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Debating Neighborhoods

Hi all,

I am new to the forum but not Rick Steves. I am heading back to London in early August with a friend who has never been. We are opting for an airbnb (likely) in zone 2. I am debating between a place in Brixton that is about 7 minutes to the tube walking and a place in Hampstead that is about 4 minutes to the tube walking (so not exactly a deal breaker there). I visited Hampstead last time I was in London and absolutely loved it, but I am unfamiliar with Brixton and my friend who had lived in London for a bit had mixed reviews on it. Has anyone on here lived/been/visited there? And would you recommend one over the other? There is a difference in the space, but the cost is relatively similar for both. If it wasn't for the fact I found Hampstead so charming before, it wouldn't be such a debacle for me to decide.

Thank you in advance!

Posted by
28843 posts

well Brixton and Hampstead couldn't be more different than chalk and cheese.

One is edgy, very urban, busy and noisy 24 hours a day.

The other is a village, quiet (by London standards), posh, surrounded by parks and wilderness, overlooking London from the hills.

It is completely your choice, really...

Posted by
6827 posts

Hands down I'd opt for Hampstead simply because of the Heath. You are also fairly close to Camden Lock Market and the new, hip, gentrifying Camden/Kentish Town neighborhood which I spent time in last Fall. As others have posted two very different neighborhoods and as you loved Hampstead your first time I'm certain your friend will as well.

Posted by
145 posts

I am now researching London neighborhoods as well. I am by no means an authority (been to London back in the 80s and stayed near Kensington Gardens). I frequently listen to the RS Audio Europe Ap and I've heard bring Rick bring it up numerous times that he was mugged in Brixton several years back....the only time in his Europe trotting career. He always asks whomever he is interviewing their opinion of various neighborhood and he always brings up Brixton again. The interviewee (usually one of his guides) are careful not to say to much. The feeling I got was that it is urban, hip, trendy, and mutli-cultural....and use caution after dark, watch your wallet, etc. Use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings.

Posted by
3089 posts

Hampstead. A great, quiet neighborhood, with good restaurants and pubs. Good transportation links--bus and tube--into central London. Walk over to Hampstead Heath for walking, jogging or picnicking.

Posted by
1123 posts

Nigel - chalk and cheese, you saying that brings back memories of when I was studying abroad in England and our Prof would say that. One of the best times of my life!