Tag: london

Crime Rate in London: How Bad is Your Borough?

Crime Rate in London: How Bad is Your Borough?

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One of the biggest issues facing anyone moving home is crime. This issue becomes even more pressing when your potential home is a city like London. How safe is the area you’re looking to move to? Worry not, thanks to a little help from our Property Detective reports, we’re bringing you key info on the crime rate in London. So, how bad is your borough?

How Have We Worked It Out?

To work this out, we first looked at the 33 different London Boroughs (well 32 + 1 principal division). We’ve completed a Property Detective report on the postcode of each London Borough’s headquarters. This gives us a snapshot of the crime in an area. It’s important to remember crime rates alter dramatically from street-to-street. Plus, knowing a boroughs crime rate has its benefits. Buying a property in the area? Knowing its crime rate can help you negotiate a house price. To find out the specific information for your street, enter your postcode here.

Crime in Barking & Dagenham (IG11 7LU)

When looking at the postcode for the Town Hall for Barking & Dagenham’s Council, we found:

  • 104% more crime than the national average
  • Mainly violent and drug offences reported
  • 131 anti-social behaviour offences reported in the last year
  • 110 burglary and theft offences reported in the last year

Barking & Dagenham Crime RateCrime in Barnet (N11 1NP)

The area surrounding Barnet Council’s hub seems to be a haven:

  • 43% less crime than the national average
  • Only 19 anti-social crimes reported in the last year
  • Drug offences reported are 33% lower than the national average

Crime Rate in Barnet

Crime in Bexley (DA6 7AT)

Bexley’s crime rate is a mixed bag:

  • 14% more crime than the national average
  • Mainly anti-social behaviour offences reported
  • 18% fewer burglary and theft offences than national average

Bexley Crime RateCrime in Brent (HA9 0FJ)

The area surrounding Brent’s civic centre sees its fair share of crime:

  • 335 offences reported in the last year
  • 85% more crime than UK average
  • 152% more burglary/theft offences than average
  • 84 anti-social offences reported in the last year

Brent Crime Rate

Crime in Bromley (BR1 3UH)

Theft and burglary dominate the reported offences in Bromley:

  • 284 offences reported in the last year
  • 189% more burglary and theft than the national average
  • Less anti-social offences than the national average
  • 80 violent and drug offences reported in the last year

Bromley Crime Rate


Crime in Camden (WC1H 9JE)

For such a lively area, Camden sees a relatively low level of crime:

  • 221 reported offences in the last year
  • Violent and drug offences are 57% below national average
  • 103 anti-social offences reported

Camden Crime Rate

Crime in Croydon (CR0 1EA)

Croydon suffers from a pretty high level of crime in comparison to some other London Boroughs:

  • 703 offences reported in the last year
  • 187% more crime than the national average
  • 285% more burglary and theft offences than the national average
  • 245 violent crime and drug offences in the last year

Croydon Crime Rate

Crime in Ealing (W5 2HL)

Good news for residents of Ealing, you’re among one of the best behaved London Boroughs:

  • 48% less crime than the national average
  • Only 25 anti-social offences reported in the last year
  • Violent and drug crime is 59% less than the national average

Ealing Crime Rate

Crime in Enfield (EN1 3XA)

The area surrounding Enfield’s civic centre has a low reported crime rate:

  • 100 offences reported in the last year
  • Of the crimes investigated in the last year, 89% were either unresolved or had an unsatisfactory solution for the person who reported the offence
  • Anti-social behaviour offences 59% below national average

Enfield Crime Rate

Crime in Greenwich (SE18 6HQ)

Greenwich London Borough Council’s base in Woolwich sees a high level of crime:

  • 259% more reported offences than national average
  • 380% more burglary and theft than national average
  • 73% of reported crimes investigated were either unresolved or had an unsatisfactory outcome for the person reporting the offence
  • 177 instances of anti-social behaviour reported in the last year

Greenwich Crime Rate

Crime in Hackney (E8 1EA)

Hackney can have a reputation for crime at times. The stats certainly aren’t the worst we’ve seen:

  • 444 offences reported in the last year
  • 317% more burglary than national average
  • 88% of investigated crimes were either unresolved or had an unsatisfactory outcome
  • 118 anti-social behaviour offences

Hackney Crime Rate

Crime in Hammersmith & Fulham (W6 9JU)

