I moved to London in March 2012, with much reservation to if I would like it, I am not a city girl and this is the biggest city in the Uk. Despite my reservations so far I haven’t hated it, here’s why (minus the Olympics)…
- They have great public transport I grew up in the New Forest in Hampshire; my nearest bus stop was a half hour walk away. Here I have 3 bus stops and a national rail service on my doorstep and 3 tube stations within 30 minutes’ walk. These services get you where you need to be easily, and with my oyster card I don’t pay a fortune either! The services are crowded and no one has manners on the tube but I’ve come to expect that in London. It’s the sheer amount of buses & trains that is a revelation to me and something I love about London.
- The amount of ‘free stuff’ to do in London is great, the majority of art galleries and museums are free, some offer extra pay exhibitions but you get to see a lot without paying. They are easily accessible on public transport and many are close together. To name a few; National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, Science Museum, V & A Museum… The list goes on and on, there is something for all ages and interests. That’s the great thing about living in such a big city.
- Parks – There are literally hundreds of parks in London, in a mile or so of my house there are 5 plus. Then you have the famous Hyde Park, St James Park, Green Park and Regents Park all very central and touristy. As I write this I am sat in Paddington Rec another park in the Westminster area, here they use it for school games lessons, there’s a play park for all ages, a nature walk, tennis courts and gardens. The parks in London are not just a plain boring park they are places you want to go, Regents Park on a weekday evening is such a fun packed place to be.
- Shopping – I don’t just mean the everyday big retail chain shops; I know London is famous for Selfridges, the biggest Top Shop and other brands. With 2 Westfield shopping centres and Oxford Street there is plenty of choice. But the kind of shopping I mean is Portobello market, Borough market, Camden Market and the non-branded shops that you find tucked down little streets. London is full of them, in my little part of London alone I can think up plenty that I enjoy a visit to.
- River walks, London is very famous for the River Thames and throughout central London you can walk alongside the river, I have done this several times my favourite place being from St Pauls to Southbank there are some great places to stop along this route from the Tate Modern, to food options, to the Southbank skate park and if you carry on the London Eye. You can also walk along many of the canals that frequent London. This is a nice cheap way to spend part of a day in London.
- And finally a personal part of why I love living in London is the fantastic photo opportunities I get, you have all the iconic places that are great for experimenting how you can get new and different angles to the ones you see on postcards. But you have all those amazing tucked away places, the millions of tourist and people you encounter every day, the night sky, the city sunrises and sunsets. There are so many amazing shots to be had you just have to get out and take them.
So far my experience of living in London has worked out well, I have found plenty of things to do, while my other half works hard at the Olympics. The down side to being a Nanny in such a large city is its very hard to have a social life, so I’m trying to make the most of this city with that downside besides my friends visit me every now and then as London has such good transport links!