Living in London with kids

Hello BPN community - we are a family of four with two boys age 5 and 9 and are considering living in London for one year starting late summer 2022.  We have just started exploring neighborhoods, and are pretty open as my husband will be working remotely most of the time, very occasionally going to St. Johns Wood.  We have explored places in Maida Vale, Richmond on Thames, Clerkenwell, and Camberwell.  We are open to independent schools but would be great to find a state school for our 2 boys.  I would love to hear of others' experiences living in London with children, where you lived, schools, what you would do again and what you might do differently?  We would like to have over 1000 sq ft of living space (our house here is about 1400sq ft), and we won't have a car.  It would be great to have some parks nearby and an open feel, but also very walkable to public transit, shops etc.  We realize it will be expensive, but hoping not to completely break the bank. Thank you for any info!  -- nb.

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RE: Living in London with kids ()

Hello! I lived in London over 10 years and have recently moved to the East Bay. 
You will have a fantastic time there with young kids, and your comments are spot on, find a small(ish) place next to a huge park is what keeps the balance. 
In terms of places, I would really suggest that you look at Chiswick in West London. It is very well connected in terms of public transport and has all kinds of parks, shops, and is quite family friendly. Schools are good also!

I have friends with young families in Battersea and they also enjoy that area. 
 

good luck!

RE: Living in London with kids ()

That’s amazing! We lived in London for 3 years with our two kids (one was 5 when we left, the other 2.5) and absolutely loved it. We dream of somehow moving back there every day. We lived in Chiswick in West London (from 2017-2020) and I truly believe it’s one of the greatest neighborhoods anywhere for families. It’s a few tube stops closer to central London than Richmond (which is also an amazing neighborhood, and we’d also consider living there if we were to move back). Parks, shops, tube and bus stops with easy access to central London, great schools, Heathrow nearby, easy access to the highway to get to the countryside for weekend trips, near beautiful Kew Gardens which is a must with kids...I could go on and on. The main downside is that it is an expensive neighborhood, but many neighborhoods in London are. It’s a little more affordable than Maida Vale and neighborhoods that are in central London, but we loved the welcoming, neighborly feel of Chiswick while still having access to literally anything you could need on the high street within minutes. My daughter only went to preschool while we were there, but we toured the local schools for what would have been her kindergarten year and I was very impressed. And her friends that are still there definitely progressed much more quickly with reading/writing than she has back in her California public school (which is great, but the quick progress the little kids made in London was surprising). Nearby Richmond, Kew, and Barnes are other lovely neighborhoods to check out. Fulham, Putney, and Clapham are a few other popular family areas that we found to be a little trendier than Chiswick- not our scene but still really nice areas with everything you could need. On the other side of the city, Greenwich is a popular area for families. Wherever you end up, you’ll have a wonderful time!