St John’s Wood, North West London

North West of London lies St John's Wood, an affluent neighbourhood. It is ideally situated in the City of Westminster, boarding Regent's Park, Primrose Hill to the east, Maida Vale and the scenic Little Venice along the canal to the West and Marylebone to the south. St John's Wood is renowned for its large houses,…

An insider's neighbourhood guide to St John’s Wood, North West London

North West of London lies St John’s Wood, an affluent neighbourhood. It is ideally situated in the City of Westminster, boarding Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill to the east, Maida Vale and the scenic Little Venice along the canal to the West and Marylebone to the south. St John’s Wood is renowned for its large houses, chic high streets, peaceful atmosphere, and striking architecture, making it a popular destination for families, professionals, and celebrities. St John’s Wood is well connected to central London by public transport. With the Jubilee Line, you can easily reach Bond Street, Canary Wharf, or London Bridge, some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It is also easy to get around the city by bus since several routes are available.

It’s home to Abbey Road Studios, where many of the Beatles‘ biggest hits were recorded. St John’s Wood is also famous for being the home of the world-famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, which has hosted numerous high-profile international matches over the years. Americans have enjoyed the area since the American School of London opened in 1951.

St John’s Wood properties are predominantly large and spacious, with many historic period homes and elegant mansion blocks. There are also several new developments, offering contemporary apartments and townhouses with all the modern amenities.

The St John’s Wood Society protects the area’s village-like feel in this peaceful, upscale residential area within easy reach of central London. It is a popular area among families because of its excellent schools, parks, and recreational facilities. Professionals are also drawn to the area due to its proximity to the city. With its rich history, stunning architecture and excellent transport links, it’s no wonder that St John’s Wood is one of London’s most sought-after neighbourhoods.

Architecture style in St John’s Wood

Notable Areas

St John’s Wood High Street

As the main thoroughfare in the neighbourhood, with St Ann’s Terrace on the north street with lovely houses, St John’s Wood High Street is always buzzing with activity. It’s home to many shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The Duke of York is warm and welcoming, with a bar and casual dining area usually full of well-heeled locals. For lunch or brunch, The Ivy Cafe is a classic. It’s a stylish and sophisticated restaurant that offers modern British cuisine in an elegant setting. A must-try is the newly opened Aussie cafe, Johnny Green, at 87 Allitsen Rd, just off St Johns’s Wood high street. For French cuisine, The Soutine is a Parisian cafe and restaurant with an excellent reputation. The delicatessen Laurents is perfect for enjoying your favourite French and Italian specialities; it is open all day and offers an extensive range of daily baked viennoiseries and cakes, a selection of French bread, excellent coffees, fresh homemade salads, and a wide choice of cured meats and cheeses. For those St John’s Wood families too busy to pop to the shops, good to know that the excellent butcher Kent & Sons can even deliver to your home. 

The Soutine – Parisian cafe and restaurant

Abbey Road

Famous for the iconic Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded many of their greatest hits, this area is a must-see for any music lover. The crossing has become a popular destination for tourists and music fans worldwide, and visitors can expect to see people taking photos on the corner and in front of the studios. 

Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is a beautiful resource for residents, offering a wide range of activities and amenities, making it a great place to spend time in nature. The park is home to beautiful gardens, playgrounds, and open spaces that provide relaxation, picnicking, and recreation opportunities. Several sports facilities include tennis and football courts, a boating lake, and a running track. The park also has several cafes and restaurants, making it an excellent place for a meal or a snack. Additionally, Regent’s Park is home to the London Zoo, which is a popular destination for families with children. 

Regent’s Park

St John’s Wood Church Grounds

This nature reserve includes a playground, formal gardens and a wildlife area. It is the only nature reserve in the City of Westminster. The attractive park regularly wins prizes and has received the Green Flag Award for excellent green spaces since 2004.

St John’s Wood Church Grounds

Hamilton Terrace

Hamilton Terrace is located on the West side of St John’s Wood, with its elegant white stucco homes. The area is renowned as one of the most affluent parts of London, characterised by prime residential properties, boutique shops and restaurants. Hamilton Terrace is the highest-value road in St John’s Wood.

