25 pros and cons of living in England (2023)

Decide if you shouldmove to UK? And are the pros and cons of England worth it? There are good and bad things in every country and it's always better to be really prepared before making any big decisions. All big changes come with challenges, but the rewards are often worth it.

There are many good reasons to move to England, but too often the cinema and the media paint a rosy version of English life. Although we have hills and stunning scenery, there are some disadvantages.

Here are the pros and cons of living in England, along with my own personal experiences in this wonderful country.

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Pros: Excellent public transport system

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England is known for its excellent public transport system, which covers the entire country.

In London alone, the London Underground system is a fantastic example of how effective a good public transport system can be. The history of the metro began in the 19th century with the opening of the first underground metro line in 1890. Over the last one hundred and thirty years, the system has become increasingly successful, evolving into the efficient transportation system it is today.

Outside London, the whole country benefits from an excellent train station system (including in rural areas). Stations are easily accessible to everyone and generally reliable.

National bus lines play an equally important role in the smooth functioning of the public transport system. Bus and train stations cover the whole of Britain, from the most rural villages to the bustling cities.

Bus times can vary, but in densely populated areas, bus stops generally offer services every 10 minutes. In more rural areas, the bus may only come once an hour or, in extreme cases, only a few times a day. The bottom line here is that no matter where you are, you will likely have access to some form of public transport. This is ideal for people who don't drive or can't afford a car.

Disadvantage: public transport

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While public transport in England is great, it also has its downsides. You will always hear the Brits complain when there are delays and it seems that anything can cause this, leaves on the track, tracks too hot from the sun, ice on the track and everything else to do with the weather.

Shipping is also expensive! For example, if you move from a catchment area to London, you could easily spend £5,000 a year on a train ticket.

Psst… if you want to save money, you should buy a train ticket. There are different types that you can get. Check their website to see if any meet your needs. This can save 1/3 of rail fares across the UK (although not on season tickets).

Pro: National Health Service

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One of the biggest benefits of living in England is access to healthcare. Due to the payment of taxes on our wages, services are mostly free or limited.

The National Health Service, or 'NHS', is a vital service that promises a better quality of life for all. The NHS contributes a lot to England's good standard of living by removing health concerns and financial burdens for the masses.

Being able to call an ambulance without worrying about being charged is a world-class luxury. If an elderly loved one falls or you or your partner have been diagnosed with cancer, the added financial burden is simply not an issue here.

It is worth noting that dental care here is not completely free and usually requires a flat fee based on the service provided. However, free dental care is available to eligible low-income and senior residents.

Optometry is also not a free service and is subject to a fee. Many employers offer excellent employee benefits that cover the field of optometry. Some have access to free eye care if they are vulnerable enough to qualify.

It is also important to be aware of the NHS surcharge as part of visa applications. It depends on the type of visa, so do your research if you're thinking of moving to England. For5 Year Ancestry VisaThis can cost up to £3,000 on top of visa costs.

Cons: Wait times for services

The impact of 2020/2021 on the SNS means that there is now a long wait for services and the reason for the impact is understandable. I am grateful for the efforts of the NHS during this time and I just thank them for their service.

There is a KPI that says 92% of patients on the referral schedule should be treated within 18 weeks. These have not been met since 2016 and reached a new high after 14 years.

You might want to consider private health care if this is an issue for you.

Pro: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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If you enjoy sublime views of nature and a slower pace of life, then the English countryside will appeal to you.

England has a beautiful landscape that is hard to beat. The Shropshire hills and breathtaking views of the Lake District are just a few examples of just how stunning the scenery here really is.

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Enjoy quaint small town life in chocolate box towns with tiny cottages. Or if you enjoy nature and city life, come and experience the beautiful city parks this country has to offer.

See for yourself the vast moors that inspired classics of English literature such as Brontë's Wuthering Heights or the rolling hills that inspired Tolkien's Shire.

England also has stunning beaches and seaside towns. Cornwall in particular is a popular tourist destination with a very desirable property market. In the summer months, English seaside towns are super fun for a day trip or weekend getaway. Enjoy a classic serving of British fish and chips by the seaside or an ice cream while enjoying the view.

