A Regional Guide to Working In London
London is vast, and while businesses are spread right across the city, many areas are more popular for one or two sectors.
Old Street & Shoreditch
Sectors: Digital Media, Computing & IT, Design
The Old Street, Shoreditch and Hoxton areas of London are known for their stylish and trendy restaurants and nightclubs, and the hip atmosphere and cheap rents have led to a flourishing art and design scene. Artist and design workshops, art galleries, pop-up restaurants, boutiques and other innovative business ventures all take advantage of the lower rents and young clientele. The past ten years has also seen a rise in digital and dot-com companies setting up here.
The area is easily accessed from Old Street tube stop on the Northern Line or the East London Overground line, and is just a short walk from Liverpool Station.
Sectors: Insurance, Banking, Finance, Accounting
'The City of London' is the home of the financial services industry in Britain. It is where you'll find the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England and numerous financial institutions such as Lloyds of London, Goldman Sachs and RBS. The City's skyline is dominated by London's financial landmarks: the Gherkin, Heron Tower and Tower 42.
While the City is crammed full of offices and work spaces, it is sparsely populated. The core areas are around the Liverpool Street and Bank stations, with excellent transport links - though busy during rush hour.
Sectors: Insurance, Banking, Finance, Accounting
Along with The City, Canary Wharf is one of the biggest hubs of financial activity in the UK and Europe. Located in Tower Hamlets and the old Docklands, it has undergone massive regeneration in the last thirty years. The area is home to companies such as Barclays, HSBC, Citigroup and JP Morgan.
Transport around Canary Wharf is mainly restricted to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the Jubilee line. If you're a real high flier, London City Airport is not far away. Similarly to The City, Canary Wharf is empty during weekends, and although there are a few more people who call Canary Wharf home, the area remains mainly a business district.
Sectors: Media, Advertising
Soho is one of the most vibrant parts of London. Steeped in history, Soho has always been at the cutting edge of culture and progressive thinking. Now, the area is stocked with media, film, television and related support industries which have been based there for years. Soho houses some of the best post-production houses in the business. In the west end, Soho does well out of the theatre in the area. Stages such as the Soho Theatre, Prince Edward Theatre and the Lyric Theatre form part of this area's vibrant culture.
Soho is world-renowned for its pubs and nightlife, with a more late-night European feel due to its colourful shop windows and cafes. Soho is central, which means living here is only really an option for the financially affluent. It is easily accessed by tube at Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus stations.
Fleet Street/ Moorgate / Holborn
Sectors: Law & Legal
One of the oldest areas of London, Fleet Street, Moorgate and Holborn house some of the oldest British institutions. Fleet Street used to be the heart of the British Press, and although some of the big newspapers and publications have moved out, they have not strayed far. Fleet Street now houses some of the larger, international law firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Bird & Bird.
Moorgate and Holborn, also historic parts of London, house more legal headquarters. The area's most famous residents are the four Inns of Court, with which all barristers in England and Wales must be associated. Other names in the area include Slaughter and May, Sainsbury's and the Old Bailey.
The area is famous for its old style pubs, with some tracing their roots back to the 16th century. They were often frequented by the lawyers, judges and hacks of yesteryear, and many have kept their authentic feel.
Similarly to most places in central London, the area is not very residential but is easily accessed via the Underground, with the Tube stations Moorgate, Holborn, Temple, St Paul's and Chancery Lane all close by.
Living in and moving to London
While the cost of rent in London is high, many say that it is worth it for life in the city. The biggest decision for those relocating to London is deciding where to live, and it is worth it to do your research before committing to an area or a flat. The trade off is between living centrally, which means higher rent, or living where the rent is cheaper but the cost of the commute will be higher. Areas of West London, notably around Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham are expensive places to rent, while moving south of the river can offer more affordable living.
Transport in London is second to none, with excellent connections almost anywhere on the Underground network, and with a night bus system and a twenty four hour Tube network, you will be able to get where you need no matter what time of day.