of London. Replace high street brand shops with independent boutiques, chain restaurants with gastropubs and parks with the unkempt terrain of Highgate Woods.
Since the early 17th century the Dulwich Estate have kept tight control over Dulwich Village, so it’s no surprise to see it mimic a countryside town. The SE21 postcode offers the open spaces of Dulwich Park and the slightly more romantic Dulwich Woods. There are also a few local gastropubs on offer to provide you with drinks and food after a long walk around the area.
The most central of our village areas, Marylebone’s W1 postcode makes it part of central London, so it’s all the more astonishing that it manages to create such a popular village vibe. Logistically it may only be minutes from Oxford Street, but with its quaint shops, cafes and designer boutiques, in terms of atmosphere it’s a million miles away.
Think of a country village combined with east London hipster vibes, and you have got Broadway Market. Canals, tea shops and a family butchers make Broadway Market one of London’s more alternative village areas. It just so happens to be eco-friendly too – no plastic bags allowed.
It’s not only the home to super-amazing boyband (well, old man band now) East 17, but the village part of Walthamstow happens to be…. village-y. The leafy area features a street theatre and street parties, while there’s also an actual village store and local bakery serving fresh bread.
Great restaurants, local markets, gastropubs, independent shops and the vast open spaces of Greenwich Park make the village area of Greenwich an enviable one. There’s also plenty of maritime history to explore and a strong sense of community, which helps it to mirror plenty of other villages located in the UK.
So there you have it. You don’t have to embrace the constant grind of London fully; there are plenty of areas that offer a level of escapism while still keeping you close enough to flirt with the busy city. To find your perfect area to live, why not check out our ‘where to live in London’ widget?November 18, 2016 rentonomy Moving to the Capital