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Over the last 20 years London has changed enormously, attracting people from every corner of the world to become a truly global city. From its early origins as a patchwork of fragmented medieval villages Greater London has evolved into a huge modern metropolis where over 300 languages are spoken by its inhabitants.

The population of London is about as cosmopolitan as you can get, and for those who have just arrived it can certainly feel a bit overwhelming at first due to the sheer size and scale of the place. With this in mind, we've put together a brief guide which we hope may be of use to our visitors who are still settling in.

Getting around London

Transport For London (TFL) is the body responsible for transport services in the whole of the Greater London area, and by far the best way to initially prepare for a journey across London by tube or bus is to use the excellent journey planner provided by TFL. This will give you very clear and detailed instructions with full timetables to allow you to plan your entire journey, which can then be paid for by Oyster Card.

The London Tube network was originally built in Victorian times and is the oldest underground rail system in the world. No wonder it needs an enormous amount of ongoing conservation and improvement work just to maintain its ability to provide the estimated 24 million journeys made each day. Travelling by tube is usually the quickest and most convenient way of getting around town for most people (although busy rush hour periods are certainly not much fun and to be avoided if at all possible).

The other most commonly used means of transport in London is the bus. The old iconic 'Routemaster' buses may have been pensioned off and replaced with their new shiny counterparts, but travelling by bus can still be a very pleasant and enjoyable way to journey across London, and provides a great view if you are able to grab an upstairs seat at the front of a Double Decker.

London on foot

One of the best ways to get around though and really experience the different neighbourhoods of London is to actually walk. When you are rattling around on a tube train a couple of hundred feet below ground level the actual distance you are covering is often deceivingly short, and the distance between some stations could actually be covered on foot in a few minutes.

When travelling in London, and especially if you're on foot, it's advisable to have a map at your disposal. The most commonly used is the famous London A-Z street map which comes either in the old-fashioned hard copy format or now more likely via its respective phone app.

Of course you could also travel by bicycle, skateboard, roller-skates or whatever else takes your fancy, but whichever method of transport you choose you will slowly build up a mental jigsaw of the topography of London which over time will help you feel more at home in this huge city.

Doing the tourist thing

Once you actually live in London it's really easy to neglect doing the kinds of things the visitors do, like taking time out to explore the 1,000 year old Tower of London, or attend a world-class cultural event, or see a West End play, or experience the eerie atmosphere of the London Dungeons. The list really does go on forever (which can be a problem in itself).

When you live here, it's easy to think I'll do that next week, or month, or year and it often never happens. You're here now, make the most of it, because the chances are, eventually.. despite the old cliché 'when you're tired of London...' your time here will one day probably come to an end and you'll move on again to somewhere new. That's the way the world is nowadays, transitory.

London is like a living and breathing museum, it's ancient and fascinating and if you learn some of its rich history, even if it's just with an occasional guided walk (which are excellent value), your time in London will be so much more rewarding and well spent.

Moving home in London

People tend to move home quite frequently in London and Man with a Van provides one of the most popular and simple ways to do so. You can easily book a removal with one of our validated Movers by submitting a request through our website, see our full list of removal services.

If you need to store your belongings at any time there are an abundance of self-storage companies throughout London. Two of the biggest are Big Yellow and Safestore however there are many other smaller ones dotted around so you can usually find one quite near to you.

Try to avoid scrimping on boxes each time you move, especially if you have a reasonable amount of belongings. It's quite easy to order good quality packing boxes which are really not that expensive, and it will make moving home a whole lot easier.

For further info please see our Moving Tips and FAQ's.

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