The area surrounding Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s base has a relatively high crime rate:

  • 206% more crime than national average
  • 162 burglary and crime offences reported
  • 109 violent and drug crimes reported

Hammersmith & Fulham Crime Rate

Crime in Haringey (N22 8LE)

Crime in Haringey appears to be relatively proportionate to the rest of London:

  • 77% more crime than national average
  • 84 burglary and theft offences reported
  • 45% more anti-social behaviour offences than national average
  • 83% of crimes investigated were either unresolved or had an unsatisfactory outcome

Haringey Crime Rate

Crime in Harrow (HA1 2XY)

The area surrounding Harrow’s Civic Centre sees a crime rate marginally higher than the national average:

  • 45% more crime than the national average
  • 29% more burglary and theft than national average
  • 12% more violent and drug crimes than national average
  • 154 anti-social incidents reported
  • 86% of investigated crimes were unresolved or reached an unsatisfactory ending

Harrow Crime Rate

Crime in Havering (RM1 3BD)

Havering Borough Council’s headquarters sees a pretty high level of crime:

  • Crime rate 173% higher than national average
  • 383% more burglary and theft than national average
  • 157% more violent and drug offences than national average
  • 75% of crimes investigated were unresolved or reached an unsatisfactory ending

Havering Crime Rate

Crime in Hillingdon (UB8 1UW)

Hillingdon falls in line with the general trend of crime rates in London Boroughs:

  • 357 reported offences in the last year
  • 138% more burglary and theft than national average
  • 109 violent and drug offences reported in last year
  • 33% of investigated crimes had an unsatisfactory ending

Hillingdon Crime Rate

Crime in Hounslow (TW3 4DN)

Compared to the other London Boroughs, Hounslow’s crime rate is relatively low:

  • Total reported crimes 63% higher than average
  • 86 burglary and thefts reported in last year
  • 56% more anti-social behaviour incidents than UK average
  • 81% investigated crimes went unresolved or met unsatisfactory ending

Hounslow Crime Rate

Crime in Islington (N1 1XR)

Considering Islington Borough Council’s offices are on the very busy Upper Street, it’s not surprising crime for the area is high:

  • In the last year, 362 offences have been reported
  • Burglary/theft is 202% higher than UK average
  • 101 violent crime and drug offences in last year
  • 83% investigated incidents were unresolved and met with an unsatisfactory end

Islington Crime Rate

Crime in Kensington & Chelsea (W8 7NX)

Kensington & Chelsea is a very affluent area. This makes crime rates particularly interesting. On the main part, crime is low however burglary and theft rate is rather high. This could be the result of the area being targeted due to its prosperity:

  • 230 crimes reported in the last year
  • Anti-social behaviour is 12% below national average
  • Violent crime and drug offences are 5% above average
  • Burglary and theft is 195% higher than the UK average

Kensington & Chelsea Crime Rate

Crime in Kingston upon Thames (KT1 1EU)

The area surrounding Kingston upon Thames’ Borough Council headquarters also sees a high level of burglary:

  • 102% rise in crime on national average
  • 178 burglary/theft offences reported in a year
  • Violent and drug related crimes are 93% more common than the average
  • 62% of the area’s investigated crimes go unresolved or reach a conclusion deemed unsatisfactory

Kingston upon Thames Crime Rate

Crime in Lambeth (SW2 1RW)

Lambeth Town Hall is in the heart of Brixton, an area renowned for its nightlife and busy atmosphere. As a result, the crime figures far exceed the UK average:

  • 653 crimes reported in the last year – 267% more than the average
  • 491% more burglary and theft incidents than average
  • 272% more violent and drug related offences than average
  • 79% of crimes reach an unsatisfactory/unresolved conclusion

Lambeth Crime Rate

Crime in Lewisham (SE6 4RU)

Crime in Lewisham certainly isn’t the worst in London:

  • 72% above national average
  • 84 burglary/theft incidents in the last year
  • 33% more anti-social behaviour reported than average
  • 117 violent and drug offences reported

Lewisham Crime Rate

Crime in Merton (SM4 5DX)

Sleep easy residents of Merton, your crime rates are among some of the best in London:

  • Total crime 14% below national average
  • Anti-social behaviour 21% below average
  • Violent crimes 15% below UK average

Merton Crime Rate

Crime in Newham (E16 2QU)

