What Every London Borough is the Best (and Worst) At

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london-borough

No London is borough is quite the same as another. They all have different attractions, architecture styles and atmospheres which make them feel almost like a small cluster of different towns and cities.

 

There are 32 boroughs in total, 12 of which are designated as Inner London boroughs and the rest are Outer London boroughs. The City of London is not technically a borough, but most people do consider it as one. Each borough contains its own subdistricts, known as local authority wards. You can find boutique hotels in London across all of these boroughs.

 

Let’s find out which each of the central boroughs is best at, and worst at to help you plan your visit to your Marble Arch Hotel London.

 

Camden

Areas covered: Hampstead, Camden, Euston, King’s Cross, Fitzrovia and Holborn.

 aerial-view-of-camden-harbor-maine-with-fall-foliage

Best at:

Nightlife. The neighbourhoods of Camden and King’s Cross are brimming with energetic pubs, upscale bars and live music joints! There are a total of 278 pubs in Camden to choose from.

Rugged greenery. Lose yourself in the woodland sprawl of Hampstead Heath and the quaint neighbourhood known as Hampstead Village.

 

Worst at:

Inevitably, where there is partying there can be noise and disruption at all hours of the night so you might not get a lot of sleep. Come to Camden for a fun night in London but consider booking your stay at a hotel in a quieter spot if you’re keen to get your beauty sleep.

Petty theft. The King’s Cross Underground station is apparently the favoured haunt of London’s pickpockets, so zip up and keep a watchful eye.

 

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Areas covered: Greenwich, Woolwich, Eltham, Thamesmead and Plumstead. 

A Vision for the Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

Best at:

Maritime heritage. Check out the Old Royal Naval College, the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum to learn about the fascinating history this area holds in London’s nautical past.

Pub grub. There are some excellent pubs in Greenwich, we recommend visiting for a Sunday roast.

Recycling. Putting the ‘green’ into ‘Greenwich’ this is London’s greenest borough, environmentally speaking, with the best recycling practices in the whole city.

 

Worst at:

• Transport links. The DLR is fun to ride once you snag the front ‘driver’s’ seat, but it is much slower than the tube so getting to and from Greenwich can mean a lengthy journey.

 

Hackney

Areas covered: Shoreditch, Hackney, Hoxton, Haggerston, Dalston, Stoke Newington and Clapton.

 London Hackney Islington Arial View

Best at:

• Hipster hangouts – think edgy coffee shops, vegan brunches, riveting street art and craft beer bars. There’s also the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, a beautiful botanical garden on the old railway line which serves food and drinks in an outdoor setting.

• Boutique shopping – you’ll find an excellent range of thrift stores on Shoreditch’s Brick Lane and along the streets of Hackney and Hoxton.

• Alternative outdoor experiences such as bathing and swimming at the London Fields Lido, meeting the donkeys and goats at the Hackney City Farm or cycling along the urban waterways of the Regent’s Canal. The perfect way to spend the time before enjoying some spa treatments in your London hotel.

 

Worst at:

• Transport links. The tube doesn’t cover much of this largest borough so that means a lot of bus hopping or connecting to the London Overground from your Marble Arch Hotel.

• Hackney has a high poverty population, which at 36% sits above the London average of 27%.

 

Hammersmith and Fulham

River Thames at Hammersmith, west London, UK.
Various old architectural housing styles at Lower Mall on the north bank of the River Thames at Hammersmith, west London, UK.

