With social networking sites such as Facebook making it more important than ever to define your relationship status, we thought we’d explore how your existing love life can affect your circumstances if you’re moving to London. People move to London whether they’re single, moving to London as a couple, or attempting the long distance thing.
Moving to London if you’re single
If you’re single when you move to London, you might be either looking for love or happy to stay single and enjoy having fun in your new city. If you fall into either of these categories then you’ve come to the right place. Those looking for love will find thousands of the opposite sex (or same sex) also looking to hook up. With the popularity of singles nights and dating sites, now is a great time to meet your new other half. For more tips please view our Dating in London section. If you’re very happy to be single for now, then that’s great too. You’ll be completely free to do whatever you like without needing to check in on anyone or consider their interests and schedules. Of course being single can sometimes be lonely too. But not if you keep busy. Use your time as a singleton to see the city, create a great social life and most of all have fun!
Moving to London with your other half
If you’re coming to London with your partner, then this will be a great adventure for the both of you and you get to experience everything that is new about London together. If you can afford it, then you can just move straight into a 1 bed flat (or larger if your budget allows), without having to worry about finding flatmates. If you need to move into a shared house as a couple, you can sometimes run into difficulties as sharers are concerned that they’ll find you having make-out sessions on the couch or flinging pots and pans at each other in a domestic rage. Sometimes it can be easier to share with other couples.
When it comes to creating a social life for yourselves, although it’s great that you have each other, try and create something separate from the relationship for yourself and encourage your partner to do the same. It’s healthy to have different sets of friends and interests as well as common ground too.
Following your partner in moving to London
If your partner is either from London or has already moved and is established in London, then you have someone to show you the ropes. If you’re moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, then you won’t have the headache of looking for accommodation or figuring out where to live in London. If you’re not moving in with them, then they can assist you with this and tell you which areas of London to avoid like the plague and which would suit you (although we like to think that if you read through our site, then we can be of assistance in this area too!). Be careful though to try and carve out a life for yourself in London too. It’s very easy to just slip into your partner’s existing life, but this can cause problems, so try and make your own friends too through work, classes, sports teams etc.
Moving to London in a long-distance relationship
Everyone knows that long distance relationships can be tricky but that doesn’t mean that they’re impossible. Thank goodness for technological creations such as Skype, email, phones with cheap call plans etc. Stay in touch as much as possible, but try not to leave half of yourself behind when you move to London. You should try and enjoy yourself (we don’t mean like that) as much as possible – get stuck into your dream job and create a great social life for yourself. You’ll be able to visit your partner from time to time and hopefully when he/she comes to visit, you’ll be having so much fun that he/she will decide to join you.
So even though your relationship status can affect certain aspects of your move to London, the advice for everyone is pretty much the same. Get stuck in, make the most of it and have a great time.
If you are a tradesman who is moving to London and will be looking for a job in construction over here, then the information on this page could be a great help to you. It is a requirement by the UK Construction Industry that all tradesmen working over here hold valid UK qualifications and certificates. In order to receive such certification, it is necessary to sit some official assessments once you arrive. Luckily 1st Contact has a great partner company who specialise in helping tradesmen from all around the globe prepare for and sit this assessment process. This particular partner company has been set up and run by Aussie Tradesmen who have first hand experience of the process and who now wish to help our fellow Tradies moving to London.
They would advise you as a Tradie to purchase the Tradies Kickstart Package before you leave home, but if you’re already over here and are looking for work then it could still be of huge benefit to you.
If you apply for the pack before you leave, then you can use the time before your departure to study for the assessment, ensuring that when you arrive you can quickly take the assessment and become registered and ready for work.
Wandsworth and Westminster are amongst not only the cheapest council tax in London but also the country. In fact the Guardian has recently reported that a house worth roughly £155k in Newark, Nottinghamshire and a house worth £7.5m in Westminster pay almost the same council tax of around £1300 per year. So with this in mind, how can you benefit from the situation? The answer is by finding out the best places to live in London for cheap council tax. Below we list 10 areas that you might consider living in the Wandsworth and Westminster boroughs. It’s worth remembering that certain areas are covered by 2 or more council boroughs, so be sure to choose to live in the part which falls within Wandsworth or Westminster. For details on the current rates of council tax for each band of property within these areas, please view our Council Tax in London page.