Newham sees its fair share of crime though these stats are certainly not excessive when compared to other London Boroughs:

  • 54% more crime than national average
  • 46% more burglary and theft than average
  • 32% more anti-social behaviour than average
  • 88% of crimes investigated reach an unsatisfactory/unresolved conclusion

Newham Crime Rate

Crime in Redbridge (IG1 1DD)

With a crime rate to rival that of Lambeth, the area surrounding Redbridge Town Hall is one of the worst areas to feature on our list:

  • 683 crimes reported in the last year
  • 242% more crime than national average
  • 352% more burglary/theft offences than average
  • 250 anti-social behaviour crimes reported in the last year
  • 177 violent and drug offences reported

Redbridge Crime Rate

Crime in Richmond (TW1 3BZ)

Another highly affluent area, Richmond’s crime rates are some of the lowest on the list. Having said this, it still sees more crime than the UK average:

  • 21% more crime than UK average
  • 41% more burglary/theft than national average
  • 17% more anti-social behaviour than average
  • 6% more violent/drug related offences than average

Richmond Crime Rate

Crime in Southwark (SE1 2HZ)

The area surrounding Southwark Council sees the highest level of crime on our list. Here are the stats:

  • 960 incidents reported in the last year – 533% higher than national average
  • 1,241% more burglary/theft than national average – a whopping 491 offences reported in the last 12 months
  • 262% more anti-social offences than national average
  • 341% rise in violent/drug crime on national average
  • 84% crimes investigated reach an unsatisfactory/unresolved conclusion

Southwark Crime Rate

Crime in Sutton (SM1 1EA)

Sutton is an area with low reported anti-social behaviour but high burglary figures:

  • 239 crimes reported in last 12 months
  • Anti-social behaviour offences 9% lower than national average
  • Burglary/theft 80% higher than UK average
  • 36% more violent/drug related crimes than average

Sutton Crime Rate

Crime in Tower Hamlets (E14 2BG)

Tower Hamlets is a London Borough notorious for the disparity between rich and poor. The crime rates sit on the higher end of the scale but don’t see the heights of some other areas in the capital:

  • 377 crimes reported in the last 12 months
  • 196% more instances of burglary/theft
  • 84% more anti-social behaviour than average
  • 42% of crimes investigates are either unresolved or concluded in a manner unsatisfactory to the individual reporting it

Tower Hamlets Crime Rate

Crime in Waltham Forest (E17 4JF)

The area surrounding Waltham Forest Town Hall is some of the safest in London:

  • 36% fewer crimes reported in the last year
  • 55% fewer burglary and theft offences than national average
  • Only 42 anti-social behaviour offences reported in last 12 months
  • 22% fewer violent/drug crimes reported than average

Waltham Forest Crime Rate

Crime in Wandsworth (SW18 2PU)

Wandsworth High Street (home to Wandsworth Borough Council) is another low crime area in London:

  • Crime rate is generally 6% higher than national average
  • Burglary/theft is the most common offence with 72 incidents in a year
  • 31 anti-social offences reported in the last 12 months – 52% below average
  • Violent/drug crimes 11% below average

Wandsworth Crime Rate

Crime in Westminster (SW1E 6QP)

Considering the high density of people found in the area surrounding Westminster, it’s not surprising it sees a high crime rate:

  • 1,116 reported crimes in the last 12 months – 509% above average
  • 477 burglary/theft incidents – 978% above average
  • 416% more anti-social behaviour offences than average
  • 240 violent and drug related crimes reported
  • 90% of investigated incidents were either unresolved or met an unsatisfactory conclusion

Westminster Crime Rate

City of London (EC2V 7HH)

Okay, so the eagle eyed readers will be shaking their heads right now. You’re right, the City of London is not a London Borough itself. It is however the 33rd principal division of Greater London so we thought we’d include it here. Besides, the crime rates make for very interesting reading. The very high figures are likely to be due to the population density in this area:

  • 2,115 reported incidents in the last year – 1,390% higher than average
  • 1,112 reported thefts/burglaries – a whopping 3,119% more than the average
  • 734% more anti-social behaviour than average
  • 938% more violent and drug related offences than average
  • 85% of crimes are either unresolved or meet an unsatisfactory conclusion

City of London Crime Rate

A Little Context

These figures are intended as a snapshot only. It’s vitally important not to take them as a generalised look at each London Borough as a whole. Crime rates should be looked at on a street-by-street basis.

