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September 21, 2010
Where To Live In London: Pimlico
Pimlico is the area to the south of Victoria Station, bounded by the Thames to the south and between Chelsea and Westminster to the east and west. The area includes the Tate Britain art museum, but little else to attract tourists or avid shoppers. As a result, Pimlico offers a slightly down market but still pleasant alternative to more prestigious areas like Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
Pimlico is dominated by a similar white stucco block house that is common in prime-central London, but tends to have more larger mansion buildings than its north-westerly neighbours. Pimlico has an interesting characteristic to it in that it can be very nice but also has very affordable residences as well. Homes in the area tend to sell between £700 and £900 per square foot, with top end homes selling for around £1200 per sq ft, much more reasonable than the £2000 which Knightsbridge can attract. Part of the reason is that there is no draw of shopping or fashion that Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Chelsea have. Since there are more reasonable homes, the area is not known as being particularly wonderful, and so has not had the same amount of attention from top end buyers, or the developers they attract. The homes themselves, as a result, lack the same high quality finish as neighbouring areas and don’t provide the same wonder and awe.
Transport in the area is good, but slightly off. Pimlico Station on the Victoria line does not necessarily provide the best access to the rest of the city and the area around Victoria is not as pleasant. Once at Victoria, transport cannot get better, but getting there may take a little while from any given place in the area. That being said, it would be inappropriate to say that any zone one location is out of the way, and at no point are you any more than a 15 minute walk to Victoria Station. Pimlico is a well liked area for students and young professionals who find the lower prices a welcome relief and value being near central transport, if just slightly askew from it. As well, many politicians have found it very convenient as it provides quick access to Westminster at an affordable price.
There is a bit of a trick to Pimlico. There is a part of Pimlico that is very nice, and there is a part that is not nearly as much. A lot of which way it is has to do with architecture, as the current and ex-local authority buildings tend to be much larger, more modern and as a result less attractive. As well, the areas too close to Victoria station are known for having more of a tourist trend and not conducive to residential living. The two best areas to live in Pimlico is along the river, though there is a road between it and you, and in what is called the grid, which is the locally aberrant grid plan streets in the centre of Pimlico. Unfortunately for the area, there is a glaring lack of green space, so avoid it if you are among the more nature focused of residents. In all, Pimlico can be a very nice way to get a good value for money property in central London. It won’t come with the same luxury and prestige that nearby areas would, but if that is less important to you, than Pimlico is at least worth consideration.