One of the things I love about walking around London is how many beautiful areas there are to explore. From colorful houses to historic details, there’s always something new to find. And in my wanderings I’ve discovered a lot of lovely places in the city. Today I want to share some of my favorites with you, so here’s A Lady in London’s guide to 17 of the prettiest London neighborhoods.
Prettiest London Neighborhoods
Whether it’s for their beautiful houses or shopfronts, these places all get me excited about London. I like exploring them, finding new places to meander, and letting them inspire me.
While there are plenty of other parts of London I adore—Westminster for its iconic landmarks and the City for its history—these places are particularly worthy of my list because of their less obvious attractions.
Since I promised to share more of south London with you, I’ll start with Dulwich. This leafy village is one of the prettiest London neighborhoods south of the Thames. With a famous picture gallery, a high street full of cafes, and white wooden street signs with fingers pointing out directions, there’s a lot to love about the area.
Add to that a park with a pond (paddle boating, anyone?), lots of colorful doors, and tree-lined streets, and Dulwich is a true gem.
I write and Instagram about Hampstead so often I’m almost embarrassed. But if there’s one London neighborhood that should be on my list, it’s this one. The village streets, pretty shops, and sprawling heath make it one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Add to that tucked-away pubs like the Holly Bush and the hidden gardens at Fenton House, and Hampstead is a place I could go back to over and over and always discover something new.
With its abundance of mews streets and royal residence, Kensington is one of London’s most elegant areas. From the impressive houses along Kensington Palace Gardens to the quiet side streets off Kensington Church Street, this London neighborhood is full of great details. I adore Kynance Mews in spring and fall and Kensington Gardens in summer.
Add to that a bustling high street, pubs festooned with flowers, and candy-cane striped buildings, and there’s a lot of beauty to take in here.
4. South Kensington
Next door to Kensington, South Kensington is another of my favorite London neighborhoods. Replete with mews and graced with world-class museums, this part the city has a lot going for it from both a local and visitor perspective. I could spend all day at the V&A, and the Natural History Museum is gorgeous inside and out.
And that’s to say nothing of South Kensington’s lovely restaurants and shops, which radiate out from the tube station in every direction. I love people watching at the outdoor tables on Exhibition Road and eating my way down Old Brompton Road.
Adjacent to South Kensington, Chelsea is another of the prettiest London neighborhoods. Its side streets are bursting with colorful houses, from the pastels on Bywater Street to the rainbow row on Godfrey Street.
Beyond the colors, I love the King’s Road for its great shopping and the embankment for its historic houses and Thames views. And don’t even get me started on how much I love exploring the Chelsea Physic Garden and walking around the side streets nearby.
Down the road from Chelsea, Belgravia is one of the most elegant parts of London. Overflowing with embassies and ambassadors’ residences, this area is deserving of its location next to Buckingham Palace.
But it’s not just the big buildings that catch my eye. Belgravia also has a lot of great mews and quiet corners to explore. From Eccleston Yards to Orange Square, there’s no shortage of places to love here. And then there are the beautiful flowers on the facades on Elizabeth Street…
Neighboring Knightsbridge is equally elegant and known as much for its luxury shopping as it is for its over-the-top house prices. This is one of the most expensive London neighborhoods and has the looks to match. I love wandering through the food halls at Harrods and taking in the orange brick architecture on Pont Street.
And when I’m in the mood for something more low-key, Knightsbridge has plenty of quiet streets and squares to explore off Brompton Road. Trevor Square is a particular favorite, and Cheval Place is a delight.
8. Notting Hill
Heading north, no list of the prettiest London neighborhoods would be complete without mentioning Notting Hill. This place is famous for its colorful houses and vibrant market, which fills the streets with sights and sounds.
But there’s more to it than just Portobello Road. Notting Hill has great mews to explore and a lot of shops and restaurants that draw people from all over London. From specialty bookstores like Books for Cooks to neighborhood pubs like The Oak, I could spend all day going from one to the next.
