23 Things I Will Miss About Living In England

Are you moving to Australia and wondering what you will miss about living in England too? I’ve documented some of the main things I’ve noticed which I’ll really miss about England when I move back to Australia.

As you might know now, after six months of living in UK for the first time in seven years, we’re moving back to Australia. Although it’s been a tough and challenging decision,  there are undoubtedly some things I will miss.

Here’s 23 things I’ll miss about living in England (in no particular order), some absolutely just a bit of fun, and others more serious like friends and family.

1. Family & Friends

<em>With my best friends at a festival in London <em>

I will miss my family and friends the most. It’s heartbreaking having to say goodbye after every visit, but this time was undoubtedly hard.

Knowing that it just didn’t work out for us was upsetting but after a long and hard decision, we felt Australia would a better country for us to live in right now.

2. The Culture & Buzz In London

trafalgar-square-londonOutside The National Gallery on my way to work in London

Although working in London was a nightmare (I mean the commute and job), I did love the culture and buzz. Being able to visit galleries like The National Gallery in my lunch hour or going for a lunchtime run down The Mall to Buckingham Palace is something I never ever took for granted.

3. The English Countryside

countryside-england-east-sussexDevils Dyke view near Brighton

If there’s one thing I always missed about England, it’s the countryside. I’ve just never found anywhere in Australia that was like it apart from Breenhold Gardens and a bit of Byron Bay Hinterland. Ultimately if I could have lived in the English countryside and eat cream teas all day, I’d be very happy!

4. Afternoon Tea

<em>We found the best cream tea in Rye during the summer<em>

Steve and I got right into cream teas in the English countryside towns (not the healthiest choice) but I will certainly miss clotted cream! Good job I found a place in Sydney that’s almost as good and reasonably priced too!

5. English Pubs


I’ll miss the English pubs for sure but more than anything I’ll miss how much of a laugh you can have in them compared to the strict laws in Sydney.

I’ll also miss how nice the bouncers are in England as well. I remember trying to be funny to a doorman in Sydney once and he chucked me out of the bar. I really didn’t get it at the time but now I understand the differences when going out in England vs Sydney.

I’ll also miss the character of every pub I went into in England. It’s literally like a day out to sit indoors playing board games and having fun.

6. Standing Outside Of The Pub

<em>I took this outside the Crown and Anchor just before Christmas in Covent Garden<em>

I remember when Steve and I went to the pub in London when we first got back and I said we should stand outside. He actually didn’t understand it at all. I love how everyone stands outside the pub in London regardless of the time of year it is.

7. Summer Nights In England

England-country-walkSummer evening views near Brighton

I absolutely love the summer nights and the warm soft light in England. There’s something about it being light until 10pm reminds me of the excitement I had growing up. I always miss this in Australia. Funnily enough since moving back to England, I craved sunshine in the colder months. Those endless grey days has made me appreciate the light in Sydney for sure.

8. Tesco’s Pizza & Chocolate Croissants


This is NOT an image of a Tesco pizza but it’s looks almost the same.

Although I generally won’t miss the unhealthy microwavable meals in England, I will miss picking up a pizza from Tesco or grabbing a chocolate croissant on the go. There’s just something about Tesco’s pizzas and chocolate croissants I’ve not found anywhere else like these.

9. Meal Deals In England!

This one is really one of the things Stevo will miss probably the most. He became obsessed with meal deals and loved the fact that he would be able to buy a sandwich, drink and snack for just £3. Interesting to see how a coconut water on its own nearly costs the same amount! I personally won’t ever need to see another sandwich again!

10. Pret A Manger

pret-a-manger-englandWhy isn’t there Pret in Australia yet? I love how you can just run in and grab your lunch from Pret without having to go to a food court to wait for someone to make you a salad or sandwich.

11.  Cheap Food Shops

weekly-food-costs-in-england-and-australia-aldiI will definitely miss the £60 food shops from Aldi in England. Here we come back to spending $200 again at the same shop in Australia. Interestingly, I found eating out to be nearly the same in both England and Australia but the food quality is way better in Aus.

12. English Chocolate

I’ll definitely miss English chocolate. I don’t care if there’s an English section at Coles, it simply doesn’t taste the same.

