Expats in London

by | Jan 20, 2018 | ABOUT LIVING IN LONDON, ABOUT YOU

London Expats

When we think of London, we likely think of a lot of things. This lovely city’s historical aspect and its importance to European grandeur is there. There is a sense of pride like no other city in the EU. And then there is the sheer size. Sporting a nickname like the Big Smoke hardly does London justice. It is a massive city of steel, glass, and stone, but at the heart of it, she is a city of people. 9 million of them. Contact us to learn more about apartment rental agencies

When most non-Londoners consider that number, they obviously think ‘big city’, but what they likely fail to understand is that of those 9 million people living in London, only 5 million of them were actually born in the UK. That’s right. Do the math. 36.7% of the population is foreign-born.

This shows an incredible level of diversity and makes the label ‘foreigner’ unnecessary. There are still lots of areas in the Big Smoke that are quite British, but there are other areas of this great city where you might need a pinch to remind yourself that you are indeed still in the UK.

So, now that we have all that out of the way, which areas are best for expats and new Londoners? There are no bad places to live in London, but there are better places to live, if you know what I mean.

 

London

While London is quite the unique city in so many ways, there are distinct go-to areas in which newly arrived Londoners seem to flock. In recent decades, those areas are both to the west and south in the city limits. One of the main reasons for this is commuting. Here are a few areas from the West and the South for you to get the hang of what I am saying.

 

South

To be fair, almost everyone has heard of Notting Hill, thanks to more than a few big-screen gems. (Thanks, Hugh and Julia!) It is a wonderful location. It has become one of the most widely sought-after destinations for people from other countries. These people come with their own culture and a head of full dreams. Now, this lovely neighborhood is dotted with dozens of small business, cafes, and retail stores, all brimming with various bits of unique cultures. This area is a burgeoning melting pot of many histories, cultures, and backgrounds. While living here might be steep, the diversity is worth every penny.

Mayfair is another beautiful place to live, with incredible architecture and history. Centrally located, Mayfair offers the convenience of living in the center of the city where there are plenty of retailers and other exclusive establishments catered to every taste imaginable.

Soho is such a unique place. It is said her neon can be seen from the International Space Station. While this is not true, it doesn’t mean she isn’t brimming with all sorts of nightlife. Teeming with neon lights, thumping music, and a pride all her own, expats will not be disappointed coming here once the sun goes down. Now, don’t turn up your nose at the descriptions, after all, this is a central hub for expats. Most of the local businesses were started by Russian, Italian, and French families.

West

And what hidden gems might be awaiting expats in West London? Well, read on to find out.

While the tennis tournament in Wimbledon eclipses most everything about this area, it is more than just a tennis hotspot. It is populated by many expats from South Africa who have brought with them their culture in the form of open-air festivals, jazz music, retail shops, and, of course, restaurants with their culinary flair. It is a relatively inexpensive area to live in, which offers remarkable properties for a reasonable price.

Clapham is another wonderful neighborhood for young professionals and has become a hotspot for sports and concerts. Despite this, the area is considered quiet and peaceful and has a low crime rate. Without question, Clapham is one of the best places for those seeking quiet and relaxing areas in which to live.

 

The Suburbs

While many would argue that not living in London is a mortal sin, the outlying areas of the suburbs offer a great compromise to the hustle and bustle of city life while coupling it with lower prices for living expenses and all the benefits of living close to a bustling metropolis.

I’m sure you’re wondering if I can still work in London and live in the suburbs without spending a third of my life commuting back and forth every day. The short answer is yes. But that is only if you can find the right place.

Looking at Gerrard’s Cross, many balk at how expensive it is. But as with many things, you get what you pay for. A trip to London is under thirty minutes by train and an hour by car. The exceptional schools are a big draw for many expats, and the array of restaurants is just the cherry on top.

Hassocks is a great example of a quiet village near the Big Smoke. It is a picturesque town that feels like it used on every Christmas Card. In nearby Brighton, there is all the entertainment and noise, but in Hassocks, it is quiet and serene. The commute is generally more than an hour, but it can be well worth it when weighed against all the positives.

Sevenoaks in Kent is the same distance from London as Hassocks if you travel by car, but by taking the train, expats can get there in under thirty minutes. The rolling countryside is alluring, but the Sevenoaks School draws expats to this lovely locale.

While these are merely a few examples of excellent places to live as an expat, there are dozens more. Each offers a unique flavor of London’s great, diverse culture. Why wait? Come and take a look, why don’t you?

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