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A popular and desirable area to live in, there is an immensely rich and varied range of activities to partake in when your home is in the city. A diverse, largely populated city there are multiple forms of transport to take you to and from work, as well as to visit the most popular attractions, such as Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye.
Large and enticing, London is vast in size and there is always excitement in the air. Although more expensive than the rest of the United Kingdom to live it is compensated for in pay and the experiences you’ll gain here. The choice of where to rent a property is extensive, with varied architecture and an array of communities.
London’s history spans more than two millennia, it is the epicentre of Great Britain’s economy, with the Law, IT, Business, Finance, as well as many creative industries, a large Media presence and Arts Scene booming here; it is the perfect place to reside to develop ones career.
The options for schooling are endless, with state schools, academies and private schools in London’s many boroughs. There is an extensive expat population in this dynamic, lively city, which creates an energy that is hard to replicate anywhere else in the world.
With something to fill every waking hour it is easy to understand why many come to live in the myriad of properties available in London, from flats, houses, maisonettes, terraces, semi-detached Victorian house to villas. It is possible to rent anything from a one-bedroom flat to shared properties with five-bedrooms plus in London. With rental prices here varying from an average of £325 per week in 2015, and in excess of £2,500 per week for luxury rentals in some of the city’s most highly coveted locations; it can suit a variety of peoples needs and budgets.
London spans over 600 square miles in size, with a population of over 8.5 million living here. The capital of the United Kingdom, it is at the heart of life in Great Britain. Since the middle of the 20th C London has been home to a hugely, diverse and multicultural population, and London is currently more densely populated than any city in Europe.
It boasts picturesque green spaces such as Richmond Park and Hyde Park and is home to the some of the Royal family, as well as the spectacular Buckingham Palace. With many well known tourist destinations such as Soho, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Westminster and Notting Hill on ones doorstep.
A charming city, which is steeped in tradition and history, images of double decker red buses, afternoon teas, iconic black cabs and impressive buildings are conjured up in ones imagination when one thinks of London. This Metropolis city with thirty-two boroughs cannot be rivalled for its character and heritage.
Perhaps it is the vibrancy of the city that draws people here, the true diversity that embraces worldwide cultures and makes them her own; from the eclectic curious Camden Market; the trendy Portobello Road where you can admire the antiques on offer; to the breath-taking Royal Albert Hall to enjoy a performance; The O2 Arena to watch a concert; indulging in strawberries and champagne whilst watching the Wimbledon Tennis Championships; a pre-evening drink before a show on The West End; the throng of the crowds who spectate and cheer on the runners partaking in the London Marathon every year, or simply the pure celebration and fun of Notting Hill Carnival, there is a life to the capital, an unrivalled spirit, that is powerful in its presence, it is the city that has it all.
When you live in London there are many means to transport yourself from your home to the rest of the capital, whether you want to explore on foot at a leisurely pace or you need to get across the city quickly due to your career demands, there are plenty of options when it comes to travelling around. London is divided into nine travel zones, which include central London and the outskirts.
River Bus Services
River bus services frequently take passengers down the River Thames, they offer a fast service and allow you to enjoy the views of the landmarks on the River’s edge. There are five different routes available on the river bus service operated by the MBNA Thames Clipper, with destinations between Royal Woolwich Arsenal and Putney. They are frequent, fast and favoured by both those who permanently reside in London or are just visiting.
A free and healthy alternative way to get around the city, London is a very walking friendly place. Walking is a good way to explore the capital’s sites, and many famous landmarks and buildings are only minutes away from each other on foot.
London is home to the Mayor’s, Boris Johnson’s, Public Cycle Hire scheme, the bikes on the scheme are available to rent 365 days of the year all day and all night, you even get the first half an hour rental free, it costs just £2 to rent the bikes for 24 hours and any additional thirty minutes are charged at £2 thereafter.
There are over 10,000 bikes on the scheme, and with one in four road users now thought to be cyclists during rush hour; it has proved to be a very popular initiative. It is possible to pick up and drop off the bikes from all of the docking stations.
The Overground train service in London services the city and reaches further afield than the underground tube networks. London Overground is managed by Transport for London (TfL) and serviced by the following operators: Silverlink, SouthEastern Railway, Southern Railway, London Overground and Greater Anglia.
The Overground has six routes these are Highbury and Islington to West Croydon/Clapham Junction, Watford Junction to Euston, Gospel Oak to Barking, Richmond/Clapham Junction to Stratford. There are two new additional routes, which are Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford; this route runs through Seven Sisters, the last route is Romford to Upminster.
