We know London is a hot-spot for tourists, but if you’re looking to put down roots in the capital, you might want to check out Clerkenwell.

The north London neighbourhood was named in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide as the best spot to live in London.

According to their panel of experts, the area ‘captures the spirit of the capital past, present and future.’

Historical sites including the priory on St John’s Square wowed the judges, and the area is also said to be where Stalin and Lenin first met.

It’s though that literary giants, including Shakespeare and Charles Dickens also used to wonder around the streets of Clerkenwell.

But nowadays, the area has a thriving culinary scene, with cool cafes, quirky bars and thriving restaurants. And you could easily while away an afternoon in the buzzy Exmouth Market.

Yes, it does sound like a great place to live, but of course, there’s a catch. According to Rightmove, houses in Clerkenwell will set you back an average of £888,921, which is more than three times the price of the average UK house price of £285,000.

What to do in Clerkenwell

You can catch a show at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, sample the goods at Chapel Street Market, or make the most of local museums like The Charterhouse, Postal Museum, and the Museum of the Order of St John.

And you can’t go to Clerkenwell without visiting Exmouth Market, a pretty pedestrianised street with food stalls and independent shops.

Local pub the Exmouth Arms is perfect for not just a tipple with your friends, but also a Sunday lunch with your family. 

Or, if it’s fine dining you’re after, the area is home to not one, but two Michelin-starred restaurants in St John Street: Italian fusion eatery, Luca, and no frill British offering, St John,.

Best places to live: The 10 regional winners

  1. East of England: Wivenhoe, Essex
  2. London: Clerkenwell
  3. Midlands: Stirchley, Birmingham
  4. North and northeast of England: Leeds
  5. Northern Ireland: Portstewart, Co Londonderry
  6. Northwest of England: Stockport, Greater Manchester
  7. Scotland: West End, Dundee
  8. Southeast of England: Folkestone, Kent
  9. Southwest of England: Sherborne, Dorset
  10. Wales: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

What are house prices like in Clerkenwell?

As we’ve learnt, living in Clerkenwell doesn’t come cheap, with the average cost of home at a staggering £888,921.

But the good news is, house prices are dropping in comparison to previous years. Sold prices in Clerkenwell over the last year were 2% down on the previous year, and 12% down on the 2020 peak of £1,008,512.

So, if you’ve got that kind of budget, there’s really never been a better time to move.

How to get around in Clerkenwell

As one of the most well-connected places in London, you’ll have no trouble finding your way around Clerkenwell. Its nearest station, Farringdon, is right next to numerous National Rail services, and is served by the Elizabeth Line along with the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines.

Via the Lizzy line, Clerkenwell is just three minutes away from Tottenham Court Road, five minutes from Bond Street, and four minutes to Liverpool street. So, if you feel like being a tourist in your own home, you’re in the perfect place for it.

In terms of buses, it’s well connected and services the 4, 56, 153, 55, and 243.

Best places to live 2024

  1. North Berwick, East Lothian
  2. Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
  3. Boston Spa, West Yorkshire
  4. Buxton, Derbyshire
  5. Cardigan, Ceredigion
  6. Chorleywood, Hertfordshire
  7. Christleton, Cheshire
  8. Cirencester, Gloucestershire
  9. Clerkenwell, London
  10. Clevedon, Somerset
  11. Conwy, Clywd
  12. Crouch End, London
  13. Dartmouth, Devon.

What people think of Clerkenwell

On TripAdvisor, Clerkenwell boasts a 4-and-a-half-star rating, and has several glowing reviews.’

This is an area that under went a huge regeneration in the last 20 years with more being built as you pass through here,’ user TERRAvelista wrote. ‘Everything looks more clean cut, safer and more elegant.’

Similarly, user therichastill praised Clerkenwell for its ‘nice architecture,’ with Nicholas H adding: ‘The area is packed with restaurants, pubs and cafes. It’ll take a whole day to do justice to visiting it and even then you’ll run out of time to see it all.’

So, instead of packing it all into a day trip, why not go the whole hog and move there instead?

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