Living in London

Listen to Luke talking about London life and the best and worst things about living there.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Interviewer: Hi, Luke. Thanks for talking to me today.

Luke: Hi, Jo. Nice to meet you.

Interviewer: Erm, what would you like to talk about?

Luke: I'm going to talk about living in London, erm, and the kind of love–hate relationship I have with it – and I assume most people do. I've been living in London for about 15 years, maybe a bit longer. And I've lived kind of mostly in kind of north and east London. So I moved to Camden originally and now I live in Hackney, which is probably the kind of trendiest area of London, and that's not necessarily why I live there, but it's a nice area of London. And most people that come to London, visit London, think that central London is London. And, but, where – generally people don't live in central London. Erm, people don't spend too much time in central London. They might work there, but they don't visit there. So, you might come to London as a tourist and go to somewhere like Leicester Square, er, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Regent Street, that kind of area. And I'm very rarely in that area. Erm, so, I live, erm, slightly on the outskirts but it's not really on the outskirts 'cause it's kind of Zone 2, Zone 3, which for most people that live in London, that's quite close to the centre. So, it takes me about half an hour to get into town. And when you live in London you say 'town' as in 'central London'. And things I love about London is that I've got two children that live in London. Well, my oldest is nine and there's so many things to do, constantly, and so many events every weekend. Erm, you go somewhere like the South Bank and there's always something happening throughout the year. You can always go to the theatre, go to the cinema, there's amazing restaurants and cafés. Erm, there's lots of things to experience but there's also … the downside is it's, there's a kind of lack of stillness and quietness that you might get if you live outside the city. But of course you can always go to Royal Parks which are amazing. Erm, I think my favourite thing about living in London is, erm, the kind of, well, where I live particularly there's a bit of a local community, it's kind of like a small village. It's called Stoke Newington, which everyone that lives in London has heard of but tourists haven't necessarily heard of and it's actually quite a nice place to visit. 

Interviewer: What's the worst thing about living in London for you?

Luke: Erm, the Underground's pretty horrific, erm, and what I find is, I used to come up to London when my dad worked in London when I was a kid, sort of 20, 30 years ago. Maybe even longer. And there was, there was rush hour, and rush hour was the morning and the evening or the early afternoon, and now London is just one constant rush hour. Doesn't matter what time you get on the Tube or what time you get a bus, it's packed. It's always packed, and if you drive in London as well it's the same thing. It just takes forever to get anywhere. Erm, so, I, my worst thing is how busy it is. It's hectic.

Interviewer: OK. Thanks so much for talking to me.

Luke: Pleasure!

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Submitted by Viktoriia Besedina on Mon, 20/06/2022 - 08:03


I live in Odesa, Ukraine. It's a city with more than 1 million inhabitants. Odesa is located on the Black Sea and this is what I love about my city. I can go to the sea at any time and the way will take me no more that 1 hours. The worst thing in Odesa is the rush hours in the morning when everyone goes to work and in the evening when they go home.

Submitted by LaiaT on Fri, 01/04/2022 - 16:20


I live in Montblanc which is a town near Barcelona ( Catalonia ). There are 7000 inhabitans, it's surraunded by mountains and it has a fantastic mediaval wall. The best thing if you live in a town is the stillness, because there isn't the same population as in a city. And the worst is that there aren't many shops to go shopping but it's not important bacause we live near a big city or we can shop online.

Submitted by katia Barros on Thu, 19/08/2021 - 20:41

I live in Rochester, It is a small city in New York. I 've been living here for almost 2 years. And you know, I love it. My first impression wasn't good, and for one moment i thought: What i did from my life? Everything chilli and white. I arrived in the winter beginning, i was in shock. I was frozen. But now i am utterly in love. My first reason to love Rochester is the stillness, i can hear the birds songs, the nature is fantastic. My neighborhood is farms, barns, so, i can see deer, squires, bunnys for all places. In Rochester we can observed the four seasons. I never lived this before. And my favorite season is the fall....i love the colours. It is not a big city like Dubai and Rio de Janeiro, the last two city that i lived, but i have everything that i need in Rochester. Rochester is calm and quiet, i usually spend 15 minutes to arrive in my job and we don't have rush hour. And i have space, i don't need to struggled for spot in a Metro, I go to work with my own car.

Submitted by Alsou on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 08:37

I live in a town. The good thing about living here is small distance. You don't need to spend much time to get to one or another place. Another thing is that my town is quiet and peaceful, someone can say it is boring, but there is a big city in 200 km way, so one can go there for a day or two to visit interesting places like museums, theatres, cinemas. The worst thing about living here is that it is dirty. You can see rubbish lying near the houses. Sometimes it makes me upset.
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Submitted by danisep on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 22:49

I live in a small city called Cucuta in Colombia which is located in the border with Venezuela, this city is good because is stillness and quietness, you can get to any place taking just 15 minutes to travel on car, Is mostly a hot city but you take 2 hours on travel to get a cold city or town, I think that is good place to live and the estate cost is cheap in comparison with others cities, the security is good, that depends of the neighborhood, the only huge problem is job, in this city there is no industry and mostly people here work in commerce formal or informal and people that has a lot of money works and has business and other places in Colombia or oversea.

