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Useful Advice

The London Eye

There are so many things to do and see, its no wonder why you would choose London to work and live!

There’s also all the in’s and out’s of the city you wouldn’t generally know unless you’ve lived here, so we’ve included some valuable and helpful advice we think will help you make the most of your experience living in London.

Disclaimer: The views here are of and by Arrive Homes Ltd., wherein our opinions stated are those of a leading service provider.

Travelling In The City

The London Underground and National Rail

You can travel both the tube and the trains across London, from North to South, East to West, through zones 1 – 8 with an Oyster Card. You can top-up weekly or buy a weekly or monthly pass choosing within the zones you would often and normally travel. Getting a weekly pass for zones 1-3 or 1-4 is a common purchase for many professionals working and living in London.

Our properties are located within walking distance of the tube and train lines between zones 2-4, making it easier to plan your journeys.

Please look up for information on the London tube map and train lines, top-up your Oyster card online, or use the Journey Planner for train times and to route-to-destination. See for train times.

If travelling to any parts of the UK, we recommend visiting

Find Out What’s On in London

There’s always something happening in London that’s exciting and fun.

Check out the top places to go, do and see in the city, concert and event listings, and the best ideas for planning a day or a night out. Visit

For a complete concert listing of all venues across London, see:

Find local clubs, sports and fitness programs in your local newspaper.

Don’t miss out on all the activities, music events and theatre shows, nightlife, and the best places to shop and eat. Visit:

Book With Us Before You Arrive

We are the leading service provider in accommodation, specializing in shared lettings for overseas teachers and professionals alike with a reputation for offering quality and standards unmatched by any other in the industry. We have working relationships established with reputable and successful teacher recruitment agencies and businesses across London. We are committed to providing the best services in the business, and our rooms are in high demand, particularly between September and January.

We do recommend pre-booking your room with us so that you are guaranteed accommodation for your arrival and living in London. Your deposit will secure the room you want. You do not have to pre-book, however, we cannot guarantee that the room will still be available for when you arrive. Save yourself considerable stress and relax with peace-of-mind knowing that you have a home to come to.

Contact us now to pre-book your accommodation with us.

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Open a UK bank account

Anyone who’s tried to open a bank account in the UK will tell you that it’s far more difficult than most think it will be. Apart from all the admin you have to go through, most banks won’t even open an account if you haven’t lived in the UK for at least three months.

That’s where 1st Contact Kickstart comes in. They have great relationships with top UK banks, allowing their clients to open bank accounts as soon as they arrive in the UK.

Purchase one of their Kickstart packages and they will help you prepare your documents and book an appointment with the high street bank of your choosing. You’ll have a UK bank account in no time.

With team members from around the globe, 1st Contact knows what it’s like to relocate to a new country. That’s why they go out of our way to make opening a bank account in the UK as easy as possible.

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NI number applications

If you’re planning on working in the UK, it’s a good idea to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number. Although you can work temporarily without it, you will be charged a higher rate of tax than usual and you won’t be able to claim your tax refund at the end of the year.

Prefer to leave the admin to someone else? Let 1st Contact Kickstart take care of your NI number application so you can get to work without any of the hassle.

You can purchase the Easy NINO as a standalone service or an add-on when buying your Kickstart packages. All you need to do after this is complete the application form on their website. When you arrive in the UK, 1st Contact will register your details with the necessary bodies and deal with all of the paper work, leaving you time to start your life in the UK.

Stay with Us, Skip the Hostel

Hostels in London can be expensive, and for some, not the cleanest or most comfortable of accommodation options.

Stay with us instead. We offer competitive daily rates for accommodation, and a comfortable stay with all the amenities and space you need whilst visiting London. This option is great for tenants who are arriving a few days early of your move-in date, or for those visiting London during the summer months and who are in need of a short term let.

Contact us now to enquire about our options for daily rates and stay.

Trendy London Living

London is home to almost 10 million people, and it happens to be one of the most visited, most transient cities in the world. As such, London is constantly revitalizing itself, creating new, trendy, and desirable places to live across its vast city. Areas that were once viewed as undesirable are rejuvenated and thriving once more. Its hard to believe at one time that Notting Hill was a dump that no one would have wanted to live around, and now, it boasts some of the most expensive real estate and lettings in London.

Arrive Homes is always keen to find out where the next hype will begin, and since the Olympics in 2012, the East has broken free of all stereotype to becoming the newest hotspot in the city to live. Well-connected by all major transport, living in East London can be a great option for single professionals. The area has expanded and improved immensely from what it used it be. Don’t be fooled by its stereotype, or else you will miss out.

You never have to look far for something to do in East London. Westfield’s shopping mall, Asper’s Casino, Stratford International (a major hub for all transport in and out of the city), the Columbia Flower Market, Banksy’s street art tours, and loads of authentic food and dining options are just a short journey away. And the area is steeped in London history - you may just here a bit of Cockney rhyme in the crowds if you listen carefully for it.

Many of the teacher recruitment agencies we are affiliated with, such as Protocol and Redbox, are in need of teachers in the East, and often have full-time placements available for a vast number of schools in the area. Arrive Homes can ensure you a short journey time on your daily commute with affordable shared housing located nearby all major transport links.

Check our availability listings and contact us now to enquire about a room in East London.

Avoid the Scams: The Hard Truths About London

The hard truth about London is that most people who come here as newcomers or visitors often, and unfortunately, get scammed at some point during their visit. If you are aware of these ugly truths about living in the city, you most likely can avoid being scammed.

We advise you to always take caution and use your common sense when engaging in small talk with strangers or if confronted with a ‘deal’. Watch your bags and belongings at all times, especially in crowds, and trust your instincts – if it doesn’t feel right, then simply remove yourself from the situation.

We want you to make the most of your experiences living in London. We’d rather you get to know it for the city its most known for - bangers and mash, double-decker buses, local pubs and nightlife, music, fashion, and the arts. All places unfortunately have their downsides, and big cities alike, but London will always remain the place to come if you want to feel at the heart of everything.