Where to live?

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Monday 2 January 2012 4.33am
Hi all,

We are moving to London in May and have spent HOURS searching the web for information about different areas/neighborhoods. Many people have mentioned SE1 as being a nice area (nice = safe) to live. Are all parts of SE1 considered safe areas or are there areas to be avoided? I would appreciate any input you have. Friends also recommended Maida Vale. Discuss. Both of us working within walking distance of the Bank Street Tube station.

Monday 2 January 2012 7.30am
Hi, MegB. Happy New Year! Welcome to the area, almost :p I've lived between Long Lane and Bermondsey Street for 7 years, following 16 years in Rotherhithe, SE16. I find the area to be, on the whole, very safe - there will always be an element of 'thuggery' in any large City, but I have not had a personal experience.

Location-wise it is perfect for both the City and West End. I can be in Green Park [Piccadilly] in 20 minutes, by tube. If I'm going to the Theatre, I usually take a bus [1 or 188] which takes 20 minutes, dropping me just over Waterloo Bridge. For your work, it couldn't be better!

30 years ago, I lived in Maida Vale and have many happy memories...though not of commuting.

I love this area and there really is a sense of Community; there are green spaces, restaurants, pubs, children's play areas, an independent cinema in Bermondsey Square - an eclectic collection of people of all ages, wit and wisdoms and nationality.

Maybe see you in the Square! :-)
Monday 2 January 2012 6.10pm
Hi Meg,

I have lived in SE1 for 18 years, although my family's connection goes back to the 1840s, and I wouldn't live anywhere else! You've got good transport links to the West End and the City and out to docklands, nice parks, restaurants etc, and a broad range of people of different cultures, classes etc.

I don't really know Maida Vale at all (well, it's over the river!).
Monday 2 January 2012 11.43pm
Hi Megb,

I agree with Auntie Pat and Philpotts24. I moved to SE1 feeling a bit worried about safety. Really glad I came here and have practically never felt anything other than safe, day or night. And I've found the transport links to be brilliant. I'm middle-aged and female, by the way.

Hope you find the area you want. If you choose SE1 I'm sure you won't regret it.
Tuesday 3 January 2012 1.49am
Thank you all so much! I plan on doing a little house-hunting in a month or two and will absolutely stop by for a look-see (and a pint). We really are searching for place with a sense of community and don't want to just settle in with the other large clusters of American expats, God love them. I can do that over here :) We'll be coming with one uni student. Our other children will be in grad school in other parts of the UK, but they plan on coming home for free food and an occasional weekend. Are links to the airport nearby? I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I plan on street-viewing (if that's a word) the are tonight.

Best Wishes for the New Year.
Tuesday 3 January 2012 10.48am
Maida Vale is beautiful and expensive. It has that 'London look' of Four Weddings and a Funeral, which is why lots of American ex-pats settle there! SE1 is a much more mixed community and it's a lot more urban than that part of West London. I've lived in Borough, and now Bermondsey, for 10 years and we love it. We have a small house and two kids and it's great/ I walk or cycle to work (you can walk to Bank Station in 30 mins from where I live, less from other parts of SE1). Eating out and places for the arts make SE1 a fantastic place - we have new restaurants opening every week, lots of places for kids and familes plus the best arts centres (South Bank, Barbican) in easy reach, plus of course the Tate Modern. The only issue with SE1 is that there are not a lot of houses, as it's mostly flats. If you want to PM me I can give you idea of costs, or just look on rightmove for ideas of housing prices. Good luck with your search.
Tuesday 3 January 2012 11.10am
Perhaps you could see if any of these townhomes are available: http://www.trinityvillage.co.uk/thevillage.php

Lovely Georgian square just a few minutes from Borough Tube.
Thursday 5 January 2012 3.21am
This is wonderful information. I've spent the last two day stalking the web for lettings (and thank you james127 for the link) and information. The idea of a mixed community with an urban vibe has great appeal and the history of the area is really fascinating. We plan on looking for a 2 bedroom flat because I'm not bringing anything with me but suitcases and some favorite pots and pans. Is it customary for most lettings to be furnished? Are most lettings posted 30 days in advance?

Thanks again
Thursday 5 January 2012 5.11am
Hi, Meg - isn't it great how we all rally round! :-)

It's not customary, as such, but a good percentage of lettings are indeed furnished.

Generally speaking, they are advertised well in advance, for obvious reasons - but sometimes there are last minute bargains.

With this in mind, you may be interested in:


which is an Apart-Hotel company. We have 3 in the immediate area of Bermondsey Street, indeed one is within my development. They do good deals and it may be a solution for you to actually be here and personally view any prospective London home.

Just a thought.

When you do come, we should welcome you with a drink and put faces to names - as well as introducing you to our American friends, complete with babies :-)
Thursday 5 January 2012 5.30pm
Ohhhh. Well, if there are babies and drinks involved....certainly. :) I should let you all know that your neighborhood achieved semi-celebrity status. I better hurry...



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