City of Westminster Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

City of Westminster Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

The City of Westminster is an inner London borough located in the heart of the city. It covers a diverse range of areas, including iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. The borough is known for its rich history, elegant architecture and world-renowned shopping destinations like Oxford Street and Bond Street. This guide will provide you with all the information you need, whether you’re living, visiting or investing in Westminster. It includes the latest data from official government sources.

What’s it like to live in the City of Westminster?

As one of the most prestigious and affluent parts of London, the City of Westminster has a lot on offer in terms of amenities and attractions for visitors. However, as a resident you may prioritise other things compared to tourists. Although there are quieter, more residential areas in the borough (for instance, Maida Vale, West Kilburn and Pimlico), generally the City of Westminster is very busy and, as you might expect, significantly more expensive than other areas in London.

Some of the appeals of living in the borough include its dining, entertainment, shopping and cultural activity options. For example, Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Marylebone High Street, Bond Street and Seven Dials are some of the most renowned shopping destinations in the world. Soho and the West End are hubs for theatres, restaurants and bars, plus some of the UK’s most visited museums and galleries are in the borough, for instance the National Gallery and Tate Britain.

As well as all of its iconic landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, some of London’s most popular parks are situated in the borough, including Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Green Park and the majority of Regent’s Park. 

As you’d expect, the City of Westminster has many public transport options, with all major tube lines serving the area, numerous bus services and several large rail stations, including Victoria and Paddington stations, which provide connections to destinations across the country.

Finally, for families, Westminster has a large selection of schools, including both state and independent options. Some of the top-performing schools in the area include Westminster School, St. Marylebone School, and Grey Coat Hospital School.

Here is an overview of important statistics about the borough and how it compares to other boroughs in London.

How much does it cost to buy a house in the City of Westminster?

Properties in the City of Westminster on average cost £905,401.40, ranking the borough as the 31 most affordable borough in London, according to data from HM Land Registry

The City of Westminster is an expensive area. This is due to its prime location in the heart of the city, as well as its proximity to many popular attractions and landmarks.

The area is home to many luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and designer shops, which can be quite expensive. Additionally, the cost of living in Westminster is higher than in other parts of London, with expensive property prices and high rents.

How much does it cost to rent in the City of Westminster?

According to data from the ONS:

  • A studio costs on average £1,298 per month to rent which ranks 30 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A one bedroom property costs on average £2,062 per month to rent which ranks 32 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A two bedroom property costs on average £2,764 per month to rent which ranks 31 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A three bedroom property costs on average £4,050 per month to rent which ranks 31 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A four or more bedroom property costs on average £6,592 per month to rent which ranks 31 as the most affordable borough in London

How many people live in the City of Westminster?

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, it has 127000 in total, ranking 10 of London boroughs by number of dwellings.

According to data from the ONS:

  • 28.0% of households are owned outright
  • 16.7% of households are being bought with a mortgage
  • 32.7% of households are rented from the local authority of housing association
  • 32.7% of households are privately rented

Is the City of Westminster a good place to live?

Although determining whether an area is a good place to live is subjective, we can use data on personal wellbeing collected by the ONS through the Annual Population Survey as an indicator to compare boroughs:

  • Westminster ranks 12 of 32 boroughs in terms of life satisfaction (i.e. ‘how satisfied are you with your life?’)
  • Westminster ranks 18 of 32 boroughs in terms of ‘worthwhile’ (i.e. ‘to what extent do you feel things you do in your life are worthwhile?’)
  • Westminster ranks 23 of 32 boroughs in terms of happiness (i.e. ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’)
  • Westminster ranks 26 of 32 boroughs in terms of anxiousness (i.e. ‘how anxious did you feel yesterday?’)

What schools are there in the City of Westminster and are they good?

In total the City of Westminster has 93 schools, which are broken down into:

  • 40 state primary schools
  • 13 state secondary schools
  • 32 independent schools

Some examples of state-funded schools include St. Marylebone Church of England School, Westminster Academy, Paddington Academy, Grey Coat Hospital School, Quintin Kynaston Academy, Pimlico Academy, King Solomon Academy, Soho Parish CofE Primary School, and Gateway Academy.