If you're more into walking, the Peak District's reputation might be for you. Explore the charming town of Bakewell and taste the world famous Bakewell pie or enjoy long walks through the Yorkshire Dales. The possibilities are endless!

Downside: Overtourism in certain areas

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as the Cotswolds,Lake District ou Peak Districtare known around the world for their breathtaking beauty and receive many visitors every year. This is great for England as its economy thrives on tourism and brings great support to small businesses in rural areas.

However, we must support responsible tourism and minimize our negative impact on the environment and local communities. This is something we learn over time as we travel, and being aware of this builds habits over time.

Caring for the landscape mainly depends on common sense, e.g. B. Leave places as you found them, removing rubbish and avoiding waste that conflicts with the natural ecosystem.

Or plan your trip carefully to leave a positive mark on England. For example, instead of driving there, consider taking the train. Travel during off-peak hours so your business is evenly distributed.

Instead of booking a place to stay on Airbnb, see if you can book directly with the property so they can raise money to support their small business.

Pro: England's rich history

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England has a long and rich history that you can explore for yourself amongst mystical ruins and well-preserved historic buildings. Visit sites like Stonehenge or the Shropshire hill forts to learn about ancient civilizations.

The history of England is one of the most attractive pros on this list for those with a sense of adventure and a curious mind.

This is also a good sign of educational opportunities for children!Explore England's castles and historic sitesand enjoy the rich historical setting.

Stand at the site of ancient battles (think battlefield and Abbey at the Battle of Hastings in 1066) or take in the viewBuckingham Palaceand its guards. For history buffs, there's plenty to do and see! Walk the hills and see the ruins of Roman forts or tour restored mansions.

Whether you're interested in ancient history or the Victorians (check out the Blists Hill Victorian Town Experience for Victorian shops and mills), there's something for everyone. Across England, each city has its own historic attractions to explore.

There's plenty to see for anyone who also enjoys the Industrial Revolution era or fans of WWII history. Visit trailers full of old warplanes or visit museums dedicated to England's Industrial Revolution and see the big machines.

Pro: Free art galleries and museums

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Across the UK, you'll find that museums are free! If you are interested in education, culture and the arts then England has many wonderful museums, art galleries and beautiful parks to offer.

This was mainly introduced in 2001 and it is a great privilege that we have. Although they are free, if you visit a museum, remember to make a donation or become a member to support its upkeep.

You will find that the exhibits are paid for and most places are open at least once. My favorite is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, given at various locations in England.

If you are more into art, England also has a lot to offer in this area. With art galleries across the country, there's always something to see and do.

British Museum

The British Museum is particularly attractive as it is a world-renowned museum with many offerings that are constantly changing and updating. No two visits are the same - be sure to revisit the attractions.

It is a wonderful place dedicated to the history, art and culture of mankind and full of wonders to explore. Founded in 1753, the museum itself is a piece of British history.

Tate Modern

Check out the amazing Tate Modern in London - housed in the former Bankside Power Station (wow!), this art gallery is an iconic part of London. Not only is it home to incredible work by artists from around the world, it also has live art performances and installations for you to enjoy. The exhibitions held throughout the year are another reason to keep coming back to this gallery.

Pros: West End and theaters

If theater is your thing, England has some amazing venues and performances to offer. See the impressive interiors of ancient theaters and watch modern performances of classic plays. What else can you expect from Shakespeare's house?

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There are great theaters all over England, here are some of my favourites:

  • Book of Mormon
  • Hamilton
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Lion King
  • some shakespeare

pro: holidays

One of the biggest perks of living in England is the holidays. Take advantage of the days off with the holidays popping up throughout the year.

Here's a list of holidays in 2022 for reference, so you can see how many extra days of paid vacation you can get (on top of your assigned annual leave from work!):

January 3rd


New Year (substitute day)

April 15


good Friday

April 18th


easter monday

2. may


Holiday in early May

June 2nd


spring holiday

June 3rd


Bank Holiday for Platinum Jubilee

August 29th


Summer Vacation

December 26th


second day of christmas

December 27th


Christmas Day (substitute day)

Vacations are fantastic paid days off to enjoy with family and friends. There is a nice English holiday culture that makes the whole country feel happy.

