Where to live?
We are often asked “what’s the best part of London to live in?” This depends on how much you are prepared to pay and how far you are prepared to travel, amongst other things. To help with your search, we have created an Area Guide to some of the places in London which are popular with students. However, there is no substitute for getting to London a few weeks before the course starts to explore the city and see it for yourself.
The following tube stations are all within walking distance to the School’s main building in Keppel Street:
- Goodge Street (Northern line) = 350 meters
- Russell Square (Piccadilly line) = 550 m
- Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines) = 600 m
- Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines) = 600 m
- Warren Street (Victoria and Northern lines) = 850 m
- Euston (Victoria and Northern lines) = 900 m
Looking at accommodation near tube stations in zones 2 to 4 (or beyond depending on budget) that are serviced by the relevant tube lines would ensure a relatively easy commute to the School.
The bus lines 14, 24, 29, 73, 134 and 390 all stop very near the School’s main building in Keppel Street (Chenies Street stop D). Lines 10, 188 and 176 also stop nearby. Check out the Transport for London (TfL) website for bus routes and maps.
What is a safe place to live in London?
London is generally a safe city and we hear of very few problems from students. When choosing an area to live, it is important that you feel safe and comfortable. It’s a good idea to visit an area in the day and in the evening when it’s dark to make sure you will be happy in the area. When visiting a property, you should always plan your route before you go so that you feel confident finding it, and think about taking a friend with you.
It's not uncommon to read about violent crime in the newspapers, but in reality it is very rare, and hardly ever involve innocent passers-by. The most likely thing to happen is that someone steals your phone/wallet.
You can stay safe by taking basic precautions:
- Try and plan your journey before you set out, to avoid the "lost tourist" look
- Don’t walk around flashing your phone for everyone to see
- Don’t walk around with headphones so you can’t hear what is going on around you
- Walk confidently and purposefully – don’t look like a potential victim
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash. And your passport can stay at home – in the UK there is no need to prove your identity if you are stopped by police.
- On the tube or bus, keep your bag close to your body and don’t leave your bag open.
- Never accept a ride from someone you do not know. Take a cab!
- Trust your instincts – if taking a short cut across the park does not feel safe, don’t do it!
- Don’t leave your bag / laptop in a place where you can’t see it (like hanging on the back of your chair).
- Be wary of strangers coming up to and “accidentally” spilling coffee on you, or claiming to have picked something up which belongs to you. This could be a distraction technique while they help themselves to your wallet.
For further guidance about staying safe in London, please download the British Council’s safety booklet (pdf).
Transport in London
Like all Londoners, you will develop a love-hate relationship to London’s transport system but really it is very good at getting millions of people from A to B on a daily basis!
Different types of transport:
London Underground (“the tube”): quickest and most frequent method of getting around. Gets crowded at peak times (between about 7 - 9 in the morning, and 5 – 7 in the evening).
London Overground: the Overground network has been upgraded recently and provides a good service to non-central areas, but Overground trains are not as frequent as the tube.
Bus: cheaper but not really advisable for long journeys due to traffic congestion, unless you are happy sitting in slow-moving traffic for an hour. Best for local journeys.
Cycling: definitely worth considering if you are an experienced city cyclist, but London is not the most bike-friendly place compared to some countries, although improvements have been made in recent years with the introduction of Cycle Superhighways and Quietways. The Santander bike-hire scheme allows you to hire a bike from as little as £2 – there are two docking stations very close to LSHTM.
Which ticket type to buy
If you will be using London transport regularly (e.g. 4+ times a week), you should get an Oyster card and buy a weekly or monthly Travelcard on Oyster covering the appropriate number of travel zones.
If you will be living within cycling or walking distance, it’s still worth getting an Oyster card and loading it with pre-pay credit for occasional use (much cheaper than buying individual tickets).
Oyster cards are available from tube stations, and are valid on the tube, Overground and buses (as well as on tram, DLR, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and on most National Rail services in London). You can buy Travelcards on Oyster or top up your Oyster card with pay-as-you-go credit at ticket machines on tube stations or online at www.tfl.gov.uk.
Once you have registered on your programme at LSHTM, you can apply for a Student Oyster photocard (which gives you 30% discount on Travelcards) on the TfL website.
Transport for London (TfL): everything you need to know about transport in London.
- Use the Journey Planner to work out the best route between places (LSHTM’s Keppel Street postcode is WC1E 7HT, and Tavistock Place is WC1H 9SH, for reference)
- Check live Status updates, and any planned engineering works which may affect your route
- Access tube, Overground, rail and DLR maps (showing the different travel zones), as well as bus, cycle and river transport maps
- Up-to-date information on ticket fares and ways to pay
- Sign up for an Oyster & Contactless online account: top up or buy tickets online and see your journey and payment history
Postcode map: helps you work out roughly what areas the London postcodes correspond to (note that low numbers don't necessarily mean a central location!).
Google maps: locate a potential property, use street view to look around and work out your route on foot.