London Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    From the Great Fire of London to the plague, London is steeped in history that is world famous. Buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral are just a tiny example of the many historic sites in the capital.

  • 2. Now

    London attracts visitors from all over the world, who travel to the city as tourists or to live and work. The curry houses of Brick Lane and the famous Chinatown are just two examples of London’s multi-cultural identity. The capital city was given an even bigger profile on the world scene with the 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic Park, in East London, was built for this huge ...Read moreevent. Read less

  • 3. Events

    The London Marathon takes place in April and attracts serious runners from all over the world as well as thousands of charity runners, many in fancy dress. Thousands line the streets of the capital to watch this event, which is also televised. Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place on the August bank holiday since 1966. This famous event involves a street festival, a huge...Read more parade of colourful costumes, hundreds of Caribbean food stalls and plenty of live music. The Chelsea Flower Show celebrates everything to do with gardening and runs for five days in May. The Royal Family attends the opening day. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    The London Eye, in the city’s South Bank area, was built to mark the new millennium. It is now one of London’s most popular attractions and is visited by over 3.5 million people every year. London Dungeon tells the city’s most gruesome stories by bringing them to life with chilling reconstructions. This attraction also offers 14 actor led shows and three scary rides. Bu...Read moreckingham Palace is the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. The State Rooms are open to visitors during set periods. The Tower of London is the place to see the Crown Jewels. This attraction also has the White Tower, offering plenty of hands-on history; a prisoners’ exhibition; the medieval palace and more. Visitors can mix with the rich and famous at the Madam Tussauds waxworks. The figures are split into sections: The A-list Party, The Scream Chamber of Horrors, Premiere Night, Spirit of London, Sports Zone, Warhol’s Women and A Royal Appointment. There are many art galleries to choose from in London, but the main ones are the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National, National Portrait, the Royal Academy of Arts, Somerset House, Hayward, Barbican, Serpentine and Saatchi. Museums are aplenty but the most popular are the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, London Transport Museum, National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum. London Zoo is home to over 750 different species and includes Penguin Beach, Gorilla Kingdom, the Children’s Zoo, Aquarium, Big Cats section, Butterfly Paradise and much more. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    There are plenty of green open spaces to enjoy in the city, including Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, St James’s Park, Victoria Park, Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Clapham Common, Battersea Park and Lee Valley Park. As well as numerous indoor swimming pools, London has lidos in Tooting Bec, Brockwell and Hyde Park. Boating can be enjoyed on th...Read moree lakes in Hyde Park, Regents Park and Battersea Park and there are plenty of river cruises on offer. City farms are a popular way to escape the hustle and bustle and the list includes Dean City Farm, Freightliners City Farm, Vauxhall City Farm and Hackney City Farm. Guided tours are available in many different formats, including open top bus tours, cycling tours, walking tours, ghost tours and river tours. Read less

  • 6. Business

    The famous department stores in the city include Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Liberty, Fenwick of Bond Street and Fortnum and Mason. Famous markets include Borough food market; Brick Lane, for brick-a-brac; Camden clothes market; Portobello Road general market; Columbia Road flower market; Old Spitalfields general market; Greenwich Market for gifts and...Read more crafts; Petticoat Lane for bargain fashion; and Covent Garden. Oxford Street and Regent Street are the big shopping streets in the centre of the city, but each region of the capital has its own shopping centre with a unique identity. Many celebrity chefs have their main restaurant in the city and these include: Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen; Gordon Ramsey’s Chelsea; Gary Rhodes’s Rhodes Twenty Four; Michel Roux’s Le Gavroche and Aldo Zilli’s Zilli Fish. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    The five major airports are Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Luton and Stansted. The Eurostar terminal is situated at St Pancras and offers daily services to Paris and Brussels. Trains travel into London from the rest of the UK and the main stations for these are Waterloo, King’s Cross, Paddington, St Pancras, Euston, Charing Cross, Victoria, London Bridge, Fenchurch Street ...Read moreand Liverpool Street. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    The West End is famous for its theatres and the long list of venues here includes the Palladium, Drury Lane, the Lyceum, the Old Vic, the Dominion, and the Haymarket. Big theatres outside of the West End include Hammersmith Apollo, the Royal Albert Hall and Sadler’s Wells. Among the more well-known venues for live music in the capital are Brixton Academy, Roundhouse, Forum, ...Read morethe O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Alexandra Palace, Barbican, Earl’s Court and the Royal Festival Hall. Read less

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    The list of famous landmarks in London is very long but includes Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall, Downing Street, The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Nelson’s Column and Marble Arch.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    On a clear day, you can see as far as Windsor Castle (25 miles away) from the top of the London Eye.

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