(Closed) Moving to London! Excited… but help!

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1643 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Heey! Im from the UK, and although ive not heard of bloomsbury, im presuming youre going to be in central London. I advise you HIGHLY from experience to visit oxford, Cambridge, north Wales, the new forest and somewhere along the south west coast ; cornwall / devon way for some beautiful views. Also a trip to France via eurostar is a must for you as youre so close – I think its now something stupid like 90 minutes London – Paris! Its expensive, but worth it. Or theres always the ferry at dover to calais to cut costs. I hear Scotland and s.Ireland are also gorgeous. The wonderful thing about the UK is that pretty much anything is driveable in a day. Sure it may take you all day, but its do able. …. Also if youre a trip planner travelodge will be invaluable! Cheap but clean, presentable hotels rooms! Enjoy

Post # 4
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m not from the UK, but I travel to London for research, and Bloomsbury is my favorite district in London. It’s very charming, with wonderful squares and key gardens, and has The British Museum, The British Library, U of London, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, etc. Lots of wonderful B&Bs in the old townhouses (including my favorite hotel in London). An easy walk to Shaftsbury Ave and the theatre district. It has a wonderful literary history (esp. The Bloomsbury Group:http://therem.net/bloom.htm)

I am crazy jealous right now. I’ve always said if I could ever move to London, I’d live in Bloomsbury. Best wishes on your wonderful new adventure! 

Post # 7
16 posts
  • Wedding: April 2012

This is so exciting!  London is an amazing city!  I’m Canadian and lived in London for 5 years as an expat from the time i was 23.  Our group of friends was nicknamed the Canadian Crew as there were so many of us so rest assured you’re likely to meet lots of Canadians…and people from all over the world.

Will your husband’s company be providing accommodation for you?  If not, Bloomsbury is a lovely area and very central, but if you’re looking for something a little more economical there are lots of other great areas close by that are a little cheaper.

As for teaching, try and sign up with a company that will help you find a job sooner than later.  I knew several Canadian teachers in London and there was this idea that getting a job would be easy but that wasn’t always the case…one of my friends commuted to Reading (over an hour away) her first year in London because she couldn’t find anything closer.  This isn’t meant to discourage you as I’m sure you’ll find something, just make sure to start looking sooner than later.

If you’re interested in meeting new people, there are a ton of expat groups to join; Canada House often has events (check out their website) and most universities have alumni groups in Ottawa.  I went to Queen’s and there are regular events held in London where I met lots of people.

When i lived there we travelled pretty around Europe pretty much every few months.  Keep an eye on Easyjet and Ryannair for cheap flight deals, though bear in mind that Ryannair has lots of hidden feese so a cheap air fare may end up costing you a lot more in the end once all fees have been added. Also sign up for Eurostar deals as you can sometimes get great deals to Paris, Bruges and Belgium.

Above all else, enjoy your time there!  London is such a great city and there’s so much to do and see.  I still go back at least once a year and it’s definitely my home away from home!

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Post # 8
2693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

@Catherine:  I spent a month in London last year for a study abroad program, and it was great.  It did not take me a long time at all to feel comfortable navigating the tube, so that’s not something to worry about.  The bus system, however, was much more difficult.  My experience was a bit different since I was there for school purposes, but I highly recommend that you soak in as much as you can, as soon as you can.  Museums are free (I know, right??) and Kew Gardens is a must, as is the Kew/Richmond area surrouding it.  It’s considered ‘greater london’ so you can get there by tube, but is so quaint.  Bath is an a-maz-ing day trip….so gorgeous and the Roman baths are awesome.  Cambridge was also one of my favorite day trips as well…there is so damn much history there it will make your head spin!

As for the city itself, I noticed it always felt way more crowded to me than Paris or NYC, but I always felt really at ease and safe, which I didn’t always feel in Paris! Make sure you pick up a a Time Out London and take advantage of the amazing theater there…even if you’re not into that sort of thing, there is SO MUCH going on at any given time, it’s all part of the experience.

Post # 10
6248 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

How exciting!

I know there is a Bee on here that moved from the US to London not too long ago.  Her username is KatNYC2011.

Post # 12
224 posts
Helper bee

You’re moving to Bloomsbury?? Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!

