The rush to live in London, especially by foreigners, is understandable. After all, London is the epicentre of many industries in the UK.
From beautiful boroughs, historic streets, renowned restaurants to the cultural pots of London, it is very easy to fall in love with the city.
But what happens years after the nostalgia passes? Or is it actually better to live outside London?
Reasons To Live in London
Most people who come from abroad to live in the UK have a relative in London. It could be a cousin, uncle, aunty or anyone you know directly from your home country or someone you know through someone.
Living in London has benefits for immigrants because you can get involved in a lot of social activities that relate to your culture because of the cosmopolitan nature of London.
You can also get to meet people from other nationalities and experience a variety of culture.
About one-third of London’s population are foreign-born according to a recent UK census. London is a true cosmopolitan capital with its hundreds of nationalities and languages.
2. Entertainment and Tourism, Entertainment and Events
London with its iconic and historic locations is also a tourism haven. Famous sightseeing locations in London include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge.
London has a lot of history and can be great to live in London where you can have access to world-class museums.
Lovers of sport can also enjoy living in London because London has a lot to offer when it comes to sport. From the London marathon to Wimbledon Open, there are a lot of sports in London.
It is also home to several famous football clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham United and Crystal Palace.
The cool thing about London is that it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, there is always something to do. London brims with activities all day and year.
3. Proximity to Airports for International Travel and Eurostar
One of the biggest advantages of living in London is the ease of travel. London has six airports and the Eurostar International Train Terminal.
The train network in London is probably one of the best in the world. All major railways in the UK run through London with 11 underground lines connecting 270 stations.
The truth is that you can get to almost anywhere in London without leaving the underground. I also like that most of the tube stations are equipped with elevators and escalators.
Travelling abroad can be a bit cheaper and easier if you live in London, proximity to one of the busiest airport in the world can offer cheap flight.
As well, as an immigrant when you have family coming over it can be easier to get them from the airport. Unlike when you live in the countryside far away from the airport.
4. Better paid and career opportunity
It’s not surprising that there are more better-paid jobs in London and multinational companies where you can advance your career. That isn’t actually surprising at all. After all, London is Europe’s financial capital.
Employees in London earn about 25% more than most regions in the UK.
There are a couple of reasons why the wages in London is higher. The first is that living in a cosmopolitan capital is usually more expensive. This is thanks to high accommodation and living costs. Also, industries like tech and finance tend to pay more and there are a plethora of those in London. This automatically has an impact on the average wage.
Reasons Not to Live in London
1. Experiencing Nature
For nature lovers, it is better experienced in small villages and towns outside London. I live in a semi-rural environment and will never swap that for London living. I am too in love with this environment. Within a few minutes, I can run into the woods from my house and experience nature. I live close to the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and we previously lived near the Malvern Hills AONB.
Living outside of London is also healthier. According to recent research two of the most polluted areas in Britain are in central London.
There is no doubt London has a lot of green spaces and parks but most of them are not well maintained. 47% of London is actually green space. The tourist themed parks are actually better maintained. But the truth is that you cannot compare them to the national parks and hiking trails outside of London.
London just feels jampacked due to obvious reasons.
2. Cost of Living
Housing cost takes a high percentage of most peoples income. Housing cost in London is on another level in comparison to other parts of the UK.
London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. And it explains why they earn more.
Over the years, it has actually slipped in the rankings of the most expensive cities in the world but the cost of living is still considerably high. Monthly expenses in London is quite higher than in other cities in the UK.
This is why many people prefer to live outside of London and commute to work every day.
I seriously think London is overcrowded. Every time I visit London. I am always uncomfortable and looking forward to returning home to the amazing Cotswold area.
London’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. Its many tourist attractions make it one of the best destinations to visit. Hence the overcrowding.
4. Crime rate
Because of the overcrowded nature of London, it is no surprise that it has a higher crime rate. Please don’t get me wrong, there is crime in every town or city you go to.
London is a safe city to live in though. It is the 14th safest city in the world according to the Economists Safe Cities Index. However, the crime rate is reasonably lower in smaller towns and villages than in London.
As a parent with two adorable boys, I am uncomfortable raising my kids in London. This is due to a lot of knife crimes that go on in London. Gang among high school kids is more mentioned in London than in other smaller UK cities, towns and villages.
5. Traffic and camera
Driving in London requires a different level of alertness and patience. In most cases, it’s better to use public transport than drive your own car.
The public transport system in London is great so going on them might be less stressful than driving your own car. However, for people who like to drive themselves around, you can run into the trouble of driving in the wrong lane and getting captured by a camera.
It’s not uncommon to receive a letter in the post about a fine for either parking in the wrong place or driving in the wrong lane. Basically, there are cameras all over London monitoring you on the road.
It’s a lot easier to drive outside of London.
To be quite honest, whether you decide to live in or outside of London is entirely up to you. If finance is not an issue and you don’t mind the disadvantages of living in a cosmopolitan capital, then you should go for it.
I personally prefer the calmer life of the semi-rural environment. I guess that is because I am a lover of nature.
Another important thing to consider is savings. If you are keen on saving money, then it is more reasonable to live outside of London. The cost of living and accommodation cost there is relatively cheaper. You’ll reach your savings goal much quicker.