Stairs go down to the entrance of Bank tube station in London, England.

London’s History: The Blitz

From September 1940 to May 1941, Britain and its population had to endure sustained bombing by the Germans—an event that is referred to as “the Blitz” (German for “lightning”). In town, you can still see the scars of where the bombs fell, knocking out a few houses in a terrace of older properties.

Rainbow with a dark overcast sky above suburban houses in London, England.

Living with the Weather in London

Expert author and long-time London resident Karen White shares her experiences with the weather and seasons in London, from dealing with short winter days and long summer ones, its stereotypical rainy streets, and the relatively uncommon experience of snow–and occurrence that, when it finally happens, unfortunately throws the city into chaos.

A row of purple and white buildings with large wooden doors, known as mews in England.

Useful London Real Estate Terms

There are numerous types of properties available in London, and the range is staggering: from converted lofts to terraced houses to apartment blocks—with everything in between. The whole process of finding accommodation in London (especially a home purchase) is very different from the procedure used in the United States, so be prepared for a bit of a roller-coaster ride when trying to rent or buy a home in London. To get you started, here is a helpful list of important British real estate terms for both buyers and renters.

A staircase leads up to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple, which is set against a blue sky.

Religion in London

According to a recent census, the United Kingdom as a whole is a fairly religious place, with believers outnumbering nonbelievers. The dominant religion is Christianity, with the Protestant Church of England the most common, followed by Roman Catholics. Other significant religions include Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism.

A cobblestone street in London, England.

Preserving London’s Past

America is still a very young country by European standards. While many visitors to London may be conscious of the city’s age, they often fail to realize just how much its roads and homes continue to be shaped by the past. I certainly believe that one of London’s most charming aspects is that it does value the past and tries hard to preserve its history.

A pair of Indian men sit on a bench in Southall, London, England.

Ethnicity and Class in London

Americans moving to London may well be a bit shocked by the immense range of cultures, religions, nationalities, and people that you get in a large city like London. That strong American sentiment that “with hard work you can achieve your goals” doesn’t always ring true here; social immobility in the United Kingdom has a long history and to a certain extent can be deeply ingrained, with people from the lower class encountering real obstacles to their climb up the social ladder.

Waiting in line at the Bank of London. Photo © Sean O'Neill, licensed Creative Commons 2.0.

Day-to-Day Etiquette in London

While Americans are generally regarded as being forthright and on the loud side, the British are known quite rightly for their steely reserve, as well as their ironic and sarcastic sense of humor. On the whole, you’ll find plenty of day-to-day formality in Britain and the best way to avoid a cultural mishap-and not commit a dreaded ‘jump the queue’ move-is to brush up before you go

Adults supervising children at a soccer training session on a grassy field in front of school buildings.

Planning a Fact-Finding Trip to London

Moving across the Atlantic to settle in London is a big step and not one that should be taken lightly. Most people find it useful to make at least one short trip to the capital before they make the big move so they can become acquainted with the city.

cover Moon Mapguide London 4e

Moon MapGuide London

Moon MapGuide London puts the best that London has to offer at your fingertips. This compact guide puts the essentials of London’s must-see neighborhoods on discreet fold-out maps, helping you navigate the city without looking like a typical tourist. Colored tabs make it easy to quickly flip to the location and activity you want. Find […]

Moon Living Abroad London, 2nd ed.

Moon Living Abroad London

Writer and adoptive Londoner Karen White knows what it takes to make the move to London. In Moon Living Abroad London, she shares her seasoned advice on transplanting to this bustling English city. From obtaining visas and arranging your finances to finding employment and choosing schools for your kids, White uses her firsthand knowledge of […]