[b]I will be moving (staying at least a year, maybe two) to London in January 2009. I am leaving with a friend and we plan to stay w/ family for a couple weeks in London until we can find jobs and rentals. We don't need to stay in London, and would like to find a much cheaper place that accomodates young people like ourselves (23/24yrs old). We also plan to travel to nearby countries in Europe and see if we find a place that fits us. So far, from the forum, I've taken that Brighton, Sheffield, and Glasglow, Scotland and great and inexpensive places. I would like some input from UK and Europe residents or foreigners who have traveled UK and Europe and have settled down somewhere. I'll be living with a workingholiday visa so job abundancy is also a necessity.
Thanks so much in advance.
Also, what are Gordies? I hear ppl talking about them in England. Please enlighten!
Geordies are the crazy people who live in Newcastle On Tyne, and if you dare mention the name Macken, diss their football team (don't even think about calling it soccer!) or think their beer, Pukecastle, sorry, Newcastle Brown is made from the dregs of all other beer, then possibly don't plan on staying there too long!!!! If you do, good luck understanding them, it's hard enough for us English!! It is a quality place though, so I'd personally recommend it to anyone, because you'll get a proper "education" into their unique culture, and the nightlife is wicked.
Obviously it depends on you, but you'll find a fairly common theme on this forum, that you'll do well not to base yourselves in London, as it is nothing like the "real" Britain. Instead, go to the regional capitals like Newcastle for the North East, Leeds for Yorkshire, Manchester or Liverpool for the NW, Sheffield or Nottingham for S Yorkshire/Midlands, Bristol for the South West, Edinburgh or Glasgow for Scotland etc. All are big enough for you to find jobs, and always remember just how small this country is, all of it. I think it's something like 8 times smaller than Texas, tbc. I.e you can easily see whatever you want to do, based practically anywhere you want really.
As for Europe, again just remember how small it is, much smaller than the USA. The bonus is that our "states" are different countries with completely different cultures, histories etc, definitely the biggest advantage of Europe imho. I.e. "nearby" countries could be practically anywhere from the UK, which has more cheap airlines and routes flying to and from there than anywhere else in Europe. Cities I'd say you would have to visit would be Paris, Rome, Prague, Athens, but surely part of the beauty of travelling is the liberty of it all, just deciding amongst the two of you, "hey, let's go to Madrid for the weekend, we'll think about paying for it later!"
Yep, London is neither cheap nor typically British really. Brighton is not cheap either by the way, but is a very good place to live. If you're going to look at Sheffield you should definitely check out Leeds as well - it's pretty close, and sounds like it might be what you're looking for - reasonably priced (compared to London) and a booming local economy means plenty of jobs at the moment.
Leeds has two universities and a large student population. Although I'm a bit past the relevant age group, I believe the night life is excellent.
I heard Edinburgh is a good place, too.
I am in a very similar situation, however, I am German-Canadian from Ontario haha
From my personal knowledge, experience, and research...and of friends, i've established that...
- Glasgow has some job ops, interesting architecture etc, it can be quite grime. It's not a city for everyone. I stayed with and met many locals...and although I met some of the nicest people ever, there is quite a negative undertone about the city...the state of affairs (employment, gangs, crime, poverty etc). Edinburgh is the clean, touristy Scotland...but Glasgow is more real life Scotland.
- Brighton has good rail links to London, but has it's own music/entertainment scene etc...and good beach scene!
- I have not been to Leeds or Sheffield, but there is much debate between them...or even Liverpool...but I keep hearing only great things about Sheffield...am I wrong?
- I hear good things about Newcastle...lots of urban renewal...great shopping and night life...also a big University town. It seems isolated in location, which is probably why it is so well self sustained.
- B'ham & Manchester and both big cities...the weather likely is not as good as in the south /London. Manchester has a bad crime problem so my friend who lives/studies there (don't many cities). I hear Nottingham also has crime issues..
- I don't know much about Bristol, but it seems on the smaller side of cities, along with Nottingham and Newcastle, correct?
I know this is your thread Jamie, but my questions may apply to you as well...
- *I'm interested in know more about urban density, amount of pubs, student life, public transit, walkability, crime, is the downtown dead or dangerous at night, amount of NEDS & CHAVS haha etc?**
It's a great time to be living in Liverpool at the mo - it's the European City of Culture this year and loads of money is being ploughed into the place yet it's so far north it's comparatively inexpensive! I live in the vastly overpriced South East myself, half an hour to the west of London but have travelled around a fair bit and if my job told me I could live anywhere I wanted to I would probably choose Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds or Bristol. Someone mentioned that it's small compared to the other places that have been mentioned and it is-but as it's a University town it's well stocked with pubs, restaurants etc and I think it has a nice feel to it.
One last thought - if you're here to see England & Europe why not base yourself somewhere like Birmingham? Slap bang in the middle with an airport full of budget airline to take you to Europe on the cheap
I'd say start with London as it's way easier to find work and short-term accommodation for starters. Then, when you sort of half-settled, visit some places and decide where to move more permanently. When I've moved to UK I've done exactly as advised. Eventually, decided to settle in London as I just love big cities and cant live in small towns.
For work you can visit numerous job centres - they are everywhere in any area, government run, plenty of advise and work positions given almost immediately.
For first-time accommodation can recommend this place: http://www.short-let-london.info and their manager put me up with some estate agency they collaborated with and they got me permanent solution afterwards. I've stayed in Willesden Two building - job centre was just across the road.
Good luck with your plan!
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 13, 2008, at 4:00 AM by Car_Man ]
bump...more advice needed.
also, an area with as few chavs and neds as possible haha