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May 27, 2010
Moving to London: Where To Look For Homes In London
The Iconic London Tube Map was first designed in 1931 by a member of the London Underground’s engineering department. The beauty of the map is that it is not to scale. Stations are arranged so that train lines are easy to follow and understand. This also helped Real Estate marketers who were trying to sell property further out in Greater London. Stations in places like Acton and Finchley seemed closer than they really were because the tube map didn’t show the true distance between stations, encouraging home buyers to move further out of the city.
When I first moved to London, however, the tube map seemed to have an opposite effect. Worried that it would take too long to get around, I was initially unwilling to look outside Zone One. I found when I moved here that Zones Two and Three are far from the outer edge of London, and often times are my evening destinations.
The London Tube map is not drawn to scale for a good reason. Zones may indicate distance in space but not always time. Stations in Zones Two or Three can sometimes allow for quick and easy travel if you pick the right locations. Look for properties on the same side of the city and the same lines as your office, University, or anywhere you know you will go on a regular basis. I found once I moved that crossing through an entire zone can take less time than crossing central London or transferring lines.
Ultimately, knowledge of London neighbourhoods helps immensely when choosing where to live, and your travel time cannot be easily judged by what zone you live in. My advice, don’t rule out any locations before checking the Transport for London website to see how long the commute really would take.