Best of all, these days are in addition to your annual paid leave from work – you heard that right! However, it should be noted that some jobs require employees to work during the holidays, but most do not.

Celebrate sunny holidays with friends at barbecues in the garden or cozy up by the fire in an English pub in winter. Christmas culture is great for everyone!

Pro: fabulous cities

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Another fantastic benefit of living in England is the fabulous cities to explore. In addition to London, the incredible capital, England has many other great cities with attractions of their own.

Visit Manchester's Northern Quarter and sample dishes from world-famous restaurants (with all the Insta-worthy glitz and glamour) or head to Bristol to soak up the art scene (home of Banksy!).

If a fun English night out is your idea of ​​fun, try York's lovely pubs and feel like you've stepped back in time. There are many chic pubs and bars tucked away in the nooks and crannies of York's medieval streets.

With so much to see and do in cities across England, you'll never run out of ideas of where to stay when you live here.

Here are some inspirations to add to your list!

  • 12 great places to visit in England alone
  • 10 places to visit in England by train to satisfy your wanderlust
  • 22 Best Seaside Towns in England to Get Your Sea of ​​Vitamins
  • 15 best places to visit in England without a car

Pro: British culture

British culture is another fun factor of moving to England. Each city has a different accent and culture to match. England is a hub of cultural activity and the English are fun company.

The English music scene in particular is a huge part of English culture that people come from all over the world to experience.

From gigs in your local pubs to full-on music festivals, the English music scene is an enticing pro for audiophiles! From Glastonbury and Reading to the Download Rock Festival, there's a festival for every musical taste.

Pro: Great employment laws and employee benefits

England's labor laws and employee benefits are an attractive reason for many to move to the country.

Employee benefits, such as sick pay, company pensions, maternity leave, annual leave, union rights and, often, optical and medical benefits are among the benefits offered to employees in work packages.

Some companies take this one step further and also offer great paternity leave, cancer coverage, physical therapy, health insurance for employees' families, opportunities to participate in employee sharing programs, company nights away, bereavement leave, counseling and much more. most.

A national minimum wage must also be adhered to, along with workers' right to organize and rules on working hours, which (in most cases) cannot exceed 48 hours a week.

These laws are designed to protect employees and serve as an excellent incentive to move to the UK.

Pro: access to free education

Access to free education is a great benefit of moving to England. Education is vital for the development of the mind and is therefore offered free of charge to children aged five to eighteen.

Schooling is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. From the age of 18, children can attend higher education at the university, which is not free.

Free education is a great benefit that England has to offer young people.

Cons: Unpredictable weather

English weather is often the focal point of many British jokes because of its unpredictability. It could be raining one minute and blazing sunshine the next - you never know what you'll find.

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Although England and the rest of the UK have definite seasons, sometimes snow can carry over into spring and April showers into the summer months.

Gloomy weather is often a horrible complaint from locals, but we have beautiful summers so it all evens out!

Pro: People are making the most of summer

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You know when the sun rises in England! People make the most of it, whether it's heading to the beach, having a last-minute barbecue, or enjoying an outdoor brewery. The summer months are the best months to live here as everyone logs into their social calendar.

Disadvantage: house prices

The property market in England is a controversial issue for many due to its difficult entry requirements.

Home prices are high for buyers, and many first-time buyers may find it difficult to climb the real estate ladder because of this.

I recommend checking house prices in the area you plan to move to in the UK to get a good idea of ​​what to expect should you decide to buy something in the future.

The extra bits you need to buy a home can be hard to come by for some. Obtaining a mortgage requires a number of documents and is easier if you have:

  • Have a permanent job in the UK and have three paychecks in the last three months
  • You have been a UK resident for two years
  • Have a UK bank account

The above can be difficult to obtain for some and requires advance planning.

Cons: Requirements to move here

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UK visa requirements can be a downside for some as they are quite difficult to comply with. Countries like Australia have simpler requirements as we have access to the Youth Mobility Visa and in 2021 we have agreed to extend this to 3 years. Mobility visas for 2 year olds are offered to other Commonwealth countries.

