Interning in London for six weeks is going to be tough if you’re not based here, and consequently, don’t have a house here. That has been my situation. Perhaps I should have made prior arrangements, though I was told I had been offered the internship only a few days before I was required to commence.
Thankfully, I have been supported by the kindness of people – strangers and friends – who have let me stay in their lovely homes.
House number 1: Archway Road
My Australian boyfriend, who is currently working in Vietnam, has a friend, Grant, living in London who I have met only once before. On hearing that I was going to be wandering the streets, he told me I could have his room for my first week, while he goes away. When I arrived, I was greeted with a welcome note and a list of buses that run to various places. The bus stop was right outside the house and Archway tube station only a 10/15 minute walk. Door to door, it only took 40 minutes to get to work on the Northern line. Perfect!
The nearby park is a nice afternoon spent, and the Boogaloo is a fun bar to head to in the evening!
House number 2: Stamford Brook Road
As if it was fate, my school friend Liz responded to my ‘do you have a spare couch?’ message informing me that I could have her room for two weeks as she was going away on the day that I had to leave Grant’s. Impeccable timing. I loved seeing Liz again after so long and we spent the evening devouring Chinese takeaway. The tube stop from Stamford Brook Road was a 5 minute walk, and took no more than 50 minutes to get to work including a change from the district line to the northern line at Embankment.
Chiswick High Road, just a ten minute walk away has some beautiful shops, restaurants and cafes, and there’s a pub that does an excellent roast!
House number 3: Hoxton
After a panicked few days leading up to the day I had to move out of Liz’s, I truly thought I was going to have to leave London. Noone on Gumtree or Couchsurfing was responding to me and I didn’t think I was going to find anywhere to stay. On a whim, I sent a ‘full staff’ email to my entire workplace (oops) asking if anyone had a room, couch or floor space. A wonderful lady named Linda, who I had never met before, replied saying that she was going away from the day I was moving out (Sunday) and wouldn’t be back until Wednesday so I could have her room. She gave me the address, directions, and sent me her housemate’s phone number. When I arrived, I had clean bedding, a clean towel waiting and a set of keys waiting for me. It took no more than only half an hour to get to work. The house was a 5 minute walk to the overground, and I changed for the hammersmith & city line to Liverpool Street, and caught the central line to Tottenham Court Road. Thank you so much Linda!
House number 4: Junction Road, Archway
My wonderful friend, Hannah, allowed me to get up close and personal with her in her studio apartment and I really appreciate it. She endured me waking up early to my early alarm clock which I often snoozed and would blowdry my hair while she was trying to sleep. This was the most convenient location, situated directly opposite Archway tube station, meaning I could leave at 9 o’clock and still get to work before my 9.30 start.
House number 5: Hounslow East
Wanting to be situated somewhere for a longer duration than a few days, I was relieved when one of my Gumtree messages was answered. They had a large, double room with kingsize bed available for 12 days for £160 which, for the convenience, I didn’t think was too bad. Chetan met me at Oxford Circus after work, bought me a coffee and told me about the house, which put me at a lot of ease. When I looked on the map at where Hounslow was (Zone 4), I was a little concerned at how far away it seemed to be and thought that I would need to leave for work an hour and a half early, but as it turns out, the house is less than a 5 minute walk to the tube station and the Piccadilly line is rather speedy – it only takes 45 minutes to get to Tottenham Court Road, including a change to the Northern line at Leicester Square. The room is massive, with two ginormous wardrobes. It’s a really warm with a huge South-facing window letting in lots of natural light and it’s fun watching the low-flying planes zoom past.
I have to say this isn’t the nicest area I’ve ever stayed in, a little rough perhaps, but the ASDA is amazing! Absolutely massive!
House number 6: Clapham Common