London is one of the most popular cities in the world to visit with tourists coming in their millions each year to the capital. In London, with so much to do, it caters to a wide spectrum of people. For fashionistas, there is the world famous Oxford Street whilst those who love culture will be entertained in the West End theatres which boast award winning shows like Wicked and The Lion King. Also, with various attractions in London, some which shape and decorate the skyline including The London Eye and Houses of Parliament, tourists will delight in the iconic structures of the city. These aspects are popular with tourists but what are the hidden aspects of London that is not really known?
There are many surprising facts about London, look below to find out:
1. London was not always so called, London started as Londinium.
2. London is the 9th largest city in the world and if it was a country, it would be the eighth largest in Europe.
3. London was the first city in the world to surpass a population of 1 million. This was eventually overtaken by the city of Tokyo.
4. Big Ben does not refer to the tower, it is actually the bell.
5. Millions each day have to use the London Underground to get around the city but most of the underground runs overground (55%).
6. Millions of people use London transport each day. This is a mixture of commuters and tourists using the transport. However, there are a number of stations that are abandoned including Brompton Road and Mark Lane.
7. London is the only city to host the Olympics three times. This was in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
8. Black cab drivers have to take a test called ‘The Knowledge’. This is where potential drivers have to know the geography of London. This is hundreds of basic routes, and thousands of street names and landmarks. This is no mean feat, and no doubt that black cab drivers have the most knowledge of what is where in London.
9. The Tower of London, which is one of the historic royal palaces which has a bloody past. The last person to be executed, Josef Jakobs who was a German soldier and he died in 1941.
10. Despite the name the ‘Great Fire of London’ which devastated the city in 1666 remarkably, only 6 people died in the fire.
11. The iconic building of The Palace of Westminster was deliberately built by the River Thames to stop a mob surrounding it.
12. Piccadilly lights dominate and are iconic to the West End. The advertising board hosts well known brands but is Coca- Cola that has held a spot on the advertising board since 1955.
From B&B hotels in London to five star establishments like the Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel, there is plenty of accommodation that tourists can stay in whilst in the capital. Whilst exploring what the city has to offer, don’t forget to boast about this new knowledge of London!