You may have fallen asleep on the Tube, only to wake at the end stop, seemingly miles from anywhere. Despite first impressions, there are some decent places to live outside of the city centre. And, what’s more, it could save you a bomb in rent, too.
Hammersmith, West London
What: At the end of the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines is this thriving area, which locals have loving nicknamed Hammertown.
You’ll find plenty of Antipodeans here – as well as more than a handful of decent pubs, including The Distillers on Fulham Palace Road.
Head to Hammersmith Broadway to find Tesco Metro, Superdrug, WH Smith, Accessorize as well as plenty of food & drink outlets. The high street in the area is King Street, home to Primark, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer amongst others.
There’s also a Sainsbury’s here in King’s Mall Shopping Centre, and a Tesco Express.
Rail: Hammersmith & City, Circle, District, Piccadilly; Zone 2
Rent: Average flatshare about £800pcm
Clapham, South West London
What: If you like your nightlife fast and furious, this is the place to be. Found at the end of the Overground line, and dubbed cosmopolitan Clapham, it’s got trendy bars and restaurants galore (try The Loft in the high street for warehouse chic).
Again, it’s another spot popular with Aussies. Ed Hulme, at Winkworth estate agent, Clapham, says it’s great for active types, adding: “The sprawling common provides the outdoorsy aspect.”
Rail: Clapham Junction, North, Common and South; Zone 2
Rent: Average flatshare is £800pcm
Walthamstow, East London
What: At the top of the Victoria line, this town may seem like it’s out in the sticks, but it has great transport links to central London.
Choose to live near the town centre to be in the thick of it – with trendy bars such as Eat 17, which serves ethically sourced British food and ales.
Or, set up home close to the marshes and Lea Valley for countryside and activities.
Huseyin Sem, of Kings Group estate agent, in Hoe Street, says the Warner flat, unique to Walthamstow, offers the best value for money.
“They are one, two or three-bedroom maisonettes, a majority of which can be found in the Lloyd Park area and around Blackhorse Lane,” he explains.
More expensive, and smaller, are the Victorian Terraces, found in the Village area.
Rail: Walthamstow Central overground, Victoria line; Zone 3
Rent: Average flatshare £430pcm
New Cross, South East London
What: Stuck at the end of the Overground, this area may have a reputation as a bit of a dive, and there’s also a lack of Tube, but New Cross is super-cheap.
And, if you don’t mind a bit of scuzz, it’s actually got plenty going on thanks to its student population – the area is home to Goldsmiths University, where Britpop legends Blur formed.
You’ll find a night out lasts a lot longer as your cash will stretch further in the arty bars.
And you can also satisfy cravings for jerk chicken as there are plenty of top-notch Caribbean eateries and try The London Particular for ‘classic English with a modern twist’.
Rail: New Cross; Zone 2
Rent: Average flatshare £600pcm
Ealing Broadway, West London
What: Way out west, at the end of the Central and District lines, Ealing Broadway is a thriving area, with lots of pubs, bars and cafes in which wile away the evenings.
Here you’ll find your usual chain pubs, as well as a few trendy, hidden gems, such as The North Star, in The Broadway.
But you’ll have no problem finding a different place to eat at every night, as well as venues offering cheap drinks, pool and karaoke.
In terms of accommodation, it’s more affordable than trendy east London, with rooms and flats inside Victorian townhouses on offer, attracting young professionals.
You’ll also see many Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans, as well as Irish in this area.
Into keeping fit, or like picnics in the sunshine? Head to Osterley Park and Gunnersbury Park – the latter hosts sporting events during the summer.
Rail: District, Central; Zone 3
Rent: Average flatshare £700pcm