Last update: 05.09.2018
West End is the beating heart of London City where history and culture from all around the globe collide in this relatively compact area and create one exceptionally vibrant world.
Living in the Luxurious and Busy West End is an Expensive Experience
It’s a place of extreme luxury, traditional values, great entertainment, and a bunch of big international commercial brands' offices. However, the United Kingdom's capital is an attractive location for people from all around the world - for the mega-rich, for young professionals, and for tourists wanting to visit all the top attractions in the town.
Being not the most affordable location in the world, London’s bustling West End has plenty to offer if you have money to play with and want to be right in the heart of the action. With an average property price of £1,500,000 and average rental price of £896 per week, it’s a place that’s reserved for the wealthy.
Nevertheless, investing in London will almost certainly give you a great ROI should you ever want to move on. As West End estate agents, LDG< says, “If you love the city and want to get a real flavour of London’s rich cultural tapestry, you’ll fall in love with this part of the town.” The good news is that the average weekly earnings are highest in workplaces in central and west London with an average income of £700 - £1,000 per week. Yet many of the City workers are making rather more than a thousand pounds considering the number of tech companies situated in these boroughs.
The Advantages of Living in the West End
The notorious West End refers to the entertainment district and shopping areas from Covent Garden across to Oxford Street. It offers a good mix of theatres, art galleries, shops, restaurants and high spec houses and apartments, all with excellent transport links to the rest of London and beyond.
Here you can also visit many of the embassies, government buildings around Whitehall, legal institutions and some major media companies like the BBC, Channel 4, Bauer Media, News Corp, Time Inc UK, etc.
Some of the top universities in the country like the University of Westminster, University of the Arts London, UCL, King’s College London, LSE are also located exactly in the heart of the London's West End.
Places like Soho, Regent Street, Bond Street, St Christopher’s Place, and Oxford Street offer some of the most famous shops in the world, and if you like rubbing shoulders with the stars, there are plenty of places to spot celebrities.
“Try The Ivy. Nobu or Momo for great food and some famous faces” suggests Kubie Gold, “You’ll need to book well ahead and be prepared to spend some serious money for the privilege though!”
Museums, Galleries, and more...
The major tourist spots attracting more than 15 million visitors each year can be found among all the glamour surrounding one of the most expensive locations in the world. The most popular museums and galleries located in the West End region are The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts and The London Transport Museum.
Other big attractions such as 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, the Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, the Marble Arch, Regent’s Park, the London Zoo and the Sherlock Holmes Museum must be on your to-visit list.
An event that gathers thousands of tourists and Londoners is the annual New Year’s Day Parade which takes place on the streets of the West End on 1 January. This is the biggest New Year Day’s street event of its kind. Marching bands and hundreds of scouts take part in the parade to raise funds for charities in London.
Perhaps the most famous thing about West End remains its theatre scene. Alongside Broadway in New York, West End theatre is a symbol of the highest quality theatre in the world. There are about 40 theatres performing musicals, classic plays and comedies.
Another prominent area is Soho where the day and the night merge together. It’s a hot scene for live entertainers, diverse and wild nightlife and eccentric characters. Its a place still associated with the unconventional and risquè lifestyle of the Londoners through the centuries. Soho continues to be a symbol of the sexual revolution and freedom as the area remains the red-light district of central London. There you can enjoy the best burlesque shows and find some of the most famous gay clubs.
This is the best place to browse boutique shops and appreciate a delicious meal, cocktail and the bohemian atmosphere. It’s also home to the legendary film company 20th Century Fox. And Chinatown is the place where you will be able to find rare goods and flavours and almost 80 restaurants offering cuisine from across the Far East.
Mayfair is the iconic fashion scene of West End. There you can find luxurious fashion, beauty brands, art and antique dealers and exclusive restaurants. Also, that is the place where you can visit the boutiques of the most prestigious high fashion brands.
Paradoxes and Transportation
Like many other parts of London, the West End is notable for its paradoxes. Plush apartments and high-end restaurants share the landscape with run-down buildings, whilst some of the best dressed and most affluent people in the country walk alongside the poor and homeless.
On the plus side, this is a vibrant and multicultural area and some people say that these differences are one of the things that make the place so interesting and special.
With its diversity, busy streets, the presence of one of the most powerful and biggest international businesses and constant entertainment, the West End can only be compared to Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the Gangnam District in Seoul, Sol in Madrid, the 8th Arrondissement in Paris and Shibuya in Tokyo.
The West End is fantastically well connected to the rest of London and served by the Piccadilly Line. There are also plenty of buses, taxis, convenient overground rail and bikes available to everybody and you can also drive - but don’t expect using a car to be quick as central London is still very congested.
Overcrowding and delays in the public transport are to be expected in this hectic megalopolis. Arguably the best way to get around is on foot - just wear some good walking shoes and cosy socks so your feet can handle the pounding they’ll get from the cobbled streets.
There is Something for Everyone
There really is something for everyone in this part of town, and it’s the perfect place to find an unusual gift for a loved one or something special for your home. The streets are full of books and memorabilia shops, and there are plenty of artisan bakeries and art galleries to choose from.
Fans of music and entertainment are particularly keen on the UFO Club - it’s where names like Pink Floyd started their careers and still a famous venue today.
The West End isn’t known for its peace and quiet but rather for its buzzing and very dynamic lifestyle, so if you’re looking for somewhere reserved and restful to stay this won’t be to your taste - it’s a 24/7 part of the city and there’s always something exciting going on.
Assetgrove summarises - "The West End is busy, bold and a little brash, but it’s also beautiful and historic. If you want to live somewhere exciting, well-appointed and easy to get to, it doesn’t get much better."