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Is London a sh*t hole?

(84 Posts)
Riverwalk Wed 11-Feb-15 15:29:42

Following the Babyboomer thing I read a number of property/re-location threads on Mumsnet.

It seems to be common for London to be described as a shit-hole! Usually by those who haven't lived here, only visited.

Can this be true - is this how our capital city is perceived? shock

tanith Wed 11-Feb-15 15:36:07

I guess it depends on your experience of London, if you've only visited the worst of it then that will be your perception. These people obviously haven't enjoyed all the wonderful things that are within our Capital. I've lived in London my whole life and I haven't seen it all by any means.

How can one of the most visited city in the World with all that it has to offer be perceived as a shit-hole?

loopylou Wed 11-Feb-15 15:39:27

News to me!
Suggests a singular lack of intelligence to me; no, I don't live in London and my visits are few, but for vibrancy and a fantastic number of sights to see I don't think it can be beaten!
I lived there for three years when much younger, and with very little money as a student nurse, but I loved it!
I do think that perhaps it is a younger person's place but only because I can't do half as much walking around when I'm now visiting!

soontobe Wed 11-Feb-15 15:39:47

And so many people want to live there too.

Juliette Wed 11-Feb-15 15:45:04

Probably depends which area you live in I suppose. City's all over the world have a shitty bit. I'm fairly sure London isn't seen like that. Wouldn't necessarily want to live there but surely it makes London what it is, diversity and all that.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 11-Feb-15 15:46:11

Well, it's very traffic ridden, it's crowded, the shop fronts are the same as any other town in the UK. And there's that blue cockerel thing in Trafalgar Square.

I think it's over rated.

Lovely from the bridges by night though.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 11-Feb-15 15:50:56

It's quite scuzzy looking along the embankment. The Shard is definitely over rated. It gives you a good view of the dreadful things mankind has done to nature.

No. I don't like London much.

annodomini Wed 11-Feb-15 15:52:33

That can't be the image of London held by all those rich people from the Middle and Far East who are snapping up properties at grossly inflated prices that ordinary citizens can't afford.

J52 Wed 11-Feb-15 15:52:47

I'm a Londoner, born and bread. I have not lived there for 25 years, but visit often.

It has changed a lot over the years, but areas that were very down at heel are now rejuvenated. This can only be a good thing.

However, it does worry me that 'ordinary' people are priced out. This drastically changes the demographics.

A couple of weeks ago DH and I visited the V&A. Walking around the area, very familiar to us, we remarked how families we knew and children we went to school with used to live in the area! No chance of that happening now!


pompa Wed 11-Feb-15 15:53:42

During my working life I have visited dozens of cities world wide, I cannot think of one that does not have dodgy or no-go areas, even Singapore, which must be the safest city anywhere has a red light district). I feel safer in London that most cities. (I do not live in London)

J52 Wed 11-Feb-15 15:55:22

For a taste of 1950s London, there's a little documentary on BBC I player called 'a house in Bayswater'. It reminded me of the London I grew up in. X

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 11-Feb-15 16:02:52

It seemed nicer back in the sixties. Perhaps it's a young person's city.

It doesn't have the charm of other European cities. For one thing, as far as I know, it hasn't got any large open traffic free squares.

hildajenniJ Wed 11-Feb-15 16:13:53

I have only visited London to see relatives or for holidays. The last time I was there was to go to the Chelsea Flower Show. I like London!!! My DD went to university there and always felt very safe. I didn't worry about her at all. My late uncle lived for many years in a flat in Tooley Street with a view of Tower Bridge from his living room. He left rural Cumbria as a young man, to work in Dispensing and would not come back. He loved the life "in town".

jo1book Wed 11-Feb-15 16:22:22

I am a Midlander but I am very proud of London as my capital city. I would live there for the cultural experience but I do think you would need real money these days to enjoy it fully.

Retiredguy Wed 11-Feb-15 16:25:18

We lived in Southwark from 1975 to 1986 and enjoyed it.
Nice house ( married quarter) in a conservation area with a local pub and community atmosphere.
Excellent Primary school almost on the doorstep although the local Comp it fed into left a bit to be desired.
Pay was good , we were young with a young family and there was always something to do at the weekends.
Everywhere was easy to get to by public transport.
We missed the lifestyle when I was posted out but the secondary school was much better where we moved to and the kids were at that age.
Odd times I go back to London now though I'm generally the oldest guy on the tube and the pace seems very fast.

Tegan Wed 11-Feb-15 16:33:15

I'd like to get to know London better. We did a week there when the children were young and took in most of the sites and I found it quite scary [and tiring]. But it doesn't have the wow factor of, say, Paris or Florence ie I don't get images in my head of a beautiful city. But then I'll see a snippet of it in a programme and think how interesting that area looks. I'll check that programme out J52; I like programes like that.

