Moving to London can be a tough decision. It is daunting for anyone to uproot their entire life and move to a new place where they have to look for a new job, find a new group of friends, and get used to London’s culture. Despite the challenges that moving to London presents, millions of people still dream of moving to the big city.
TrustforLondon.org states that the population of London increased by 7.5% just from the last five years alone. Majority of the people who relocated to the capital of the United Kingdom are those who were enticed by the excellent job opportunities that London presents.
Hundreds of thousands of people decide to move to London, both from its neighbouring cities and overseas. If you’re part of the population that is in the process of moving or is looking to relocate, then read ahead.
Advantages of Moving to London
Better Job Opportunities
As the capital of the United Kingdom, it is not a surprise that London offers a large variety of employment opportunities. Regardless of the industry that you are in, London has a job for you. London has tonnes of businesses all waiting for you to send an application. With the right mindset and skills, you can easily find the perfect job for you in London.
What is great about London is how diverse its working force is. You will find young professionals trying to break through the glass ceiling, adults who have already forged their way and are excelling in their respective fields, and even wide-eyed Uni students who still do not have any idea what to do in their lives.
Hailed as a global city, companies in London offer higher wages than the rest of the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently conducted a survey where they found that the salaries of London residents are almost £10, 000 more than the rest of the citizens in the UK. The annual median gross wage for employees in Inner London is £34, 473 while the rest of the UK has a median salary of only £22, 044.
Relocating in a new place can be quite lonely and lead to homesickness. You can avoid the chance of this happening by going around London. One of the best things about living in London is that you will never lack of things to do. The nightlife in London is quite active. There are a million and one pubs on every corner of this magnificent city, perfect for a nightcap before heading home or as a great avenue to meet new friends.
Not a fan of drinking? You can take a tour of the Tower of London or visit Sutton House, an original Tudor building. There are also multiple art galleries and theatres where you can appreciate art. For someone who lived in a small, quiet town, this can come as a huge culture shock. Anywhere you go, there will always be something for you to spend your time on.
The sights in London are one of the best in the world. Some of its most popular attractions are Big Ben, Tower of London, London Eye, and the iconic Tower Bridge. With all of these eye-catching sights, it is no wonder why millions of tourists flock to London every year.
Great Public Transportation
London residents enjoy a state-of-the-art, world-class public transportation system that’s able to move millions of residents from one place to another daily.
As London grew in popularity, the culture present multiplied and became more diverse. London is considered one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. According to a 2011 census, only 44.9 % of the residents in London were born in the UK. The rest came from outside. What this means is that if you’re a foreigner looking to live in London, you will be able to find your group.
Disadvantages of Moving to London
High Cost of Living
The most significant downside of relocating to London is its extremely high cost of living. According to Numbeo, London has a cost of living index of 79.43, making it the 31st in the world. It’s common to see prices of goods inflated to almost twice the reasonable value.
Overcrowded Public Transportation
Despite being state-of-the-art, during peak hours, London’s public transportation becomes hell. The sheer number of people who wants to go to work or home can overpower even efficient transport systems.
If you fancy rain all-year round then London is perfect for you. However, the majority finds the weather to be miserable and depressing.
Londoners face the reality of getting gawked at by tourists all day long. While good for the economy, the majority of London residents are already complaining that London is having a tourist overload problem. Getting to work can be difficult, especially when throngs of tourists are blocking your way, or if they park their car on the sidelines, blocking a lane or two, causing more traffic congestion.
Lack of Space
Because of overpopulation, it cannot be helped that rent start to become more pricey. A flat to yourself can cost a fortune. It has become common for households to share apartments and force themselves in one or two rooms. Numbeo estimates that a 1-bedroom apartment can cost up to £1, 737 per month while a 3-bedroom apartment costs £3, 106.
The scarcity in space can affect an individual’s psyche and lead to overall lower quality of life. Living in a small and cramped room with all of their items and furniture is the reality for the majority of Londoners. Thankfully, a solution has come up: storage facilities in London.
What Are Self Storage Facilities?
Self Storage facilities are spaces that an individual can rent from storage sites. You can then store all of the extra items that you have from your home so it wouldn’t feel as cramped anymore. Stuff like extra furniture, old books, and out-of-season clothes take up a lot of space.
With storage facilities, London residents have an alternative way of saving money. Instead of renting an apartment that is huge enough to house them and their items, residents can get a smaller flat and a storage unit for their items. They get to save hundreds of pounds on rent. And they don’t have to live with items that they don’t need in their daily lives.
The majority of newcomers also rent a storage unit in London to temporarily keep their items. Henfield Storage has multiple storage facilities all over London and Brighton for your convenience. A storage facility is also helpful when you are downsizing.
your london moving checklist
Regardless of why you have decided to move, the actual transfer is undoubtedly a hard thing to do. At Henfield Storage, we share a common belief that moving houses must be quick, easy, and smooth. That is why we have created a Moving to London checklist so you can make sure that your move goes by without a hitch.