Areas covered: White City, Shepherd’s Bush, Baron’s Court, Hammersmith and Fulham. 

westfield-shopping-complexBest at:

• Shopping. You’ll find Westfield London, the largest shopping mall in London here – which has outlets of all the major high street brands, designer names and department stores. There’s also a large cinema 

• Shopping (again). This borough is also the home to the renowned Shepherd’s Bush Market, which opens Monday – Saturday. You can buy fresh produce, clothing and other apparel before enjoying an afternoon tea in nearby London hotels

• Top-notch comedy. Hammersmith is home to the Eventim Apollo which attracts huge names in stand-up comedy and grand-scale concerts

• Football clubs. The borough is the only one to have three professional clubs within its territory, these being Chelsea, Fulham and the Queens Park Rangers

 

Worst at:

• Noise from aircrafts. The borough is beneath the Heathrow flight path and controversial discussions about opening a third runway have been met with backlash from borough residents 

Unemployment rates in the borough are the lowest in the city, recently registered at 3.5%

 

Islington

Areas covered: Archway, Holloway, Highbury, Islington and Clerkenwell.

 London Islington Sunset

Best at: 

The arts. Islington is where you’ll find Sadler’s Wells, the Almeida Theatre, Islington Assembly Hall and the intimate King’s Head Pub Theatre, which makes Islington a great place to consider for a cultural evening out from nearby boutique hotels in London

Food. In Islington, you will find an extremely diverse plethora of restaurants including Brazilian, Turkish, Italian, Thai and Mediterranean

 

Worst at:

Cost of living. Property prices and rental rates in Islington have skyrocketed as the area has undergone gentrification, and the average rental of a single bedroom is £999 per month 

Islington has one of the highest vehicle accident rates than any other borough, so take care whilst driving in the region 

 

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Areas covered: Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Holland Park and Earl’s Court.

 

Best at:

Free museums! This is where you’ll find the likes of the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Design Museum and V&A Museum to name a few. These institutions do not charge admittance fees to the permanent galleries

• Boutique shopping on the King’s Road and Sloane Square 

School results. Of all the central boroughs, young residents of Kensington and Chelsea are shown to commonly achieve grades A* to B in their GSCE exams 

 

Worst at:

Tourist’s budgets. Although many of the museums are free, you’ll likely want to pay the extra to visit a special exhibition, splurge in the gift shop, a slice of cake in the cafe…. Save some pennies by booking a deal for afternoon tea in nearby London hotels 

Air pollution. The Royal Borough is the worst in the city for nitrogen dioxide pollution, partially caused by the road traffic

Affordable house prices. The average property price in the Royal borough was reported as 1.3 million in 2016

 

Lambeth

Areas covered: Lambeth, Waterloo, South Bank, Vauxhall, Clapham, Brixton and Streatham

 

Best at:

Street Art. Take a walk along the professionally lit Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel and visit the mural and shrine to David Bowie in Brixton 

Family-friendly attractions including the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium, London Dungeon, Namco Funscape amusement arcade and the Southbank Centre’s thriving entertainment programme  

Nightlife. Explore the gay bars of Vauxhall, the awesome live music scene in Brixton and friendly pubs alongside the lively bars of Clapham 

Cricket. Lambeth is home to the Oval stadium

 

Worst at:

• Safety. This borough has some of the highest crime rates in the city – mainly theft-related due to the high volume of footfall through the borough 

 

Lewisham

Areas covered: Deptford, Blackheath, Catford, Brockley, Honor Oak, Forest Hill and Sydenham.

 

Best at:

• There is an abundance of green, family-friendly spaces throughout the whole borough. Don’t miss the serene Horniman Museum and Gardens, and explore some of the other small parks with a fresh picnic 

 

Worst at:

• Statistics show that the borough has one highest obesity rates in the capital

• Educational outcome. 44% of Lewisham pupils do not achieve A*-C grades in English and Maths GSCE results, which is lower than other boroughs 

 

Southwark

Areas covered: Southwark, Borough, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Peckham, Camberwell, Herne Hill and East Dulwich. 

 

Best at:

London landmarks, Southwark is home to an array of famous sites both historic and modern. Here you can encounter the OXO Tower, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Shard, Tower Bridge and City Hall.

Riverside walks. Follow the Thames Path alongside the river to explore the historic cobbled streets, learn about London’s maritime history, dip into quirky museums such as the Clink Prison Museum and Brunel Museum. You can walk the whole stretch from the London Eye to Rotherhithe to take in iconic views of the city across the river. After all this walking make you’ve lined up an afternoon of spa treatments in your London hotel.

 

Worst at:

• Safety. This is another borough which has some of the highest crime rates in the city 

 

Tower Hamlets

Areas covered: Shoreditch, Whitechapel, South Hackney, Bow, Mile End, Limehouse, Poplar, Canary Wharf

 

Best at:

• Gleaming, futuristic skyscrapers which make up London’s secondary CBD at Canary Wharf .

• Flowers. Take a stroll along Colombia Road Flower Market on a Sunday morning to pick up a fresh bouquet for your loved one or your mum. They also add a personal touch to rooms at the hotels nearby.

• Multiculturalism. Tower Hamlets is one of the most diverse boroughs in London. Step out of the tube at Whitechapel to be enveloped by the aromas of Whitechapel Market and exotic textiles, clothing and knick-knacks.

 

Worst at:

Rush hour on the tube. Canary Wharf is one of the busiest tube stations in London during the peak rush hour.

Tower Hamlets has historically struggled with high levels of poverty and inequality than other boroughs, and current statistics indicate that 43% of children are living in poverty in this borough, making it the highest rate in the city.

 

Wandsworth

Areas covered: Battersea, Wandsworth, Balham and Tooting Bec. 

 

Best at:

• Falling in love with feline friends and puppy pals! This is borough is where you’ll find the world-famous Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.

Low council tax. The borough of Wandsworth has the lowest rates in the city apparently. Those looking to invest in property in London, take note!

 

Worst at:

• Neighbours. This borough is home to the largest prison in the UK, and one of the largest in the whole of Europe – Wandsworth Prison. Tourists are actually welcome to visit! Besides from the inmates, everyone else in Wandsworth is lovely and it’s a very safe borough .

 

City of London

Areas covered: Blackfriars, Barbican, Bank and Aldgate.

 

Best at:

• Architecture. Here you’ll find the Tower of London and notable bridges .

• Finances. With over 500 banks headquartered within this square mile, the City of London is home to the United Kingdom’s financial trade. Over 500,000 people work in the financial hub on a daily basis, making the London Stock Exchange the largest in Europe by capitalisation.

• Pubs. There are over 200 pubs packed into this tiny plot of land.

 

Worst at:

• Air pollution. The borough has the highest levels of smog with 8.3% of deaths caused by man-made pollution.

• The combined Bank and Monument Underground station frequently trumps as London’s ‘most hated’ Tube station, thanks to the interchange between the Northern and Central lines which causes commuter rage.

 

City of Westminster

Areas covered: Maida Vale, Marylebone, Paddington, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Soho, Covent Garden Belgravia, Westminster, Victoria and Pimlico.

 

Best at:

• You’ll find the largest parks of central London within the City of Westminster – including Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Green Park.

• Right on the doorstep of your Marble Arch Hotel London, you will find the vast majority classic landmarks of London including Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden Piazza, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Whitehall and Buckingham Palace.

• Politics. Home of 10 Downing Street, the House of Commons and the House of Lords – this is where all the crucial decisions about London and the UK take place. 

• Theatre. This is where you’ll find the famed West End – home to the glitziest stage performances in the whole of the UK as well as genuinely excellent theatre.

 

Worst at:

• Crowd control. As one of the most touristic boroughs, Westminster can be heaving with crowds particularly in summer. As well as heavy footfall, the roads can become very congested 

• Affordable renting. The City of Westminster is the most expensive borough to rent a room in, the average cost of a one-bed flat being an eye-watering £1,045. 

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The following areas are the safest and pretty affordable...
  • Richmond - Crime rate: 54 crimes per 1000 citizens
  • Bexley - Crime rate: 57 crimes per 1000 citizens
  • Kingston-upon-Thames - Crime rate: 56 crimes per 1000 citizens
  • Sutton - Crime rates: 57 crimes per 1000 citizens