London is usually the first place an international teacher thinks of when they imagine England. As one of the most popular and vibrant cities in the world, it boasts an extraordinary array of culture, fashion, style, nightlife and history. Its population has now swelled to over 8.5 million people – the highest level since 1939.
London is extremely well connected via public transport by almost all towns in the south east of England. This means you don’t necessarily have to live in London in order to experience the lifestyle.
London is a city made up of 33 boroughs, each with their own local government and sense of identity. The quality of school education varies greatly throughout London from historical private and independent schools to tough inner city schools with challenging behaviour.
Although London is a fabulous city to live in, it’s certainly not suited to everyone looking to teach in England. The fast paced, congested environment and high cost of living can make it a little disorientating, particularly for those who’ve never lived in a city before.
The main areas of London are best understood by simply dividing up into Central, North, South, East and West.
Getting around London
As with all densely populated cities London can be a something of a culture shock especially when getting around on public transport. Thankfully the London Underground is an extremely efficient and easy way of navigating the city. The underground network operates a number of different tube lines all with a different colour such as black for the Northern line, green for the District line and yellow for the Circle line. Many underground stations connect with different tube lines and the underground map is clear and easy to follow for anyone new to London.
Getting around on buses in London is also an extremely efficient way to navigate the city. Although they can take a little while longer when understanding routes, buses will reach areas that the underground or overground trains can’t get to.
London is split in to different zones 1-6. Typically zone 1 is considered central London and zone 6 is the outskirts of London. There have recently been two additional zones introduced in the north west of London.