St John's Wood is one of London's most underappreciated boroughs. These quiet and leafy suburbs feel very different from the hustle and bustle of central London.
But living in St John’s Wood still puts homes within easy reach of London’s most popular and instantly recognisable landmarks. There is a considerable amount of history to discover here; St John’s Wood has undergone a series of transformations over the years. These transformations have evolved the character of the area and changed its makeup considerably.
In the 21st century, St John’s Wood is one of London’s trendiest areas. While it is quieter than most of the surrounding boroughs, it still has a lot to offer. There’s plenty to see and do here.
A Cricketers’ Paradise
St John’s Wood is known as the cricketing heartland of North London – and with good reason. Home to the iconic St John’s Wood cricket ground, before any big event in the cricketing calendar, local estate agents find themselves inundated with enquiries from cricket fans about flats and other properties offering a view of the grounds. If you are passionate about cricket, there are few places as exciting as St John’s Wood in North London. A flat in St John’s Wood overlooking the cricket ground is a highly sought after prize amongst the cricketing faithful.
The area is also home to the headquarters of both Middlesex County Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club. Marylebone Cricket Club owns the famed Lords Cricket Ground, a truly sacred venue for British cricket that is renowned the world over. The grounds are named after the celebrated professional cricketer, Thomas Lord. Thomas Lord helped to establish the first incarnation of Marylebone Cricket Club in 1787. The club began life in Dorset fields, Marylebone. But since 1814 they have called St John’s Wood their home.
The Art Scene
Of course, St John’s Wood has much more to offer than just cricket in the 21st Century. It is a fantastic place to live for numerous reasons. It has proven incredibly popular with wealthy American buyers, many of whom reside near The American School situated in Waverly Place. There is also a relatively high concentration of wealthy property buyers from Europe and Asia.
For most of its history, St Johns Wood has been a relatively religious place. To this day, there are several beautiful ornate religious buildings within the borough. But it has also developed a reputation as a trendy and Bohemian artists’ enclave. Several high-profile artists have lived in the borough over the centuries. Perhaps most notably, Edwin Landseer, the artist who gave the world ‘The Monarch of the Glen’, lived in St John’s Wood for a time.
Other notable historic residents of St John’s Wood include a young Winston Churchill, Henry James, Tchaikovsky, and one former Prince of Wales. One of the best-known local landmarks is a house once owned by the artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. This beautiful three-storey structure, featuring stained-glass windows and an aluminium covered dome on the roof, is situated on the way to what must rank as St John’s Wood’s most important local landmark: the zebra crossing outside the Abbey Road Studios. This crossing was made iconic by the 1969 Beatles album, Abbey Road.
The zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios is not the only notable zebra crossing in the borough. St John’s Wood is also home to the first 3D zebra crossing in the country. This 3D design is supposed to confuse drivers and encourage them to slow down. You will find similar crossings in India, the United States, and New Zealand.
St John’s Wood is home to a range of properties at a variety of price points.
In fact, Finchley Road effectively divides the borough into two halves. East of Finchley Road, heading towards Swiss Cottage, you will find large detached homes that sell for millions of pounds. Property values here can go as high as £25 million, with more modest properties available at the £3 million mark.
There have been several new developments in this area over the previous five years. For example, houses along Avenue Road have been demolished to make way for more modern mansions. Many of these are still under construction. When construction is finished, the mansions should fetch between £10 and £75 million each.
To the west of Finchley Road, heading towards Maida Vale, things are very different, albeit no less beautiful. Properties in this part of St John’s Wood consist mostly of Victorian white stucco houses, terraces, and brick villas. The busiest thoroughfares in the borough are flanked by apartment blocks, some of which are situated in converted Victorian mansions. The mishmash of dwellings built at various points throughout the borough’s history gives it an eclectic character.
Properties in this part of the borough are much more affordable. House prices in this part of St John’s Wood range from around £595,000 for a one-bedroom house, up to £25 million for a six-bedroom detached house that includes a basement swimming pool and other luxury amenities. High-end detached properties are available throughout the borough. But most people who live here live in more modest flats. In total, there are roughly four times as many flats as houses in St John’s Wood. Prices for a flat begin in the £325,000 range but can rise as high as £16 million.