You will need loads of boxes when you move. You can opt to buy new packing boxes, or if there’s a store nearby, you can ask them for containers. Make sure that all boxes are sturdy and clean. You don’t want to pick up your items on the street because one package suddenly gave way.
Aside from boxes, it would help if you also prepared the following things:
- Bubble Wrap
Look around for a store that sells these materials in bulk. Since you will need a lot, buying in bulk will save you money.
Moving to a new house will require professional help. It would help if you had professional movers so you can have a stress-free experience. Moving services range from man and van services to a full removals team.
Some benefits of hiring moving services include:
- Peace of mind
- No heavy lifting (for you)
- Quick and efficient moving
- Guaranteed safety and security for your items
- No hassle
We recommend buying an Oyster card if you plan to travel across London. London’s transportation system is efficient and fast, which is why many Londoners prefer to use the Tube than drive. The traffic, especially on a rainy day, can also be pretty horrifying.
An Oyster card will let you go around London for a cheaper fare than buying a paper ticket. This should be one of your first purchases, especially if you’ll be commuting to work. It costs £5 for the card, but you can have it reimbursed when you leave London.
Communication is a crucial part of everyday life. If you’re coming from overseas, another essential item you must get on your first day is a sim card. Most phone plans require a UK bank account and a valid address, so a prepaid sim card will do for now.
You can also choose to buy a sim card online before you even arrive in London. Once you’ve got your UK bank account set up and ready to go, you’ll easily be able to get a postpaid contract with mobile service providers.
a decent place to live
Finding a flat to live in London can be extremely tricky. Is it possible to find an apartment in London that ticks all of your needs? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. London has postcode-envy. It is no secret that London’s real estate market is incredibly competitive and challenging. There is a high demand to get spacious yet affordable flats in London. To help you out with this, we’ve come up with a quick guide on how to find a flat in London:
Finding a flat to live in London can be extremely tricky. Is it possible to find an apartment in London that ticks all of your needs? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. London has postcode-envy. It is no secret that London’s real estate market is incredibly competitive and challenging. There is a high demand to get spacious yet affordable flats in London. To help you out with this, here’s a quick guide on how to find a flat in London:
Step 1: Set A Budget
If you’re moving to London, you need to set a budget. Take a long, hard look at your financials and determine the maximum amount you can shell out for rental fees. Usually, everyone would tell you that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent, however, London is one of the most expensive cities to live in so you may have to prepare yourself to spend a little more.
According to studies, the average rent of a one-bedroom house or flat in London takes up almost half (46.4%) of the gross-median pay. That means there is a high chance that nearly 50% of your income goes straight to your landlord. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. In some boroughs like Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, the rent of a one-bedroom flat can take up over three-quarters of the median pay (79.3% and 75.2%). That leaves a measly 20% of the salary left for other basic needs such as groceries, transportation, leisure, and education.
According to Numbeo, a single person living in London would need about £847.42 for their monthly expenses, rent excluded. Do the math and calculate how much would be left for rent.
Step 2: Single out three areas in London
Once you have decided on your budget, select three areas in London that fit within it. Here are factors that you must consider when choosing a part of London to live in. Determine what your must-haves are so you don’t become dissatisfied:
- living costs
- proximity to work
- transportation links
- green spaces
Step 3: Start looking through listings
Now that you have a couple of boroughs you want to live in start looking through listings. Check both the paper and online. There are lots of different options to search for real estate listing, but you should always make sure to use trustworthy websites, so you don’t end up in dealing with a difficult landlord.
Most real estate websites will have a filter tool to help you with your search. Filter out the results by price, furnished or not, etc. Remember that you shouldn’t sign a contract immediately. Don’t rush into a decision even if the landlord tells you that it’s in demand. Do your homework and check all of the essentials. You might be getting ripped off without you knowing it.
step 4: Ask Help from a Real Estate Agent
Finding a London flat on your own can be challenging, especially with London’s tight market. You can always ask for help from a professional real estate agent. However, if you’re on a budget, this can be a problem. Hiring real estate agents to find you a flat to rent will require two fees: retention fee and success fee. The retention fee is what you pay them for working for you. The success fee is if they find you a property that you decide to get. However, if you’re on a tight budget, this may not be an option for you.
When you move to a new house/flat, there is a chance that your place may not be ready for the next few days or even weeks. Electricity, gas, and plumbing may not be ready yet. Aside from renting a space where you can store your items, it would be best if you also considered where you’d be staying. Look around your neighbourhood for a cheap hotel room or an Airbnb while the movers are fixing your flat. You wouldn’t want to spend the night on the floor with no heating, would you? This is also an excellent way for you to relax and take in the London atmosphere without being in an apartment full of contractors.
