On the 13th December 2015 I moved to London from a little town in Essex called Corringham.
The commute was draining and I think I pretty much had the soul sucked out of me on the C2C to Fenchurch Street everyday.
Besides that, it was exhausting memorising the timetable and always having to be aware of the time of the last train every time I went to see a show or even see my friends.
So I grabbed two of my best friends and we headed to the bright lights of London, specifically, lovely, royal, maritime Greenwich.
It’s been an incredible year and here’s a few things i’ve picked up in my first year as a Londoner that I would advise anyone to consider if they are looking to make the plunge and move here too!
Tubes aren’t the be all and end all.
In fact half the time they don’t work as they should anyway. Moving to Greenwich, I was sceptical at first as it had no tubes. But what I do have is the DLR, the London Overground and National Rail (which is, granted, horrendous) and I now barely even get the tube.
As long as you’ve got a quick way into the centre of town or work, it doesn’t matter if you’re below ground or above ground – in fact, I prefer the latter.
Live near a park.
This may seem obvious to some, but trust me it really pays off all year round!
I am on the lucky side of the scale and have a garden, but in a city it isn’t always possible. I also live near Greenwich Park which I see as a sort of surrogate garden.
In summer it serves as a fantastic place to have a day out with friends, a place to go if you just need to get out of the house on a sunny day or a great place to exercise. In winter it serves the same purpose.
I had a friend who lived in Whitechapel and complained about the lack of greenery near her and it made me realise how fortunate I have to have a huge green space on my doorstep.
Check out your local area.
Many people move to London assuming that living anywhere will be fine as long as they can get to the centre of town quickly.
Wrong! The novelty of tourist packed central London wears thin fast and you’ll want a local area that offers everything you need. London is great in that it has within it lots of ‘village’ areas.
South of the river is amazing for these sort of places, areas that have a real community vibe and great restaurants without you feeling like you need to head to Covent Garden or Shoreditch.
It’s also cool to support your local businesses too, London isn’t just zone one after all!
Narrow things down by deciding what’s most important to you.
London is HUGE, so it can be daunting to try and pinpoint an area you’d like to live in especially if you aren’t hugely familiar with the city.
I drew up a short list of ‘wants’ that I was looking for in a location…
-Close proximity to work
-Able to park my car
-Able to easily drive back home to Essex.
I picked the distance to my office as a starting point and used an amazing website called Find Properly to pin point areas that were within easy access via public transport.
Those are just a few tips I picked up, but to be honest, pretty much anywhere you live in London you’ll be near something great.
Whether its within walking distance or a bus ride away there are wonderful places hidden across town that make lovely communities to live in.
And it’s worth remembering when you’re looking at an area to take the good with the bad. People complain about ‘dodgy areas’ of London but you’ll find these anywhere – even the King’s Road probably has its ‘undesirable’ parts, but thats the nature of a city.
But London in its entirety, is a fantastic place to live and work – I mean I have dedicated a whole blog to it after all!