"Who gives a ... f*** . The league table rankings might change but Crouch End is still a wonderful place to live."

These are the words of man about village David Winskill after Crouch End was toppled from the top spot in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2024 guide.

The Sunday Times’ expert judges visited 72 locations across the capital and UK and assessed factors from schools to transport, broadband speeds to culture, as well as access to green spaces and the health of the high street. 

Clerkenwell, in Islington, won in London for its "rich past of riot and ribaldry" and current status "at the heart of the capital’s culinary and creative scenes".

Crouch End won in 2023, with the Sunday Times saying: "Last year’s London winner crams an astonishing number of shops, cafes and restaurants into its compact centre, all surrounded by parks, sports grounds and handsome Victorian and Edwardian houses."

They said it’s a "mini cultural powerhouse" too, with an arts centre at the heart of the redevelopment of  Hornsey Town Hall scheduled to open this summer.

David, who last year told the Ham&High that the area was "the best kept secret" in London, said: "The schools are still great, it's a wonderfully safe place to to be and people are great. What more can an area want?"

The area also boasts a literary festival, two independent cinemas and one of the capital’s longest-running comedy clubs. 

Among those living there are a host of celebrities including comedian Katherine Ryan, author Caitlin Moran, broadcaster and writer Amol Rajan, choir master Gareth Malone and actor Andy Serkis.

Another notable area in London is Little Venice, situated around the Grand Union Canal, the Regent's Canal, and the entrance to Paddington Basin.

"The towpaths and tree-lined streets of this calm canalside neighbourhood offer a blissful combination of wedding-cake white stucco piles and brightly painted narrowboats that rarely fails to lift the soul," said judges.

London Fields, in Hackney, was noted for offering "all the energy of east London with a calmer, (slightly) less breathlessly hip ambience".

"You can stroll along the Regent’s Canal, swim in the restored 1930s lido — the only Olympic-size heated outdoor pool in the capital — or hang out at the on-trend restaurants, bars, cafés and shops on Broadway Market," they added.  

Helen Davies, the guide’s editor, said: “What makes our guide unique is that we actually visit all the places we choose and talk to locals to find out what life is really like there.

“That means we can see what people really love about the places they live."