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Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood
Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood
Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood

Pros and Cons of Living in England

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in UK. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in UK

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

What are the pros and cons of living in England?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in England responded:

"Liverpool is a great city and the people are friendly and have a great sense of humour. There's a lot to do and see and the transport system is good. However, some areas can be quite dangerous because of violent football fans and drug dealers," added another expat in Liverpool.

"I enjoy the wide open spaces, seeing cows and people horse riding nearby. I like that I am 30 minutes or less to London. I like that museums and galleries are free," explained one expat living in Welwyn.

"London is a very international city with many opportunities, however it can be expensive. You can make friends and date, however you need to make an effort. Unfortunately the British are quite insular and Brexit has not helped this and will not help the country economically in future. The National Health Service is overall quite good, however you sometimes need to be assertive to get what you need as they're always trying to save money. The cost of housing can be quite high, but that doesn't mean the quality or cleanliness is good. Renting a nice, clean flat at a reasonable price can be problematic," said another in London.

"London is one of the great cities of the world - its way of life, diverse population, great public transport, choice of entertainment and great food are huge pluses. I love to cook, so the access to the highest quality ingredients is a huge attraction (think Borough Market and great online grocery ordering) as are it's wonderful 'city of villages' feel. From one end to the other, the River Thames is its lifeblood and we have lived overlooking it, as well as literally on it in a converted Dutch barge. The NHS healthcare system is good for basic coverage but, like all socialized services, access to specialists, testing, imaging and so forth are all rationed and, as such, you wait. And wait. That said, we plan to purchase a pied-a-terre here. It's a great place to invest and having this world at our doorstep and Europe across the Channel is what we want as we grow older. ," explained one expat in London.

"Loved living there. Opening a bank account was hard Getting a phone with a decent plan was hard ( no credit history) Finding all the grocery you wanted was hard in walk in grocery stores in city (more pre-made foods)," explained one member in London.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What do expats in England appreciate most about the local culture?

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"I find customer service outstanding, people are very helpful, love the diversity of people, great restaurants and shops...enjoying the weather... very hot in US where I lived. Lots to do here, love the history, theatre, arts etc," said another person in Exeter.

"The main plus for me is the NHS. I was lucky to have good health insurance in the US and was close to top-notch hospitals and doctors. But many Americans have had to live with poor health care or none. The Affordable Care Act is in the throes of changing that, whereas the UK has provided full coverage for everyone for a long time at no point-of-service cost. The other thing I appreciate is good public transportation," remarked another expat in Leeds.

"I love that everything is not open 24/7 and that there is not an all-encompassing focus on things always being as convenient as possible. I like convenience but I appreciate that many stores are not open in evenings or on Sunday. Gives people time just to be with people and not always buying as many in the US do. More than anything I love the public footpaths and that is one of my biggest sadnesses I will have when I move back to the US. Many more people here than in US appreciate simply taking a walk and taking in the scenery," explained one expat living in Hereford.

"That fact that Brits are more like me than they are like people in the Pacific Northwest. I'm originally from New York," said another expat in Cardiff.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do expats find most challenging?

Live in England? Answer this Question

"People are quite reserved and don't readily make eye contact and say hello... lots of simple everyday things to make tasks easier not available here. Going for coffee and getting free refills," remarked another in Exeter.

"The greatest difficulty I had was in finding a job at the level I had had in the US. Another challenge is getting used to housing. Space is at a premium and very few houses provide the storage that Americans are used to," explained one expat.

"Many stores not being open in the evenings. All shopping, other than grocery, needs to be done on the weekend or during the workday," said another person in Hereford.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

UK GuideUK Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in UK.

UK Forum UK Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in UK on our UK forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

UK Index UK Index
An index of all of our site's UK information.

Contribute to UK Network Contribute
Help others in UK by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in UK.

Expat Healthcare Advice in UKHealthcare & Health Insurance in UK

Expats in UK offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in UK.

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in UKMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in UK

Expats in UK offer advice about healthcare in UK.

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Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in UK.

Guide to Real Estate in UKGuide to Real Estate in UK

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in UK.

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