The first underground train in London dates back to 1863, in total there are eleven underground lines, which are colour coded, these are: the Bakerloo line, Central line, Circle line, District line, Hammersmith and City line, Jubilee line, Metropolitan line, Northern line, Piccadilly line, Victoria line and Waterloo and City line.
The tube is a great mode of travel and ideal when commuting to work, most of the tube services run between 5am and 12pm, however there is disruption and fewer services available on a Sunday. To travel on the tube during peak hours it is slightly more expensive, much like all the transportation modes in the city, peak periods are between 06:30-09:30 am and 16:00-19:00 during the weekdays. There is a 24-hour tube service scheduled to start later in 2015 on some of the Underground lines.
The iconic red double decker bus is synonymous with the imagery of traditional London; it is also an extremely affordable and convenient means of travelling around the city. There are also a number of night buses that operate throughout the city, and they provide transport for London’s population when the tube is not in operation. With over 8,500 buses travelling the roads of the capital, it is easy to hop on and off the services.
London’s black cabs are known the world over, it is possible to hail one of these taxis on the side of the road or to get one from a designated taxi rank; these ranks are located throughout the city, often outside other transport stations, linking the journey off a train or tube to your final destination. When the sign on a black taxi is illuminated, it means it is possible to hire. Taxis are metered and there is an automatic small initial charge on all journeys.
Emirates Air Line is the perfect way to enjoy the views of London, if you are travelling between the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula, it is an alternative mode of transportation, only taking a mere six minutes and arriving every 30 seconds, it is an useful link for this area of the city.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
Serving South East and East London, a driverless service, the DLR connects with the Emirates Cable Car and also many tube services. The same cost as the tube, there are six routes you can currently take on the DLR, these are Stratford to the north, Woolwich going via London City Airport in the east, Beckon via the Royal Docks, Lewisham via Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, and The City terminating at Tower Gateway and Bank, the newest route is Stratford to Canning Town.
Trams are available in South London between the areas of Beckenham, Croydon, Wimbledon and New Addington. Tramlink, the network that operates the trams, came into force in 2000, and offers a popular, frequent and easily accessible mode of transport in this area of the capital. Fares are charged at the same rate as bus fares in the city.
A mobile phone app Uber allows you to connect to taxis drivers at a touch of a button, payment is then taken through the app so it is quick and convenient to use. Rates of Uber Taxis are often lower than that of the traditional London black cab, although there is also the added option of hiring premium vehicles to ride in across the city.
Paying for Transport in London
The most recommended, convenient and cheapest mode of paying for the majority of travel in London is by purchasing an Oyster Card, it is possible to buy an Oyster Card online, Oyster Cards are considerably cheaper than paying by cash or card for the tube and train. Taxis are paid for by means of cash, but many now have portable debit and credit card facilities on board.
Popular London Locations
London has an array of popular locations to live, the diversity of the city means there is somewhere to settle to suit everyone’s needs, whether you are looking to let a flat or rent a large family home, the following areas are all worthy of consideration.
North London is home to some of the capital’s most desirable areas, such as Primrose Hill, Islington, Highbury, Marylebone and Camden, although they may prove fairly expensive in comparison to other areas of the city.
South London is perfect for those with families; there are some highly coveted rental areas situated here, including Wimbledon, Clapham and Wandsworth. The Borough of Wandsworth benefits from some of the lowest council tax bands in Britain.
East London is trendy, those who search for properties here tend to be a younger, cooler clientele; East London is home to Dalston, Hackney, Wapping and Shoreditch.
West London offers the typical image of the city, home to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, some of the most expensive housing is found on the streets of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. A more affordable option for rentals in West and Central London is Shepherds Bush, Earls Court and Fulham. Fulham attracts a young professional crowd.
Northwest London is home to Notting Hill, Camden and Ladbroke Grove, whereas to the Southeast you’ll find more affordable lettings available in Greenwich, the Docklands and Canary Wharf.
Those looking for a home to rent where green space is an abundance should head to Southwest London, home to the spectacular botanical gardens of Kew and grand Richmond Park, it is ideal for families looking for nice sized homes.
The most affordable lettings in the City are to be found in South London, the outskirts of North London and pockets of East London.
Zones 2 and 3 see the largest amount of lettings, the rental market here is abundant, particularly around the West End and the City, which is home to where the majority of jobs are in the capital, making it a popular choice for those who are looking for a close commute.