I’ve recently made the move back to Bristol after three and a half years of London life – I had such a blast living in the capital, making amazing memories that I’ll never forget. Here’s what I miss already, and on the other hand, what I’m happy to have left behind…
What I miss about London life
Being brought up in Bristol and still living in the same area, chances are that i’ll bump into someone i’ll know at the local shops or out for a sweaty morning run, but in London I could go about my daily business without anyone knowing me. Usually makeup free and with a resting bitch face.
The UK capital is used to ferrying lots of people around the city so the transport links are amazing. The bus costs £1.55 per journey and I can honestly say that I’ve never waited more than 10 mins for one to arrive. In Bristol, however, buses just seem to drop off the system and never turn up. Sob!
The many lives of the park
It’s surprising how much green space London has so you’ll never live too far from a lovely park. I spent a lot of time at Ravenscourt Park and my favourite thing about it was that it was full of everyone doing their own thing. Some people take their yoga mats there for a morning meditation sessions while others gather there for cocktails in a can at sunset – it’s a microcosm of London life.
Mini city centres
Each borough of London is like a mini city with it’s own shops, pubs etc so you can literally find everything you need within a 10 min walk. For over three years I lived with Westfield around the corner and it was bliss!
The slapdash recycling
I’m all for saving the environment but the throw-it-all-in-one-bag recycling that happens in London compared to the meticulous sorting and copious amounts of bins in Bristol is sooooo much easier.
Posing next to Notting Hill’s finest cherry blossom tree or queueing up to snap a picture outside a cute cafe are normal occurrences in London Town so I wasn’t shamed for my need for an Insta pic, whereas in Bristol, I do get some funny looks when fake laughing or blue-steel-ing next to a cool wall.
In London there’s no need to wait for the Friday feeling to have a bevvy and a night out. It’s quite common to meet people after work on a weekday for a cheeky cocktail (or three) and it’s really nice not to feel like you’re living for the weekend.
Late night bustle
It can be 1am in Piccadilly Circus and it won’t be quiet and, for me, the bustle of the city after dark made it feel safer. When I used to get off the tube at Shepherd’s Bush, the walk back to my flat was past lots of fast food restaurants and local supermarkets so it would always be relatively busy and I wouldn’t feel too nervy.
What I don’t miss about London life
While tubes aren’t back at pre-pandemic levels yet, I can still very much remember the rush hour commutes where I’d have a man’s armpit in my face and no room to even get my phone out of my pocket. So not glam.
No car IKEA trips
The whole time I lived in London I didn’t miss not having a car, until I needed to go to Ikea. One trip required lugging lampshades, pillows and wine glasses home on two buses and other involved shimming a flatpack chest of drawers and bedside cabinets into an uber and paying a hefty tip for the trouble.
Being the most densely populated city in the UK means that London streets are quite often full of a lot of people and you can guarantee they’ll get in your way if you’re in a hurry. I used to despise trying to rush anywhere as people are SO. SLOW.
The eye-wateringly expensive cocktails
I’m partial to an Instagrammable cocktail and while you can find a £7 drink in the city, I’d say the average price is £10 and I’ve paid up to £20 for one small, brightly coloured bevvy and it’s painful!
A shoddy standard of living
We were very lucky that we found a lovely flat with a chilled landlady but the ridiculous amount you pay for rent never quite lives up to the standard of living – think mouldy patches and clapped out kitchens!