Balham – a trendy and popular area of South London, near to Clapham and the open spaces of Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common and Tooting Bec Common. The high street is small but offers the basics such as Marks and Spencers Simply Food, Boots and Sainsburys. There are a good selection of pubs and coffee shops in the area. For more information on Balham, please read our Balham Area Guide.
Battersea – on the South bank of the River Thames, a stones throw from Chelsea on the other side. Battersea is quite a large area, the better parts are the beautiful Battersea Park and the central hub of Clapham Junction and the buzzing Northcote Road which is a popular area for independent shops, bars and restaurants. Battersea is situated in a convenient position for easy access into Central London. For more information on Battersea, please ready our Battersea Area Guide.
Putney – also located on the River Thames, but a little further West and on the opposite side of the river to Fulham. Putney is a pretty area which for obvious reasons is popular with the rowing community and for less obvious reasons with the Australian community and rugby fans. Putney is also home to the vast open space of Putney Heath. For more information on Putney, please read our Putney Area Guide.
Wandsworth/Earlsfield – SW18 is a large postcode area in South-West London and contains Wandsworth Town (only a part of Wandsworth Borough), Earlsfield and Southfields. Wandsworth Town is on the Thames and has some great riverside pubs such as the Alma. Wandsworth Common in the east is vast and nearer areas such as the Northcote Road in Clapham Junction or Balham in SW12. They’re all desirable areas with great pubs and restaurants, fast rail journeys into London and a great community spirit. To find out more about Wandsworth, please view our Wandsworth Area Guide.
Tooting – Tooting is located in South West London and is home to the open space of Tooting Bec Common which contains the famous Tooting lido. Tooting is situated on the Northern line allowing quick journeys into places such as Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road. If you’re into your curries, then you’ll be very pleased about the enormous variety of curry houses on offer in Tooting – it’s second only to Brick Lane in terms of quantity. To find out more about Tooting, please read our Tooting Area Guide.
Streatham – the area known as Streatham Park only
Streatham is a large area consisting or Streatham Hill in the north, Streatham Common and Streatham Vale in the south and Streatham Park which is located between Streatham Common and Tooting Bec Common. Make absolutely sure before you sign a tenancy agreement that the property you’re interested in falls into the Wandsworth postcode area rather than Lambeth. Streatham has fast rail connections into London Victoria or London Bridge. The rugged open space of Streatham Common is particularly pleasant for walks – you can also visit the attached formal gardens of the Rookery. The best pubs in the area lie at the Streatham Common end of the high road and on Greyhound Lane. To find out more about Streatham, please view our Streatham Area Guide.
In Westminster ……..
Bayswater – Bayswater is located in West London on the north side of Hyde Park. Due to it’s particularly central location and proximity to one of the Royal Parks, prices are quite expensive but it’s a good spot if it’s within your range. For entertainment and leisure, Bayswater contains some great pubs (The Cow and Prince Bonaparte are popular), Whiteleys shopping centre and a branch of American-style bowling alley, All-Star Lanes. For more information on Bayswater, please view our Bayswater Area Guide.
St John’s Wood – St John’s Wood is located in north-west London to the west of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. It’s a well-to-do area filled with posh but trendy peeps who love the access to excellent pubs, bars and restaurants on the high street. St John’s Wood is on the Jubilee line – you can be at Bond Street within about 6 or 7 minutes. To find out more about St John’s Wood, please view our St John’s Wood
Pimlico – Pimlico is situated in Central London around the Victoria area and goes all the way down to the River Thames. What makes it an affordable living option for some is the amount of ex-council property available in the area. For entertainment it can be difficult to find pubs and restaurants that aren’t aimed at the faces and wallets of tourists (tip – steer clear of busy roads around Victoria station), but you can find some very decent options off the beaten track. For culture and sightseeing you have the Tate Britain, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey on your doorstep. For leisurely walks you have the options of many nearby parks (Green Park, St James’s Park or even Hyde Park are all within walking distance) and of course beautiful riverside strolls. For more information on Pimlico, please view our Pimlico Area Guide.