If I were to move to London, it would definintely be central! Good call.

Job wise – I’d recommend getting in touch with some Recruitment Firms in the London area that specialise in education. I’m almost certain Hays have an education secor (in fact, they def do – I’m just not sure if in London) but it’s always a good starting point to get on the books.

Get an Oyster card! It’s the cheapest way to get around the city on the Underground.

You’ll do lots of the touristy things when you arrive, but soon enough you’ll get used to living there and start wandering the streets thinking to yourself ‘omg i can’t believe i actually live here!’

Do you like Japanese food? There’s an amazing little chain called Wasabi that’s dotted all around London which I just love. Check out Boris Bikes – a great way to get from A-B in a hurry! Lastminute.com is a website for quick holidays, and sometimes there a great deals on theatre shows.

Brighton (which is where I live) is 1 hour south of London on the train and is a seaside resort. So many people come here when the weather is nice – and with good reason, too! It’s a beautiful town. I highly recommend it!

As said before, Easyjet is the best low cost airline. Gatwick Airport is really easy to get to, as is Heathrow. Train time and tickets! http://www.nationalrail.co.uk is really good and you can download an app for £5 I think.

I travel back up to the north to see my family so get a Megabus because of how cheap it is. Really good value at £10 (as opposed to £70 on the train!!) but it takes twice as long.

Do you like cruises? If you want to hit a lot of Europe in one go there are some which stop at lots of places!

In the UK I’d definitely recommend going to the Cotswolds, The Lake District, and Edinburgh. Beautiful places. In the Lakes I can guarantee you won’t find a single red brick anywhere. It’s all stone.

Coffee! Are you a coffee fan? Monmouth coffee on the South Bank is amaaaaaazing. Google it. Yum.

Aaaaaah there’s so much more I could tell you!!!! What kind of shops do you like? What’s your personalilty? I’ll try and think of things you’d like.


Post # 14
2107 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

While I didn’t live/work in London (I was further north in Huddersfield), I did teach in England for a short while my first year of teaching.  I started with an agency called Timeplan, I think there’s another one called Protocol.  Definitely get in touch with them before you leave.  Good luck – it’s an amazing country to live in!

Post # 15
224 posts
Helper bee

For every nice area in London, there is a bad one. And the rough parts can be really rough.

However – my friend works for a ‘rough school’ and she says its okay. Possibly better than dealing with the snobs???

South Bank is just south of the river. You’ll soon get used to the different areas, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you get to know the underground. I pass through London every couple of months and I fly through there now!

The London Eye is amazing. Madame Tussauds Waxwork Museum is really fun. The Tate galleries are really good – as is the Sea Life Centre or whatever it’s called! Don’t really think there are any touristy things to not do. It’s good doing them all if you can! And go to Buckingham Palace! It’s open in the summer. We went in September last year and it was fantastic. So beautiful. And hopefully this year there will be something Diamond Jubilee related!

Yo! Sushi is another great Japanese place. As is Inamo – interactive tables. Absolutely incredible.

The main phone networks in the UK are O2, Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile. Stay away from ‘3’ as it’s just awful. You can go to some shops that sell all networks (Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse) but I’d recommend just going to the Network stores themselves. Personally, I prefer O2 and Orange. You get some treats with them (Orange IMO is better than O2) like 2for1 cinema on a Wednesday (Orange Wednesday) and other bits. Do you have an iPhone? Apparently Tesco Mobile does the best tarrif for iPhones when the phone isn’t included in the contract. I’m on O2 and pay £46 a month for the iPhone 4S.

Do you want cable? Here SkyPlus, Virgin on Demand and Tivo(Virgin Media) are probably the best. I’d love to have Tivo but we have Virgin On Demand which means we get to record and view catch-up on our TV. It’s pretty good.

So excited for you!!

Post # 16
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Be sure to check out the borough market! It’s this wonderful food market–perfect for going and shopping and grabbing some lunch for a picnic. There’s also a fabulous pub not too far from here that I wish I could remember the name of–it’s right on the Thames and has a great view of St. Pauls. I am insanely jealous of you right now–it’s kind of my life goal to move to London at some point in time. Good luck finding a teaching position!

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