Submitted by Dolores Garsetz on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 19:25

I live on the countryside, in a nice selfbuilded house, that my husband and I designed by ourselves. It is not far from the village where I work and my youngest son´s school. It is also near Cáceres, the town where both my husband and my eldest daughter work. The best thing of living there is that you can relax in the quietness of a big garden, where we have plenty of work to do as well, which is the best way for us to manage stress and workout our bodies. You can also have animals, a very important thing for doglovers as we are. We share our sofas and garden with three dogs and one cat. The only weakness I see on the way we live, is that we always depend on a car, and that maybe, despite of the freedom of living in a quiet place, our children depend too much on us as parents to go to school, playing sports or hanging out with friends, which is a matter to consider if you will rise more independent children. So, as soon as they turn eighteen, getting the driving license is a must.

Submitted by Bienvenumbairané on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 21:08

Hi! I am MBAIRANE from Chad. I love ever learning english as foreign language. I got my high school diploma in 2014 and the same year I was admitted at university of N'Djamena. But I unfortunately dropped out my major program which is Letters and English Studies. In my country, all good study domains are only at the University of N'Djamena. So if any student has problems with a tutor perhaps, he or she will move to neighbour country to achieve his or her further studies. Despite its beauty and its characteristics as national capital of Chad. Moreover, whether you are graduated or having not any professional training you will get life hard.

Submitted by Bienvenumbairané on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 20:53

Good evening! I am MBAIRANE from N'Djamena. I have been living in this city since 2014. It's a larger city with so much more people. And it's unique beautiful city that you can see good buildings. But N'Djamena is better to those who are graduated and managed any business. And then in rainy season there's nothing good I mean no good way to pass because of lack of infrastructures. Anyway, I love it because it's my home place better than anywhere.

Submitted by Bienvenumbairané on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 20:42

I am MBAIRANE from the national capital of Chad. I have found him so fast but I can't blame him because speaking fast is already included his second manner. I hope I can do exactly as well as he does now. Thank you.

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Sat, 29/08/2020 - 19:58

Hi, my name is Mauricio, I'm from Colombia and living in Cali city. Living in Cali has a lot of advantages but disadvantages, too. The main and most important feature regarding Cali is the enormous diversity and different environments such as parks amid the city for taking lunch or if you want to go out and feeling the breeze on your face, you can do it because there're are different choices, for instance, Pance or 'El Kilometro 18'.

Submitted by sheida on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 16:31

Hi.I live in a city.I have been living here since i was born. The thing i like about my city is that there are a lot of old palaces to see.There is a long river at the center of my city surrounded by trees and parks, and that is why it is one of the most beautiful cities. The thing that really annoys me is the way our people behave. they disobey rules.Their driving habits are awful. Although,they are kind,they are so curious about what you do,what you wear,how you look, and etc. Despite all these, I love it.

Submitted by Julia19 on Thu, 06/08/2020 - 09:48

I live in a big city. I love it speed and a lot of different events being arranging every day wherever you go. But sometimes I'm really tired from its constant tension on traffic and crowded public transport. So many peole on every place don't afford just to relax. For some times I'd like to live in a more quiet and small town but I still love place where I live though it has disadvantages.
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Submitted by Monserrat HES on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 00:57

Yes, I lived in Europe, I am from Mexico City. Bilbao is a great city. But it is a small city. It´s like a little village. So, sometimes it was boring. For the morning, I went to school, in the afternoon back to my home, but in night don't have many things to do. Mex City is a big city, actually is the bigger city in the Latin American. It's good. Here you have to many things for to do. But, the city is very very dangerous.

Submitted by senes19 on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 13:57

I live in a downside. It is quite near of Frankfurt. There is many advantages. For example, when you want to visit city center, you are very closed. And also if you want a bit quitenes, you have of course. Both you can arrive what you are needing easily, and you can live slightly quite and calm life. In addition this, you may attend different events in downside and city. Besides you can reach your basic goals and objectives in the city. For example you have a kide,
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Tue, 19/05/2020 - 02:00

I live in the city. The best thing about where I live is that the area is lively, commercialized and infrastructured with sophisticated facilities, while the bad side about it just like London, there's constant rush hour mostly in the morning, afternoon and evening, as well as fullness of buses which sometimes keep someone waiting.

Submitted by Nanya on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 21:14

To live in a central city or village, it seems related to ages. Older people love quietness and they like to live in a village where young people may feel boring to live in. Anyway, I yearn for rural life.

