Location – How to choose the perfect neighbourhood
- Start with your place of work (and if you are moving to the UK with children, the location of the school) and look at the commuting or travel options. For London moves, use Transport for London’s Journey Planner at https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/
- Decide what is the maximum acceptable commuting time from work or school and how you plan to travel, whether by car, train, bus, underground (tube), or even cycling and walking! Draw your search area accordingly.
- Ask other people in your new office where they live and where they would recommend. If you will be a frequent overseas traveller, access to the nearest airport should also be a consideration.
- If moving with children and your school place is already confirmed, ask the Admissions office where most student families live – this will give you an indication of popular areas.
- Think about your lifestyle and what is important for your leisure time. For example, if you are outdoors-loving, find out where the local parks are and shortlist areas with plenty of green space. This is surprisingly easy in London but may be less so in other cities.
- Always do an orientation tour and see a range of different neighbourhoods. We recommend visiting up to 6 areas with a local map and seeing a few properties which match your broad criteria in each area. Do you like the kerb appeal of the properties?
- What kind of housing do you like? If you are only prepared to live in modern well-equipped properties or gated complexes this will limit which areas you choose.
- Lastly, be flexible! A neighbourhood outside the city centre may have more affordable housing and still easily reached on public transport. If you want to mingle with Brits, avoid the heavily populated expat areas, but if your social life will revolve around the expat community they make a lot of sense.
Even choosing a neighbourhood can be a daunting task when relocating to the UK and different London postcodes can be like living in a different country! Dovetail has the inside scoop on all the good areas to live in London, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.