Best Places to Live in London
Average Property Price: £527,087
Brixton, located in South London, in the Borough of Lambeth is well-known for its cultural diversity. Brixton offers its residents a lively ambience and many affordable restaurants, coffee shops, and beer gardens. It is also a music lover’s haven as Brixton hosts regular music events throughout the year.
Aside from the social scene, Brixton is also conveniently located on the Victoria Line. There are plenty of public transportation routes around, and you can get to the centre of town in 15 minutes or less. You can also enjoy a stroll around Brockwell Park, Myatt’s Fields, or Ruskin Park for some much-needed downtime.
One of the best thing about choosing Brixton is that the property prices are substantially more affordable than in other parts of London.
Average Property Price: £892,549
Shoreditch is located east of London and is part of the Borough of Hackney. In recent years it has emerged as one of the trendiest places in London, boasting a vibrant and diverse demographic. It is popular amongst artists and young professionals. Much like Brixton, it houses a lot of small, locally-owned shops, restaurants, and bars.
Shoreditch is a 20-minute walk away from the city centre, making it an ideal place to live for workers. You wouldn’t have to worry about the commute! While average property prices may be higher than some other areas, the trade-off is surely worth it. You get to live close to the centre, drastically decreasing your transportation costs.
Average Property Price: £585,632
Clapham is located south of London and is part of the Borough of Lambeth. It has a very lively social scene. It’s surrounded by shops, restaurants, cafes and, like Shoreditch, is popular among young professionals. There’s a lot of reconstruction currently happening in Clapham, giving it a great mix of modern and Victorian architecture.
You can enjoy your off days at the Venn Street Market or the Clapham Common, which hosts various events all year round. It has excellent transport links from Clapham Junction Station, ensuring that you can get to everywhere you want to go. Clapham is also bike-friendly for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of a commute.
Average Property Price: £832,902
Hoxton is located north of London and is part of the Borough of Hackney. If you love to be outdoors, then Hoxton is the place for you. There are a lot of green spaces, including Shoreditch Park, Hackney Downs, and Hoxton Square.
Consider Hoxton as the cheaper option of Shoreditch. It is home to a lot of creatives and young families. You can go around London using the Hoxton Overground station and Old Street station, which are commuter-friendly.
Other places you will want to consider are:
- Kingston and Chelsea
top things to try in london
Whether you’re moving to London or just popping by for a visit, it is always a good idea to experience the very best things it has to offer. Hence, we’ve come up with a list of things you must try and experience in London. Here they are:
explore the barbican conservatory
Visit the art complex that is part of a large concrete estate for an afternoon. It’s a landmark of London’s brutalist architecture, and it also has 2,000 expensive apartments for rent or sale.
The city’s second-largest conservatory and a 2,000-plant indoor garden are located here. You’ll see world-class works of art in all genres at the festival. It’s one of London’s best activities.
You’ll never get weary of exploring London’s stunning indoor forest, which resembles a secret garden.
The glass-encased rainforest is London’s second-largest conservatory and features a lighting display that gives the plants and flowers an extra sparkle. A guided tour is an excellent way to learn more about the plants. Take plenty of time when visiting the conservatory because it contains everything you could ever want.
On Sundays, the Conservatory serves afternoon tea.
visit buckingham palace and watch the changing of the guard
The Changing of the Guard is one of London’s most popular events at Buckingham Palace, one of Britain’s most recognizable structures. From St. James’s Palace to The Mall at 11:30 am, you can accompany the band as they perform a spectacular parade that includes precision marching and music, regardless of the season.
It was erected in 1837 and has served as the London residence of the Royal Family since the accession of Queen Victoria.
What to look for when you’re wondering whether the Queen’s in? Lookup: if her flag is flying all day and night, she’s at home. Even members of the Royal Family may appear on the centre balcony at certain events.
Tickets for tours of the State Rooms and the Queen’s Gallery are available when the Queen is away at her summer residence in Scotland.
try some of london’s best cocktails
A Lush Life Cocktail Tour gives you the inside scoop on London’s top cocktails. As part of this three-and-a-half-hour trip, you’ll visit some of London’s most famous cocktail bars (some of which you wouldn’t be able to discover), drink some of London’s best-known cocktails, and learn about the history of each one as you explore Soho.
We’ve been on many cocktail tours, but this is by far the finest. On the Lush Life podcast, Susan Schwartz narrates stories and anecdotes about some of New York City’s most popular bars and restaurants, all while guests sample two mini versions of each bar’s trademark cocktail. Meet and chat with the bartenders behind these wonderful drinks is also available.
