#CommutingSucks – 10 great reasons to live in London
Whether you consider them valid industrial disputes or despicable liberties, the recent tube strikes have probably led many of those whose lives rely on London’s public transport system to ask – “what if I could eliminate my daily commute altogether?”
The Whathouse.com team has come up with ten compelling reasons to up sticks and come and buy a new home in London...
London has the fifth-largest city economy in the world, and generates around 22% of the entire GDP of the UK. It’s home to countless British and international businesses across the whole economic spectrum, from banking to biotechnology to brewing. The City of London alone (the ‘Square Mile’) employs nearly 400,000 people. While not paved with gold, the streets of London are the place to come if you are looking for work.
Living in the countryside can be lovely, of course, but if you want to get somewhere else, it’s not always very convenient. London benefits from one of the most comprehensive public transport systems in the world (particularly considering its sheer size), with extensive bus, tube and rail networks, thousands of taxis, a growing array of cycle routes and numerous airports. The world wants to come to London, which means Londoners can also easily get to the rest of the world.
3. Shops & markets
What serious retail therapist would ever want to leave London? From global brand names to quirky individual boutiques, London’s shops bring just about everything within reach. Distinctive stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols are a magnet for international shoppers. London’s markets enjoy a fantastic reputation, from foodie heaven Borough Market to the antiques of Portobello and the flowers of Columbia Road.
Despite its constant evolution, London retains an enviable number of historical buildings and every district carries with it a rich and absorbing local heritage stretching back through centuries. Iconic sites such as the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament still inspire awe from the locals as much as the tourists. Blue plaques pepper the city with the presence of great figures from history and when it comes to a military ceremony or Royal wedding, no city does it better than London.
5. Arts & culture
Few cities compare with London for the diversity and quality of culture available, much of it for free. London’s theatres attract the biggest stars to their stages (hello, Messrs Spacey and Cumberbatch), some of civilisation’s greatest creations can be seen in its museums and galleries and the city continues to inspire poets, writers and artists to this day. From street-art to Shostakovich, you can see it all in London.
6. Food & drink
The British are more open than most to new culinary experiences, and we’ve embraced just about every cuisine going. London’s multicultural population means there are many places to head for to enjoy authentic and modern dishes from all over the world. Pop-up cafés, bars and restaurants and three-star Michelin restaurants rub shoulders with historic pubs and cutting-edge cocktail bars in London in a way that 100 provincial market towns combined couldn’t compete with.
London is home to many world-class sporting venues and events. Its Premier League football teams are followed the world over, Twickenham will host the final of the Rugby World Cup this October and the 2012 Olympics provided a raft of brand new facilities including the stadium, VeloPark, Aquatics Centre and the Copper Box. The city really comes alive to perennial events such as the University Boat Race, the Ashes (at the Oval and Lord’s) and of course, the London Marathon.
8. Parks & open spaces
Flying over London reveals just what a green city it is. It has 11 Royal Parks across its boroughs, as well as other huge open spaces such as Hampstead Heath and Kew Gardens (the world’s largest collection of living plants). It also has hundreds of local parks and recreation grounds, public and garden squares and protected areas (for example, the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, opened in 2000) where the city’s residents can relax and wildlife can thrive.
With around 300 languages being spoken across the capital, Greater London must have one of the most diverse populations of any city in the world. Whatever your background, you can be sure that there’s someone else in London who shares something of it with you. So while you might feel you’d be ‘lost in a crowd’ moving to London, you’d actually be moving much closer to those of a similar disposition, if that’s what you’re looking for. Or, indeed, someone completely different.
New buildings are constantly springing up around London, providing shops and office space as well as thousands of new homes every year. Many of the world’s most-admired architects have designs completed and planned for London, including Norman Foster and Frank Gehry at the long-awaited redevelopment at Battersea Power Station, where a refurbished and truly iconic London landmark will sit side-by-side with many brand new and exciting buildings.
Search Whathouse.com for hundreds of new homes in London.