Once you’ve decided to move to London for work and have found the best fit for your child’s educational needs, it’s time to determine how they’ll get around the city. You’ll want to check with the specific school your child will be attending for information about any transportation options they offer to and from class. There are a few additional options and guidelines that you might also want to consider.
First, you don’t necessarily need to plan on picking your child up from school every day or shuttling them to different locations across the city. London has a wealth of transportation options. If your child is old enough, they might find metro stations like the London Underground and the “Tube” to be reliable and safe solutions. There are also options like double-deck buses and the Docklands Light Railway to consider.
Second, don’t rush into getting a driver’s license in the city. If your children are nearing the age where they’d typically begin studying for their driving exam in the United States, they might want to do the same in London. It’s important to note, however, that while obtaining your license in the States is a rite of passage, the same is not necessarily true in London. In fact, obtaining a license in the UK is a more complicated and expensive process. It includes an application for a provisional license ($65), a written test ($40), a series of driving lessons ($33/hour with a minimum of five required hours), and a practical driving test ($85).
Driving in the city can be a challenge, but luckily there are so many reliable methods of public transportation that it shouldn’t impact your children’s ability to get around the city easily and safely.
There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing an area to live in London, including your commute to work, accommodation costs, and the social activities available. Here are some of the best places for young professionals to live in London, along with characteristics that make them so attractive.
Although Islington is mostly residential, the area offers a lot of entertainment. There are many museums and galleries to visit as well as pubs, bars, and restaurants.
The population is diverse, full of bubbly, welcoming, and hardworking people that give the area a close-knit community feel. The area is booming in popularity, however, so you might have to stretch your budget if you choose to live in Islington. With that said, there is a wide variety of properties available, ranging from stylish new apartments to ornate period terraces.
Camden is just a few miles north of the center of London and is well known for Camden Town, its lively cultural center. Famous street markets pull in visitors from all over the world, and the area is full of up and coming artists and musicians. Alternative and ethnic cuisines shine in Camden, with the variety reflecting its multicultural population. Although the area is very close to central London, you don’t have to leave the area to enjoy beautiful restaurants, lively pubs, and everything in between.
Brixton is very popular with young professionals due to its trendy restaurants and Caribbean markets, among other attractions. The area has plenty of beautiful Victorian homes located close to the many shops and bars of Central Brixton. This area is also close to the tube and near Brixton Market, which is home to an array of food stalls.
Although rent can be a bit expensive in South Bank, it is a dynamic area for young professionals who have a healthy income. The area is home to the London Eye, an observation wheel on the south bank of the Thames, as well as fantastic entertainment venues, museums, and good transport links like Waterloo Station.
Although tennis probably comes to mind when you think of Wimbledon, this area is about much more than that. The location offers an amazing assortment of bars, restaurants, and shops, as well as plenty of employment opportunities. Transport links are well covered, with both underground and mainline rails represented here. It should be noted that Wimbledon is one of the more expensive areas of London, particularly the upmarket known as Wimbledon Village.
Just north of the Thames, Fulham is a great place to live and commute to central London. In fact, the area offers many of the same benefits found in the center of London. There are restaurants, luxury flats, offices, and 24-hour bars that all give Fulham a vibrant and chic vibe. The population is diverse, but there is a significant number of people from antipodean countries, particularly Australia. The borough of Putney lies just over the river, which has a large shopping mall just south of the Putney Bridge that joins the two areas.
The Clapham area of London is home to Clapham Common, a place to kick back, relax, and enjoy its amazing array of shops and cafes. Transport links are excellent from Clapham Junction, and you can be in the city center within minutes or take an overground train to almost any part of the UK. Clapham is not one of the cheapest areas to live in London. Properties there are highly sought after, and prices reflect this. If you can afford accommodations here, Clapham provides an exceptionally high standard of living.
Bethnal Green is considered to be a small town and is full of open green space, shopping centers, and lively streets. At the northern end of town is the famous Brick Lane, which has over 100 Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants known as ‘curry houses’, as well as a street market where you can buy cultural art pieces. The area is seen as a little rough and ready when compared to West London towns, but this only adds personality and excitement to living in Bethnal Green.
Docklands is an area that spans several London boroughs and is located just to the east of the City of London and to the southeast of central London. You’ll find big skylines in Docklands, as well as big money, due to this area being the home of one of the world’s most powerful financial centers. There are many expensive wine bars, exclusive restaurants, and stunning apartment blocks that overlook the river Thames and the City of London.
The huge skyscrapers of Canary Wharf dominate this area, housing many major banks and professional services and offering employment opportunities for those who are skilled in these sectors. Docklands is considered one of London’s most modern and stylish areas, with plenty of global talent attracted to its high quality of city living.
Whitechapel is a vibrant area of London that offers young professionals the opportunity to live close to the city center without spending a fortune. It’s a good choice for professionals hoping to live in an affordable area while still living in near the big city. This area has a blend of historic and modern architecture and is near Shoreditch, another bustling area of London. Whitechapel surrounds Spitalfield’s cobbled market, which is home to plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants, and only a short walk from Liverpool Street.
New Cross is an up and coming area for young professionals that offers a vibrant nightlife scene and is only a short trip from the city center. This area has an edgy, bohemian atmosphere and provides an interesting mix of cafes, bars, and music venues.
Shepherd’s Bush is traditionally a working-class area, and its lower property prices attract a diverse mix of people from all over the world. Westfield, a huge modern shopping center, is located in the area and offers hundreds of shops as well as theaters and rowdy bars. Tube and train stations here provide quick connections to the city center.
Knightsbridge prides itself on exclusivity and is an expensive place to live, particularly if you are looking for spacious accommodations. The area is located on the southern edge of Hyde Park and is a mecca for upmarket shopping, including the world-famous Harrods department store. Although ornate and lavish, Knightsbridge does have side streets away from the main shopping district that offers opportunities for quieter and more sensible living. It is easy to get to and from Knightsbridge by bus, train, or underground services.
Are you ready to make the move to London? As you can see above, there are plenty of great neighborhoods ready for you. Keep your desired social activities and income potential in mind pick your new home.
An Exciting Time
This is an exciting time for you as you embark upon a new stage in your career. The information here was designed to help give you an overview about how to find the right schools for your children as well as what services to consider using to help the entire family settle into their new surroundings. From work to schools and beyond, the city of London remains a cultural epicenter filled with beautiful things and beautiful people. For all those who travel to the city, there is a place to call home.
London is a vast and diverse city with residents from almost every culture imaginable. It is an alluring place to live, especially for young professionals who are seeking a promising and stimulating environment. When moving to London to work, where you choose to live is vitally important for your enjoyment of and productivity in the city.