If you’re moving home and want to find out more about your local area’s crime rate, noise pollution, nuisances, amenities, schools and much more, you can find a Property Detective report here.

Green Space in the City - The UK's Top 10

Green Space in the City – The UK’s Top 10

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Urban living is pretty dreary at times. The concrete jungle can be a demoralising place to spend your life. There’s been countless studies about how important green space is for our health. But what UK city actually has the most green space? With a little help from satellite mapping experts Esri UK, we can answer just that.

The Benefits of Green Space

It’s widely recognised that green space is highly beneficial to the well-being of urban dwellers. This is so prevalent that even city planners make a point of allocating specific areas solely for vegetation. This isn’t just for aesthetic reasons either. Here are some of the most obvious benefits of city green space:

  • Air quality – It’s recognised that air quality in cities like London and Manchester is pretty poor. Thankfully parks go some way in boosting this. It’s said that a single tree can remove a level of carbon dioxide equivalent to 11,000 miles of car emissions every year. That’s a pretty remarkable stat when you think about it.
  • Reduced stress – It’s recognised that green spaces aid in reducing stress and depression.
  • Boosts chances of exercise – It’s been found that living near a green space boosts an individual’s chances of engaging in regular exercise.
  • Boosts life satisfaction – In a study by the University of Exeter, those living near green spaces reported higher life satisfaction than those who did not.
  • Escapism – It’s believed that urban green spaces offer a level of escapism from city life, this has a dramatic effect on an individual’s personal wellbeing.
  • Reduced crime rates – There’s a proven correlation between access to public parks and a reduction in crime rates.

So it’s proven that green space is great for cities. But which city has the most greenery in the UK? Here’s the top 10:

10. Liverpool (16.4%)

Coming in tenth place is the Northern city of Liverpool. With only 16.4% of the city green, you could be forgiven for feeling a little underwhelmed by Liverpool’s parks. This shouldn’t be the case. The city is actually home to ten listed parks and cemeteries with two Grade I and five Grade II green areas. The English Heritage National Register of Historic Parks claims that the Victorian Parks in Liverpool are ‘the most important in the country’. Unfortunately, there is a rising anxiety in Liverpool about potential developments further reducing the city’s green spaces.

Liverpool Green Space

9. Bradford (18.4%)

With only 18.4% green space in the city, Bradford comes in ninth. Alike Liverpool, there have been numerous reports of residents angry at potential development decreasing this percentage. In September 2016, The Bradford Property Forum explained that the city’s green belt would need to be developed if the city is to stand a chance of competing with its Northern neighbours.

Bradford Green Space

8. Manchester (20.4%)

Manchester may come in relatively low on this list but it would seem there’s plenty of hunger in the thriving Northern capital. There are many picturesque suburban parks in the city but the centre seriously lacks green space. With Manchester’s green space totalling a lacklustre 20.4%, there seems to be a local desire to boost this. There’s been a large boom in residents planting and growing vegetation in makeshift areas. Furthermore, in October 2016, Manchester Evening News reported the plans for an 800 acres of Green Space stretching from Salford, Bury and Bolton.

Manchester Green Space

7. Leeds (21.7%)

Leeds may have a deep industrial heritage but that doesn’t mean it lacks greenery! From nature reserves to picnic spots, parks and even landscape gardens, Leeds boasts 21.7% green space. Did you know, Leeds has 20 different nature reserves? It’s a huge number and testament to the city’s thirst for nature.

Leeds Green Space

6. Sheffield (22.1%)

Just edging to sixth place ahead of Leeds, 22.1% of Sheffield is green space. In fact, the city is clearly very proud of its parks and natural recreational areas. The University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape is even leading a project (Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature) that will study how people from different areas of the city use local parks and how this improves their health.

Sheffield Green Space

5. Greater London (23%)

It would surprise many that London appears so high on this list. London goes to extraordinary lengths to keep green space plentiful and enjoyable – this is evident in its remarkable 23% green space figure. When confronted by the pollution, car horns and endless rows of concrete, it’s easy to forget that luscious nature walks are only a stone’s throw away. From Hampstead Heath to Finsbury Park, Hyde Park to Clapham Common, there’s plenty of greenery to enjoy in the capital.

