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City of London

The City of London

Towering glass structures, swanky apartments and a smartly suited and booted population make this business hub one of the most stylish areas in London. So what’s it really like to live in the City of London?

“…this historic area where the first walls of London can still be seen is now one of the prime financial and business hubs of London, where over 90% of the daily population is of a working age…”

Moving to The City of London

Life for the typically suited and booted City of Londoner is lively and fast-paced, although take a minute to slow down and you will realise that the City also has a great deal of beauty and tranquillity to offer residents at every turn. Look up and you will see financial institutions bearing the architectural hallmarks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the magnificent dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the multi-faceted form of the Gherkin. Look down, on the other hand, and you can drink in the breath-taking panoramic view of the City in one sweeping glance from Vertigo 42 on Old Broad Street. You’ll also have the city practically to yourself at weekends – once the commuters return home, the city has less than 10,000 permanent residents, making it the least-populated district in England after the Isles of Scilly.

House Prices in The City of London

A contributing factor in the lack of local residents, it comes as no surprise that house prices in the City are among the most expensive in London – covering just over a square mile of land, there are few properties available and those which are tend to be sleek, modern apartments starting at around £500,000 for a small one-bedroom apartment, and rising to over £10 million for properties in the most sought-after luxury developments. If you can afford it, some of the most interesting areas include the Barbican Estate, an iconic Brutalist complex, and the Landmark Place development on the River Thames.

“Bang in the centre of London, transport links in the City are understandably excellent with every underground Tube line crossing through the area”

Transport

Bang in the centre of London, transport links in the City are understandably excellent with every underground Tube line crossing through the area, useful bus connections and major National Rail links at Moorgate, Farringdon and Liverpool Street. In addition to the Underground, the City of London offers locals the Thameslink and river bus services, should traffic become too much of a problem. Driving is not recommended here, even if you can find property with a parking space – congestion and traffic are notoriously terrible.

Lifestyle

During the day, alongside the grand dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City of London has an excellent variety of shops and cafes in the One New Change shopping centre, the area’s premium shopping  and retail destination with brands including Cos, Calvin Klein and Sweaty Betty. Peak times will see a rush of smartly dressed working professionals taking a quick trip for some retail therapy, or indulging in a working lunch at nearby spots including the historic Leadenhall Market, the weekly pop-up street food market at the Gherkin, or the restaurants of Paternoster Square.

On weekday evenings, the area continues to be a hive of activity, featuring clubs, bars and even 24-hour restaurants, if you find yourself getting a little peckish at any inconvenient hour of the night. As you’d expect from such an affluent area, some of London’s finest dining establishments can be found here, including Duck and Waffle and SushiSamba in Heron Tower, City Social and Coq D’Argent. Rooftop bars such as SkyLounge and Searcy’s at the Gherkin are another highlight, giving visitors an unbeatable view over London.

Groceries

Being such a densely occupied area, the City of London has no large supermarkets and instead is supplied by smaller local or metro branches of major supermarket brands, such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco. There are also specialist stores throughout the area, particularly at Leadenhall Market where you’ll find cheesemongers, an excellent butcher’s, and a wine shop.

Health & Sport

Workers and residents in the City of London tend to be a healthy bunch, so for those who don’t have a gym in the office there are a vast selection of fitness establishments to choose from, including Fitness First, Gymbox, Virgin Active, and boot camp classes at cult venues such as 1Rebel.

Culture

As well as being immersed in history with clues to London’s past on every street, the City of London has a good selection of cultural attractions considering its compact size. The Museum of London, Guildhall Art Gallery and Bank of England are all located here, as well as the thriving Barbican Centre with its vibrant performing arts venue showcasing a range of music, dance, and theatre performances as well as film screenings and conferences.

“On weekday evenings, the area continues to be a hive of activity, featuring clubs, bars and even 24-hour restaurants, if you find yourself getting a little peckish at any inconvenient hour of the night”

Schools and Education

The City of London only has one primary school, the Sir John Cass Foundation Primary School, which is has an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating. There are no state secondary schools here, with most residents sending their children to schools in neighbouring boroughs such as Westminster and Islington.

There are two independent schools, however –  the City of London School and the City of London School for Girls, both of which are well performing. Further education is much more prominent here, with major institutions including the renowned Cass Business School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the London Institute of Banking and Finance. There are also a number of campuses for highly-ranked universities here, including Kings College London and the College of Law.

Safety

Most crimes committed in the City of London tend to be in the form of fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes rather than day-to-day issues. The area is relatively safe, and most recorded crimes are categorised as anti-social behaviour, theft or shoplifting.

Green Space

As a built-up, urban area, the City of London lacks the kind of green space that other boroughs have in abundance. Greenery here is mostly in the form of small squares or hidden sanctuaries, such as the gardens of St Dustan in the East church, the Festival Gardens of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the quaint Postman’s Park, where you’ll often find local professionals who have taken a stroll away from their desks to seek some quiet time amid the hubbub of the city.

History

The beating heart of Londoninium since the Romans developed a trading port here nearly 2,000 years ago, the City of London has survived and thrived through even the most difficult periods – sieges at the Tower of London during the Peasant’s Revolt, the Great Fire of London raging through the streets, and the destructive bombing of the Blitz. Today, this historic area where the first walls of London can still be seen is now one of the prime financial and business hubs of London, where over 90% of the daily population is of a working age.

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