Submitted by nikoslado on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 20:15

Dear Team and friends listeners, I' d like to agree with ''nicky62'', about the difficulties that we foreigners have in understanding fast, unclear and native speakers in many videos and I must say I myself have repeatedly commented on this problem.I'm sure the task Team know this issue. From all comments I've taken from the teachers of the Τeam, I realised that this is something we have to go through slowly and patiently even if it's difficult and frustrating for us. Because these are just the English that are spoken today in everyday life. .In fact, in the preface of the ''Audio zone'' states that ....'' people talking naturally about topics that interest them. The speakers are from all over the world, so you will hear a wide range of accents. There are audios for upper intermediate (CEFR level B2) and advanced (CEFR level C1) learners.'' Therefore, my friends, we just have to do it again and again and at some point, hopefully, we'll start to get acquainted. If it's still tough, skip it for a while, choose one more manageable and come back later. There is no other way in self learning... Many thanks to the Team and the listeners who communicate with this site. Nikoslado
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Submitted by nicky62 on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 01:26

luke speaks very fast and very very unclear . if there is no transcript no one can understand his words unless a native english . do you agree with me?

Submitted by Rena on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 13:19

Hi. Living in a small town surrounded by friendly people , beautiful nature is perfect . But there not so many events where would you like to go or take you children . You can find good places as a park , cafes , restaurants . So there are good and boring moments here

Submitted by elenaklimova on Sun, 26/04/2020 - 14:07

Hello everyone! I live in Moscow. It`s the biggest Russian city with the population over 11 million people. And it`s aslo such a love-hate relationship. I`ve lived here for 3 years. I love my city for opportunities, lifestyle, entertainments. Here is always big choice of theatres, museums, restaurants and parks. Lots of trendy and talanted people live and work here. In my opinion it`s cool to have an apartment in the center or close to the center, because one of the worst things about Moscow is using public transport in rush hour every day. The underground is packed in working days despite trains go every 20-30 seconds. People who live on the outskirts spend 1-2-3 hours to get their offices. I`m a lucky person, my apartment is located very close to the center. It takes just 20 minutes on foot to reach my office. One more reason to live in the center is going out anytime. The downside is it's about prices for apartments, they are more expensive.

Submitted by ellytran on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 04:07

for the better part of my life,i've been living in a small town, i have a love and hate relationship with it, it's not very polluted, the inhabitants are friendly. it's pretty hot though, and it's a bit far away from the city centre where most of the events are held
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Submitted by Nazla43 on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 01:05

Hello I live in a town too, it is big has 144.000 inhabitants. It is really quiet and you can walk to go to someplace you need for example to the bank or the shopping market.

Submitted by GLADYSIGO on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 23:12

I live in a zone intermedia called urban periferia, this zone is ventanilla in Callao - Peru, the most thing there i like is cheap food, cheap clothes and transportation. But its very polluted in this area.

Submitted by Uche_Blessing on Mon, 24/02/2020 - 18:53

I live in the outskirts of the city of Abuja Nigeria, a place called Sokale. It's like a small town. The nice thing about the area is the serenity and the beautiful rocks. The downside though, is the distance from the central district, where all the lively events and conferences hold.

Submitted by saied tarek on Wed, 19/02/2020 - 02:02

i think im not facing this thing cuz i live in cairo and this is the capital city of egypt so every thing that u need u will get it but sometimes when i visit my grandma i faces this thing
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Submitted by The Queen of Egypt on Tue, 18/02/2020 - 22:51

Yes, i live in a city which has 8 millions of people. I have a love hate relationship with it too. It's crowded city and there are a few unfriendly people. It hasn't a lot of greenery areas but it has a lot of beaches.

Submitted by Vidyasagar on Wed, 12/02/2020 - 15:17

Yes, i live in a city. I live in an area which is 10 minutes away by bike. It's like a community, but a very small group. It feels like a village with greenery and it's never hectic, and is always peaceful. But the downside is, the roads are in very bad condition. After completion of an underground drainage work, the government and the contractors left the road with potholes.

Submitted by Marilea on Mon, 03/02/2020 - 13:23

Yes. I did the on line test.

Submitted by Marilea on Mon, 03/02/2020 - 13:17

I live in a huge city with more than 4 million inhabitants. It is a very interesting city where I can work and also have fun with my family. As I recently moved to this city, I´m still finding out the surroundings. From my point of view, the best thing in town are the parks. They are well maintained and my son can play during the weekends. On the other hand, the worst thing that I can point about the place where I live is the traffic jam. It´s always difficult to get home during the rush hours.
Good afternoon, I am not sure if I am doing it properly, that´s why I would like to receive a feedback from you. I will be glad if you send me a short note. Thanks a lot. Loocking forward to receiving a reply from you.

Hello Marilea,

We read every comment which is made on our site and we try to answer as many as we can. When someone has a question about our material or about how English works, we try to provide an answer. The LearnEnglish Team is small, however, so we can't really participate in online chat, much as we'd like to!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 22/01/2020 - 19:01

I live in a town which has 120.000 inhabitants; it's a small town if compared to those of the big cities in my country (Italy), but it's the biggest town of my Region. This feature makes my town appropriate for many persons, who find here a place where they fit.