Ah London: that tireless innovator of art and culture; that proud custodian of iconic history; that cosmopolitan champion of modern multicultural life; that architectural behemoth, where the high-rise stands sympathetically alongside the historic; that lover of leafy escapes away from the hustle and bustle. Throw in some fine food and good times and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to move to London from overseas.
But what is everyday life like there: the transport, the lifestyle, the culture, the social scene? Before you can make the most of London’s infectious rhythm, you’ll need to focus on settling into your new home. These top tips will help you live like a local in no time.
Tip #1: Escalator etiquette
Nothing irritates busy Londoners more than someone standing on the wrong side of a public transport escalator – the wrong side being the left. So, keep to the right if you aren’t in a rush and want to glide to the top or bottom.
Tip #2: Go contactless
Go contactless with a credit/debit or Oyster card. Not only is it more convenient – and the only way you can travel by bus – it will automatically calculate the cheapest fare.
Tip #3: Walk where possible
OK, so the infamous British weather might leave you scrambling for shelter from time to time, but some stations are so close it isn’t worth taking the tube. As well as saving you a couple of quid, walking around unfamiliar areas is a great way to discover London.
Tip #4: Park life
Space is a premium in London, meaning many locals – who can only dream of having their own garden – make the most of the city’s fabulous selection of parks. Five of the eight world-famous royal parks – Hyde Park, St James's Park, Regents Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens – are conveniently located in central London, with many more local parks equally as appealing.
Tip #5 Join Meetup
Meeting likeminded people outside of work can be a stressful prospect when you first move to London. Meetup.com is a popular way to meet new people that have similar interests to you.
Tip #6: Pop to the pub
The pub is a great British institution that has been bringing people together for hundreds of years. With over 3,500 to choose from in London, you won’t struggle to have a good time and meet people.
Tip #7: The world on your doorstep
As one of the most diverse cities in the world – something the British capital is fiercely proud of – London is awash with sights, sounds and tastes from across the world that will enrich your life there.
Tip #8: There’s a world outside zone 1
Zone 1 – London’s central travel zone – contains a smorgasbord of iconic sights, but there’s much more to London than palaces, bridges and towers. Most Londoners live in the other eight zones. And it’s here you’ll find out just how fabulous everyday life in the British capital really is.
Tip #9: Leave London
We know how amazing London is, but it can be a bit full-on at times. The best way to decompress is to escape the city for the day or two. And you won’t have to go far: the seaside is just up the road and the home counties that encircle the city are home to rolling countryside dotted with quaint towns and villages.
Tip #10: Relax during your relocation
Relive yourself of the stresses and strains of moving overseas by using a relocation agent like Simply London. They provide a comprehensive range of services – home search, school search and family services – designed to manage the entire relocation on your behalf, so you can concentrate on settling into life in London.