13. Getting A Decent Haircut

best-london-salon-windle-and-moodieGetting my haircut by Simon in Covent Garden’s Windle And Moodie

I always appreciated those visits to my hairdressers in London, knowing that I wouldn’t ever walk out with a rubbish cut or colour.

Luckily I found a decent salon in Sydney called Stevie English before I left Australia. As I have short hair, it’s always been hard to find someone in Sydney who knows how to cut short hair on a woman.

14. Clothes Shopping In England

london-regent-streetI somehow managed to capture a stunning sunset on Regent Street in September.

I will definitely miss walking down Regent Street and Oxford Street to see the latest fashion in the shops. Luckily I didn’t buy into it too much being back in England but I will certainly miss it and how the stock is updated every single day.

15. Individuality & Talking About Fashion

I love how most women I met in England loved talking about fashion. People seem to compliment each other much more than they do in Sydney and I loved how the chat was always ‘where did you get that from?’ It’s just something I never saw in Sydney at all.

I also love how there’s so much individuality in England as well. I’ve seen so many people who would literally stand out a mile in Sydney just because of what they’re wearing, yet no one batters an eyelid in England, it’s brilliant.

16. Not Having SIBO

my-experience-with-siboBack when my stomach was so bloated I looked pregnant thanks to having SIBO.

When I lived in Sydney I got so ill with SIBO (a small intestine bacterial overgrowth which I got from food poisoning) that I struggled to eat without being in pain. I had to be on very strict diets to help get rid of it.

Weirdly it disappeared when I came back to England recently and I’ve been eating everything I’m not supposed to. I’m keen to see if it returns when we head back (I’m hoping not!).

17. Christmas In England

Spending my first Christmas in UK in eight years definitely made me actually appreciate the time of the year. After living in Australia for so long, I had completely forgotten about everything from the Christmas tunes, to the lights, presents, mulled wine and so on.

I will forever go back to Australia and make sure we festive up our home, wear Christmas jumpers even if it’s 35C+ (yeah right!) and get into the spirit of it all. No bah humbug in sight.

18.  TV In England


I will miss watching the news (actually finding out what’s going on in the world) and TV in general in England. We’ve made a pact never to watch TV like Channel 7 in Australia ever again when we go back because everyone knows how terrible Aussie TV is. Thank god for Netflix!

19. Having Access To Loads Of European Countries

norway-tromso-winterIn Tromso, Norway November 2018

I’ll always remember when we all talked about what we were doing at the weekend at work once; I was off to Norway (not in the EU I know!), my boss was off to Berlin and another colleague was off to Rome. If only I could do that all the time from Australia.

20. Real People

Even though I found people in England to be pretty aggressive, I loved how real people are there and surprisingly chatty.

We were always shocked to see so many randoms chatting on the bus as well as in the pub etc, it’s just something I never saw in Sydney.

I also felt a lot of Sydney people acted like they were at a job interview 99% of the time or are pretty cliquey with their friends group.

21. No One Abiding By The Rules


It was refreshing to see no one abide by some smaller rules in England, like cycling in a no cycle lane to taking your dog on the no dogs beach.

I remember Steve freaking out that we shouldn’t be cycling in the no cycle lane and I had to reassure him this is England. It’s no big deal.

It reminded me of how much nicer the police are in England compared to Sydney, that’s for sure. Sydney police are on a whole other level of arrogance from my experience of them.

22. Everyone saying sorry for literally everything

I always found it funny how everyone says sorry for literally everything in England.

It’s something I know Stevo finds difficult to say at times, but us Brits say it like it’s so normal for the tiniest of things.

Here’s an interesting article about why Brits say it for everything like it’s the norm.

23. Not Having To Worry About Dangerous Animals

<em>Ending on a Chris Hemsworth note because why not<em>

One thing I will definitely miss about living in England is never having to worry about leaving a window open all night or going on a country walk and having to stamp my feet in case there were brown snakes around. It’s also been nice not to see jumping huntsmans or cockroaches around, or infestations of ants in my kitchen.

Welcome back to Australia!

Read More Moving Back To England & Australia Posts

We’ve documented our entire experience moving back to England. Here’s some of the posts to get you started below.

