Moving to London Guide
It’s one thing to visit London as a tourist, but it’s another thing to call the Big Smoke home. Before you start the ball rolling, it’s important to do your research.
In this handy guide, we will:
- Help you decide whether moving to the capital is right for you
- Give you some insight on what it’s like to live amongst the hustle and bustle of the capital
- Offer handy tips on how to pull off the big move with minimal hassle
Should I Move to London?
London seems to have a magnetic pull for people across the globe. It’s a city where quaint historic buildings stand alongside contemporary architecture. A city brimming with some of the best museums and galleries on the planet. A city with a strong student community that brings a youthful energy and nightlife.
But urban living isn’t for everyone, and questions such as ‘will I like living in London?’ and ‘is it worth it?’ may be at the forefront of your mind.
Some noteworthy downfalls and benefits of living in London include:
Pros of moving to London
- Access to free museums and galleries, which showcase some of the finest art and historical artifacts
- Efficient public transport system
- Diverse choice of eateries, allowing you to sample cuisines from around the globe
- World-famous landmarks aplenty, so you’ll never take a dull photo again
- An abundance of business and career options available
Cons of moving to London
- It’s an expensive city, though choosing the right areas to live, eat and work in could help to alleviate this problem
- Busy public transport can make for an uncomfortable experience at peak times
- British weather is unpredictable at best, so be prepared for shine in the morning and showers at lunchtime
- At certain times of the year, tourist-dodging will become a necessary sport
What to Know About Moving to London
Considering making the move? Here are some last minute questions you may be asking.
Why am I moving to London? Perhaps it’s for study, for work, for better opportunities and infrastructure, or perhaps simply to fulfil a lifelong dream. Whatever the reason, make sure you know what to expect from the type of lifestyle you will be living.
Will I make friends in London? A common stereotype of a Londoner is the miserable subway-goer who avoids eye contact. And while citizens do like to keep themselves to themselves, the capital is still rife with numerous opportunities to be sociable. Whether it’s through parties, events, sports, or work gatherings, you’ll soon discover there are plenty of Londoners who are open to friendship.
Is London safe? As long as you’re sensible, London is no more or less safe than most cosmopolitan capitals – it’s also full of CCTV cameras and tight security.
What can I expect from London transport? Whether you opt for the world-famous London Underground, or just prefer a leisurely cycle, London has the infrastructure to support your transport needs – just be wary of nightmarish peak times. And if you’re planning to travel frequently, bag yourself a Travelcard to save the pennies. Beware: driving is a complete no-no, as you will encounter constant traffic jams, parking difficulties and payment of congestion charges.
How to Move to London
You’ve made your choice, so now it’s time to set yourself up. Here is our essential to-do list, along with general tips for living in London.
- Check if you require a visa. If you’re moving from abroad, the effects of Brexit may potentially complicate your move. Get in touch with the Home Office for advice on the current state of the rules and regulations.
- Decide what to bring. Moving is the perfect chance to cut down on unnecessary junk cluttering your current home. If you’ve downsized, simply store any family heirlooms or sporting equipment away in one of Vanguard’s secure and affordable storage units until it’s needed again.
- Find your perfect pad. A diverse choice of accommodation awaits you in the capital, and a mixture of cheap and expensive options can sometimes be found populating the same street. Therefore, never make an assumption about an area, and strive to visit in person to assess the local ambiance and amenities. If you’re a student or young professional, house-sharing is a surefire way to make your money go further, and is an easy way to make friends.
- Start the job hunt. London is a charismatic place to live – and work. Whether you want part-time retail work or a high-flying job in accounting, London is a melting pot of multiple industries in which to launch a successful career – just make sure your CV shines.
- Stay healthy. Register with a new GP and dentist immediately upon arriving in London – don’t wait until you’re in the throes of an emergency.
Preparing to Move to London
With moving day almost upon you, it’s time to think about logistics and packing.
- Ship your items: Shipping or transporting your belongings to London is the logical way to move them from A to B, so ask around a few companies to get a quote and ensure a level of service you’re happy with. Make contact with a trusted removal firm as early in the process as possible.
- Pack smart: Stock up on plenty of packing materials to avoid the stress of running out. Pack your fragile items carefully, and disassemble any furniture to make transportation easier. And remember: label each box by room, otherwise you may find yourself playing an enjoyable game of ‘guess which box’ when you arrive. Take a look at our guide to packing for a storage unit for more handy advice.
- Make use of self-storage: Self-storage is a godsend for any move, as these handy and affordable units allow you to safely store away your belongings for any stretch of time – giving you valuable time to settle in to your new home. Vanguard offer CCTV-protected storage units across London, using our 50 years’ experience to provide an impeccable service.