Finding a place to stay in London can be a difficult and expensive task. If you’re looking for a hotel then you have thousands to choose from.
Tips for finding a good hotel in London
- One great tip is to use Google Maps to find a hotel to stay in London. Once you start zooming in on a map of London you’ll find many hotels on the map. Most will have a website and at the very least a phone number. You can also use Google Streetview to have a look at what the hotel looks like and how easy it is to get to.
- Look for hidden trainlines – There are several train lines that take people from the outer parts of London to the inner city that simply aren’t shown on most train maps. The locals in London might know about these lines but often the tourist and newcomers to London have no idea they even exist. For example in the London borough of Harrow which is located in zone 5 in North West London there are several London underground tube lines that take you between Harrow and central London. These include the Bakerloo line, Metropolitan line, Piccadilly line and the London overground line. However what you can’t see on the standard London underground tube map that is handed out free at every major train station in London as lines that run from stations such as Harrow and Wealdstone and Harrow on The Hill. these lines have trains operated by London Midland which take people from stations such as Harrow and Wealdstone to London Euston station in as little as 12 minutes. You can even use the same London Underground Oyster Card to pay for the journey.
Renting a place to live in London
You often have to strike a balance between what is affordable and what is near to the places you work and like to go out. Generally speaking the closer you live to the centre of London the more you would be expected to pay in rent, but less in travel.
Zone 1 would generally be the most expensive part of London to live in and the outer zones of 5, 6,7, etc are progressively cheaper to rent or buy a place in.
In order to bring down the cost of renting people will often share a house with several other people, one of the most popular website for finding a place to rent is the GumTree, a site originally aimed at Australians living in London the website has now expanded to become one of the most popular accommodation hunting websites in London and throughout the UK. One downside is that the website has been linked to many scams with people asking flat hunters to send money in advance to secure a deposit for a room. If you choose to use any website be very careful about sending money in advance.
CouchSurfing in London
A Brief History of CouchSurfing
CouchSurfing started as a website created by Casey Fenton, an American who at the time was living in Alaska. Casey managed to find a cheap flight from Alaska to Iceland but before his trip set about emailing local students in Iceland to see if anyone would show him around. Casey found he got several replies offering to show him around, some even offered him a place to stay and it was from this trip that the idea for CouchSurfing was born. Upon his return to the USA, Casey set up creating the website and was later joined by friends and volunteers who all believed in the idea of creating a website that allow people to travel the world and stay for free with fellow CouchSurfing members.