digital nomad London

Digital Nomad Life in London: Guide to Working Remotely in the UK

Have you ever dreamed of swapping your office for something more… English? 

Fancy a stroll through Richmond Park or Hyde Park, or window-shopping on Oxford Street during a break from work? 

The lifestyle of a digital nomad in London city is all about breaking free from the mundane and making the world (or at least the vibrant city of London) your office. 

But let’s be real; while the idea of typing away in a quaint café near the Thames or brainstorming in a sleek co-working space sounds like a scene from a movie, it’s not all smooth sailing.

London is exciting but also expensive compared to other cities. And then there’s the whole deal with visas and figuring out where you will work without going stir-crazy. 

That being said, thriving in the digital nomad life in London is doable, and we’re here to show you how.

This article is your insider’s look into crushing it as a digital nomad in this bustling city. 

From snagging affordable spots to work and live to joining the local digital nomad community—we’ve got you covered. We’ll even make sure you have time to explore everything London offers, including those iconic pub crawls.

This article offers practical advice on what it means to be a digital nomad in London. 💂

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London for Digital Nomads & Remote Workers 

London, the iconic capital of the United Kingdom, sits at the crossroads of history and modernity. Informally called ‘The Big Smoke,’ this bustling metropolis is famed for its rich history, diverse culture, lively public spaces, and as a global financial hub. 

A city of both royal traditions and cutting-edge digital technology, London city offers an energizing backdrop for digital nomads and remote workers looking to immerse themselves in its dynamic environment.

Quick facts about London

Languages spokenEnglish
ClimateTemperate oceanic climate
CurrencyBritish Pound Sterling (GBP)
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (GMT) in winter; British Summer Time (BST) is GMT+1 in summer.
Cost of livingApproximately $5,600/ month
Internet accessLondon boasts excellent internet connectivity with average WiFi speeds of around 30 to 60 Mbps.
Free public WiFi is available in cafes, libraries, public transport, and many public spaces.
Mobile data cards are readily available from local telecom providers, offering reliable and reasonably priced service.

The advantages of being a digital nomad in London

London offers a dynamic backdrop for digital nomads with ample opportunities for growth and exploration. 

Here’s what makes the city stand out:

Energetic social and cultural scene

The city is alive with daily events ranging from cultural festivals to tech meetups, alongside its famed nightlife and culinary diversity. 

What’s more, London’s historical landmarks and museums provide endless inspiration and a sense of connection to the past, enriching your everyday experiences.

Cultural diversity

London is renowned for its multicultural environment. Working here allows you to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures and enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle. 

This global network is invaluable for personal growth and professional opportunities, creating connections that span continents.

Eco-conscious urban life 

Contrary to its grey, industrial image, London is a green oasis, with 47% of its area dedicated to parks and nature. 

The city fosters a healthy lifestyle with fitness options, cycling lanes, and sustainability initiatives like the ‘Urban Greening Factor,’ blending urban growth with environmental mindfulness.

Great commuting services

London’s public transportation is a highlight, eliminating the need for a car. Its swift, extensive underground system of trains ensures easy access across the entire city beyond.

With continuous infrastructure investments like the Crossrail project, London’s accessibility keeps improving, supporting a flexible lifestyle for digital nomads eager to explore the city’s offerings.

Networking and career growth

London, a global business hub, offers abundant professional opportunities for digital nomads. The city hosts numerous industry conferences and networking events, enhancing career growth. 

By tapping into London’s professional ecosystem, digital nomads can unlock new possibilities for growth and development in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

The challenges of being a digital nomad in London

With all its allure for digital nomads, London also presents its challenges. Being aware and prepared for these can help you adjust smoothly to life in this lively city:

Gloomy weather

Coming from a place where the sun is a constant companion? You might need to adjust your expectations in London. The city is known for its cloudy skies. 

London experiences long, dark, and chilly winters with limited sunlight. To stay comfortable, keep an umbrella close and invest in warm clothing.

