Living in London

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 Maghi123 on Sat, 18/03/2023 - 09:39


I would like to know why the speaker says "my oldest is 9" since he has only 2 children shouldn't he has used a comparative?
Thank you

Hello Maghi123,

It's OK to use a superlative when comparing two children's ages, though you are right in thinking that in most contexts we'd normally use a comparative form. I'm not sure why it's different with children's ages, but it is.

All the best,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by anagtz98 on Wed, 22/02/2023 - 19:47


Im Ana and im from of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The bad things that living here its a Juarez has a lot of Potholes, the weather its very extreme and sometimes we have insecurity, but Juarez has a lot goog thing like the food called burrito, the people its very sociable and nice, its a border with USA and has a lot jobs opportunities.

Submitted by meknini on Tue, 12/07/2022 - 09:47


I would say a very small town with a lifestyle that resembles more of a village with everyone know each other and welcome everybody into their homes especially during events like weddings and festive celebrations. The local community would generally lend a helping hand to set up tents and serve foods to guests during these occasions. The least comfortable about living in a close-knit community like mine is the inability to form new relationships or friendships as everyone seem to grow up together in a way it's like we have known each other a lifetime. It could be quite dull if you're a sociable and love networking as it's quite nearly impossible to form new ones.

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.