It’s difficult deciding on a place to live in London – especially when you’ve never visited the city! But that’s a situation that many overseas students find themselves in, when moving to London to study. There are so many suburbs and neighbourhoods that even most people living in the UK haven’t heard of all of them. We’ve put together these comprehensive area guides to give you all the information you need about some of the city’s hotspots. Here we give you the low-down on Brixton.
Choosing the right location is really important, because London is such a huge city. While the public transport is good, it can also be very expensive if you live in a certain zone but regularly travel to a different zone. Journey times can also be long when travelling from one side of the city to another. Read on to find out more about Brixton including the types of homes available, safety and transport links.
Where is Brixton?
Brixton is located in south London and is a district in the borough of Lambeth. It is bordered by Clapham, Camberwell, Stockwell and Streatham, and you may have heard of Brixton because many famous acts have graced the stage at the Brixton Academy. Just four miles from central London, it’s known as a busy and buzzing south London suburb.
What’s the vibe?
It’s not leafy or particularly appealing to the eye, but many people love the area for its industrial feel. It’s a classic working class suburb which has been regenerated in recent years, and the roads are always busy with heavy traffic.
What is there to do here?
From independent restaurants to late night party hotspots, there is a lot to explore. If you live in Brixton you’re bound to know about these gems:
Brixton has made a name for itself as the major shopping district of the south, popular with locals and visitors. Brixton Village is bustling with vintage shops, colourful stalls and artisan food sellers – and you won’t find the usual loud market stall vendors, so you can shop in peace!
There’s always something going on at Hootananny! One of the area’s best nightlife venues, it hosts a diverse programme including live music, comedy nights, sport and Latin events. There’s also a display of tasty street food to try while you’re enjoying the acts.
Brockwell Park and Lido
It can get a bit too busy and crowded in Brixton, so when you need a break head to the park with the locals. With greenery, ponds and a great view of the city, it’s a great spot on a sunny day. In the summer why not go for a dip in the lido, one of the best outdoor pools in London?
In and around Brixton you’ll notice many buildings covered in colourful murals. This isn’t graffiti – many of the artworks were funded by the local council and tell the story of Brixton’s past. One of the most famous murals is that of music icon David Bowie, who was born in Brixton.
Who lives in Brixton?
Brixton tends to attract people who are staying in London on a short term basis – students, artists and theatre workers, working holiday makers from across the world and other travellers. The convenient location means it also attracts young professionals and families working in central London.
As with many London neighbourhoods, expect to hear a diverse range of accents. A lot of Afro-Caribbeans live here and have been a mainstay in this area since in 1940s – bringing great food stalls and restaurants.
How to Get Around
Brixton is a fantastic location to get anywhere you need to go! On the tube, Brixton is the final stop on the Victoria line which means you’ll always get a seat going into central London. It’s in zone 2 which is probably the closest you’ll ever get to living in zone 1. In addition to the underground there are also fantastic train and bus services heading to St Pancras, Liverpool Street and Trafalgar Square.
Is living in Brixton safe?
You may have heard that Brixton was at the centre of riots in the 1980s. It is true that historically the area did not have the best reputation. However, the new Brixton couldn’t be more different. The area has been reborn with hipster bars and cafes, boutiques and specialist stores. Safety has drastically improved and the centre is no worse than other areas of London.
What types of homes are available in Brixton?
Brixton has a long history as a part of London, with many of the buildings dating back to mid or late Victorian times. Along the main roads you’ll see large Georgian and Victorian terraces. A lot of the homes in this area are three or four storeys high, so quite a lot have been converted into mansion flats. There are also new build homes available in the form of apartment blocks.
Homestay in Brixton
If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay accommodation (“host family”) in Brixton or close by, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Brixton home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch.