It would take a thousand hours to give you a full run down on everything you can expect when relocating to London, but I’m going to try to do it in under 1000 words! It’s one of the biggest issues facing many of our clients relocating to London: “We don’t know London!” Part of our all-inclusive relocation service is in fact, a full education on what you can expect, what you need to know and a checklist of what you need to prepare before making the leap to London.
If I was relocating to London, I’d want all the information that I could get my hands on in the shortest time possible. Moving into a London apartment is only one part of the big move and once you’re settled you will want to go out and experience everything that this city has to offer. This guide will inspire you to get out of your new London flat and make the most of the Christmas season in this exciting and cosmopolitan city.
London is one of the prime tourist destinations in the world for good reason. There is a wealth of both culture and shopping to suit all kinds of visitors, and this will give you an idea of what is available in London, whatever your interests may be.
London is full of museums of all types, from small ones dedicated to famous writers like Charles Dickens to the huge museums like The British Museum (art and artefacts from around the world). The Victoria and Albert (one of the world’s greatest collections of art and design), The Natural History Museum (from dinosaurs to plants, animals and rocks), The Science Museum, The Museum of London (celebrates the history and culture of London) and the Imperial War Museum. All of these museums are free to visit, although some individual exhibitions may carry an entry fee. They are all well worth a visit, and a great place to go if you want to get out of the rain or need to while away a few hours. London is also home to a wide variety of art galleries, including the Royal Academy of Arts, the National Portrait Museum and Tate Britain.
Visitors to London want to know more about its rich history, and about the British Royal family, and there are many attractions that relate to this. The Tower of London, the Crown Jewels, Tower Bridge, the London Dungeons, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are all very popular destinations for tourists. These attractions all carry an admission charge, and if you are planning to stay in London for any length of time, it is worth paying for a London Pass, which allows you entry to a massive range of London’s attractions. You can also twin it with a pass for the London Underground train service.
Londoners do not worry about the weather, so you should just wrap up warm and get out there to enjoy all of the sights that moving to London has to offer you.
Getting out and about is one of the first things you’ll want to do after getting settled into your new London rental apartment. Moving to London should be one of the most exciting times of your life and if you are prepared to let this city work her charms on you then you might end up staying forever. Part of getting out and about is to master the transport system as fast as possible so you don’t end up paying the earth in taxi fares.
Most Londoners use theUnderground train service or “Tube” to get around from place to place, although there is also a wide ranging bus network, and of course the ubiquitous black cabs which feature in just about every film set in London! Visitors to London should bear in mind that the tube maps that you see are schematic and do not represent distances in scale. Sometimes it really is quicker to walk! Drivers should know that parking is very hard in London and that a congestion fee is payable in Central London.
For those visitors who wish to immerse themselves in culture, London offers a huge number of experiences. There are hundreds of theatres in the West End featuring sell out shows and musicals, from Les Miserables to the Mousetrap and Shakespeare at the Globe theatre. Visitors should take note that some shows sell out many weeks in advance, and if they are determined to see a particular show, they should prebook it. Aside from the theatre, there are often premieres of new films in Leicester Square, where there are many cinemas, including the Odeon and the Empire. If you prefer your entertainment a little more highbrow, then you may wish to watch the London Ballet, or one of the many classical music venues around the capital, or attend the Royal Opera House. Alternatively, your visit may coincide with big names from the world of rock and pop that may be playing at Wembley Arena, or one of the many smaller venues around London.
Sporting fans will recognise that London is the home of several Premiership football (soccer) clubs, and if you go during the football season, you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of a match at venues such as Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea play. If you want to try a quintessentially English sport, then try to attend a cricket match at Lords cricket ground. Tennis aficionados may like to visit Wimbledon, or even queue for public tickets during June to watch the stars of the tennis circuit.
London is full of interesting architecture and historic buildings, which you can view on a stroll around the centre of London. If you would like to get a better picture of London, then the London Eye, which is a slow moving, giant observatory wheel, is a great way to see the capital. Other architectural gems include the ‘Gherkin’ building, St Paul’s Cathedral (designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built in 1697 after the Great Fire of London) and Westminster Abbey. However, you may prefer to wander around Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus, soaking up the atmosphere or visit a traditional pub (bar), teashop or restaurant after a day’s shopping in Oxford Street or Covent Garden.
This short overview barely covers the wealth of cultural attractions, shopping venues and interesting places you can discover after relocating to London, but will give you the inspiration to get out there to truly experience the splendour and pomp of your new home town.
If you’d like any advice at all on London, moving to London or finding an apartment, please get in touch! Even if you don’t make use of our relocation and flat-finding service, we’d be delighted to give you some advice and point you in the right direction.
We are open over the festive season and will get back to you within 10 minutes to help you get started on your relocation to London.