making friends when moving to London
We know moving to London can be a pretty daunting process, especially if you don’t have many friends there. London can also sometimes feel like a lonely city, especially when you’re new here, but whether you’re into running, sewing, singing or podcasts, we know just the places to help you find your tribe.
Get in the Game
One of the easiest and healthiest ways to meet new people in London is through the various sports clubs and initiatives we have here. Whether it’s yoga, hockey, tennis or football, you’ll always find a local team or group that’s looking for new members.
Go Mammoth is a great place to start, as they offer a wide range of team sports - from netball to dodgeball via American football - and have bases all over the City. The company’s mission is to help people socialise and meet new people through sport - so whilst winning the match is great, the beers in the pub after are just as important.
They also have leagues for different levels, so don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit rusty or haven’t played since school - you’ll find plenty of people in the same boat!
If you’re a social butterfly trapped in the body of a solo sportsperson, Park Run is a brilliant community for runners of all levels - from casual joggers to marathon addicts.
Picture courtesy of @rabble_shoreditch
They host timed 5k races every week, all over the country and with 56 in London, you’ll almost definitely find one in your local area. For those who want to get fit without taking things too seriously, Rabble is for you.
The latest fitness craze is essentially playground games for grown-ups, perfect for making new friends and beating those ‘first day of school’ nerves after moving to a new city. Expect British Bulldog, Tag and a homage to iconic 90s TV show Gladiators.
Do Some Good
Londoners have a reputation for being a bit rude and unkind - but that’s simply not true! If it was, there wouldn’t be so many volunteering groups and charitable societies to join here. If you’re looking to find new friends, volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded people who share your value base, understand your perspective and who also tend to be general good eggs.
You can find a whole list of volunteering opportunities near you if you head to DoIt.Org, but one of our favourites for meeting other people has to be Sock Mob. The group - which currently stands at over 3,000 members - meets every two weeks in different London locations to deliver socks to London’s homeless population.
They split you into smaller groups with pre-planned routes, so not only will you get to hang out with some pretty cool people and give back to the community, but it’s also a great way to see the city.
Picture courtesy of @goodgym
If you want to combine your good deeds with a great work out - you could try Good Gym. Every week the group meets at different locations all over London, runs to local community projects (where they help out) then run back, all in 90 minutes.
The community is free to join and the feeling of becoming a real-life superhero for an hour and a half is totally priceless. The combined good vibes of working out whilst also helping others will also give you an endorphin overload - a positive environment for you to make new friends.
Getting your creative juices flowing is a great way to relax, enjoy yourself and meet new people who share your passion. London is obviously a hub of creativity, but you might not know that there’s a thriving social scene built around our love of art, music, and crafts.
Drink Shop Do in King’s Cross is a mecca for those that worship at the alter of hobbycraft. They host a whole rota of crafty workshops with a cheeky edge, from Boozy Soap Making to Pimp Your Hip-Flask classes. The set up of the venue means solo crafters will always end up on a table with other people - making it a great way to meet new people.
If painting is more your thing, Paint Jam organises pop up art classes in secret locations and with pretty awesome themes (this month it’s Carnival). Bond with fellow art aficionados, whilst creating a beautiful piece you can take home with you - you could be leaving with both new mates and a masterpiece to hang in your living room.
It’s been scientifically proven that singing together is one of the best ways for humans to bond with each other - so where better to make new friends than a choir! Sing with Us is one of London’s only non-audition choirs, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a classically trained soprano or just love belting out a show tune in the shower, everyone is welcome.
They run three terms a year which all culminate in a performance in a prestigious London venue. But don’t worry, Sing with Us is all about fun - they even have choir socials scheduled into their rehearsal plan.
Picture courtesy of @paintjamLondon
Go from Online to IRL
We’re all guilty of spending way too much time on our phones - but could our scrolling habits actually be key to unlocking real friendships? Many of the people you follow on social media will be involved in live events that you can go along too - and you’ll find there’s something going on every night when you move to London.
Going to a live event, with a niche following, is like shooting fish in a friendship barrel - it's way easier to start talking to strangers when you know you have a shared interest.
Many of your favourite podcasts will do live recordings that you can go along to. Not only will you actually be able to see the people who are usually chatting to you through your headphones, but it’s also a great chance to meet fellow fans.
King’s Place host an annual podcast festival, where lots of recordings happen over a two month period. It’s worth checking out the listings - your most downloaded could be one of them, or you might discover a new series to add to your list.
If reading is more your thing - and your Twitter is full of writers and journalist you love - there are loads of ways to meet them. Writers are always doing talks or book signings - and they will often release free tickets to their followers. Grab one and go along. Not only will you get to hear a fascinating talk by one of your idols but you will also be able to spark up a conversation with the person next to you.
If you want the chance to meet lots of fellow book worms and incredible authors all in the one place - the Southbank hosts an annual literary festival every Autumn.
Another way our phones can help us connect with people in real life is through the multitude of friendship apps that have popped up in recent years. Whilst we’ve been scrolling and swiping to find love for a while now, many people still don’t know that there is a whole bunch of apps dedicated to purely platonic relationships.
One of the apps spearheading this movement is Bumble. Whilst the company is mainly known for its female-friendly dating service, it recently made the transition into the friendship market with its Bumble BFF section - so now you can swipe right for mates as well as dates.
But Bumble isn’t the only App on the market trying to help us widen our social circle - and many of them cater to specific needs or interests. Tourlina is great if you’re a woman looking for a female travel companion and Whistle helps connect those in search of a workout buddy.
Through these apps you can find people in your local area who have things in common with you - Friender matches you with people you have at least one shared interest with - so you’ll always have something to talk about. Whilst going on an internet friend date might feel weird at first - give it a try, you never know who you might meet.
Join a shared living community
They say home is where the heart is, and the same can be said for friendships. When moving to a new city, one of the first places you’ll be hoping to make friends is at home. However, when going in blind with traditional flatshares, you can’t always guarantee the people you share a kitchen with will be your crowd or even want to hang out socially.
With Lyvly, the social side of house sharing is built into everything we do. We’re not just helping you find a place to live, but also introducing you to a ready-made community of likeminded people.
Our membership committee knows everyone in each of our homes, so we always aim to match new members with groups of people that we believe they’ll get on with, so you can make new friends in your new home. But the Lyvly lifestyle extends way beyond our homes. We also host weekly social events to help you integrate with the whole Lyvly community. From whiskey tasting to movie nights, running clubs to BBQs, there is always something for our members to get involved with.