Greater London Green Space

4. Birmingham (24.6%)

Birmingham has more parks than any European city. It’s no surprise then that the UK’s ‘second city’ comes in fourth on this list. With 24.6% of the urban area made up of greenery, there’s plenty of recreation space available to residents. Not only this, venture to the outskirts and you’ll be confronted by some of the most tranquil woodlands, wetlands and lakes.

Birmingham Green Space

3. Bristol (29%)

Hitting the dizzying heights of third spot, Bristol is the greenest city in England. Offering up 29% green space, the city clearly has a concrete jungle heart but with broad and luscious rolling fields to the North West of the city. The Bristol Post does question the validity of this research, discussing the city boundaries. Wherever the discussion about borders leads, we like to have a little pride in Bristol’s whopping 29% figure.

Bristol Green Space

2. Glasgow (32%)

With double the green space of tenth place Liverpool, Glasgow offers a phenomenal 32% figure. From parks to spontaneous pockets of nature, the Scottish city is bursting with recreational areas. In fact, Understanding Glasgow claim 80% of children in the city live within 400 metres of publicly accessible green space.

Glasgow Green Space

1. Edinburgh (49.2%)

Edinburgh takes top spot in this list with an outrageously high figure of 49.2% green space. Edinburgh City Council Transport and Environment Convener Lesley Hinds offers her support for the city’s greenery: “We think very much of our green spaces here in Edinburgh and are proud to maintain more than 130 publicly accessible parks and Natural Heritage Sites encompassing 45% of all Green Flag parks in Scotland”. There’s no denying that the vast amount of greenery plays a large part in the city’s beauty and charm.

Edinburgh Green Space

If you’re moving home and want to find out key information like local amenities, noise pollution, crime rates and schools. You can find your Property Detective report here.


All satellite images courtesy of Esri UK.

How to Spot an Up-and-Coming Area

How to Spot an Up-and-Coming Area

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So you’ve seen the house prices soar in areas like Shoreditch, Clapham and Camden. Now you want a piece of the pie. Or are you just a hipster looking to move somewhere before it becomes stuffy and cramped with chain restaurants? Either way, if you look hard enough there are a few key ways to tell you’re in an up-and-coming area. Here are some of the more notable tells.

Independent Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Delis

Have you noticed an increase in the number of independently run delis or coffee shops in an area? This is a clear sign that people living there possess a level of disposable income synonymous with up-and-coming neighbourhoods. If you’re seeing chain restaurants or coffee shops like Starbucks, stay away. It’s likely the area has already expanded to its full capacity.

Independent food stores are not necessarily a sure fire way of an up-and-coming area. Get a feel for the vibe there too. If the place is full and buzzing, you’re likely to be on the right track. Ideally, there’ll be numerous retailers like this, maybe coupled with a small art gallery or independent fashion retailer too.

Business Investment

Has a big business registered an interest? If a large company, corporation or employer has bought offices in the area there’s a very strong chance it’s going to boom. First of all, there’s the added population influx this will cause, then you’ll begin to see more competitors or like-minded brands move into the area too. This does come with a big caveat and it’s especially prevalent for small towns. If there’s only one large-scale employer from one industry, the area is likely to decline dramatically if they pull out. Take a look at some of the former mining towns for a clear example of this.

Area Demographic

Take a walk through the area and be particularly observant of the type of people you see. If you’re surrounded by middle aged businessmen and women donning expensive suits, this isn’t the place for you. If however, you’re spotting an unusually high number of 20-30 year olds, there’s a chance you’re looking at an up-and-coming area. This age group tends to have a lot of disposable income which is guaranteed to attract businesses.

Transport Links

This is an absolute must. If an area has poor public transport links, it’s not likely to see a boom anytime soon. For instance, if we’re discussing London, look for an area that’s slightly removed from the stuffy inner-city life but is still close enough to commute to major employment hotspots. Transport developments like the HS1 & HS2 railways are also going to create a frenzy of interest, though you’ve probably already missed the boat on these two examples. Large scale development like this will lead to a very swift wave of regeneration in an area.

Estate Agents, House Shares, Sales and DOM

So, this is a huge tell of any up and coming area. Look at the market activity for the neighbourhood. If you’re noticing a sudden crop of estate agencies opening up, they’re noticing a potential. If there are plenty of house shares being advertised, it’s another tell of the young professional demographic moving in. Then consider the price properties are being sold for. If they’re steadily increasing and the number of days on the market (DOM) is decreasing then you’re looking at an area in demand.

