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Moving to London
Moving is a harrowing experience in its own right but when it comes to moving to a new city in a new country the task stats to seem far more gargantuan than packing up your old kit bag and moving to a new suburb. Moving to London is no different but it doesn't have to be as frightening and mammoth as it sounds. London Weather If you're immigrating to London there are a few things you should take into consideration when planning your move.
If you're from a sunny Southern Hemisphere country it will be a little difficult to adjust to the weather at first. London weather is not very predictable but it thankfully does get warmer than many other parts of Britain in summer. Between the winter months of November and February below zero temperatures are not uncommon and it is very wet and windy. The summer and spring months are relatively temperate but it does rain year round. When packing for your move it is important to take the weather and the time of year you will be arriving into consideration.
Just because you're coming from the sunny beaches of Australia doesn't mean your not going to be stepping into snow, so make sure you have adequate warm clothing and protective gear before you go. The Public Transportation System London has one of the greatest public transport systems in the world; the system is so refined that owning a car is unnecessary. There are several forms of public transport to choose from but the most popular is the London Underground. Getting around London by tube allows fast and easy access to the heart of the city without worrying about the cities notorious traffic or getting lost.
For someone who is new to London the tube is the perfect form of transport, it is also the cheapest, is very safe and highly reliable. London is famous for its big red busses which are very popular forms of transport especially once the tube shuts at night. You will be able to purchase a bus map at any travel centre or tourist office which will help you decipher the bus routes, which bus stops you need to be at and when. Cash is paid directly to the driver for single journeys and day passes are also available which come in especially handy when you wish to spend the day sightseeing. The traditional black taxi cabs can be pre-booked via phone or hailed on the street. They are the most expensive form of transport and most people only use them once the tube and busses have stopped running.
The cheapest way of getting around London is to buy a Travelcard which can be purchased for a day, 3 days, a week, a month or a year and are valid on buses, tubes and overland trains. If you are going top be living and working in London a Travelcard is highly recommended both for easy travelling as well as saving a few of your hard earned Pounds. If you do wish to drive a car in London you may normally use your valid drivers licence from your home country or an international driver's licence. After a year you will be required to apply for a UK driving licence. Places of Interest Just because you are now living and working in the UK doesn't mean that you shouldn't take time to do all the touristy things London has to offer.
London is one of the greatest tourist cities in the world and because you'll be staying there for quite a while you will have the amazing opportunity to see so much more than if you were visiting London for a two week holiday - so take the opportunity. You can't go to London without witnessing the 40 minute daily Changing of the Guard ceremony in which the Queen's Guard, accompanied by a band, arrive at Buckingham palace for their shift. The London Dungeon and Madam Tussaud's wax museum are favourites amongst locals and tourists alike. Filled with Gothic horrors, torture chambers and re-enactments of some of the most gruesome scenes the London Dungeon with its heart stopping atmosphere never fails to entertain visitors.
The life size wax works of Madame Tussaud's feature pop stars, actors, serial killers and political figures and a visit to this wax museum is not to be missed. The 30 minute ride on the Millennium Wheel/ London Eye offers panoramic views of the city and is located close to attractions like Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and the Thames River. The architectural splendour known as the London Zoo is another favourite amongst those living in London and its prime purpose is to save species under threat of extinction. It's not too often that you see giraffes, penguins and lions roaming about the streets of London so take in a day at the zoo for sheer enjoyment. There are also a variety of botanical gardens, rivers and parks for those who long for a quite moment in nature in the middle of one of the most bustling cities in the world.
A visit to London's own orient, Chinatown, is highly recommended for the bright colours, fabulous little shops and excellent Chinese cuisine. The Chinese New Year celebrations are not to be missed and feature, apart from a great party, huge papier-mâché lions dancing through the streets and awesome fireworks. Apart from the montage of museums, galleries and theatres London is home to some of the greatest restaurants, pubs and nightclubs your evenings are guaranteed to be as exciting and eventful as your days. Don't forget the shopping while you are in this cosmopolitan city, with venues like Harrods and all that Oxford Street holds you are sure to find treasures beyond you imagination. Experience London Just because you are going to be moving to London and will be living and working like the average Londoner don't let the opportunity to explore this city to its full potential while you are there slip you by. When you first arrive in London you will no doubt be overwhelmed - but living in London is an experience in itself, so don't let yourself get bogged down by the routine of daily life, take each and every opportunity to see and do as much as you can.
By: Sarah Manners
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