Maida Vale – Maida Vale and Little Venice are situated in West London in the postal district of W9. Little Venice is built on waterways down which you can take a lovely barge tour, or alternatively just relax in a canal-side pub or restaurant. It’s a very pretty part of town which is obviously a good reason to live here, but another would be it’s proximity to Central London along with the great transport links in the area. To find out more about Maida Vale in W9, please view our Maida Vale Area Guide
There are many reasons why you might be moving to London alone – perhaps you’ve recently accepted a job offer, maybe you’ve split up from your partner and are using your move to London as a fresh start, or there might be a hundred other reasons as to why you’re making the move alone. One thing is for sure though, moving to London by yourself can seem to some like a daunting prospect. Follow our advice on this page to make the move less frightening.
Living in London by yourself
You can either choose to move into a studio flat or to join a house with other flatmates – often known as ‘randoms’ if you haven’t previously known them before moving in together.
Studio apartments will allow you your own personal space and you won’t need to sift through the freaks in the Flatmate Wanted ads you’ve been replying to before finding a bunch of peeps that you’re happy with. But studio apartments can also be lonely and they’ll often be a more expensive option than renting a room in a shared house.
Consider what is right for you. If you’re going to go absolutely crazy with loneliness and just want to make friends, or at least feel safe knowing that there are other people sleeping under the same roof as you, then joining a shared house could be the right decision for you. We’d recommend doing so. Of course, if on the other hand you are 100% happy with your own company and have previously had bad experiences with flatmates that has made you swear off them for good, then a studio apartment (or even a 1 bed if your budget can handle it) might be the way to go.
Get a job
A bit of an obvious one, as we’re sure it’s on your To Do List but starting a new job can be a great way to meet people if you’re moving to London alone. Depending on the job and the atmosphere in the office (if it’s an office job) you could get to know people over lunches in the canteen, after work drinks, staff-room gossiping sessions or even cigarettes outside. If you’re the outgoing type and there doesn’t seem to be much in way of entertainment at work, then speak to your line manager and see if you’re allowed to start up an Entertainment Committee with you as the Chair of course.
There must be something that you’re interested in doing after hours. Whether it be language lessons, salsa dancing, cookery classes or even amateur dramatics, it stands to reason that if you join a class or club filled with likeminded people, then you’re bound to make friends whilst enjoying a common interest. Also keeping yourself busy after work or at the weekend will stop you feeling lonely. But classes are expensive right? Wrong! You can enjoy massive discounts on all sorts of classes by using a site such as Groupon or Tasterlab who offer free sample classes in a large variety of interests.
Hitting the gym is a great idea when you first move to London. Not only will you feel fit and energised but you also have a great chance of making friends, particularly if you join one of the gym’s exercise classes. Better than this though is Come Play Sport which we’ve previously mentioned. This is an incredibly sociable sports meetup, where the emphasis is on fun. Games include dodgeball, water polo, volleyball and uni hoc. Then everyone goes to the pub afterwards.
Attend some social meetups for people just like you
In your head you may feel like the first person who has ever embarked upon moving to London alone. However, the reality is that thousands of newcomers arrive in London each year by themselves and are in exactly the same boat as you. We’ve recently started some Moove2London Social Events – to register your interest in our next get-together, please click the button at the top of this page. These are a great informal opportunity to meet new people. If you’re from overseas, then you may also be interested in attending an expat meetup (see our EU Citizens page if you’re from the EU).
We’ve been doing a series of articles on ‘where to live in London’ on each of the tube lines. In this article, we feature 5 residential areas of London which happen to have stations on the Central line. The Central Line runs from West London through Central London and through to East London and even out to parts of Essex. It serves 49 stations. You might choose to live in these areas if you take the Central line to your workplace in somewhere like Liverpool Street, Bank, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street or Marble Arch.
Ealing is located in West London and is often thought of as a town in it’s own right. It is a large area made up of 3 suburbs – South/Little Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Ealing Common. Ealing is full of pubs, restaurants, shops and all other day-to-day facilities you could possibly need. Perhaps because it is situated far enough outside of Central London, it has a really ‘leafy’ feel to it, yet you can be in Zone 1 in superquick time thanks to the excellent transport facilities of many varieties that Ealing has to offer. For a comprehensive guide to Ealing, please check out our Ealing Area Guide.