If you want to really drill down into an area and find out about the crime stats, travel info, potential nuisances, schools, amenities and local demographics, fill out a Property Detective report today. All you need is the postcode!

10 London Underground Facts Ever Commuter Needs to Know - Picture of London Underground Train

10 London Underground Facts Every Commuter Needs to Know

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In 1884 the Circle line opened and was described by The Times as ‘a form of mild torture, which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it’. Despite many changes to the London Underground network since, popular opinion remains the same. Considering this, we thought we’d look back at some of the most intriguing and interesting London Underground facts. Give thought to the 249 mile tube network, there’s more than meets the eye. If you’re more interested in having a moan, be sure to check out our list of the worst tube lines.

10. You Can Never Miss the Last Train

This is a rarely helpful fact that could actually change your last minute dash for the train. Once you’ve tapped in, there’s no need to race down the escalator to catch the last train home. Once you’re through the barriers the station staff will radio to the driver and ask them to wait. This is no excuse to stop for a chat on the way though, other passengers are waiting for you too.

9. Don’t Believe the Signs

Ever walked past a sign that tells you how many steps on a staircase in the Underground? Don’t believe what it tells you, it’s a complete fib. The number of steps on each staircase is different at most stations. Here’s a full list of the accused:

  • Belsize Park – 189 steps (sign says 219)
  • Russell Square – 171 steps (sign says 175)
  • Elephant & Castle – 117 steps (sign says 124)
  • Tottenham Court Road – 116 steps (sign says 99)
  • Queensway – 126 steps (sign says 123)
  • Kentish Town – 117 steps (sign says 121)
  • Tufnell Park – 116 steps (sign says 110)
  • Old Street – 109 steps (sign says 100)
  • Holland Park – 93 steps (sign says 92 steps)

8. A Few Guineas for the Most Popular Image in London

The London Underground map is one of the most recognised images in the world of transport. It’s even inspired other nations to follow suit. Despite this, the image was met with doubt by transit authorities. Thankfully, the guide to the capital’s transport network was so popular with commuters it became the cornerstone of London culture. For his trouble, creator Harry Beck was given 10 guineas – that’s only about £5.25 to us.

7. War-Time Relics

London Underground has a deep history of involvement in World War Two. It’s common knowledge that many stations were air raid shelters but these tunnels offer more war-time secrets. In fact, it was from Goodge Street Underground Station that General Eisenhower broadcast the announcement of the invasion of France on 6th June 1944. It was also told that the British Museum stored some of it treasures in a branch of the Piccadilly line. The Central Line, specifically between Newbury Park and Leytonstone, was even the site of an aircraft factory.

6. Some Commuters Need Padded Cells

The original carriages of the Underground were not a pleasant place to be at all. Carriages were small and cramped with the only air coming from ventilators above. The coaches were nicknamed ‘padded cells’ due to the high backed bench seats and very small ceiling windows.

5. Ghost Stations Exist

You may have heard of the numerous ‘ghost stations’ which are no longer used today. These do in fact exist and some hide an intriguing past. First we have British Museum Station, between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn, which hasn’t been used since 1932. Then we have Down Street which was once used as a bunker by Winston Churchill during the Second World War before the Cabinet War Rooms were built. Then we have a station set to be named North End, sitting between Hampstead and Golders Green which never opened. Aldwych Station, which closed in 1994, is now commonly used as a film set.

4. Nature’s Playground

It may surprise you to learn that over half the London Underground network is above ground. In fact, the 4,000 hectares of land that surround the Tube’s tracks are actually a safe haven to many forms of wildlife. From bats to badgers, reptiles to beetles and even water voles all take up permanent residency on your commute. There have even been sightings of deer, snakes, newts and woodpeckers on the tube lines. It’s also widely reported that a species of mosquito has evolved specifically to live in the London Underground network. Yes, you heard that right, TFL are responsible for the evolution of mosquitos.

3. Aldgate Station is Nothing but a Plague Pit

It is believed that Aldgate Station sits upon a massive plague pit where over a thousand bodies have been buried. These pits were used as mass graves for victims of the 1665 and 1666 Bubonic Plague. Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe wrote a piece titled ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’. In this he described the Aldgate pit; ‘it was about forty feet in length, and about fifteen or sixteen feet broad, and at the time I first looked at it, about nine feet deep; but it was said they dug it near twenty feet deep afterwards in one part, till they could go no deeper…’ It’s enough to make you shudder into your skinny chai latte.

