Things to know before moving to London

It’s the Big Smoke to some, the Swinging City to others, or maybe just good old London Town. Whatever you like to call it, London is an exciting, remarkable and lively place that will never cease to surprise, both for its visitors and those who have chosen to make it their home. With its fabulous West End shows, stunning architecture, shopping opportunities galore, beautiful parks and, of course, some of the country’s most renowned restaurants, you’ll never be short of things to do in your free time.

Moving to London

Before you move to London, here are some things to keep in mind first:

 

How Expensive Is London?

We all know that living in London comes with a price tag attached. It’s one of the reasons people hesitate when asking themselves, “should I move to London?”. But, just because it is an expensive city doesn’t mean you should rule it out. There are many strategies for saving money – and plenty of ways to make living in one of the most exciting cities in the world fit into your budget!

  • Take advantage of London’s assets

If you eat out every day and splurge on theatre tickets, you’ll find your money quickly runs out. But you can always use London’s assets to your advantage: As one of the greenest cities, scrap the gym membership and exercise outside.

Most museums in London are still free, and even some of the sought-after shows offer heavily discounted tickets. You can even enjoy a night at the Royal Opera House, taking advantage of last-minute tickets – and save yourself a fortune.

Another of London’s selling points has to be its efficient, reliable and all-encompassing public transport system. In fact, 42% of Londoners don’t own their own car or van. If you live in a different part of the UK, chances are you rely on a car to get around, so this is a good starting point for saving money.

While it may not be the cheapest city in the world, London is 21.6% less expensive than New York – so that’s something!

 

Navigating London's Public Transportation

London tube - Nottinghill Gate

It’s famous across the world: London’s iconic Tube network is one of the things Londoners are most proud of – and rightly so! It makes Europe’s largest city accessible and easily navigable. With underground lines going from the likes of Edgware, High Barnet and even Watford to the North, all the way down to leafy Morden in the very south; and from Ealing and Shepherd’s Bush in the West, to Bow and Barking in the East, wherever you need to be, there’s a straightforward way to get there.

The Tube network....

  • ... has 11 different lines (following the inauguration of the Elizabeth Line in 2022)
  • ... serves 272 different stations
  • ... covers a whopping 402 kilometres
  • ... handles 5 million journeys each day!

London’s public transport system isn’t just confined to the Tube, though.

When moving to London, consider the 700 different bus routes crisscrossing all corners of the capital. In fact there are 19,000 bus stops in the capital. They’re also efficient and frequent, with real-time displays informing passengers how long they will have to wait (not usually long).

  • Oyster card

You might have heard that the Tube is an expensive way to travel, and if you buy individual tickets (for example, as a tourist might do), then yes – it certainly can be. Virtually everyone in London has an Oyster card, using it in the way that suits the way they travel. For occasional journeys, pay-as-you-go might work, but if you regularly use public transport (including the bus, underground and over ground trains within London), you will probably opt for a season ticket – whether that’s weekly, monthly or even annual. There are various options depending on which zones you use, and you can find out more what would suit you over here.

 

What is the Weather Like Throughout the Year?

While England is known across the world for its drizzle and reliably chilly temperatures, London is something of an exception. As well as generally being a good few degrees warmer than elsewhere in the country, London (along with the rest of eastern England) sees considerably less rainfall. In fact, Paris, Lisbon, Rome and even Monaco get more rain than London!

Winters tend to be milder than most other parts of the UK, with an average temperature of 9 degrees Celsius in December and January. In summer, expect some warm days. An average August day will be 23 degrees – but recent summers have seen some scorching temperatures well into the 30s. In fact, if you live in the UK already, you’re almost certainly thinking of moving to warmer climes since London is the second-hottest place in the UK (after the Isles of Scilly).

 

Which Area is Right for You?

Greater London map

While there may be many sights to see right in the centre, very few people actually live there – and once the novelty had worn off, it could become tedious have hoards of tourists outside your window each day! Setting up home means finding the corner of London that’s best for you. Each neighbourhood has its own communities, with their own vibe.

Start by visiting areas that are accessible to your place of work (and look at bus routes too – places very close a Tube station tend to cost more!) and see what suits your style.

If you’re moving to London alone, it is especially important that you find an area you feel comfortable in – and surrounded by people you might want to hang out with. Meeting new people when you live in London tends to happen naturally, as there is always so much going on nearby. Each corner of the capital has its very own community and despite what many people in other parts of the UK think, Londoners tend to be very welcoming to newcomers.

South of the river is more affordable than the North. It's less well-connected by Tube, however, it's well-connected via the overground train lines linking up with the centre with excellent transport links to East Croydon and Gatwick Airport.

The South Bank, in particular, is a world-renowned entertainment and commercial hub situated right next to the River Thames and opposite the City of Westminster. Living in this area means having easy access to top-notch entertainment options, restaurants, and shops.

For art and culture, South London is a veritable treasure trove. There are venues for live music, theatre, performance, and immersive art, including the Old Vic, Beaconsfield Gallery, and the Brunel Museum. South London is also home to many contemporary art galleries, making it an ideal spot for art lovers.

 

 

Moving to London Alone: Safety and Making Friends

Moving to London alone might feel daunting, but we can help take the stress out of the initial journey. Our removal company will help make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

London has a reputation for being very welcoming. Like all cities, some areas lend themselves to meeting new people than others. Finding a room in a shared house can work out considerably cheaper than trying to afford a flat on your own, and comes with the advantage of ready-made potential friends.

Some areas have more house-share opportunities than others. The following postcodes were found to have the most rooms available for house-shares:

  • E1

This area of East London covers Mile End to Aldgate, and takes in trendy Shoreditch and Whitechapel. You’ll be well-connected here as transport links are excellent, and near thriving trendy hotspots, too!

  •   E14

There are plenty of rooms available in nearby E14, too. This postcode covers Canary Wharf and Docklands, near the recently opened Crossrail station. You’ll be well-connected and if you have the prospect of a job in the financial district of Canary Wharf, this could be a practical move.

  • N1

Leaving East London and heading north, you’ll find plenty of (fairly) affordable rooms to rent in this vibrant neighbourhood which encompasses Angel and Islington. It’s a welcoming area with plenty going on, meaning you can have a great quality of life here. Sign up to a class or workshop and find likeminded people in the area!

 

The Move Itself

Once you’ve decided to embark on a new chapter in this city like no other, you’ll need a pair of trusty hands or two, and some reliable wheels. That’s where we come in. We’ve been helping Londoners relocate and newcomers find their feet in their chosen neighbourhood.

Our fleet of vans ranges from smaller models to much larger capacity vehicles, enabling us to transport all of your furniture and belongings safely. We’ll help you with loading and unloading, and since we have been operating in London for almost a quarter of a century, we know the roads to avoid and the shortcuts to take. You can read more about our removals and relocation services, or get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote! We look forward to hearing from you soon!