Absolutely perfect for those who work in the City of London, as you can pretty much walk to work – you could even consider going home during your lunch break if you were so inclined! Bethnal Green is the heart of the East End of London and was home to the likes of the Kray brothers. It’s also located extremely near to Brick Lane for amazing curries and Shoreditch for jaw-droppingly trendy bars. Bethnal Green isn’t 100% glamorous, but it’s location on the edge of the City makes it well worth investigating. For more details on what Bethnal Green has to offer, please visit our Bethnal Green guide page.
Shepherd’s Bush is a perfect place to live if you’re into your shopping. You have the choice of the Shepherd’s Bush Market, which is a real locals market selling fresh produce, fabrics and household goods. But if you’re more shopping mall than market stall, you’ll be thrilled to learn that Westfield Shopping Centre is on your doorstep here. Shepherd’s Bush boasts good transport links and is popular with the Aussie and Kiwi communities which gives it a lively vibe.
Check out our Shepherd’s Bush area guide.
Stratford has changed beyond recognition in the past 10 years. No longer an unattractive East London suburb, it is now a major hub which at the moment is synonymous with the London 2012 Olympics. Stratford is well positioned for quick trips into the City, into the Docklands and Canary Wharf and for City Airport. Since September 2011, it has also been home to Westfield Stratford shopping centre. For more information on Stratford, please view our Stratford Area Guide.
South Woodford is one of the most far-reaching East London postcodes before you hit Essex. The area feels both safe and suburban and is popular with footballers and their WAGs. It is both near the countryside of Epping Forest whilst still being reasonably convenient for getting into London (a tube journey takes around 30 minutes). The high street contains the usual suspects as well as independent boutiques and gastropubs. The local cinema is also a big draw. For more information on South Woodford, please read our South Woodford Area guide.
If you’d like to experience living in London, but aren’t sure that you see yourself living here longterm, then why not move to London for a year and taste all the flavours that London has to offer?
Here are some reasons why moving to London even on a temporary basis is a great idea:
If you’re looking to rent, then you’ll often find that rental contracts require you to sign a commitment of a year, although there is sometimes a break after 6 months if you’re desperate to get out before your year’s up. But in terms of the rental price, if you sign for a year, it won’t go up until the year is through.
Working in London for a year
If you’re thinking about moving to London for only a year, then you could of course try and get a series of temporary jobs, or survival jobs to pay the bills for the year. Alternatively if you’re already on a promising career path and would like to keep it that way, then we would suggest that you try and secure a role for yourself in a London-based company before you move here. This way you won’t have to waste any of your year in London looking for a job, which let’s face it can take a while sometimes. Starting your new job from day 1 of your year in London, means that you won’t have to worry about how to pay the bills and there won’t be any weird gaps in your C.V. A year is also a respectable amount of time to spend in the same job and won’t make you look like a fickle employee.
Use London as a base
London is a great gateway to Europe, so if you’re from overseas you can use London as a great base to view some fantastic destinations. If you’re from outside of Europe, then you’ll probably want to pop over to somewhere like Paris or Bruges on the Eurostar, or take a cheap Easyjet flight to a beautiful European destination. Otherwise you could visit some scenic locations such as Bath, Brighton, York in the Cotswolds in the rest of the UK.
Much like our seasons, the landscape and mood of London changes dramatically over the course of a year, so stay for an entire 12 months and you could experience some of the following: the Olympics this summer, the Lord Mayor’s fireworks in the autumn, Christmas in London (the amazing street lights, Christmas markets and carol services, Winter Wonderland and open air iceskating), the January Sales, Valentines Day in London, rowing on the Serpentine in the spring and picnics in the Royal Parks.
Here are some of the reasons why we think you should move to London, even if it’s only for a year. We’re very happy to add any others to the list so please email us at email@example.com
You may have heard that the Olympics are going to be held in London this summer! To commemorate the event, TFL (Transport for London) have produced a novelty tube map which replaces the 361 tube stations with Olympic legends such as Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Maria Mutola, Michael Phelps and Jesse Owens.