Picture of TFL Lost Property Office

2. Anyone Lost a Leg?

Lost Property is generally a boring topic of discussion. This isn’t the case when it comes to the London Underground. When an entire transport network opens its doors to roughly 1.34 billion people every year, there’s a lot of lost luggage. TFL’s Lost Property department is possibly one of the most intriguing hordes in the country. Here you can find everything from a prosthetic leg, judge’s wig, £15,000 in cash, urn of ashes, false teeth, a stuffed puffer fish, coffin, jar of bull sperm or even two human skulls. We wonder what you have to do to prove ownership of the £15,000 cash.

1. Eau De Underground

In 2001, London Underground attempted to integrate its very own fragrance. It began with three trial stations where its scent ‘Madeleine’ was applied to the floor and released by passengers’ footsteps. Described as ‘a fresh, watery floral bouquet of rose and jasmine, combined with citrus top notes, tiny touches of fruit and herbs, giving way to woody accents and a hint of sweetness in the base’. The scent lasted only a day after passengers complained of feeling nauseous.

So whether you’re a London Undergound aficionado or plague weary Aldgate commuter, you’ve got some intriguing facts to accompany your travels. If you’re looking to move house and want to find out more about your transport links, along with other handy info like noise pollution and crime stats, fill out a Property Detective report.

The Worst London Tube Lines

The Worst London Tube Lines

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Here’s to a subject that all Londoner’s love to moan about – London’s Tube lines. Whether you’re travelling from Amersham, Epping, Bethnal Green or Brixton, you’d have felt that same pang of despair that comes with the everyday commute on the London Underground. Earlier this year, the Evening Standard reported that nearly half of all Londoners say their commute is the worst part of their lives. So what really are the worst tube lines in London?

Hottest Station – Marble Arch

Everyone loves Summer right? Wrong! Blistering and uncharacteristically hot August afternoons spent on the commute are what nightmares are made of. The thought of travelling for 30 minutes underground in the peak of Summer is enough for anyone to turn to Uber. Most London Underground platforms feel inhumanly hot at the best of times. In fact, according to TFL’s figures, Marble Arch is the hottest platform with temperatures reaching 31.69°C.

Busiest Station – Oxford Circus

That’s right, you guessed it. The station right at the heart of central London where everyone goes to shop and visit. The station where tourists and locals can be found pressed against each other, armpit to nose. Oxford Circus is the busiest tube station in London… well, kind of. The truth is that in regards to the actual number of passengers, Waterloo takes top spot with 95.1 million per year. Oxford Circus is however smaller and has been closed temporarily 547 times in the last year due to overcrowding. Waterloo may officially take top spot but Oxford Circus will feel busier to the public.

Statistically Worst Line – Central Line

Statistically, the Central Line is by far the worst tube line out there. It’s the busiest route with the most delays. It verges on impossible to navigate during rush hour and is described by BuzzFeed as ‘the sweat gland of London’. It’s unfair to look so unfavourably on the Central Line though. It’s only the busiest line because it goes to some of the best places in London. It’s in demand and quick. We feel that there are many lines out there that don’t measure up to our misunderstood red handled friend.

Shortest Line – Waterloo & City Line

The Waterloo & City line is by far the shortest route travelling only the 1.47 miles between Waterloo and Bank. This is ideal for people commuting between the two stations though is notoriously riddled with disruptions. The journey is speedy and efficient when working. It’s also the least used line with just over 15 million passengers annually.

Most Pointless Line – Hammersmith & City

There’s no job that the Hammersmith & City line can do which the Circle or District lines can’t do better. If the Hammersmith & City line simply ceased to exist, we’d just grab the Circle instead.

Worst Behaved Passengers – Northern Line

According to an article in the Evening Standard this month, the Northern Line has the worst behaved passengers in London. Whether it’s teenagers soiling the seats with vomit after a heavy afternoon in Camden or hot headed commuters having a bust-up at rush hour. In the last year, 389 anti-social and criminal incidents occurred on the infamously miserable Northern Line.

