Coliving UK: research for Digital Nomads visiting UK in 2021 + Corona quarantine restriction updates
We are all living in Lock Down or Loch Doon as I call it these days. You either headed for home or have been holed up in a hostel, Coworking / Coliving place in Chiang Mai, Bali or an Airbnb in some random town in nowheresville since March 2020 and are climbing the walls.
The UK is often not seen as a Digital Nomad option. Why come here when you can go to Bali? Well for a start you currently can come to the UK and can’t go to Bali. The UK is not London, so “It’s too expensive” is not true. Have a look at this guide I have produced on places around the UK for Digital Nomads to work from and experience some homegrown British culture – starting from as little as £300 a month for your own room.
Each UK country has their own Corona lockdown rules for people working and staying in hotels, so check the current Gov corona rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland separately depending on where you are thinking of travelling to. The information in this post is relevant to coliving UK only and how the current Government rules for staying and working in hotels in England effects you when visiting England in Dec 2020 and early next year. This page is updated regularly so check back if you are thinking to visit the UK in spring as the rules will hopefully be different then.
Updated on Dec 1st 2020. We jumped out; we jumped back in and now in a 3 Tier system. Keep up. This time co-working/co-living spaces in the UK can stay open as shown in the Gov link above: as long as a guest ” is staying for the purpose of work”. The fact you will stay a month means you will quarantine if not arriving from one of these countries and not be moving around and so we are assuming coworking coliving houses in the UK will be allowed to stay open all winter. Some coliving UK destinations, however, are closed as their guests are mainly tourists, which are not allowed to stay in Tier 3 and not Digital Nomads and so is best to do your research to see who is open before you book your flights.
Below is all the information I can find on Coliving UK opportunities for visiting Digital Nomads to the UK.
Coliving UK: where can you stay? - Updated Dec 1st 2020
Many Coliving places in the UK will be open this winter and throughout the 3 tier system that is currently in place due to Corona. Many are based in London, the minimum is £1,000 a month and is all about short term lets in terms of the number of months for people physically working in London and not really for digital nomad travellers passing through.
If you check out Nomadlist for the UK, you will see London gets a big whack whack on cost. They calculate you need £3114 a month to live a Digital Nomad life in London. I am from London and think that’s a bit steep but yeah, it’s one of the most expensive places in the world you can choose to work remotely from. Is that not the whole point? You don’t have to pay crazy big city costs when working remotely?
Hence Nomad List’s no. 1 recommend destination is Canggu. Even with only 19 Mbps as the average. Why? Because it has wow and you need £1061.43 a month to live there. Less than 3 times the cost of living in London and why my home town comes in at no. 37 after Ploiesti in Romania that is best known for not being anywhere worth writing home about. Ask any Romanian and they would say “You are thinking of living in Ploiesti for a month? Really? Why?”
As you can see London is not a Coliving UK destination, not because it’s a dull place but because it just too expensive compared to other places a Digital Nomad can work from and experience the wow the world. You only colive there if you have a job there or use a coworking space if you live there long term.
Outside of London things get better and the prices drop. The Nomad list for the UK
ranks Edinburgh and Glasgow as no. 2 and 3. As you can see they are significantly cheaper than in other cities in the UK. Somewhere Different is located between Liverpool and Manchester in the seaside town of Blackpool that has an even lower cost of living than Liverpool, that comes in at no. 4. Rent for your own room is £300 and includes a 15th share of a 1,000 Mbps connection. There is no city on Nomad list that has a cost of living similar to Chiang Mai and a connection speed of one Gig. Food is cheaper in Blackpool than Chiang Mai if you are eating in. We have a good selection of supermarkets that enables you can eat healthy food for not a lot a month.
Coworker.com Has 658 coworking spaces in the UK listed. You can’t search to see if any have accommodation included. As far as I am aware none of them do. Like the Coliving places in London, the coworking spaces only provide half the jig saw puzzle for Digital Nomads who’s home town is 5,000 miles from the coworking space. Most coworking spaces in the UK are around a similar price to Somewhere Different so if you had to add accommodation costs as well it would work out more.
Where are other Coworking Coliving places in the UK? I am aware of Selina and how they are expanding all over the world, so I checked out their situation. They are in London, Brighton and Manchester.
On selecting 1ts Dec to 31st Dec it does not give any prices other than “we are not available for these dates” It let me book from September earlier this year, you can see what they offer for a 4-week stay below. It’s best to email them to see if they are currently open under Tier 3.
8-bed dorn for £411 for 4 weeks. Is more than Somewhere Different – £300 a month for you’re your own room, but it’s more like it and I assume includes the use of their coworking area. They have an update for staying post corona here. They are promoting families for now as they can all share one room so you want to remember to bring your noise-cancelling headphones with you.
The Fort York up in York say they welcome Digital Nomads on their web site and have beds in their dorms from £10 a night, but they also welcome school groups so you could be in for an interesting group of co-workers in the wifi area. They do not mention any separate coworking spaces in the hostel. But at least they will understand you want to sit in one place all day and not be disturbed and not keep mentioning the city walking tour every morning.