9. Holland Park
Adjacent to Notting Hill, Holland Park is another place that always wows me. The park itself is full of beauty. Its spring tulips and summer roses are some of the most spectacular in the city. The Japanese garden and its peacocks are delightful, too.
But Holland Park extends beyond green space, and I love exploring Holland Park Mews and the crescents and colors in the streets around it. And that’s to say nothing of the museums. From the Design Museum to the Leighton House Museum, this area has a lot to offer in the way of cultural attractions.
10. Primrose Hill
Back up north, Primrose Hill is one of the sweetest London neighborhoods. It has Chalcot Sqare and its pastel houses, and pubs like The Engineer fronting pretty beer gardens. The high street is lovely to walk down, and there’s always a flower shop or boutique to lure me in.
But perhaps the best thing about Primrose Hill is the view from the top of the hill itself. The panoramas of the London skyline are great from here, and it’s an easy place to escape from the busy city.
Not far from Primrose Hill, Highgate is another stunner. With the most famous cemetery in London and lots of village streets to explore, this is one of the most beautiful parts of London. Highgate Cemetery is enchanting, and I love walking through other green spaces like Highgate Wood, Waterlow Park, and Hampstead Heath.
There are great colorful shops around the high street, too. From The Highgate Pantry to Highgate Bookshop, I love all the cheerful facades. And that’s to say nothing of the houses. I swoon every time I walk by Holly Village.
Back in central London, no list of the prettiest London neighborhoods would be complete without a mention of Mayfair. This luxurious place is full of beauty, from Mount Street Gardens to Mount Street itself. I also love the peace of Brown Hart Gardens, which rises above the street both literally and metaphorically.
And then there are the houses, which always seem to be dripping with flowers, and pubs like The Coach and Horses, which stands alone among modern buildings on Bruton Street like a beacon of the city’s past.
Just north of Mayfair, Marylebone is another of the most attractive places in London. The high street alone could keep me busy all day with shopping and eating at restaurants like The Providores. Chiltern Street is full of period buildings and chic shops, too.
But what really keeps me coming back to Marylebone are places like Manchester Square, which is home to the Wallace Collection, one of London’s best small museums, and little streets like New Quebec Street, which is full of good food.
14. St Katharine Docks
Across central London, St Katharine Docks sits beside Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, but often gets overlooked. I love this area because it’s so different from many other parts of the city. The boats, for one thing. The maritime vibe is a welcome change, and always makes me feel like I’m by the sea.
But it’s not just the marina that gets me excited about St Katharine Docks. I also like what’s around it. Historic pubs like The Dickens Inn are beautiful with their flower-fronted facades, and the views of Tower Bridge from the Thames are excellent.
I’ll come back to south London now. Greenwich is another of the prettiest London neighborhoods, partly for its historic architecture and partly for its residential beauty. The former includes stunning buildings like the Queen’s House and the Old Royal Naval College, while the latter can be seen on and around streets like Royal Hill.
But the real treat is the view from Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory. This is one of the best views in London and is worth a trek to the top to see. From Greenwich to Canary Wharf and beyond, it’s a stunning sight.
Way west from Greenwich, Chiswick is another London neighborhood that packs a lot of prettiness into one place. The high street has great restaurants and amazing antiques shops, and I love spending afternoons wandering along the Thames.
I also like walking through the gardens at Chiswick House, where there are bridges and follies galore. It’s a peaceful retreat from the city, and feels like being at a country estate.
South of Chiswick, Richmond is one of the most beautiful places in the city, not only for its pretty riverfront but also for its stunning park. I always take a stroll along the river and visit places like Ham House before heading into the park to look for its famous deer.
I also adore Richmond’s high street and side streets. There are a lot of shops and markets here, and alleys like Brewers Lane are a joy to wander down.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of London’s prettiest neighborhoods and that it inspires you to get out and explore. There are so many great details to find in these places, and it’s easy to go back again and again and uncover something new to love every time.
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