NfkDumpling Wed 11-Feb-15 16:39:45

I very rarely get the opportunity to go to London and love the city itself when I do get there. But what always strikes me is the rubbish on the main roadsides as you approach the capital. The rain lines are terrible all the way in. People always remark on the filth in places abroad like Delhi, but London is just as bad. (Spent some time in a jam approaching the North Circular last year watching rats foraging in the heaps of discarded food rubbish)

Charleygirl Wed 11-Feb-15 16:45:46

I moved to London in 1968 for a year and it has been a long year. I love living in London and when I was younger and fitter I enjoyed going to the theatre on a regular basis, being able to get free or very cheap seats to some but not all shows. I would not describe it as a shit hole. There are a few areas where I may not want to live but as previously said, every town and city have areas where one would prefer not to live.

TriciaF Wed 11-Feb-15 16:49:00

"Odd times I go back to London now though I'm generally the oldest on the tube" - me too. But it still has that buzz for me. I like to walk when I get there, you see more.
I lived and worked in Hackney the late 50s to early 60s, and as Jingles says , it was a great place for young people. There was always lots to do, concerts, classic and jazz/ rock, shows eg West Side Story. Fashions for the young in the shops, different kinds of restaurants opening up in Soho.
We have a day in London every time I visit eldest daughter, she books tickets for a show.

Mishap Wed 11-Feb-15 16:57:42

I was born in London, but moved to Devon when I was 10 days old. Thence later to Essex during most of my childhood. I visited London a lot, as my grandmother lived there, and used to go with friends sometimes.

I never liked it, and still don't. Once we moved to Herefordshire, I realised that I am a country girl at heart - I felt at home and at peace in a rural setting in a way that I had never done before. So my dislike of London extends to most cities really.

I hate the noise, the fact that you cannot walk down a road and hold a conversation with your companion because of the rumbling traffic. I hate the fumes. I hate the dirt - whenever I have to go to London I always jump in a shower when I get back and scrape the black from under my fingernails. I hate the inhuman ignoring of homeless people in doorways. I hate the dominance of the car and the grim concrete flyovers. I hate the brash consumerism and garish shop fronts. I hate walking down a street and people brush past you at speed, lost in their own preoccupations. I am entirely immune to the buzz that others feel in a city.

I go to Cardiff for concerts - a clean human-scale city - and sometimes to Brum, where I spent 8 years at uni and working till moving here.

I feel at home here in the middle of nowhere in spite of the inconveniences of distance. I love waking to the endless vistas from my bedroom, the birds singing, the cattle and sheep in the fields, the buzzards wheeling and mewing in the summer, the tiny close-knit and caring community, the intergenerational mixing, the crazy social activities like films in the village hall with soup in the interval, the panto (pricelessly and incomparably badly acted but utterly hilarious!), the ancient church and churchyard with their extraordinary history of the Knights Templar, the fact that everyone talks to you as you walk to the village and you catch up on the gossip, the tiny village school which functions like a family and welcomes all the community, the extraordinary variety and quality of local societies (choirs, book clubs, poetry group, heritage group and much much more) - I could go on. It is where I feel at home, as I never would in a city.

My children were brought up here in a safe environment with people to look out for them and a human scale city where they could roam safely.

You can keep London!

Each to his own I guess.

J52 Wed 11-Feb-15 17:20:13

To a certain degree I agree with you Mishap. The reason we moved out with two young children was to hopefully, give them a safer environment to grow up in.
Happily this worked out. They made excellent life long friends, had great outdoor sporting activities to take part in and had excellent state education.
I do sometimes get upset at what others have done to 'my London'! x

jo1book Wed 11-Feb-15 17:21:03

You obviously like to belong, mishap, and don't feel you do in a city. I live in the countryside and like it because it is quiet but feel the need to get into town occasionally.
We go to the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, a lot and support the CBSO. I like to eat in Birmingham, as it has some good places to eat.
I suppose I like variety.

harrigran Wed 11-Feb-15 17:23:13

DS lived in London for 10 years and I think he would agree with that statement. When he wanted to get married and start a family he came north. I dislike London and would never visit voluntarily.

suzied Wed 11-Feb-15 17:27:27

You can't really generalise as London is so huge. There are dodgy unpleasant areas, but likewise most cities. I was in Paris recently and couldn't believe how shabby most of the stations are compared with london, where a lot of money has been spent smartening up the main stations and lots of public areas. I live in London, 20 minutes from the centre, but where I live is very quiet and leafy. I think graffiti and dog mess is much less visible in London these days than in some European cities.

KatyK Wed 11-Feb-15 17:30:23

We have been to London a few times over the years. I think it is great. We went on a theatre break last year and had a lovely time. We had tickets for a tour of the Globe theatre and loved it. We walked along the embankment, went to Trafalgar Square (I agree re the blue cockerel, awful), Houses of Parliament etc. We enjoyed every minute of it. Of course we only saw the touristy bits.