High living costs

London ranks as one of the world’s most expensive cities, with digital nomads facing an average monthly cost of living of around $5,600. This includes steep public transport fees and high living expenses. 

Despite this, the city’s vibrant culture and abundant opportunities make it a worthwhile investment for many.

💡Pro Tip: You can manage your expenses effectively with clever budgeting and tools like ClickUp’s Personal Budget Template. Finding ways to save money on food and other essentials in an expensive city can make a big difference.

Utilizing the ClickUp budgeting template and following the provided steps can help you manage your finances effectively and achieve your financial objectives.

Creating a personal budget is crucial for digital nomads in expensive cities like London. It allows you to:

  • Identify and manage your spending patterns for smarter financial decisions
  • Set and prioritize long-term goals, such as saving for retirement or education
  • Achieve financial milestones faster
  • Adjust expenses as life changes
  • Prepare financially for emergencies, lessening their impact

Visa application challenges

If you’re not from a visa-exempt country, entering the UK can be complicated due to potential paperwork errors, eligibility issues, or misinformation. 

Navigating bureaucracy

The complexities of UK bureaucracy pose significant challenges for digital nomads aiming to work in London. 

The admin side of things can be tough, from getting the correct visa and work status to figuring out taxes. Detailed attention is necessary for registering for taxes, comprehending VAT and income tax intricacies, opening a UK bank account, and maintaining accurate financial records. 

Moreover, setting up a business involves navigating company registration, selecting the appropriate legal structure, and understanding UK business laws.

Cultural adjustment

Adapting to London’s unique culture is essential for digital nomads. The city’s rich history, art, and diverse population offer excitement and challenges. 

Learn local customs, such as the importance of politeness, enjoying the pub scene, and proper queuing. 

Integrating into London’s culture involves joining local events and communities, enhancing your experience, and helping you make meaningful connections.

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The Best Places to Work Remotely in London

In recent times, London has become a significant destination for digital nomads. 

With 32 boroughs and 48 communities, all with distinct cultural events, street food, and experiences, London has something for every digital nomad.

East London

East London is a hub for dynamic, creative workspaces, with Shoreditch standing out as a top choice for digital nomads. Known for its vibrant street art, trendy boutiques, and continental cuisine, it offers an inspiring backdrop for work.

Coworking spaces in Shoreditch

  • The Office Group: A sleek, modern space that offers a variety of working environments to suit different professional needs, ideal for those seeking a quiet, well-designed place
  • WeWork Shoreditch: Known for its lively, collaborative atmosphere, this space is great for networking and comes with all the amenities a digital nomad could need

Cafes in Shoreditch

  • Ozone Coffee: Award-winning coffee with a friendly atmosphere
  • Grind: Post-industrial vibe with excellent coffee, ideal for work
  • Ditto Coffee: Stylish space emphasizing natural light and greenery
  • Ace Hotel London Shoreditch: Stylish lobby bar with ample power outlets and a cool, creative crowd

Shoreditch also transforms into a lively nightlife spot post-sunset, offering a unique setting for those who thrive in evening work sessions, complete with vintage furniture and classic cocktails.

West London

West London presents a serene contrast to the East End’s vibrant energy, boasting chic neighborhoods, historical charm, and tranquil canal sides perfect for a refined and cozy work setting. 

Chic neighborhoods and serene settings:

  • Notting Hill: Offers a picturesque village vibe, independent boutiques, and the famous Portobello Road Market for thrift shopping
  • Shepherd’s Bush: A blend of residential comfort, shopping at Westfield Centre, and the iconic BBC Television Centre

Cafes and social spots:

Coworking spaces and private clubs:

  • Soho House, Soho: A private members’ club with a vibrant cafe and beautiful interiors, offering day memberships for a traditional workspace

West London’s blend of stylish tranquility, historical pockets, and modern workspaces makes it an attractive option for those seeking a comfortable yet productive environment.