These guys are up in Edinburgh in Scotland. You can get there in just under 5 hours from London’s Kings Cross by train. £99 a week for a shared dorm room. £300 a week for an apartment with your own bathroom. They mention they cater for Digital Nomads and that they focus on communal areas. There is no discount for longer stays however so if you book for 2 months that still £800 for a dorm bed.
There seems to be no restrictions on the type or person staying, so you may find many people are using the space as a place to live whilst working in Edinburgh and not Digital Nomads.
Euro Hostel is in Edinburgh and Glasgow and is pushing the Digital Nomad offering they have. From £20 a night for a dorm bed is more like it, though if you stay for a month to two that’s still pretty expensive I think.
The fact they know what a Digital Nomad is and are writing articles about being a Digital Nomad helps, so they will get why you do not sightseeing and sitting in the lounge all day.
Booking.com recommends some off the beaten track coliving UK places for digital nomads but none even mention if they have good wifi, let alone the speeds and latency.
See for your self on the link above, but I dought there will be a digital nomad community in any of these places or a backup ISP in place when the connection goes down.
This article is about coliving UK locations outside of London. This is why. London is just too expensive.
The Collective is the Coliving brand in the UK – not so much about Coworking Coliving and more for longer-term folk who may well be working in London and want to colive for a year or two. As they are classed as Homes of Multiple Occupancy they did not have to close under Captain Corona as hotels did. Minimum stay in their North London location is 4 months. Different offering to a Coworking Coliving house just for Digital Nomads who are coming for a month or two in total in the UK to experience the culture and move on.
The minimum stay cost is £4,332. Sure it’s for 4 months, so a snip compared to Roam but if you are used to renting a nice room in Asia with OK wifi for a few hundred pounds a month that’s nearly two years rent for you. Their place in Canary Warf does shorter stays but starts at £80 a night.
If you search “Coworking Coliving UK” you will find the following. Apart from Somewhere Different the only other offering that calls itself Coworking Coliving in the UK is the well-known Roam in London. They say they are moving location and will welcome people next year so it’s not clear if they are open post-Corona. When I selected to stay Dec 1st to Dec 31st – I had to do a screen grab as you would not believe me.
Yeah it says ‘We have discounted your rate’ £12,000 is the discount rate…. OK. I am sure the place is great and way better than my humble offering up here on the beach, but at that price… you could stay at my place for over 3 years. I bet my internet connection is faster too!
When I set up my coliving place in England this year, I didn’t expect Captain Corona to visit and I didn’t expect to find that there are no real alternatives to what I offer Digital Nomads up here on the beach in Blackpool. I knew I was potentially the first in my region but it seems I really am the first offering for Coworking Coliving UK has seen outside of London. I have tried to add in all the other cool places in the UK where you can get super-fast internet and your own private room in a coliving house for Digital Nomads and… I can’t really find anything else that is 1005 focused on Digital Nomads. All of the above is either a hostel or way too expensive for someone used to Bali rates.
So my post has kind of failed. I will do my best in the next year to update this page with other Nomad dedicated places that I assume will be opening up now remote working is the new norm.
If you are thinking of coming to the UK to experience some British culture at the weekend and get some work done in the week. If you like the idea of your own room for £300 a month, 5 minutes from the beach with a 1,000 Mbps connection and your own desk – I suggest you have a look at Somewhere Different in Blackpool as from Nov 1st we have been open and as long as the rules do not change, we will be open all winter.
1.15hrs from Manchester Aiport, same for Liverpool. Lake District is an hour away and we have a LOT going on right on our doorstep with more live entertainment that any other town in the UK.
If anyone is aware of any other coworking/coliving UK locations, not separate offerings, please add them in the comments below and I will check them out and add them to the lists.
See you on the beach
I checked ‘coliving wales’, ‘digital nomad accommodation wales’ ‘location independent wales’ etc. Nothing. It’s early days for the Digital Nomad community to venture this far it seems. The Uk is seen as too expensive for Digital Nomads but as you discover there is more to the Uk than London.
Below is what the official tourist information website for Wales recommends Digital Nomads to do when visiting Cardiff.
Check out one of the many nomad friendly cafes and find a room on Airbnb or bed on Hostel World and off you go.
It does not look promising for Digital Nomads in Northern Ireland just yet.
Belfast is voted as being one of the best cities for Digital Nomads by Spot a Home – no idea who Spot is when at home, but it puts Belfast as no.1 for Digital Nomads in the world.
London based Cohub has a place here in Belfast and is probably the best offering you will find if you are looking for longer-term stays of 6 months or so.
Out of Belfast, currently in Dec 2020, not much going on. I will check and update throughout 2021 and hopefully be adding some cool destination locations that Somewhere Different can work with.
Lime St Station is 1.15hrs from Somewhere Different and 2.15hrs from London. Liverpool to me is like a Mini London. The Victorian architecture dominates the centre and like London, you can see the town properly kicked arse over 150 years ago. Livinc is a coliving offering in Liverpool from £169 a week as well as several other towns in the UK. That’s a bit steep for as you can read here in a blog written by a travel blogger who is from Liverpool you can rent a whole house for £500 near the football ground.
Cocohub has a presence in Liverpool along with many coliving apartment offerings. I won’t list them all as they are not really what you wna if you are looking to stay for a month or two with other like minded Digital Nomads.