Hamilton Terrace

Avenue Road

Many of the homes on this street feature breathtaking views of Regent’s Park, making it one of the most elegant streets in the neighbourhood. This street has long been popular with wealthy residents, celebrities, and high-profile figures, and property prices here can exceed tens of millions of pounds.


Primary, Secondary State and Independent Schools in St John’s Wood

St John’s Wood has a variety of outstanding primary state schools, including Barrow Hill Junior School, George Eliot Primary School, and St Christina’s School. These schools provide high-quality education that supports their students’ academic, social, and emotional development. In addition to the primary schools, several excellent secondary state schools are in the area, including St. Augustine’s CE High School, Quintin Kynaston Academy, and Westminster Academy. These schools build on the solid foundation of primary schools and provide rigorous academic curriculums, innovative teaching methods, and specialised education in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics subjects. Each of these schools focuses on preparing their students for higher education and beyond while emphasising spiritual, moral, and personal growth. 

Abercorn School and Arnold House School are two highly regarded independent schools in St John’s Wood. They emphasise creativity, innovation, personal development, and a well-rounded education that includes sports, music, and drama programs.

International Schools in St John’s Wood

Finally, the well-known American School in London is a prestigious independent school in St John’s Wood that provides a world-class education to students from nursery age through high school, emphasising internationalism and cultural diversity.

The American School in London – Photo Credit Switchboard

Expatriate Community 

St John’s Wood has a vibrant ex-pat and international community, with residents worldwide. St John’s Wood is multicultural, including but not limited to Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European. There are a significant number of Americans, French (teenagers can access the French Lycée in Wembley easily via the Jubilee Line), and Australians in the area, as well as many other nationalities. Various communities live there, as evidenced by the golden-domed Regent’s Park Mosque, St John’s Wood Church with its columned façade and the area’s Synagogues. Many of these individuals are generally drawn to the area for its high standard of living, excellent schools, and proximity to the city centre.

Arts and Entertainment 

St John’s Wood is close to various cultural attractions in central London. Several cinemas are nearby, including the Everyman Cinema in Maida Vale and the Odeon Cinema in Swiss Cottage. The Hampstead Theatre and the Tricycle Theatre are within easy reach and offer a range of contemporary and classic plays. The Wallace Collection, located in Marylebone, is a world-renowned museum featuring art and artefacts from the 18th and 19th centuries, while the Sherlock Holmes Museum, also located in Marylebone, is dedicated to the famous fictional detective. 

For those reader lovers, two monthly book clubs are held at the library in St John’s Wood, one of which is dedicated to crime fiction.

Hampstead Theatre right outside Swiss Cottage Station

Sports and Leisure

St John’s Wood is an excellent location for sports enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for various activities. The Lord’s Cricket Ground, located in St John’s Wood, is one of the most famous cricket venues in the world and hosts international cricket matches throughout the year. The nearby Paddington Recreation Ground offers facilities for football, tennis, and other sports, while the Little Venice Sports Centre provides a range of fitness classes and activities, including badminton, basketball, and volleyball.

For golf enthusiasts, several golf courses are within easy reach of St John’s Wood, such as the Hampstead Golf Club and the Finchley Golf Club.

Tennis enthusiasts can use the tennis courts at the Paddington Sports Club or the Will to Win Tennis Centre in Regent’s Park. Additionally, the area has several gyms and fitness centres, including the Virgin Active Gym in Swiss Cottage, which offers a range of fitness classes and equipment.

St John’s Wood stands out as an ideal place to call home. Its diverse and welcoming community creates a sense of belonging that extends a warm invitation to individuals from all walks of life. With a reputation for safety and abundant green spaces, it offers a tranquil and peaceful environment, perfect for families looking to grow and thrive. Moreover, its proximity to the iconic Regent’s Park and other cultural attractions adds a touch of charm and excitement to daily life. So why wait? Come and experience St John’s Wood’s vibrant spirit and undeniable allure – your new home awaits with open arms!

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