It’s easy to think of London as an urban sprawl that has far more modern splendour than it does rural charm. However, many tend to overlook the city’s many pockets of village culture and pastoral beauty.
Here, we’ve created a cohesive guide on where to find London’s luxurious ‘village’ neighbourhoods.
Widely-known for its striking views across central London, Primrose Hill is a certifiably gorgeous area of the city. Away from its iconic viewpoint, Primrose Hill Road and Regent’s Park Road are lined with stately residences and a host of charming amenities.
Perfectly situated between Camden Town and Maida Vale, there’s plenty to see and do in Primrose Hill. For somewhere so small, Primrose Hill’s wide variety of restaurants and eateries offer a range of different cuisines. Pesantissimo and La Ferme are ideal for lovers of Italian food, while Sweet Things, a chic self-proclaimed ‘Cakery’, offers a mouth-watering array of handmade cupcakes and breakfast treats.
Nothing sums up Notting Hill better than the famed protagonist of Notting Hill (1998), William Thacker, who famously states, “This is where I spend my days and years, in this small village in the middle of a city”. A small village is precisely what Notting Hill feels like, with Victorian terraces, popular markets, bistros and boutiques and private green spaces all on show.
The area is made up of a series of high-streets and peaceful residential areas. Portobello Road, one of west London’s most iconic attractions, regularly hosts a thronging street market that offers antiques, treats and trinkets from all around the world. There’s nearly always a relaxed atmosphere around Notting Hill, except during the legendary carnival that’s held every August. The Notting Hill Carnival tends to highlight the area’s cosy association with alternative culture and offers visitors a very different experience than what they might expect!
Nestled away on the banks of the River Thames in west London, Richmond is distinctly pastoral and rural in appearance. Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll along the Buccleuch Passage, a busy riverside promenade, and on toward an expanse of bucolic fields that are connected by a peaceful towpath.
Richmond Park – London’s largest Royal Park – is also nearby and, with herds of roaming deer scattered about, there is a sense that Richmond is notably unique in comparison to some of the city’s more urban areas.
Walking across Blackheath, near the soaring St Michael and All Saints’ Church, visitors may be forgiven for thinking they’re in rural Oxfordshire as opposed to south-east London. Blackheath is a sprawling plain that covers over 200 acres of protected commons.
Blackheath Village is a vibrant community on the fringes of the commons that regularly attracts throngs of tourists. The streets are lined with refined eateries, trendy coffee shops and upscale shops and boutiques. The abundance of diverse and highly-rated establishments make an indulgent breakfast just as desirable as an elegant dinner.
Typically associated with the widely popular Kew Gardens, Kew is an understated, charming area of west London. Kew Gardens, or, the Royal Botanic Gardens, is a sprawling 326-acre green space that is thought to house over 40,000 different species of plants. These gardens resemble the area’s most poignant source of tourism, revenue and overall interest. However, there’s more to Kew than its green spaces.
Kew is an affluent suburban area that is starkly different to its neighbouring areas. The district has almost no high-rise buildings and local eateries and amenities can be found along scenic tree-lined high streets.
As exotic as the name may sound, Little Venice is only Venetian in the sense that the area around Paddington is connected via a complex network of historic canals. Visitors will be able to stroll along peaceful waterways, spot the uniquely designed narrow boats and grab a coffee at one of Little Venice’s trendy cafes.
While the boundaries of Little Venice are relatively blurred, the area generally marks the space in the Paddington Basin, a historic part of London that has undergone major urban development over the last 20 years. Little Venice’s trendy village feel can still be experienced in certain pockets, however, an ever-increasing amount of contemporary developments and sleek high-rises dominate the skyline.