In addition to state-funded schools, there are also several private schools located in Westminster. Some notable examples include Francis Holland School, Eaton Square School, Halcyon London International School, Wetherby School, Westminster School, St. James’s School, Southbank International School and Abercorn School.

For a breakdown of all schools in the area and their latest ratings, search Ofsted’s reports.

Is the City of Westminster polluted?

According to data from the GLA and TFL Air Quality:

  • Westminster ranks 32 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest NO2 concentration
  • Westminster ranks 32 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM2 concentration
  • Westminster ranks 32 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM10 concentration

What is the employment rate in the City of Westminster?

The employment rate in the City of Westminster is 66.2% which ranks 32 of 32 boroughs in terms of highest employment rate.

Employment rate is important to know for those considering moving to the area, as it can provide an indication of the job market and economic opportunities available in the borough.

Is the City of Westminster a wealthy area?

The average income in the City of Westminster is £118,000 according to data from HMRC. This ranks 2 of London’s boroughs (ranked by highest average income). 

The City of Westminster is home to many affluent residents, including business executives, celebrities, and politicians. Many of these residents live in the borough’s exclusive neighbourhoods, such as Belgravia and Knightsbridge, while areas at the edge of the borough, such as St John’s Wood, are also generally affluent.

In addition to its wealthy residents, Westminster is also home to many luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and designer shops, which cater to a wealthy clientele.

Is the City of Westminster a religious area?

Like the rest of London, the City of Westminster has a mix of cultures and religions. According to the ONS:

  • 38.6% of the resident population identifies as Christian
  • 18.0% of the resident population identifies as Muslim
  • 2.4% of the resident population identifies as Hindu
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Sikh
  • 3.1% of the resident population identifies as Jewish
  • 3.3% of the resident population do not identify as religious

How large is the City of Westminster?

The City of Westminster is 21.5 km2, making it the 27th largest borough in London.

Its population is estimated as 264,875 according to data from the GLA, ranking it 22 as the most populous borough.

Its population per km2 is 12,327, ranking it 6 as the most populous per km2 borough.

Is the City of Westminster safe?

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, in the last two years there were:

  • 84,853 total reported crimes and 320.35 total crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least total number of crimes
  • 2,895 total reported burglaries and 10.93 total burglaries per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of burglaries
  • 2,702 total reported cases of criminal damage and 10.20 total cases of criminal damage per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of cases of criminal damage
  • 2,603 total reported drug related crimes and 9.83 total drug related crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of drug related crimes
  • 3,418 total reported robberies and 12.90 total robberies per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of robberies
  • 1,625 total reported sexual offences and 6.13 total sexual offences per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of sexual offences
  • 54,937 total reported thefts and 207.41 total thefts per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of thefts
  • 15,904 total reported violent crimes and 60.04 total violent crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Westminster as 32 of boroughs with the least number of violent crimes

What public transport options does the City of Westminster have?

The City of Westminster is located in the heart of London, meaning it’s served by all tube lines (aside from the Waterloo and City Line) and has many public transport options.

The following tube lines and stations serve the borough:

  • Bakerloo Line: Maida Vale, Warwick Avenue, Paddington, Edgware Road, Marylebone, Baker Street, Regent’s Park, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, Embankment
  • Central Line: Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus
  • Circle Line: Westbourne Park, Royal Oak, Paddington, Edgware Road, Baker Street, Great Portland Street, Bayswater, Victoria, St James’s Park, Westminster, Embankment, Temple
  • District Line: Paddington, Edgware Road, Bayswater, Victoria, St James’s Park, Westminster, Embankment, Temple
  • Elizabeth Line: Paddington, Bond Street
  • Hammersmith & City Line: Westbourne Park, Royal Oak, Paddington, Edgware Road, Baker Street, Great Portland Street
  • Jubilee Line: St John’s Wood, Baker Street, Bond Street, Green Park, Westminster
  • Metropolitan Line: Baker Street, Great Portland Street
  • Northern Line: Leicester Square, Charing Cross
  • Piccadilly Line: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner 
  • Victoria Line: Oxford Circus, Green Park, Victoria, Pimlico

The hub stations of Paddington and Victoria are located in the City of Westminster, providing connections to many destinations outside of London, including Heathrow Airport via the Heathrow Express from Paddington, plus Gatwick Airport via the Gatwick Express from Victoria.

