aldgate, barbican, clerkenwell, farringdon, shoreditch & tower hill
Aldgate, which was the eastern most gateway through London Wall leading from the City of London to Whitechapel and the East End of London, remains a major principal thoroughfare in the heart of the capital.
Packed with swanky bars and restaurants, the area is particularly popular with young professionals working in the City and Docklands. But unsurprisingly, there is a lack of open green spaces, apart from a handful of small parks, due to the fact that this is one of the most built-up parts of London.
People looking to buy or rent a property in Aldgate will find a wonderful selection of homes. There are many Georgian houses to the north of the area, luxury apartments, including new-build homes, to the south near the River Thames, as well as apartments situated in converted warehouse office buildings in between, particularly around Ale Street, Back Church Lane and Prescot Street, among others.
The nearest stations to Aldgate are Aldgate (Metropolitan and Circle Lines, Zone 1), Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City Lines, Zone 1) and Tower Hill (Circle and District Lines, Zone 1), while National Rail serves Fenchurch Street Railway station.
Funded and managed by the City of London Corporation, Barbican is densely populated by financial institutions amongst other business sectors.
The area is home to various public houses, cafes, take-away shops, as well as popular attractions like the Barbican Arts Centre, the Museum of London, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Barbican Public Library.
Housing in Barbican is dominated by purpose-built apartment terrace blocks, including some of London’s tallest residential towers at the Barbican Estate. The apartments, which were developed during the 1960s and 1970s, are grouped around a lake and green squares set within the complex.
People living in Barbican not only have the benefit of being centrally located, but they can also take advantage of some excellent transport links: Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, Zone 1), Moorgate (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines, Zone 1), St. Paul’s (Central Line, Zone 1), Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines as well as Capital Connect, Zone 1). There is also a wide selection of buses to choose from.
Clerkenwell, also located in the London Borough of Islington, which was once known as London’s ‘Little Italy’ because of the large Italian community living in the area between the 1850s and the 1960s, is popular with young professionals working in the nearby City of London and the West End.
Packed with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries and pubs, including a few that open from 5.30am in order to serve the Smithfield market workers, there is plenty to see and do in the area.
From stylish and contemporary loft conversions to good value for money ex-local authority homes, there is a wide selection of apartments to choose from, but a notable lack of houses in the area.
Local Tube and trains stations can be found at Chancery Lane (Central Line, Zone 1), Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines as well as Capital Connect, Zone 1) and Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines, Zone 1). There is also a plethora of buses in and around the area.
Located a short walk from Barbican on the edge of the London Borough of Islington is Farringdon, home to London’s famous meat market.
Packed full of fun pubs, restaurants and coffee houses, Farringdon, which is undergoing regeneration, is one of the most desirable locations in which to live and work in the City of London.
The place is often buzzing during the week, but is often like a ghost town at weekends when many of the offices and bars are closed for business, providing local residents with a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the financial district within the City itself.
There are a number of different shopping zones in and around the area, including Exmouth Market and the daily market at Leather Lane, while jewellery lovers should head to the shops in Hatton Garden for some of the finest selection of glitz, style and sparkle.
Unsurprisingly, it is mainly young professionals who buy and rent properties in Farringdon, with plenty of apartment blocks situated in and around the area, as well as flats above shops.
Local Tube and train stations include Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines as well as Capital Connect, Zone 1), Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines, Zone 1), St. Paul’s (Central Line, Zone 1) and London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern Lines, Capital Connect and National Rail, Zone 1).
If you are looking for a highly affluent area with a large house and spacious garden, then Shoreditch, with its chic urban edge, is probably not the area for you.
Located within the London Borough of Hackney, uber-cool Shoreditch, situated within inner London to the north of the City of London, is where the trendy brigade hang out. The triangle made by Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street attracts a wide range of visitors, from fashion trendsetters to bargain hunters visiting the array of indie shops.
There is a plethora of places to eat exotic food, from street markets to restaurants, while ramshackle bars are often packed with locals and those frequenting the area.
Shoreditch’s night life is about as good as it gets in London, with a number of excellent late night drinking holes and night clubs.
The nearest Tube and train stations are Bethnal Green (Central Line, Zone 2), Shoreditch High Street (London Overground, Zone 1) and Cambridge Heath station (Greater Anglia, Zone 2).
TOWER HILL, EC2
The area around Tower Hill in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets lies on the eastern edge of London’s financial district – between the Thames to the south and the fashionable East End to the north.
The area mainly caters to the young professionals living in the area, reflected by the high volume of suits visible in many of Tower Hill’s high-end bars, restaurants and art galleries. There is also a healthy selection of shops in and around Tower Hill, including Spitalfields market, which features an eclectic range of markets, shops and restaurants.
There is a fine blend between new and older-style properties in Tower Hill, reflecting the area’s historical heritage and modern-day links to the financial sector. Although there are a few houses in Tower Hill, the district is dominated by apartments, including old conversions and luxury new homes.
The transport links in and around Tower Hill are excellent: Tower Hill (Circle and District Lines, Zone 1), Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitan Lines, Zone 1), Monument (Circle and District Lines, Zone 1), Aldgate East (District and Hammersmith & City Lines, Zone 1), Fenchurch Street and Tower Gateway (DLR, Zone 1). Buses are also in abundance.