You’ve spent the last few years of your life studying and working hard towards graduating from your course. Whether you’ve been studying at The University of London or something further afield, London holds many job opportunities and can in fact be the perfect place to live as a postgraduate.
Each and every Londoner will biased to their home neighborhood, but there are a few things to consider when choosing where to live in London. We’ve created this helpful post to help students and young adults understand the different areas of London and what it’s like to live there as a newly graduated student. We’ve taken into consideration nightlife, employment areas and commuter transportation links, safety and more.
Wait! How many districts?
Regardless of what the media portrays, London isn’t just a tourist hotspot full of attractions. It is home to over 8 million dedicated Londoners that live in the bustling city, most commuting into the city centre and others commuting to surrounding cities. With so many people living within 1,572 km² of each other, there has to be organisation and structure to the city.
London is divided into five major areas: North, South, East, West and Central London. Beyond that, there are 33 different districts (called boroughs) in London, each with its own unique character. Some of these boroughs include Croydon, Bormley and Camden.
Each borough offers its own personality and style of living. For example, Hackney is one of the most popular boroughs amongst students moving to the city. Hackney is also known as the ‘hipster’ district with pale ale drinking, beard grooming men strolling through the quicky unearthed bars. Hackney features some amazing markets and even better bars, as well as parks and canals.
Nine Elms is an area within Battersea in South West London in the Borough of Wandsworth. Wandsworth is one of the most beautiful locations in London, right next to Battersea park, Vauxhall park and open to the River Thames. Nine Elms Point offers a range of high-quality homes where residents can enjoy the views.
What else to consider when moving to London
The importance of London transport
How close your chosen property will be to an underground station / rail station or bus stop is important. Ideally, you should have multiple public transport options surrounding your chosen property, whether it be bus, tram, tube, overground or bicycle. After all, part of moving to London is feeling like you’re connected to the city, but if you can’t get to Central London in less than 40 minutes, do you really live in London?
If you’re considering moving to Wandsworth and renting an apartments in Nine Elms Point, you’ll have access to great transport links. This includes Underground and National Rail services from Vauxhall, the Northern Line from Oval and Overground links from Battersea Park.
If you’re looking to move there in 2020, you now have even more reason to, with a new Northern Line extension to Nine Elms currently in development – access all London has to offer right at your doorstep.
Proximity to nearby facilities such as supermarkets, gyms, restaurants and pubs
As a graduate, you’ll likely be living a pretty active social and work life. The more convenience in your area, the better. Look out for off-licences, 24-hour supermarkets, public parks and other landmarks to understand what your life in the area might be like. You’d be surprised at how much your surrounding area affects your ability to treat your new house like a home. I mean, what’s a new place to live without figuring where your nearest local pub is for a post-work pint?
The Nine Elms development is perfectly situated for a myriad of shops, restaurants and bars nearby.
Safety and reputation of the area
This is slightly more difficult to gauge through a Google search. This is probably something you should ask any fellow friends who’ve moved to London before. However, there are plenty of areas previously considered to be unsafe that are currently up and coming. It’s best to keep a good balance between being vigilant and having an open mind.
London zones explained for students
On top of the separate London districts, London’s transport system is divided up into areas called Zones. Understanding the economic divisions between Zones will take a lot of explaining… so briefly: Zone 1 is the most central zone but will generally have the highest rent prices, and as you go further down the list you’ll have lower rent prices but you’ll likely have a longer commute.
There’s one catch though. The further out you live (let’s say Zones 4 onwards), not only will your commute be longer, but it’ll likely be more expensive.
(Top tip: the travel price differences only apply to Tube/Rail services. Zones have been abolished on London buses since 2004! This, plus the introduction of the new Hopper ticket which allows you two bus rides for £1.50 might save you a ton on your commute.)
What you’ll usually think when you think ‘Central London’: That it’s crazy expensive and you probably won’t be able to afford living there. Unfortunately, this is probably the case! Finding a double bedroom under £700 a month before bills is nigh on impossible. Zone 1 is probably a no-go zone if you’re a fresh face to London. Don’t despair though: it’s normal for young professionals to start off in Zones 2-4 and move closer into the center as their career progresses.
Nine Elms Development is located in Zone 1, this is an area also known as ‘Central South’. Central London also holds the majority of job opportunities, with over 2,642 jobs in central alone.
“Spanning the area four times the size of Canary Wharf,the regeneration of Nine Elms is one of the city’s most significant projects and is fast becoming a new hub in a previously forgotten part of London. Nine Elms is set to become one of the best addresses in London.”
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