Holding the prestigious NW8 postcode, St John’s Wood is one of the most exclusive and highly sought-after destinations in Greater London. It’s regularly ranked as one of the most expensive places to live, and is one of the most affluent areas in the country.
Its affluence and exclusivity is in large part because it’s maintained a quiet, suburban feel, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Victorian villas and garden-accompanied mansions provide ample living space in a city that’s generally densely populated, and St John’s Wood Church Grounds offers the only nature reserve in the City of Westminster.
The proximity to luscious green areas like Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill adds to the feeling of tranquility in St John’s Wood, and is another reason why the area attracts professionals, families with children and celebrities alike. Sir Richard Branson and Sir John Major have both lived here, as have a number of musicians like Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and Mark Ronson.
The musical heritage is strong in St John’s Wood, home to the world-famous Abbey Road Recording Studios and the equally iconic zebra crossing that graced the cover of The Beatles’ album Abbey Road. Cricket also has its home here, with a visit to Lord’s Cricket Ground offering an insight into the original global governing body of the sport and a glimpse of the famous Ashes Urn.
In spite of its popularity among the rich and famous, St John’s Wood is renowned for its friendly local atmosphere and cosmopolitan feel. Community organisations and business associations are strong in the area, promoting a wealth of independent shops, bars and eateries, as well as events like the Classic and Super Car Pageant and the Christmas Fayre.
Nearby areas like Camden Market and Little Venice provide ample opportunity for exploration and discovery, whilst Paddington Station provides easy rail access for day trips to the south-west and Heathrow Airport.
Transportation in St John’s Wood
St John’s Wood has its own tube station in Zone 2 of the Jubilee Line, making it easy to reach central London. Oxford Circus and the West End are just 10 minutes away, with Westminster and London Bridge (for access to the City) just 20 minutes on the tube.
Nearby Paddington Station offers a great rail service to the south-west and Heathrow Airport, while Chiltern rail services run from Marylebone Station to Aylesbury, Birmingham and beyond. Euston Station is just a short tube journey away too, and both the M1 and M4 motorways are approximately 20 minutes’ drive.
Primary and secondary schools in St John’s Wood
One of the most prestigious educational institutions in the city can be found at St John’s Wood – The American School in London. With an internationally acclaimed reputation and an ‘outstanding’ grade from Ofsted, it teaches an American-style education to children from ages four to 18.
Other prominent independent schools in the area include St John’s Wood Pre-Prep school, for those from ages three to seven, and Abercorn School for those from nursery age right through to age 13. Boys can attend the single-sex Arnold House, while Saint Christina’s independent Catholic school is a popular choice for girls.
There are a number of very good primary and secondary schools close by, including the Quintin Kynaston Community Academy. The London Business School is also within striking distance.
History of St John’s Wood
The region to the north-west of central London was originally all part of the Great Middlesex Forest, an ancient wooded area that eventually became a royal forest by the decree of Henry I and Henry II in the 11th century.
It was later divided to make way for roads and agricultural regions, with the area containing present day St John’s Wood passing to an order of the Knights Hospitaller, a medieval Catholic military group. Known as the Order of St John of Jerusalem, it was this ownership that led to the region’s name.
The area wasn’t developed until the 19th century, but when it was, a low-density housing model was adopted, rather than the traditional terraced plan. This meant a focus on many more semi-detached villas and larger mansions with gardens as opposed to terraced housing, and led to a more spacious, highly desirable region known as London’s first suburb.
Despite bomb damage during World War II and infrastructure changes, today St John’s Wood still retains its leafy suburban feel, with much of the region an English Heritage Conservation Area boasting period charm and protected architecture.
Things to do in St John’s Wood
As well as all the major London attractions, St John’s Wood has a number of its own sights to explore, places to visit, and community-led events to join in with. From local festivals to international galleries, be sure to check out:
Abbey Road Studios (and the iconic zebra crossing)
Lord’s Cricket Ground
Ben Uri Gallery
O2 Shopping and Leisure Centre
Central London Mosque
The Cockpit Theatre
Everyman Cinema at Maida Vale
How to get to St John’s Wood
By road: To reach St John’s Wood by road from the north, take the M1 to its end at Junction 1, and then pick up the A41 southbound. From the west, follow the M4 or A40 into central London and pick up signs north to St John’s Wood.
By rail: The nearest stations are Paddington and Marylebone. Pick up the Bakerloo tube line, and change to the Jubilee line at Baker Street. St John’s Wood is just one stop northbound.
Below, you’ll find a selection of links to organisations and businesses serving the local area.
Chancellors original office in St John’s Wood opened back in 1826, before moving to Wellington Road and then to its current High Street location in 1986.
Our St John’s Wood team is on hand seven days a week – including late nights from Monday to Friday – to answer any questions on property values in London.
The wide range of sales and letting services available at our St John’s Wood branch include free, no-obligation market appraisals, an extensive portfolio of residential and commercial properties, land and new homes, property management support, student lettings, and expert investment and market advice.
We offer houses, flats and property for sale in the postcode areas NW1, NW3, NW6, NW8 and W9, covering the areas of St John’s Wood, Swiss Cottage, Maida Vale, Little Venice, Primrose Hill and Marylebone.