North London

Camden: Vibrant and youthful neighborhood

  • The Coffee Tree: Offers relaxed, stylish workspaces across several locations in Camden. Perfect for a digital nomad seeking a cozy spot to work
  • The Hawley Arms: A traditional pub known for its work-friendly atmosphere, attracting many remote workers

King’s Cross: Industrial turned cultural hub

  • Second Home: A coworking space celebrated for its artistic and community-focused environment, highlighting the area’s revitalization

Islington: Cozy and inspiring

  • Pophams: Renowned for its inviting ambiance, making it a top pick for focused work sessions
  • The Albion: Features a bright and airy setting with plenty of power outlets, another excellent choice for many digital nomads

North London provides a unique atmosphere and facilities, catering to the diverse needs of digital nomads looking for the city’s perfect blend of work and leisure.

South London

South London is a world on its own. South London neighborhoods have a strong sense of community and are peppered with historical landmarks and stunning riverside views. 

Each neighborhood offers something unique: 

Brixton: Vibrant with Caribbean flair

  • Caya: A beloved cafe and coworking space known for its welcoming environment, ideal for both work and relaxation
  • The Prince of Wales: This traditional pub with an impressive beer selection offers a friendly atmosphere for the digital nomad seeking a cheerful place to work from

Greenwich: Steeped in history

  • The Horns Tavern: A historic pub with ties to Charles Dickens, perfect for those looking to soak in some history while enjoying a pint

Central London

Central London, the heart of the city, has a fast-paced environment. Many digital nomads who don’t mind a bit of hustle and bustle flock to central London for its liveliness.

Fitzrovia: Media and creativity hub

  • Club Workspace: Provides a sleek coworking space, catering to those looking for a modern work environment in the heart of the media district
  • Central Working: Offers a more laid-back and social setting, perfect for networking and casual work sessions with other digital nomads

Covent Garden: Theatrical and vibrant

  • The Covent Garden Grind: Stylish space with plenty of seating and fantastic views of the bustling market area
  • Petersham Nurseries: A unique cafe experience set within a lush garden center, offering a tranquil setting amidst the central city’s excitement
ClickUp Maps
Utilize Location Custom Fields to include geographic addresses in task items, categorize and sort location data for various purposes such as customers, job sites, and event locations.

ClickUp’s Map View can help digital nomads manage work while they visit London by providing a visual overview of location-based tasks. With ClickUp, you can add specific locations to tasks, which allows categorizing and sorting tasks based on client location, job site, and event venue.

ClickUp 3.0 Map view simplified
Use the ClickUp Map view to assign tasks to locations and better manage location-specific workflows

Map view also lets you view all your tasks on a map with pins. 

Customize the pins based on status, priority, or any other custom field. Color-code pins by status, priority, or any custom field for a quick visual understanding of the task status.

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Is Working Remotely in London Right For You?

Working remotely in London can balance your professional and personal life. With numerous co-working spaces and cafes, it suits various preferences, from bustling city life to quieter, affordable areas. 

However, it demands thorough planning, understanding of UK visa requirements, and preparing for high living expenses.

Let’s hear it from digital nomads living in London:

One Redditor suggests,

Co-working spaces, cafes, library cafes, rooftop bars, pubs, museums, parks, train stations, gym cafes, and private members clubs offer diverse settings for digital nomads. Essential tools include a solar charger, 5G WiFi, and a VPN—your workplace is limited only by your imagination.

Another adds,

If you’re passionate about literature, music, art, history, and food, London won’t disappoint. The city is rich with activities and communities catering to both broad and specific interests.

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Tips for Digital Nomads in London

Here are some quick tips to improve your experience as a digital nomad in London: 

1. Utilize apps to simplify day-to-day activities

Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt, public transport planners like Citymapper, and bike rental apps like Santander Cycles can simplify commuting across the city. For those needing translation, apps like Google Translate are indispensable.

Applications like ClickUp help you manage tasks and projects effectively, ensuring you stay on top of your workload from any location. Because of its integrations with 1000+ other applications, including some of your favorite tools, ClickUp can reduce the number of tools you need daily.