There are many bus routes that start, finish or pass through the City of Westminster, meaning there’s almost definitely a service to travel to other boroughs all over London. Victoria Coach Station is a hub station in the area for coaches serving destinations across the UK and parts of Europe.

It’s worth noting that if you travel by bus or by car in the City of Westminster, the roads are often very busy which can cause delays. Also a large part of the borough is within the Congestion Charge zone, so if you are travelling within your own private vehicle, you may need to pay the daily charge.

What places are in the City of Westminster?

There are many iconic areas in the City of Westminster, each with their own unique characteristics and attractions. This includes:

  • Westminster Abbey: An area named after the famous Gothic abbey that has stood here since the 11th century. It is a popular tourist destination and is also home to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
  • St. James’s: An elegant area known for its grand Georgian townhouses, exclusive shops, and high-end hotels. It is also home to many of London’s royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
  • Soho: A lively and eclectic area famous for its vibrant nightlife, trendy bars and restaurants, and diverse cultural scene. It is also home to London’s Chinatown and many popular theatres.
  • Covent Garden: An historic area that was once a fruit and vegetable market, but has since been transformed into a bustling shopping and entertainment district. It is home to the famous Covent Garden Market, as well as numerous street performers, restaurants, and theatres.
  • Marylebone: A charming neighbourhood known for its quiet streets, stylish boutiques, and chic cafes. It is also home to the world-renowned Madame Tussauds wax museum.
  • Paddington: A busy transport hub with good transport links to other parts of the city.
  • Victoria: A commercial and transport hub with many offices, hotels, and restaurants.
  • Pimlico: A residential area known for its quiet streets, garden squares and Regency architecture.
  • Fitzrovia: A trendy area with independent cafes, bars and restaurants.
  • Belgravia: A prestigious residential area known for its grand white stucco houses, boutique shopping and elegant gardens.
  • Knightsbridge: A luxury shopping district with high-end fashion boutiques, department stores, and the famous Harrods department store.
  • Maida Vale: A leafy residential area with beautiful mansion blocks and the picturesque Little Venice canal.
  • Millbank: An area with cultural landmarks such as the Tate Britain museum and the historic Millbank Prison.
  • St. John’s Wood: A leafy residential area with beautiful houses, boutique shopping and the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground.
  • Bayswater: A diverse area with a mix of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

What is the City of Westminster famous for?

The City of Westminster is best known for being the political and cultural heart of the city, and is home to many iconic landmarks. Some of the key things it is famous for include:

  1. The Houses of Parliament: home to the UK government and one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world.
  2. Buckingham Palace: the official residence of the UK monarch and a popular tourist attraction.
  3. Westminster Abbey: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the site of many royal coronations and weddings.
  4. Big Ben: the famous clock tower that dominates the skyline of Westminster.
  5. Trafalgar Square: a bustling public square with the famous Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery.
  6. The West End: home to many of London’s most famous theatres and venues, including the Apollo, the London Coliseum and the Royal Opera House.
  7. Piccadilly Circus: a busy intersection known for its neon lights and advertisements.
  8. Hyde Park: one of London’s largest parks and home to many famous landmarks, including the Serpentine Lake and Speakers’ Corner.
  9. Oxford Street: Europe’s busiest shopping street, known for its high-end shops and flagship stores.
  10. Covent Garden: a historic market and shopping district with a vibrant atmosphere and street performers.
  11. The National Gallery: a world-renowned art museum with an impressive collection of European paintings.
  12. The Westminster Cathedral: the largest Catholic church in England and Wales with Byzantine-style architecture.
  13. Regent’s Park: one of London’s Royal Parks and home to the London Zoo and an open-air theatre.
  14. The River Thames: which flows through Westminster and is an iconic feature of London’s landscape, with boat tours and cruises available to explore the city from the water.

What boroughs are next to the City of Westminster?

The City of Westminster is bordered by several other boroughs: