London’s growing, and it’s growing fast. With over 200,000 people relocating to London from overseas alone each year, and a growth rate far in excess of the rest of the UK, there are some important things to consider about relocating to London to ensure a smooth transition. We’ve selected our top 7 things to consider when relocating to London to help ensure your relocation is a successful one:
- London is Not Just One Place
This is a big point to realise. ‘London’ may be the capital city, but it covers over 1500 square kilometres, and different pockets are not homogenous. Instead, London, in many ways, can be thought of as an intertwining mix of dozens of smaller towns.
Typically, London is referred to in four quarters: North, South, East and West. However, within each of these areas you get scores more. Therefore, you need to carefully think about why you are moving to London, and therefore where you need to be. For example, if you will be working in Docklands, there’s not much sense living in Leicester Square. Your morning commute will be in excess of 40 minutes, if you’re lucky.
Therefore, we strongly recommend you choose your accommodation based on specific location using our location based search tool.
- Be Cost Aware
Living in a capital city tends to come with a price premium, however, this is particularly true for London. This site gives you a fantastic breakdown of the various costs of living associated with living in London.
Your single biggest cost is most likely going to be accommodation. Choosing to use a serviced apartment can save you money over traditional accommodation options. To find out more about London Serviced Apartment costs, and how you can save money, read our article here. Relocating to London can be expensive, but you can make economical choices.
- Become Transport Savvy
London is world-famous for its public transport: From the Mind-the-Gap tube network to the iconic big red bus. However, it’s also famous for its transport headaches and delays. We have a few tips to keep you on friendly terms with London transport:
- Use the bus: to acclimatise easily and cheaply, the bus is your best friend. You can see where you’re going and begin to create your own mind map.
- Leave the car at home: the vast majority of Londoners don’t use a private vehicle. Parking is costly and difficult, roads are congested, and you’ll be stumped with the Congestion Charge. If driving is important to you, then ensure you choose a serviced apartment with a parking facility.
- Use the overground: If the bus isn’t an option, then you might like to opt for the overground rail options where possible. Your Mind-the-Gap underground experience might be fun as a tourist but quickly becomes unpleasant, hot, crowded, and cramped as a commuter.
- Realise it’s pedestrian friendly: London is becoming more and more pedestrian friendly. There are some areas where you’ll definitely be better to travel by foot, for example, in Covent Garden and Oxford Street.
- Cycle: You can easily hire bikes from numerous places across the capital for minimal cost.
- Get an Oyster card: If you’re using London public transport, get an Oyster Card to make things simpler and faster. These pre-pay cards should also be insured so that if you lose it you don’t lose your credit.
- Become a London Technology User
To make life easier when relocating to London you will need to get technology on board. London is on the frontline for many technological advances in city living. As well as using transport apps such as Citymapper and TFL as a matter of course, you can also expect to utilise and experience other elements of a ‘smart city’ such as robot deliveriesand logistics.
- Expect Culture on an Immense Scale
One of the sheer joys of relocating to London is having an enormous wealth of culture accessible at your fingertips. Home to some of the world’s first-class museums and art galleries – often with no entrance fee, such as the National History Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum – London has a rich depth of history and culture to explore.
There are numerous festivals and carnivals throughout the year, often available for free or at a minimal cost. It is also home to numerous West End theatres and a prolific number of world class shows in addition to musical exposure. There are also numerous sporting venues and events.
- Consider Your Family
When relocating with your family, it is essential to think about their requirements and needs. London is a fantastic city for raising children with excellent educational options in addition to childcare, activities, and social events. However, you need some insider knowledge.
This is particularly true when it comes to schooling. The UK may be world-famous for its education system but it varies enormously from school to school – as do entry requirements. You need to choose where you live carefully in order to meet relevant school entry criteria. We strongly recommend finding out more about London schools before you decide which area to select for your serviced apartment.
- You Can Make a Mistake
Having said all of the above, don’t panic if you don’t get it right the first time. One of the advantages of choosing a London Serviced Apartment when relocating to London is that you can change again in the near future if need be. A serviced apartment will ensure that you have everything you need to quickly become a part of London life and feel at home here. However, if it turns out that you chose the wrong location for you and your family, then there are plenty of alternative options across the capital to choose from.