Foramerican citizensThis can be increasingly difficult to get through.

Here is a brief overview of the requirements you can expect when applying for a UK visa, which you can read about at gov.ukon here.

Ensuring you are applying for the correct visa and having supporting documents is an important step when moving to the UK.

Pro: Nah an Europa

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One of the main reasons I moved to England was the proximity to Europe and the opportunity to spend a weekend there. It's a luxury to have the opportunity to do this, and if travel is on your bucket list, England is the perfect place to do it.

Con: Competitive job market

The English job market can be very competitive and there can be difficult educational and experience requirements for senior roles.

While there are many resources to help you find a job in England, it's worth noting that the process can be difficult for some.

If you are not hunted and recruited abroad, then you will have to organize something for yourself when you move.

Here it ishow i moved to the uk without a joband experiences of getting one since I've lived here.

Disadvantage: Lower average salary (outside of London)

Another downside is that outside of London, average wages are dropping dramatically. Before moving to the UK, it's best to have a good idea of ​​the average salary in the area you're eyeing, rather than looking at the average salary in England as a whole.

Here are average salaries in major cities across England so you can get the full picture:

  • The average salary in London is £39,000
  • The average Manchester salary is £30,000
  • The average salary in Bristol is £31,000
  • The average Liverpool salary is £26,000
  • The average salary in Leeds is £29,000
  • The average salary in Leicester is £26,000

Disadvantage: Narrow country roads

If you are not used to driving on small winding roads, you will be in for a shock when you move to England!

For example, even the biggest and widest streets in Britain pale in comparison to American streets.

The small narrow country lanes are quite difficult to navigate as there is usually only enough room for one car at a time. If you collide head-on with another vehicle, one of you may have to back up a good distance before a pullback or parking spot is revealed.

Back roads on a cloudy day or late at night are not for the faint of heart. What's more, locals who know the area can usually make good progress on these roads. Danger!

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Cons: Very difficult to rent if you have pets

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In England and the UK as a whole it can be very difficult to rent a house if you have pets. Some owners may allow fish or a small hamster, but dogs and cats are usually completely out of the question.

If you have pets, you need to plan your move to the UK in advance. Make sure you find accommodation that can accommodate your furry friends or you'll be in trouble when you arrive.

Some owners may be lenient with pets if asked directly. So it's always worth emailing or calling the owner when looking at a potential location to see if they'll lift the rule.

Buildings owned by large companies or apartment blocks almost never allow pets, so keep that in mind. It's best to look for a place owned by an owner who has one or two properties in their portfolio that you can develop a direct relationship with. In such cases, homeowners can be more forgiving.

Disadvantage: Small houses

If you're from America or any other place in the world that has big houses, the size of English houses can come as a shock.

For example, while the UK and England have their fair share of mansions and large houses, the average English home is much smaller than the average American home.

The average square foot of an English house is 729 square feet, while the average square foot of an American house is 2,687 square feet.

It's best to check the average square footage of houses in your area and then compare this to the average in the area of ​​the UK you plan to move to to get a good idea of ​​the difference.

For some, this might result in an improvement in square footage, but for most American readers, this might come as a shock!

Cons: Scam (phone, text, and email)

There are many scams out there! To HMRC spoof to text saying you need to pay import tax to receive your packages. Some also look so real it's hard to tell. There are also a lot of calls if you've had an accident!

Also watch out for rental scams. If they ask for money without seeing the property, that should immediately send out red flags. i wrote aitems for rentwhich outlines the fees you might pay as part of the rent, although it says London is for England.

This is something to keep in mind when you move here. If you're not sure if you're being scammed, Google it, ask a friend, or contact the company that sent you the text message. If it sounds weird, you're probably right!

No total

Living in England has its pros and cons, but overall the beauty of the country, the NHS and the general quality of life certainly make it a great candidate for a big change.

It's always best to really know what you're getting into, carefully weighing the cons as well. I hope my list helps you understand England better.

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Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian who moved to London in 2013 to study anew adventure.What a roller coaster that was! I love helping othersmove to UKand peopleexplore the world! I would be honored if you would say "thank you"! with a £3 coffee at Ko-Fi.

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