With features like ClickUp Docs and ClickUp Chat, traveling and working across any location in London will be easier for you. ClickUp Docs helps you create, share, and collaborate on documents with coworkers. Customizable permissions make it perfect for maintaining travel itineraries and work documents in one accessible place. 

ClickUp Docs
Tag your team, edit with them in real time, and give instant feedback with ClickUp Docs

Meanwhile, ClickUp Chat enables real-time communication with your team or fellow travelers, ensuring you can efficiently plan and coordinate activities across the city. These tools, along with other digital nomad tools and remote collaboration tools can help you stay organized and connected, enhancing your digital nomad experience in London.

ClickUp Chat View
Express opinions, @mention team members to assign tasks, leave feedback through comments, and react with emojis to improve team camaraderie with ClickUp Chat View

2. Find a digital nomad community 

Join local expat groups, visit co-working spaces, and attend networking events to meet other remote workers and locals. Most digital nomads use websites like Meetup and Facebook groups to connect with people who share similar interests.

3. Immerse yourself in London’s rich local culture and cuisine

Explore the city’s museums, galleries, theaters, and historical sites. 

Try diverse foods at local markets or restaurants, from traditional British dishes to international cuisine. This exploration enriches your experience and provides endless inspiration and relaxation after work hours.

If you are staying a while, London can also be your base for visiting other cities in the United Kingdom or even neighboring European countries.

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Is There a Digital Nomad Visa for London?

No. As of 2024, the UK does not offer a specific digital nomad visa. However, digital nomads can consider other types of visas for short-term stays. 

Here are some of the alternative visa types for digital nomads to visit London:

Standard Visitor Visa

  • Who it’s for: Non-UK residents who wish to visit the UK for tourism, certain business activities, or short-term studies
  • How to apply: Apply online through the UK government’s official visa and immigration website. You’ll need to provide personal details, your reason for visiting London, and supporting documents like bank statements and accommodation details 

Youth Mobility Scheme:

  • Who it’s for: Young people (aged 18-30) from participating countries and territories looking to live and work in the UK for up to two years
  • How to apply: The Youth Mobility Scheme visa requires showing savings and obtaining a sponsorship number. Applications are also made online via the UK’s official immigration website

These visas do not cater specifically to the digital nomad lifestyle, as they restrict the type of work you can engage in and the duration of your stay. You can also apply for the Global talent visa if you are a leader in the fields of arts and culture, research, or digital technology.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the above information may change over time. While we strive to provide accurate and trustworthy details, we recommend consulting with qualified legal and tax professionals and conducting your research for the most current advice.

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Make the Most of Your Digital Nomad Life in London With ClickUp

Whether you’re dialing into your work from the bustling streets of London or any of the other best places to be a digital nomad, ClickUp simplifies work and enhances your productivity. 

With a suite of features designed for the modern remote worker, this cloud-based platform ensures you’re always just a click away from all the resources you need to stay aligned with your team.

ClickUp’s Travel Planner Template is designed to help you plan business and personal trips with ease.

ClickUp’s Travel Planner Template transforms travel planning from a chore into a breeze. 

It’s not just about saving time by having a structured outline ready for your plans; it’s about bringing an organization and priority setting to your travel that keeps you focused and efficient.

With the ability to track expenses, you’re better positioned to manage your budget effectively. Moreover, the template simplifies sharing your travel itinerary, making it easier to keep family, friends, and other team members in the loop. 

Coupled with ClickUp Tasks and ClickUp Docs, the platform empowers digital nomads with the tools for seamless remote collaboration, ensuring that team communication remains uninterrupted across different locales.  

These tools support digital nomads in tackling the challenges of different time zones, enabling hybrid meetings that cater to diverse schedules and providing asynchronous communication tools to keep everyone in the loop.

ClickUp goes beyond a project management tool. It’s your remote work powerhouse, helping you conquer your workday. Sign up for ClickUp today!

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