For centuries the centre and heart of London was the City, basically the historical area found more or less within the medieval walls. Other parts that are now considered to be in central London were basically in the middle of the countryside. Some of these are old villages in London.
As you know, there are so many parts of London that were villages and only from the 1800s with the advent of the railway they were slowly absorbed by what we now call Greater London. Now they look like they have always been London, unless you look closely!
Some of these villages in London have been destroyed, others have lost their main characteristics and buildings, while others despite being in the city still have that village feeling, often thanks to renovations of the last 20 years. The important thing to have an authentic atmosphere is the absence of any stores of large chains with shops, restaurants, pubs and places to sit down and drink a coffee or a pint. These give, at leas, the impression of being unique and characteristic.
Real estate agents love to market the village idea, in fact the proximity to a village can greatly increase the prices of a property. You will find many of these villages in London, some have the name ‘village’, others do not. Some are very famous, others less so. Here we will see 10 of them.
Where to find villages in London?
It definitely has the atmosphere of a large village and anyway you do not feel in London, you will also find many places to eat, a famous market and many shops of maritime style objects. As you can guess the area has lots of touristy things to see and do.
Around the neo-Gothic church of St Luke’s in Chelsea you will find Chelsea Green, a collection of food shops, a few bars and a few boutiques. The majority of shops are located on Elystan Street which emerges on the square with the green in the middle.
Recently renovated with several new restaurants and gastropubs, it is a village of only 4 streets that meet. However, it has an almost rural atmosphere, thanks to the many flowers. As the name reveals you will find it near Victoria Park in the East End of London.
It is mainly famous mainly for its market, you should visit it at lunchtime when the place is filled with food and you will have a choice that you can not imagine. It is located near Old Street and Shoreditch, therefore it is easy to reach if you are in Central London.
Much better known is this small village that includes some pubs, shops and restaurants. It is also located near Wimbledon Common which with its old mill will give you the impression of being really in the countryside.
If you want to live in a village in London and you can not afford Wimbledon or Chelsea, Walthamstow Village is still the least expensive London village, but it does not mean it is not good. This is a lovely village. There are often parties and other events for those who live here, it is certainly not a boring place.
If you expect to find Venice, you will be disappointed but the place has a certain charm, especially if you like colourful narrow boats. Every year at the beginning of May there is a big canal boat festival called Canalway Cavalcade which consists of a whole weekend full of events and plenty of boats.
Church Street, Stoke Newington
Another area reinvented recently but where you will find a good selection of food from around the world, independent shops and weekend markets. Clearly now it is very fashionable to go there.