St John’s Wood is located just next to London’s famed West End. You can easily walk or cycle into the heart of London’s entertainment district. The St John’s Wood underground station puts you just two stops away from Bond Street and enables access to the rest of central London via the Jubilee line.
In addition to the tube station, St John’s Wood has some excellent bus links. Several commuter buses serve the area. The number 13 will take you to Victoria via Baker Street and Finchley Road. Meanwhile, the number 113 goes via Baker Street on its way to Oxford Circus.
Properties in the St John’s Wood area offer residents excellent access to some of London’s best green spaces. The Regent’s Park is situated to the east of St John’s Wood. You also have smaller parks, such as Paddington recreation ground and Paddington old cemetery within easy reach.
For anyone who enjoys long walks, there are some breathtakingly beautiful routes you can take from St John’s Wood, heading North to Hampstead Heath. Anyone who values access to the outdoors will certainly appreciate St John’s Wood’s location.
Shops And Restaurants
For residents of St John’s Wood, the most popular local haunts are found on Abbey Road and the surrounding side streets. There is a variety of shops and restaurants in this area.
Like the rest of London, St John’s Wood is not quite the hotbed of religious fervour that it was a few centuries ago. However, religion remains an important facet of many residents’ lives.
There are two local restaurants in St John’s Wood that have historically been important to the area’s Jewish community; Panzer’s in Circus Road and Harry Morgan, located on the High Street. Today, both of these institutions cater to residents of all faiths and backgrounds. However, they remain important to the Jewish community.
Panzers features a salad bar and cafe. It is one of the best delis in all of London, with smoked salmon, sushi, and bagels for you to enjoy. Meanwhile, Harry Morgan is renowned throughout the borough for its award-winning salt beef sandwiches.
After grabbing a bite to eat, you can head to one of St John’s Wood’s several upmarket fashion boutiques to find something appropriate for your new waistline. These outlets include Zadig & Voltaire, ME+EM, Tara Jarmon, and Liu Jo.
Other Things To Do
Given how important cricket is to the history of St John’s Wood, you won’t be surprised to learn that there is a cricket museum. The Marylebone cricket club museum is situated within Lord’s cricket ground. It also holds the distinction of being the world’s oldest sporting museum. The Ashes Urn is also displayed there.
The contributions made to St John’s Wood over the years by the Jewish diaspora and other immigrant groups are celebrated within the walls of the Ben Uri Gallery on Boundary Road.
St John’s Wood has a couple of cinemas. The Everyman in Maida Vale is one of the capitals’ most popular independent cinemas. Meanwhile, the Odeon in Swiss Cottage is great for blockbusters and mainstream cinema. If you prefer your entertainment live, Hampstead theatre is also located in the Swiss Cottage area.
St John’s Wood has a lot going for it, so it isn’t hard to understand why so many people have chosen to make this borough their home. Once one of London’s more exclusive areas.
St John’s Wood today is a metropolitan and Bohemian borough, which caters just as well to young professionals as it does to wealthy financiers. You don’t need to be a millionaire to live here, but you can expect to rub shoulders with plenty of them.
Latest Property Prices
Over the last year, St Johns Wood property valuation has been on the rise. Properties here sold at an overall average price of £2,026,290. In the last year, the majority of property sales in the area were flats, which sold for an average price of just over £1.1m. Terraced houses sold for an average of just over £3m, while semi-detached properties sold for around £5,800,000. Overall, sold property prices in this area over the past year were up by eight percent on the previous year and saw an increase of 13% on the peak of 2018.