Reportedly TFL originally started with a list of 500 names that they wanted to include but not all of them made the cut. Unfortunately one of the names who ‘fell off’ the list was the ‘Flying Housewife’ better known as Fanny Blankers-Koen. Blankers-Koen was a Dutch sprinter who won gold medals for the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and the 4×400 relay at the 1948 Olympics which were held in London. She was 30 years old at the time and had 2 children. She is one of the greatest female athletes in history and was voted ‘Female Athlete of the Century’ in 1999 by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation).
Unsurprisingly the Dutch were somewhat miffed about the omission of Blankers-Koen from this Legends map and they made their feelings known about this ‘embarrassing mistake’. So now the decision has been taken to include her in the next reprint of the map. This doesn’t mean that another athlete will lose their spot in order to make way for Blankers-Koen. Instead, Mary Decker and Zola Budd will share a station, which ironically mirrors the coming together of the 2 athletes during the 3,000 metres final in the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics.
The Dutch Federation are said to be delighted that Blankers-Koen has been added to the map.
When many of us move to London for the first time, we don’t know many, or even any people that live here. London is a vast city and it’s possible to feel a bit lonely at first without that ‘local pub’ atmosphere or neighbourly welcome from two doors down. But there is no need to feel this way for long. There are many social activities that you can take part in, after work drinks you can go to and thanks to the 21st century, online social communities that you can join. With the latter, we’re talking about sites such as Badoo, which have been springing up over the last 5 years or so.
Badoo is a site which currently boasts over 141 million members in 180 countries. It is completely FREE and very quick to join. You simply need to enter your first name, email address, birthday, city, your gender and whether you’re looking for men, women or both (remember this is not just a dating site, it’s also for making friends). You can even check out who else uses Badoo before you register if you wish to do so.
Once signed up, you can start building your profile by adding photos, interests, information about your appearance, education, work, what languages you speak and most importantly who you are looking for whilst using Badoo. You might be looking for love, but you may also just be looking for new friends, or someone to accompany you to a social activity such as salsa dancing.
To give you a scale of the amount of people currently using Badoo for social purposes in London, if you select ‘I want to make new friends with a guy or a girl in London between the ages of 18 and 35′… there are currently over 275,500 people who match this criteria. You can change the criteria to be as broad or specific as you wish to be.
It’s free to sign-up, but this isn’t one of those sites where it’s free to sign-up and then you have to pay a fortune to actually interact with anyone. Free registration with Badoo entitles you to upload photos and videos, chat with other members and see and contact other members in your area. Not bad at all hey?
As it’s absolutely free and very quick to sign up, it really is worth giving it a go, so sign-up now at Badoo.
If you’re going to be buying property when you move to London this year, you might be interested to know that mortgage lender HSBC has made some changes to the way in which you’re allowed to buy property with them.
To put it simply, if you’re taking out an HSBC mortgage, then you will now only be able to use 1 of 43 of the law firms on their conveyancing panel. Previously there were over a thousand law firms on their panel but this has been massively decreased.
So what does this mean to buyers?
If you want to continue to use your preferred solicitor that has previously done good work for you and that you trust, then HSBC will charge you an additional £192 for doing so. The money will go to the HSBC conveyancing panel to cover legal costs
Lack of consumer choice – if you choose not to spend the extra money mentioned above, then you will suffer from a serious lack of choice when picking your solicitor, particularly if you live in a rural area as unsurprisingly many of the 43 law firms on the panel of HSBC will not be local to you. Furthermore, you’ll be less able to shop around for a good deal as you would have been previously able to.
Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society is concerned that ‘such a low number of firms could struggle to provide all consumers – those who struggle to communicate other than in person or those who would prefer to use a local solicitor – with the service they seek.’ If this turns out to be the case, then it will not just affect buyers who are taking out a mortgage with HSBC, but anyone who is in a property chain with someone that is using HSBC as their lender. The worry is that property chains will collapse and this will adversely affect everyone from estate agents, financial service providers and of course the buyers and sellers themselves.
If you feel concerned about this issue, or the possibility that other mortgage providers may follow suit by also slashing the number of conveyancing law firms that are allowed to act for them and the buyer, then you might be interested in signing this online petition to pressurise the government into dramatically increasing the number of law firms on the panel.