Moving to Fitzrovia
Are you moving to Fitzrovia? Covering part of the W1 postcode and falling into the Westminster and Camden London Boroughs, this is as central as you can get. Soho is to the south, with Marylebone to the west and the centre of London is just minutes away.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Fitzrovia report includes info on:
- The best areas to live
- The good schools
- The average monthly rental prices
- The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Fitzrovia on the Map
Wedged between chic Bloomsbury and affluent Marylebone, somehow Fitzrovia maintains its charming village feel, despite its proximity to London. The flamboyant and popular Soho nightlife is a mere stone’s throw away, while the £1bn Tottenham Court Road Tube Station revamp and Crossrail, opening during 2018 and named the Elizabeth Line, will increase demand in this convenient suburb. The boundaries are Euston Road to the north, Gower St to the east, Oxford St to the south and Great Portland St to the west.
- There are five underground stations, Tottenham Court Road, Warren St, Oxford St, Great Portland St and Goodge St, which cover the Central, Victoria, Hammersmith, Circle, Metropolitan and Northern lines. Notting Hill Gate is 3 minutes away, Moorgate, 9 minutes.
- There is a multitude of bus services crossing the area.
- Fitzrovia is within walking distance of Oxford St, Marylebone, Soho and other London areas.
- Kings Cross and St Pancras Stations are a short commute away to access trains across the country and to Europe via Eurostar.
- Cycling is becoming more and more popular and the trip from Fitzrovia, via Soho, to The City of London, can take as little as 9 minutes, using the A400.
A relatively new area, dating back to the 1700s, the lord of the manor of Tottenham, Charles Fitzroy, designed the squares and streets to house the aristocracy. These wealthy families didn’t stay long, but moved to Mayfair and Belgravia, leaving many empty properties behind. Large houses were converted into apartments, which served as accommodation for many German and French immigrants. These newcomers developed the furniture trade, with the legendary Thomas Chippendale moving in at a later date.
It was only in the 1920s that Fitzrovia was named and built a reputation as an artistic and literary enclave, with bohemians such as Dylan Thomas, Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf living on Fitzroy Square, and naming the area after the famous Fitzroy Tavern. This fabulous square is often used as sets for period films.
- Fitzroy Square, a garden square, is still the best address and is lined with 18th century Robert Adam houses, while Warren St and surrounding roads offer value for money.
- A large 60s council estate, Holcroft Court in Clipstone St, built around a communal garden, offers affordable apartments.
- Edwardian properties line the roads between Cleveland St and Great Portland Place. Once the heart and soul of the British fashion industry, a few tailors still occupy basement flats. There are mansion and tenement apartments, with some flats above the shops.
- Charlotte St is similar but on a smaller scale. Cottages, Georgian houses, pretty mews homes and converted flats are spread between the pedestrianised streets of Middleton Place, Colville Place and the nearby roads, with impressive mansion flats between Gower St and Tottenham Court Road.
- Housing development is continuing as the area prepares for an influx of new residents who are taking advantage of the arrival of Crossrail. New apartment schemes, with amenities including business suites, gyms and swimming pools have been designed to appeal to young professionals.
- Ridgemount Gardens and Bedford Court have one, two and three-bedroom houses, some of them Edwardian mansions.
- Hanway Gardens is yet another new complex. Apartments range from 1 to 3-bedrooms and two luxury penthouses, with multi-level roof gardens.
- Many couples move on once they start a family, but many retain their homes as rental investments. Fitzrovia offers great investment returns.
- Many period homes were destroyed during WWII, to be replaced by 1950s apartment blocks and council houses.
- 19 Bolsover St has 17 loft-style flats and a 3-bed penthouse which spans the entire 5th floor, in a converted John Lewis store.
- Fitzroy Place, built on the site of a hospital, has 290 flats. It has a 24-hour concierge, a gym, a clubhouse, an 18-seat private cinema and a private dining room.
Who Lives and Works in Fitzrovia
With a population of around 80,000, a local study has revealed that only around 40% of residents are British, due to the area being discovered by Asian buyers. Some residents buy for second homes, some are buy-to-let investors, a massive 25% are buying for their children and 25% buy for their own home.
Judged by The Sunday Times, Fitzrovia is at the top of the list of best places to live in London, based on house prices, school performance and crime rates.
Young professionals are attracted to Fitzrovia for the up-market and convenient living and proximity to the City, with under 35s being the largest group. Many of these work for large companies such as multi-national banks, Facebook, Google and smaller tech companies, and Estee Lauder, all situated in the area, with the BBC perched on the outskirts of the suburb. The area has offices, shops, restaurants and homes within its boundaries offering the ultimate in convenience for many singles, couples and families.
