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Our guide to London: About London

London has been a major settlement for 2,000 years going back to the Romans.  The heart, the City of London, still retains many of its mediaeval boundaries.

London is a leading global city where arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, tourism, finance and the media all contribute to its prominence.  In 2012 it will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the Palace of Westminster and the historic settlement of Greenwich.  Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square.  Home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries and theatres there will never be a shortage of things to see and do.

Its extensive underground network, the oldest underground railway network in the world and the most extensive after the Shanghai Metro, will ensure that these places are easy to get to and if you don’t fancy the tube you can go by bus, taxi or, if you’re feeling energetic why not go by Boris Bike?  Launched in July 2010, Boris bikes are London’s cycle hire scheme.

The West End is London’s main entertainment and shopping district, attracting millions of tourists every year.  the East end is the area closest to the original Port of London, known for its high immigrant population as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London.  Parts of it are presently being redeveloped for the 2012 Olympics.

London has over 3,000 green spaces and parks making it one of the greenest cities in the world: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, Green Park and St. James’s Park are all a short walk from the West End while the more expansive parklands of Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park are easy to get to by tube or bus.

With a population of nearly 8 million and covering an area of more than 620 square miles, London dominates the national horizon despite Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolution: this is where the country’s news and money are made and why the capital has a unique aura of excitement and success.

Check out some of the things you can do in London below…

 

Selfridges London

Selfridges department store is the biggest draw on Oxford Street, with a superb food hall, excellent clothes and first class restaurants.

Address: Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB

Lords Cricket Ground

Lord’s, also known as Lord’s Cricket Ground, is a cricket venue in St John’s Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County.

Capacity: 30,000

Fortnum & Mason

Established in 1710 by William Fortnum, a footman to Queen Anne, today they have the reputation for selling the finest luxury goods and sparing no expense to provide quality items to those who can afford it.

Fenwick

Department store in London, England High-end department store with women’s fashion and accessories, beauty products and gifts.

Royal National Theatre

The National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom’s three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House.

Dolce & Gabbana

Boutique in London, England Retailer of designer apparel from the Italian fashion label. Some sell watches, jewellery & cosmetics.

Royal Opera House

Opera house in London, England The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London.

Capacity: 2,256

Hayward Gallery

The Hayward Gallery was opened by the Queen in 1968 and is an outstanding example of sixties brutalist architecture and…

Liberty

Most famous for its fabrics and accessories but also building a reputation for both mainstream and new fashion.  Liberty has good perfume, cosmetics and household departments making it a favourite since 1875.

Queen’s Theatre

Theatre in London, England The Queen’s Theatre is a West End theatre located in Shaftesbury Avenue on the corner of Wardour Street in the City of Westminster, London. It opened on 8 October 1907 as a twin to the neighbouring Hicks Theatre which had opened ten months earlier.

Capacity: 1,074

Camden Market

Started as a tiny crafts market, it has expanded greatly attracting more than 100,000 shoppers each weekend – cheap leather goods, furniture, street fashion and jewellery.  To avoid the crowds arrive by 10.00 am.