Accommodation Outside of London
While London is the first choice for many working travellers visiting the UK, it is by no means the only option when it comes to work, rest and play! There are many places outside of London that offer more affordable living, better standards of housing and more employment opportunities (depending on your line of work).
There are of course many factors to consider when thinking about living outside of London, much the same to the considerations of being a working traveller in the capital. Generally, you should think about:
- Is there a demand for your profession in that area?
- Are there many other working travellers in that area?
- Do you have any friends or family in or around the area?
- What is the social scene or entertainment like in the area?
- What is the transport system like in the area?
- What is the general cost of living in the area compared to expected earnings in the area?
- If you’re planning on travelling outside the UK, what are the links to airports/ports/train stations like?
When it comes making the decision to base yourself in or outside of London, it really comes down to the kind of lifestyle you want to have while being a working traveller in the UK. If it’s antipodean parties and pubs, celeb spotting and clubs, traffic and tourist sights you’re after then London is most definitely your bag baby! But if you want to see your pounds go further and don’t want to follow the rest of the ex-pat crowd, life outside of London could be for you. Some popular places for working travellers outside of London are:
Newcastle: Now a busy student city, Newcastle has shed its mining town past and transformed into a cosmopolitan town of hotels, bars and restaurants, while still retaining its charm. Adventurous antipodeans ready to go north (and who don’t mind the accent!) should have no problems fitting in here.
Manchester: Just 2 ½ hours from London by train, Greater Manchester (which takes in ten boroughs including the city itself) is home to 7 million people. The 2.6 million people that live in Manchester city enjoy a vibrant nightlife, exciting live music scene and of course football (soccer to those who haven’t quite grasped the concept of the round ball). With a significant financial sector, Manchester is a good destination for those looking for work in banking, while its tourism industry has boomed since 2002, meaning hospitality work is plentiful.
Bristol: The city has been described as ‘alive and kicking like a can-can girl’, and with its European-style licensing laws (clubs stay open till 6am) and one of the best club scenes in Britain, its no exaggeration! Another bustling student city, Bristol is very popular with tourists and working travellers alike. The city is a hub for manufacturing, business and new technology. A thriving animation industry and range TV production and digital media companies make this a good spot for working travellers looking for a creative career.
Birmingham: With more square miles of open space than any other UK city, booming financial, manufacturing and engineering industries, this student city is a great destination for working travellers. There is a plethora of pubs, clubs, live music venues and sporting attractions, so you won’t be bored, but if some reason you need to head to the capital London is only a 90 minute train ride away.
There is of course the option of living outside of London, but still working in the capital. This however, can be costly and time consuming, so think carefully about the cost (not to mention long travel times) involved in commuting, and also make sure the area you are based in has efficient transport links to the capital.
Wherever you decide to live, whether it be central London or rural Britain, remember the reason you decided to come to the UK in the first place. Being a working traveller is all about challenges and adventures, so make the most of your time wherever you decide to call home!