Living in London

London is the captial and the largest city in the UK where more than 9 million people live there. It naturally attracts many Hong Kongers to settle when they first come to the UK. However, London is very big and diverse and each area is very different from each other. Hong Kong people may find it difficult to decide where to settle in London at first. We're going to introduce some of the popular neighbourhood among Hong Kong people for your better understanding!


Ealing is 7.5 miles (12.1km) west away from central London with the nickname of “Queen of the Suburbs” due to its greenery and a perfect balance between city and country life. Ealing was in the historic county of Middlesex on the midway from London to Oxford, until it was incorporated into London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan in 2016, Ealing is a major suburban town in West London connecting to Heathrow Airport with major transport networks such as Piccadilly Line, Central Line, District Line as well as the brand-new Elizabeth Line which combines Great Western Railway and the TfL Rail, which takes it around 30 minutes to central London.

The city centre of Ealing is called Ealing Broadway, where a lot of pubs, restaurants, shops, and a shopping centre are located. Apart from the local markets and antique stores, the Ealing Farmers’ Market every Saturday with farm cheeses and homemade pizza, and the Ealing Beer Festival every summer with the best musical talents and drinks are also one of the famous local events.

However, the quality of the local education and high crime rate may raise your concern. There are around 4 outstanding primary schools and most of the secondary schools are rated 'Above Average' only in Ealing. The crime rate is relatively high comparing with the other towns nearby. Nonetheless, the convenience and suburb life also make Ealing a popular option for Hong Kongers.


Acton is in West London 6.1 miles (10 km) away from central London. It is part of the Ealing Borough sitting between the city and Ealing. It is famous for its Japanese community and often called the 'Little Tokyo'.

There are about 1,000 Japanese residents living in Acton and have opened many businesses to serve the community. Although it is not as big as Chinatown, some shops such as OCS Books which sells manga comic books, sushi restaurants, London Japanese School and the Japnese Recycling Centre could be found in the neighbourhood. There is also a Japanese supermarket called Atariya Foods just next to West Acton tube station. Another supermarket called Natural Natural is very close to Ealing Commons station with many Japanese food and groceries. For Hong Kongers who love Japanese culture and miss traveling to Japan, Acton may be a considerable option for them to reside.

Located between central London and Ealing and the Heathrow Airport, Acton is the pathway of many major tube lines including the Piccadilly Line, Central Line, District Line as well as TfL and Overground that would take you around 20 mins to the airport or the city centre, which is very suitable for Hong Kongers who like to be fast and convenient.

There is also a big park called the Gunnersbury Park with some very beautiful sceneries, a museum, and some sports facilities that would be perfect for someone who likes greens, outdoor activities, or strolling in the park.

Wembley Park

Wembley Park is in Northwest London 7.6 miles (12 km) away from central London. The most famous landmark of this region is the Wembley Stadium, which hosts various major sports, music, and entertainment events, such as the FA Cup finals and semi-finals, the Football League Cup final, the Rugby League Challenge Cup final and other music concerts. For those, Wembley Park is known for a pleasure and events destination for urban Londoners.

Mass re-development has taken place in recent years, which makes the region becoming newer, cleaner, and safer, which also has driven up the rental prices. Some parts of Wembley Park may not have many amenities so the residents may need to walk 20 minutes to the city centre – Wembley Central – for more restaurants and shops. There is also a large shopping outlet called the London Designer Outlet that may interest the shopaholic Hong Kongers!

Although Wembley Park is new and safe with mild property prices and just 30 minutes away from central London, there are only 10 outstanding schools in the borough so it may discourage some Hong Kong families. However, the well-known Harrow School is also located in this region only 10 minutes away from Wembley city centre.

Canary Wharf

Located on the east edge of central London, Canary Wharf is one of the fastest growing districts in London, emerging as the second central business district behind the City of London.

It is on the Isle of Dogs where it was used to be the site of docks. It began to be re-developed in the 80s into a financial district with high-rise buildings where big bank and accounting firms set their offices at, including One Canada Square, the third tallest building in the UK. The skyline and street scene may remind you of Admiralty or Central in Hong Kong.

There are many multi-storey modern apartments in Canary Wharf with security guards where Hong Kong people may find it very similar to their lifestyle in Hong Kong, feel safe, comfortable, and easier to adapt. There is also a big shopping mall just above the tube station which would be loved by the shopaholic Hong Kongers.

Commuting is also very convenient for the Canary Wharf residents if you live next to the tube station. The Jubilee Line can take you 10 to 15 minutes to the city centre. If you live further away from Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs, you can also take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) which can take you to other parts of East London. However, the fare system is not the same with the tube and the DLR so you may need to pay around a double for the transportation.

Canary Wharf is very commercial, new, and safe so it attracts a lot of Hong Kong professionals to live in there. However, on the other hand there are not many schools and culture in the area so it may be a disadvantage for families or people who want to experience the real London life and culture.


Kingston upon Thames is a town in Southwestern London 10 miles (16 km) away from central London. It is often labelled as one of the happiest places to live in England and attracts a lot of Hong Kong families due to its superior school network. There are 16 outstanding schools in the borough, including the Tiffin School which ranked as one of the top 50 schools in England where 25% of their students gained a place at Oxford or Cambridge.

Kingston is located at the southwestern edge of London, and it takes around 30 to 40 minutes to Waterloo Station in central London by the South Western Railway. It could be a bit too far for the people who enjoy vibrant metropolitan life but would be perfect for people who look for a quiet suburb life. There is also a town centre with a shopping mall called the Bentall Centre where all the big brands can be found. Not far from the city centre in New Malden, there is also a Korean Town with many Korean restaurants and supermarkets.

There are many multi-storey modern apartments in Canary Wharf with security guards where Hong Kong people may find it very similar to their lifestyle in Hong Kong, feel safe, comfortable, and easier to adapt. There is also a big shopping mall just above the tube station which would be loved by the shopaholic Hong Kongers.

Although it is in Zone 6, the property prices in Kingston are not any cheaper than in central London due to its safe and comfortable environment with good school network. Also due to its sea level only 33 feet (10 m) above, there is also a possibility of flooding when there is heavy rain.


Richmond upon Thames is a town in southwestern London. It is 8.2 miles (13.2) away from the city centre of London. Like its name, it is considered as the 'rich area' of the city with many grand old Georgian houses and beautiful sceneries that attract families who look for an affluent suburban lifestyle.

There are many royal palaces in the region including the Hampton Court Palace, the Kew Palace, and the Richmond Palace. Additionally, the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – a UNESCO World Heritage Site is only 5 km away from Richmond town centre. 2 km away from the town centre, there is the famous Richmond Park, created by Charles I in the 17th century and is a national nature reserve, a wildlife conservation site and the largest of London’s royal parks. More than 600 wild deer live freely in the park which attract a lot of visitors going to the park just to get a glimpse of these lovely creatures. There are also a lot of facilities in the park for different sports lovers including cycling, fishing, golfing, tennis, horse riding, rugby and running.

Due to its royal history, palaces, and parks, it is one of the richest areas in London and the property prices are higher than the average London level. However, if you want your children to succeed, Richmond would be a great place to live as there are 16 schools ranked as UK’s top 500 schools. The ACS Cobham International School is also a boarding school that would interest some higher middle class Hong Kong families. Other schools such as Dulwich College, Epsom College, Royal Russell College, St. Catherine’s School, and the Lady Eleanor Holles School are also some of the traditional elite schools that may be considerable options.

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