University students attending University College London, the London School of Economics and other pillars of learning, are attracted by the convenient and efficient transport links. Many flats are bought by the parents of overseas scholars to house their offspring while at university and retained to rent out at a later date.
The Best Bits
- Firstly, the inspiration for the suburb’s name, the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte St. With its Victorian faux-period features, the downstairs is a pub, upstairs is a restaurant.
- The irregular and quirky streets fail to give an impression of town planning. These were as a result of self-contained landowners developing the area and make it totally different to neighbouring districts.
- The Fitzrovia Festival, much loved by the public, is held in summer and explores the past, present and future of the neighbourhood.
- A really good selection of pubs and restaurants are dotted all over, including fine dining in a Michelin-starred establishment. Soho is just around the corner for those looking for trendy nightclubs.
- Fitzroy Square was once home to George Bernard Shaw, Robert Louis Stevenson and Lord Salisbury, a former prime minister. Currently, Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) lives here, as does Griff Rhys Jones. Guy Ritchie owns two mansions on the square and famously made the news when an alternative school squatted in one of the houses whilst it was undergoing renovations.
- The BT Tower forms part of the skyline, whilst it transmits Wi-Fi signals across London.
- The Dominium Theatre features shows from live musicals to toy performances and was home for ‘We Will Rock You’ for 12 years. Freddie Mercury’s ghost was reportedly seen during the singing of ‘We are the Champions’. Other ghosts seen here include a brewery worker, a leper and a Victorian girl.
- The Building Centre focusses on design and architecture, including urban landscaping and brickwork.
- Oxford Street is right on the doorstep, so you can shop ‘til you drop in the likes of Selfridges, Zara and Reiss.
- Pollock’s Toy Museum is crammed full of toys of mainly Victoria toys; tin soldiers, toy theatres and vintage dolls. These are displayed in six small rooms, with two winding staircases. The worlds oldest teddy bear is displayed here.
- The Grant Museum of Zoology, home to animal specimens and fossils, includes extinct and endangered species. Admission is free.
- Charlotte St was nicknamed Chalottenstrasse because of the number of German residents, restaurants and cafes. The businesses were closed down during WW1.
- Fitzroy House, on Fitzroy Square, designed by the Adams brothers in the 1790s, is open to the public. L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology and writer of science fiction, lived here in the 1880s. His work is on show in the house.
The UFO Club was in the basement of 31, Tottenham Court Road on Fitzrovia’s eastern border and was home to the psychedelic house band, Pink Floyd. Bob Dylan’s London debut was on Foley St in the King & Queen Pub. Jimi Hendrix played at the Speakeasy, Margaret St.
Bringing the Kids
There are plenty of top schools in this busy neighbourhood, both state and private. There is also a vocational fashion college and a bilingual French school.
The best performing state primary school is All Souls CofE in Foley St, the only state primary in the area. It is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, and gets good results from 11-year olds.
Marylebone CofE, Foley St, is a comprehensive school and is judged ‘outstanding’. It is a girl’s school, catering for ages 11 to 18. There is also the nearby Maria Fidelis, a co-ed school for 11 to 18-year olds, also ‘outstanding’. It is a smaller Catholic school in Phoenix Rd, Camden.
Private schools include the French L’ecole Internationale Franco-Anglaise in Portland Place, a co-ed school for ages 3 – 18.
The International Community School has both a primary school in York Terrace East and a senior school in Star St, Paddington. It caters to children from ages 3 to 18 and follows the International Baccalaureate.
The Portland Place School, a co-ed for ages 9 to 18, is in Portland Place. Queen’s College is also split, with the junior school in Portland Place and the seniors in Harley St. Francis Holland, in Clarence Gate, is a girl’s school for ages 11 – 18.
University College London, the University of Westminster and the University of Law, London Bloomsbury are close by, as are a host of other London universities and colleges. The Fashion Retail Academy for those aged 16 and older was started by Sir Philip Green, founder of Top Shop, specialising in courses for those wanting to become part of the fashion industry.
Relocating to Fitzrovia
This unique village-like district is close to all the many London international headquarters, banks and offices, whilst hosting its own big businesses, including Facebook and Google. How could one ever be bored in this self-contained area? London’s busiest shopping streets, great transport links, hundreds of good schools, colleges and universities, a variety of accommodation options and a vibrant nightlife at nearby Soho, with access to a host of the capital city’s huge parks and green spaces ensure that everyone is catered for. Fitzrovia has everything anyone could need. However, moving to a strange location is never easy. Where should one live? Which school would suit the kids best? Is the necessary public transport close by? Using a relocation specialist will ease your way by giving expert advice and assistance with any problems during the moving and settling in period.
Average Monthly Rent - Fitzrovia