Moving to London

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Friday 17 June 2005 5.03am

I have been considering moving to London, after the school year.
I'm wanting to learn as much as possible about the areas in London.
I'm currently living in Texas, yes, it's a world away. Which is partly why I am wanting to make such a dramatic change.

For starters:

What are some of the best places for someone in their 20's to live?
I'm hoping to find something quaint, safe, scenic, with much to do and to walk to like parks or museums. Not real big on bars, but I do go occassionally, so living next door to one wouldn't be my preference. I'm also wanting to finish my schooling there. So near a university would be ideal.

Also if anyone knows places in which NOT to live in London, I'd appreciate that as well.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17 June 2005 5.05am by Lady Kos.
Friday 17 June 2005 2.32pm
Hello to Texas

I'm assuming you're American and don't know London much, but if not forgive me if I'm stating the obvious!

London is big and very varied, there are no major no-go crime ridden areas and in most places you can go 2 streets away and find it completely different.

It's hard to suggest areas, it depends a lot on your budget and how close to the centre you want to be. You say you're looking for "quaint, safe, scenic, with much to do and to walk to like parks or museums". Of course so are a lot of people, you could move to Primrose hill if you have a movie star budget, Clapham has a nice park and is cheaper but isn't what I'd call quaint, you'd have to get the tube to any museums for both. South Kensington could be ideal, it's near to several major museums and one of the biggest parks, it also has the main campus of imperial College, which is an excellent university, but I don't think it does any arts subjects if that's what you are intested in and it is also VERY expensive.

My advice would be to narrow the search and sort out your university, see which train or tube lines it is close to and then follow the lines out on a map untill you find areas in your price range, there are plenty of websites that advertise property, try to get an idea, it' also has some information on the different areas. As a general rule the nearer you are to the center the more expensive it gets and the North and West have traditionaly been more expensive and posher than the south and East, though this isn't always true anymore.

Of course this is a website for SE1 so I have to say I've lived in several parts of London but SE1 is the best, there are parks, museums, plenty of 20-somethings, universities, though I wouldn't call any of it quaint!

PS. you may know this but the post codes (zip codes) for London indicate the area, ie. SE1 is south east one, WC2 is West Central 2 and generaly lower numbers are more central.
Friday 17 June 2005 3.26pm
And you might want to do something like get a big map of London or an A-to-Z (indexed street map). Even after living here for a good few years, I consult the one on our kitchen wall several times a week. We're not a city that's organised in a grid, so it can be tricky to work out what's where (if you are me!)

If you can't get them in the US, try Stanfords (a great map shop, on Long Acre - Central London, I'm sure they have a web site).

You could then get a big map, pop it on the wall, and put pins in for all the things you want to do/places want to be. If you then print off a Tube map (what we call our underground. google TfL - transport for london - and you'll get all those details), and follow the railway lines on your big map, and you'll have an idea of where's good to live form a transport point of view.

Good luck.

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 17 June 2005 4.56pm
Kirsty and Ivanhoe have both given good advice. I just wanted to expand on the postcode information, though, as I'd hate anyone to buy in SE2 thinking it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from central London...

London has eight postal areas: E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W and WC. Confusingly, the postal areas S and NE aren't in London (though they used to be until the 1860s). The postal areas EC and WC are the most central, followed by those with a "1" after the postal area (E1, SE1, SW1, W1, N1 and NW1), but after that the postal districts are numbered alphabetically by the name of the district. For example,

SE2 = Abbey Wood, SE3 = Blackheath, SE4 = Brockley, SE5 = Camberwell,
E2 = Bethnal Green, E3 = Bow, E4 = Chingford,
W2 = Bayswater, W3 = Acton, W4 = Chiswick, W5 = Ealing, W6 = Hammersmith,


Sometimes this means that consecutive postal districts adjoin each other, e.g. W2 (Bayswater) is next to W1, and E2 (Bethnal Green) is next to E1, but sometimes they don't, e.g. SE2 (Abbey Wood) isn't next to SE1, and NW2 (Cricklewood) isn't next to N1; both SE2 and NW2 are quite far from central London.

The SE postcodes are a bit more complicated as the SE area was expanded to include SE19 (I think) to SE28 some time ago, so all of these postcodes are further out than SE1 - SE18. (This might be the case in other areas of outer London as well, I'm not sure.) has summaries of each area that could be quite useful.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17 June 2005 5.02pm by The Lady Miss Jo Jo.
Saturday 18 June 2005 12.23am
Thanks for that info, TLMJJ - so that's why you have SE17 near to SE1..

I live in Dublin, Ireland, Karleen, - hence my ignorance on the subject.

Good luck with your move. I love visiting London - I hope you have a wonderful time there.
Saturday 18 June 2005 12.48am
Hmmmm.... looking at what I typed, it's clear that Bayswater doesn't come before Acton alphabetically..... W's a funny old postcode.
Saturday 18 June 2005 3.08pm
Lady Kos Wrote:
. I'm also wanting to finish my
> schooling there. So near a university would be
> ideal.
> Also if anyone knows places in which NOT to live
> in London, I'd appreciate that as well.
> Thanks,
> Karleen
> Last edit at Fri 17 Jun 05 at 05.05AM by Lady Kos.

Saturday 18 June 2005 3.15pm
As someone mentioned FindaProperty has good descriptions, which form part of the detail in the excellent neighbourhood guide titled " The New London Property Guide" by Author Carrie Seagrave (check ISBN 1-84533-072-2

Also the Univ of London has an exellent online guide, which features ongoing comments and reviews by their students. If you are looking to move here as a student, those student comments would be invaluable, I'd think.

As a personal opinion, I'd think that SE1 offers central location and things to do at a great price. Shoreditch, Hackney are also interesting too. More raw, but defintiely they kind of place you can appreciate more in your student years - and a lot going on there off the beaten path. Hoxton gets the press, but its kinda like the East Village in NYC, which has long since lost much of what it had to commerical interests and is veering towards amusement park status at this point.

Lady Kos Wrote:
. I'm also wanting to finish my
> schooling there. So near a university would be
> ideal.
> Also if anyone knows places in which NOT to live
> in London, I'd appreciate that as well.

Monday 20 June 2005 7.13am
Of course the first thing to do is to settle on your school. ANd then work outwards! What do you want to study? Have you applied anywhere. As you can see, the SE1 area is FRIENDLY...where else will you get all this spontaneous outpouring..and truly, although I am not one of them, there is a terrific crowd of friendly and interesting young people. The Universities in our area are the South Bank University (which is very weighted towards the technical) and Kings College London which has premises in the Strand area and a huge medical complex in Camberwell. Both easy from here. University College London and all the various attachments are in Bloomsbury. That is also an easy tube ride from here, you would probably find Bloomsbury itself jolly expensive. But it is also near to some of the North London places like Paddington, Kentish Town, Highbury and Islington, where there are very mixed populations, some millionaires and!
Monday 20 June 2005 4.16pm
I would also have a look at the following website: where they give useful information on what you have to do in order to either work or study in the United Kingdom.

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