A Scot’s Guide To Surviving London


photo by Jenny Rose Anderson

I love and hate living in London. It’s weird. I feel like I’m having such a sh*t time yet also enjoying myself while doing so. I made the move to London almost a year ago to pursue my design career and I will still stand by my decision as one of the best things for me. However, I do miss my home in Scotland, my friends and family are there, things are more laidback, the air is fresher and you don’t have to repeat yourself a solid three time before people actually understand what you’re trying to even say… But none the less I’m loving all the things that London life has to offer.


Speaking with my fellow London based Scots it made me realise how much of a lifestyle change it is from living in our native city of Glasgow… Like, we are still in the United Kingdom, but London as a city couldn’t be anymore foreign to us Scots and I’m going to give you a quick run down on how you can survive living in the big smoke:

1- Right let’s start with the basics, our accent… not even our accent actually, our slang! Nobody knows what a “Haud yer wheesht!” is down here, so this is when the dreaded wanky Glasgow Uni accent comes in handy *sigh*.

2 – Find yourself a wee group of Scottish pals. This will keep your homesickness at bay and you will also be able to get through one conversation without people looking at you like you’re speaking some form of secret language.

3 – Make non-Scottish friends. Right, you haven’t moved south to just make pals of your own nationality, socialise with everyone – In my experience Australians can be a laugh!

4 – There may be the odd snob who will comment on your northern ways but it’s okay, you’re the real winner here because nobody likes a guy who refers to himself as a socialite… get tae pal.

5 – And on that note don’t punch the posh boy that claims his ‘daddy owns half of Scotland’ it’s only going to get you thrown out the club.

6 – In general people aren’t that friendly… But please don’t turn to the London ways, be a gid yin in a bad bunch.

7 – A night out. If you’re a Buff Club person hit Shoreditch, if you’re Catty person hit Camden Town, Garage kinda person you’ll like Brixton and if you’re a Kushion person you can go south to Clapham.

8 – Speaking of drinking, learn to up your pre-drinking game because who fancies taking out a short term loan just so you can afford 2 doubles and a shot of sourz… no me anyway.

9 – Be careful with the way you pronounce the number 6. Apparently the way we pronounce it sounds awfully like a similar word replacing the i with an e… Raises a few eyebrows.

10 – Nobody speaks on the tubes, this isn’t Glasgow anymore you’re in nae pals city. Always bring your earphones or a book.

11 – When your mum offers to bring down some square sausage and tattie scones you grab that opportunity with both hands and freeze the f*ck out that stash and savour it.

12 – You’ll find that you have a lot of common ground with Northern English people, so if you hear that instantly recognisable Yorkshire accent, move in that direction.

13 – Standing on the left hand side of the escalators going down to the tube will instantly start a fight, please pleaseee for the good of your health stand on the right.

14 – Find yourself some really sound flat mates, easier said than done but bloody hell it will make your time in London far better.

15 – Grab every opportunity that comes your way in London, the city might not be home but it’s one of the biggest cities in the world and there is so many things to do and see!

Like I said, I love and hate London… But I’m surviving and definitely not ready to come home yet.

More Photography by Jenny Rose Anderson:



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