St Johns Wood is a popular choice for American families thanks to The American School in London, which provides education for children from the age of four to the age of eighteen years old. However, there is a good choice of both private and state schools in the area, recommended by St Johns Wood estate agents to families. All except for one of the primary schools in the area have been Ofsted rated ‘good’ or better, including Gateway in Capland Street, which is rated ‘outstanding’. Another school with an outstanding Ofsted rating is Ark King Solomon in Penfold Street, which provides education from ages 3-18. You can also find a range of comprehensive schools with an outstanding rating from Ofsted including Paddington Academy in Marylands Road, St Augustine’s CE in Oxford Road, St George’s RC in Lanark Road, and Harris Academy St Johns Wood in Marlborough Hill. The UCL Academy, located on Adelaide Road, has a rating of ‘good’ and provides education to children aged 11-18.
Parents who are looking for a private education for their children have various options to choose from in St Johns Wood. There are several private and preparatory schools including Hereward House for boys aged 4-13, Naima Preparatory for children aged 2-11, St Christina’s for children aged 3-11, Arnold House for boys aged 5-18, St Johns Wood Pre-Preparatory for children aged 3-7, and Abercorn, for children aged 2-13. There is also a French/English bilingual school, L’Ecole Bilingue Elementarie, which provides education to children aged 3-11.
Estate agents St Johns Wood recommend this area for the excellent transport links. St Johns Wood is located within cycling or walking distance of the vibrant London West End. You can reach St Johns Wood Underground Station easily on the Jubilee line, just two stops away from Bond Street. The area is also served by the Bakerloo Line from the nearby Warwick Avenue and Maida Vale Underground stations, and you can get London Overground trains from the nearby Kilburn High Road and South Hampstead stations. You can also use the various commuter buses that serve the area on a regular basis including the buses from Finchley Road. These are the 274 which goes to Lancaster Gate via Marble Arch, the 13 which goes via Baker Street to Victoria, and the 113 which also goes via Baker Street to Oxford Circus. From Abbey Road and Grove End Road, you can get the 180 via Baker Street to Marble Arch, or the 139 via Oxford Circus to Waterloo. St Johns Wood is located in Zone 2. You can get an annual travelcard from Zone 2 to Zone 1 for around £1400.
With its leafy green suburbs, proximity to green spaces and quiet tranquil area despite being so close to the city centre of London, it’s no surprise that St Johns Wood is a popular choice for families with children. The wide range of rated good, excellent, and outstanding private and public schools in the area are also a main factor making this area an ideal location for families to live. Along with this, you can also find several child-friendly and family-friendly activities available in the St Johns Wood Area. There are lots of different after-school club and activity options for kids to get involved in including ballet, martial arts, learning Mandarin Chinese, art, circus, poems and much more.
Are you looking to move to St Johns Wood and find work in the area? Thanks to the excellent transport links into the wider London area, getting into work could not be easier when you live here. St Johns Wood is just a short tube ride away from major London employment centres including the financial district The City, and Westminster. A search for jobs available in St Johns Wood area on Indeed brings up a wide range of different positions including jobs in marketing, customer service, finance, retail, hospitality, publishing, sales, supply chain, software development, media, and more.
Whether you are moving to a St Johns Wood property on your own, as a couple, or with your family, one of the main factors to consider is the healthcare in the area. St Johns Wood is served by a range of both NHS and private healthcare options to suit your needs. The area is served by St Johns Wood Medical Practice, an NHS GP surgery located on Grove End Road. The St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is a private hospital that is at the heart of the community in London. It’s the city’s leading charitable hospital and is known for providing outstanding private care in a friendly, calm atmosphere. Patients can expect to be cared for by industry-leading consultants, private doctors, and nurses.
Despite being known as a quieter and more residential area of London, St Johns Wood also offers a good nightlife scene with various bars and pubs to choose from. The area is home to a range of traditional British pubs including Crocker’s Folly, Angie’s Freehouse, Idlewild, The Falcon, The Grand Union Pub, The Lord’s Tavern and Frankfort Arms. There are also several great bars to choose from including The Duke of York, Malabata Lounge, B98 and AMBAR. As one of the main neighbourhoods in London chosen by celebrities, it’s not unusual to be rubbing shoulders with somebody famous if you go for a night out or even for a drink at the pub here.