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Advice on getting set up in London?

Travel Forums Europe Advice on getting set up in London?

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1. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

Hello. I am fairly new to this forum.

I am an actor originally from the United States, but currently living and working in Madrid, Spain.

I am a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild / AFTRA in the USA.

I have both US and EU citizenship and am bilingual in English and Spanish.

I am interested in moving to London next year and am beginning my research now.

I was originally going to move to Canada, but the immigration process makes it too difficult.

I am hoping that someone here might be able to point me in the right direction.

I have only been to London once and would really respect the input from people who are there now and know more about it than me.

I would need to find a reputable talent agent or talent manager.

I would need to find a fairly reasonable place to live and some other stuff.

Sharing a room in a flat or house or any other type of cost effective student housing would all be okay.

I plan on working as an actor and taking theatre classes.

I do not drink or form part of the rowdy nightlife, so any neighborhood with cheap housing and good access either by walking or metro will be fine. Maybe inside zone 1 or 2.

So can anyone here help me or tell me where to post these type of questions?

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Rocco

2. Posted by PLUSCREW (Budding Member 28 posts) 10y

hi there Rocco,

London is not a cheap place to live centrally, however there are some places that may fall into your budget. take a look at www.gumtree.com for cheap flats either in Shepherds Bush (close to the BBC studios) or Acton, further out in Willesden Green, Islington and possibly Fulham. Avoid Stonebridge and Elephant and Castle. Rent is usually from £75-80 per week per person and the bills usually come on top of it. Don't expect the room to very big either.
Food is usually anywhere from £25-40 per week and public transport is the cheapest way to get around. a typical week in zone 1-2 travel is £25 using the tube and bus.
try getting hold of a TNT magazine as well as they have listings of flats, jobs etc.
best of luck in the bright lights!

3. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

Thanks for the info.

Gumtree.com has come up as a suggestion quite a few times and looks good.

Right now I do believe the focus of my search should be on getting to know London better and finding the right places to stay.

First a short term place I can use as a base for visits and then later to get myself situated.

This will also give me a chance to read the local press and go deeper into the neighborhoods than where you would normally go if you were just a tourist.

I will be joining Equity and visiting talent agencies once I am there full time or possibly on my second visit.

My first visit should be to get to know London better and to find better housing. There is a lot of walking around for me to do as well as local press for me to review and consider.

4. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

I have seen a few potentially good offers in the Bayswater area. Again mostly through agencies. So I am wondering if these offers are legit or bait and switch. When I was in Japan and went to an agency there all of the best priced rooms were always full and the only ones to choose from were just above what you could find on your own.

I will be going to visit London in July so I will go in and have a look at some of these places first hand.

The areas I am current most interested in now are Bayswater and Marble Arch to Edgware Road North of the Thames or Bermondsey and Clapham South of the Thames.

The prices in the Bermondsey area look good in the SE1 area. Plus it looks like this area would only be a quick two or three tube stops from the Westminster area.

The websites I am looking at include: www.gumtree.com www.upmystreet.com www.americanexpats.co.uk www.london-se1.co.uk www.thisislondon.co.uk www.allinlondon.co.uk www.travellerspoint.com www.familiesonline.co.uk www.rightmove.co.uk www.expatfocus.com www.loot.com www.movethat.com

The agencies I have heard about are: www.flatfinders.org www.flatland1971.com www.houseladder.co.uk www.londonnet.co.uk

5. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 10y

Hi,

I'm not an expert on London, but when looking for shared houses I have used these websites, which cover the whole country, including London

http://flatshareworld.com

and

http://www.flatmateclick.co.uk

Good Luck

6. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

Okay. I will be going to London in July to scope things out.

I love to walk around and can cover more ground than the average person, so how possible is it to cover most of the center of London neighborhood by neighborhood on foot?

I mean is it better to take the tube to the general vecinity and then walk around from there or can I just do one big section of the center each day, like SE1 for example on one day and then another on the next?

7. Posted by ikey (Full Member 172 posts) 10y

Quoting rsalata

Okay. I will be going to London in July to scope things out.

I love to walk around and can cover more ground than the average person, so how possible is it to cover most of the center of London neighborhood by neighborhood on foot?

I mean is it better to take the tube to the general vecinity and then walk around from there or can I just do one big section of the center each day, like SE1 for example on one day and then another on the next?

Rocco it's quite easy to do Central London on foot but obviously the further out you go the bigger the radius and the more ground you will have to cover. So it just depends on how far out you go, and how much walking you can handle.

8. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

The biggest thing that I am discovering is that If you are earning pounds then most things like flights and hostels and lots of other low budget stuff seem pretty reasonable.

It becomes rather limiting when you go from dollars to pounds or euros to pounds and have to stick to certain times or dates in order to book the cheapest hostels and flights to come and visit London for up to a week.

I am currently finding it hard to get a good price on a morning time flight that goes to London at one of the closer airports.

I suppose that you have to stay on and pay for an extra night and / or pay for the bus or rail transfer from the airport into the center, which can be another 15 to 20 pounds and take up to 2 hours.

It might be better to pay the little extra for the flight tickets to get a bettter arrival time at an airport closer to the center?

Does anyone have experience flying from Spain to London and then getting to the center from there? How much money would you need to save in order to get you to pick stanstead or Luton over Heathrow or Gatwick?

9. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

I will most likely be flying into Gatwick on August 22nd or 23rd and be visiting London for a week.

I will probably be staying at the the Dover Castle Hostel in the SE1 area and venture out from there.

First I will see how far I can get on foot and then I will start using the buses and underground to go to more specific neighborhoods farther away from where I will be staying.

I will target specific neighborhoods that seem to have better prices for housing according to my on-line searches and then see what kind of neighborhoods they are. I would like to see what kinds of shops and stores are close by and see what kind of feel I get for each one of them.

Most of all I would like to see how close I could get to the center without having to pay an arm and a leg.

Once I get a better feel for the place I will visit the Actor's Equity and the Spotlight to see if they have any literature or application forms that you can only get in person.

I hope this is all doable in a week.

10. Posted by rsalata (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

This question might be a little broad, but what the heck?

What kind of Jobs do most North Americans do in the London Area?

I want to get a feel for what is out there in case I need something to fall back on.

Remember I have dual US and EU citizenship , so I am legal to work in the UK even though I was brought up and educated in the USA.

Thanks.