23 Things I Will Miss About Living In England


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  1. Hey Annie, I just wanted to ask why Sydney was chosen over London? Was it due to COVID?
    I’m a Londoner born & raised, came to Aus (Melbourne) on a working holiday visa and met met my partner, and now currently living in Geelong.

    I miss London like crazy, and Geelong is nowhere near the vibe, culture, or anything really.
    I feel the same way about a lot of the things you mentioned above. Would love to hear your reasons, regrets, etc.

    1. Hi Michael, I actually moved back to England in 2018 and left at the end of that year so it wasn’t anything to do with Covid. I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to go back and live in England again because it made me realise a lot of things. I realised I had changed quite a lot since I last lived there. The things I thought I missed didn’t seem to matter as much when I was living there again (pubs, the buzz etc).

      What I really noticed is that people in Australia generally seem much happier than they are in England. The grey days really do get to you in England. I also now value the sense of space and little traffic in Australia. In England the traffic was absolutely crazy, we had to add on double time to drive anywhere because you’re stuck in traffic all the time. Although these are all minor things, they add up when you put it all together.

      Even though I do miss England and I think I always will, I will probably see it more as a holiday now than somewhere I would live. Saying that, if I was to move back, I would live somewhere completely different than I did before. In London, I tried to avoid the tube as much as possible because I kept looking at everyone wondering how much happier they would be if they lived in Australia. With that in mind, it made me wonder why I moved back so we left within six months. Now I appreciate living in Australia more than ever, especially since covid.

      Homesickness is hard and being an expat is even harder. I don’t think a lot of people know how hard it is to have your heart in two countries.

      Best of luck with making decisions! Let us know if you need anymore help!

  2. Hi Annie. I loved reading all of the above and I completely relate. I’m actually Australian (dual Oz UK passports) but I lived my young adult years in England from 21-40 till I came back just over 10 years ago. I adopted a rescue dog not long after I returned.10 years next month I’ve had him and while I adore him and I’ll always love Australia, I know I’ll return to the UK for good when my dog has gone. He’s 13 now, My closest friends are Brits. And I miss reserved people! Too many bulls in a china shop here. Oops did I say that? Lol

  3. Hi Annie,

    I’m a much older expat than your normal subscribers, being now in my mid-sixties. I’ve been living/working in Sydney and retired to the Blue Mountains some time ago. I’ve been here since 2000. I recently found your site and your articles have really resonated with me. I’ve had to try and deal with my increasing feelings of homesickness, particularly as I have adult sons and grand-children living in the UK. I didn’t plan to stay in Aus; I lived in Dorset and loved it. I came here on a kind of long sabbatical to forget about the break-up of my first marriage, but to cut a long story short, got a lovely job in Sydney and re-married. (my sons were young adults at this point). The first 10 years or so were great and I appreciated everything Aus had to offer; however I’ve found that my homesickness is getting worse not better! Covid lockdowns, preventing me travelling, of course didn’t help. I Skype with my sons regularly but it’s no substitute! I completely get your point about never being settled in either country and any stays in the UK being “artificial”….I too find the UK has changed, and not for the better. I do have great friends here, as in the UK, but everyone there has moved on with their lives. My husband is a well-travelled Aussie and as you’ve observed, is more “European” in outlook – he wouldn’t ever dream of living in England though, so I have to try and accept, as you have, that maybe I will just never feel settled. Keep on with the fantastic articles as they really get to the heart of emotional issues faced by many expats!

  4. Hi. My wife loves Pret and she used to go there all the time when she lived in London. She lives in Melbourne now. I think Aussies generally prefer meals prepared fresh and they are also generally not in a hurry all the time. They much rather go to a cafe and order a fresh sandwich, instead of getting a pre-packaged one. Of course, there are pre-packaged meal options in Coles, Woolies and Servos but there does not seem to be enough demand for it here so not sure if a dedicated place like Pret will last long here. Plus, Soul Origin is pretty close to this and already has many stores.

    It’s a shame as I am aware that Pret emphasises quality produce and their sandwiches taste great.

    I never lived in England but visited a few times and just love the vibe there. Happy to be living in Oz but want to keep visiting the UK.

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