Most Confused Tube Line – Emirates Air Line

For some reason the cable car, a tourist favourite, is featured on the tube map. We’ve dubbed this to be the most confused London Tube line because, well, it isn’t actually a London Tube line at all. Does anyone actually commute this way?

Want to find out more about the local travel information in an area? Get this information alongside crime statistics, noise levels, amenities and schools with a Property Detective report, available here.

Acacia Road Best Place

Is London Family Friendly? – Our Top 15 Streets

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Here at Property detective we’re all about property research, so we spend a lot of time asking ourselves “what makes a place great?”. As September many people will start thinking of going “back to school” – (or is it just me that gets the urge to buy new stationary at this time of year?!), in that vein this month’s focus for our thinking is all about great places for children and in particular families – so we’ve asked “what makes a place great for families?”.

We’ve taken data on everything a family needs – from amenities such as GPs and chemists, to schools and support networks (other mums and NCT), activities (parks, kids playgroups etc) and have weighed up the facilities and the community to measure up every location across the country in our assessment of which places are truly great to start or raise a family.

So, what about London?

When we look at our top scoring places nationally most inner city locations are left behind in favour of the more rural out-of-town areas which are still within a stones throw of a major hub. And we can see why, cities are great for facilities but you often face a battle for availability; they have great support networks but often suffer from higher crime and almost certainly have less green spaces and play areas. However, our data has unearthed the London locations which provide the exceptions to the rule, and actually provide an enclave of family friendliness within the capital. As you’ll see, areas in London can and do score highly – with 89% as the highest score, only just out of the top scoring 10%, which dominate the top places in our national ranking.

We’ll take a look at the top places in London, brought to you for the first time, based purely on objective data assessment, exclusively by Property Detective.

London’s Top 15 Family spots

Where Why? Score
Acacia Place, St Johns Wood Great for nurseries and childminders 89%
Mitre Street, Aldgate Good for activities and amenities 89%
Brushfield Street, Spitalfields Good for schools 89%
Palace Road, Crouch End Great for nurseries and childminders 87%
Baskerville Road, Wandsworth Common Great for nurseries and childminders 86%
Old York Road, Wandsworth Town Good for schools 86%
Beverley Road, Chiswick Great for nurseries and childminders 86%
Lonsdale Road, Barnes Good for activities and amenities 85%
Grandison Road, Battersea Great for Primary schools 85%
Connaught Gardens, Highgate Great for Primary schools 85%
Regents Park Road, Camden Great for Primary schools 84%
Balfern Road, Chiswick Good for activities and amenities
Cloak Lane, Mansion House Good for childcare and Primary schools 84%
Empress Avenue, Wanstead Great for nurseries and childminders 84%
Champion Hill, Dulwich Good for activities and amenities 83%
Acacia Place by Stephen McKay, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/549171
Acacia Place by Stephen McKay, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/549171

Acacia Place in St Johns Wood takes the number one slot with good primary schools nearby and very good secondary schools on the doorstep. There are 4 good nurseries and several child-minders within 10 minutes walk. This area has surprisingly low crime rate for London, making it a safe and desirable area for families. Primrose Hill, Regents Park and for a longer buggy push Hampstead Heath are all easily accessible and ideal for stretching little legs or having a picnic (if the British summer behaves!).

Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161
Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161

Our 4th top pick is Palace Road in Crouch End, a lovely leafy street with 3 good schools within walking distance and another 8 good or outstanding schools a short drive/bus ride away. There’s several options for child-minders and nurseries in the neighbouring streets and a great support network for families with a thriving NCT community. Priory Park and Alexandra Park which are only a short stroll away offer that all important green space, in addition to all the amenities and activities you would expect in a family area. In comparison to London and he South East this area has lower than average crime. In short – we can’t fault it as a family spot in the smoke.

Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161
Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161

Baskerville Road, near Wandsworth Common takes our number 5 place. This pretty road right which borders the common offers a mix of village-y feel and city amenities. The schools and childcare nearest this road are great and the nearby facilities – everything from GPs to supermarkets is within easy reach. On top of that the area feels safe, with a lower than average crime rate for both the London region and when compared nationally. This area of Wandsworth is well known for being a family area – we’re not the first to say it – so as you’d expect there are plenty of other families nearby, creating a great family community.

So there you have it, there are in fact plenty of family friendly spots in the city – and surprisingly even some within the square mile itself!

You can check out the family friendliness of your area by trying our index.