City Structure Guide London
Generally speaking, the famous river Thames runs through the center of London, dividing the city into North and South. This divide is very important to the city structure as are the “zones” that the transport system has used to divide the greater metropolitan area. There are six zones in total, Zone 1 being Central London and Zone 6 being furthest away from the city center. Zone 1 is known as Central London and encompasses areas both north and south of the Thames.
Central London is the seat of government with the City of Westminster. This area is famous for its shopping areas, including Bond Street, Oxford and Regents Street and Covent Garden. Pimlico and Kensington are where the embassies are situated and Chelsea and Sloane Square are home to the very rich. Central London offers a wide range of dwellings but the convenience of the position is reflected in the price.
North London is made up broadly of 4 districts North of Regent’s Park including the popular Camden, Islington, and Hampstead. With its extensive transport links, North London is very well connected. North London was mostly developed in the 19th century so you will find a lot of Victorian and Georgian properties.
East London offers a stark contrast between its Docklands, populated by the DINKY (Dual Income No Kids Yet) crowd and, on the other end of the spectrum, the East End which is famous for its gang history. One area to watch is Stratford, on the far east, as Stratford was fully redeveloped for 2012 Olympic Games.
South London or the leafy South is a real mixture of old, charming areas such as Greenwich, Dulwich and overpopulated boroughs such as Lambeth and Brixton. South West is popular for accommodation purposes with Battersea, Wimbledon, Kew and Hampton Court.
West London starts from Hammersmith. West London has pockets of pleasant suburbs such as Chiswick and Pinner but overall is less attractive for the tube. West Londoners have fast access to the rest of the UK being near 4 major motorways.
London’s Business Center is often known simply as ‘The City’. Now mostly in Canary Wharf (Docklands), The City used to cover the area situated between Liverpool Street Station and Bank Station extending west to Chancery Lane. Nearby Holborn and its surroundings hold the headquarters of many UK banks and top 100 UK companies.
The West End, focused on Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, is London’s famous theatre district but it is also home to thousands of businesses and high streets visited by mass numbers of shoppers. Oxford Circus is just north of Piccadilly Circus and is known for its giant array of shops, whilst Soho, also north of Piccadilly Circus, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and liberal atmosphere.
While many people live in Zone 1, it is more common for people to live outside of this region. Zone 1 is convenient yet expensive. Residential neighborhoods in London generally are not stand-alone entities. They are urban centers with businesses and homes side-by-side. If you are looking for a quiet residential area you might wish to look in Zone 3 or even further away from the center of London.