It’s not your typical cocktail you’ll be drinking on this tour. That they’re so good adds a lot to the overall value of the tour. Eight cocktails may seem like a lot, but they’re delivered in smaller portions and always accompanied by food to avoid self-indulging afterwards.
london food markets
Londoners take their food very seriously, and there is no better place to see this than at one of the city’s many food markets.
There’s a food market waiting for you to explore all over London. Eat to your heart’s delight, so dive in. It’s even possible to wander around and sample complimentary cuisine. However, by purchasing anything from a local vendor, you are showing your appreciation for their work.
Try Khanom Krok, a Thai street food dish, for a taste. Try the juicy duck confit sandwich with crispy salad at Padella Borough Market or the freshly-made spaghetti at the Padella Borough Market.
tour the sculptures in the victoria and albert museum
More than a hundred galleries may be found in London, making it a key player worldwide. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are also located in South Kensington, home to the Victoria and Albert Museum (often known as the V&A). The V&A, established in 1852, is a 13-acre museum with 145 galleries devoted to art and artefacts from over 5,000 years of history.
You can never see everything at this massive museum in a single trip, so prepare what you want to see ahead of time. Excursions are highly recommended and generally free at the V&A, with options that range from daily introductions to more in-depth tours focused on certain galleries or specific themes.
You’ve never seen a museum cafeteria like the Main and Garden Cafés. From the floor to the columns to the ceiling, each piece is a work of art in and of itself. In addition, the food is quite good.
On the last Friday of every month (except for March and December), check out one of the popular “Friday Late” events, known for their food and drink experiences and late-night exhibition openings.
see london from a bird’s eye view
Nothing beats a romantic Helicopter flight over London’s magnificent skyline.
A helicopter tour offers a bird’s-eye view of the city. From the highest point in the world, you’ll have a unique perspective of some of the world’s most iconic sites.
You may join a tour from central London that covers the city’s west and east coasts, with stops at some of the city’s most popular attractions in between.
There is a lot of pleasure to be had on the 20-minute journey. The pilot will point out the most noteworthy sights as you soar through the air. In London, it’s a great way to spend a romantic evening with your significant other.
It’s possible to see a stunning sunset over London if you arrange your route well. The most unusual thing to do in London is to take a helicopter ride. Take a helicopter trip over the city if you’ve already seen the most famous sights and aren’t interested in repeating them.
New skyscrapers like The Shard (also known as Shard London Bridge and The Tower) have been added to the iconic London skyline, ensuring that there are still reasons to come and see how modern London is taking up the space. The Shard, along with the London Eye, provides stunning views of the city, but there are also numerous spots along the Thames where you can relax and take in the scenery.
take a ride on the london eye
A rotating 360-degree view of central London is only available from the London Eye. See London. If you have 30 minutes to spare, this is the best way to see London’s landmarks, including Parliament and Big Ben. Most of London’s most well-known sites can be seen clearly on a sunny day. From the river, the tops of the buildings, and 404 feet above the ground – all in one trip!
explore the covent garden
Located in the heart of Covent Garden lies the historic Covent Garden Market, with a large pedestrian-only Piazza in the middle. Nearby shopping and entertainment districts like The Yards, The Opera, and Seven Dials are all within walking distance of the Piazza Della Signoria. Historic Soho, the Thames, Leicester Square, and Trafalgar Square are all within a few blocks of this region.
Not only do you have the Covent Garden markets, but you also have Long Acre and other nearby streets like Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials and Central Square, which is home to some of the most skilled and distinctive street performers in London. In addition, speciality stores and kiosks surround the market’s halls and arcades, selling anything from tea to expensive handicrafts to cheap trinkets.
At the British Museum and several other top-rated mid-range hotels, Bloomsbury is a short walk from Covent Garden. Bloomsbury was formerly the centre of London’s literary scene and home to several top attractions.
stroll around east london
A weekend tradition in east London, the Sunday flower market lines the streets on Sundays. Columbia Road is a haven for hipsters and one of the greatest places in the city to buy flowers, bedding plants, cacti, and even a banana tree if you have the patio area and upper body power to transport it.
Since 1900, this workers’ café has fed the excellent people of east London with eggy, meaty, and pan-fried carbohydrates and proteins. A fascinating property on Folgate Street in east London has been decorated to mimic the home of Huguenot silk weavers from the eighteenth century.
experience piccadilly circus
Piccadilly Circus is the hub of London’s hustle and bustle, where five busy routes intersect. While Piccadilly is constantly bustling with people on their way to work in the morning, Oxford Street (a few blocks north) is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike to shop and dine.
Life in London can be posh and glamorous, but there are also many challenges that you might face. Residents would tell you that a never give up attitude is important if you want to survive the city. To be a full-fledged Londoner, then you have to be tough and creative on any problems that you face.