Settlement in London, or Londinium, date back to the Roman invasion in 43 AD and by 2nd century, it had a population of 60,000. This was followed by Anglo-Saxon and Vikings during 9th century. By 11th century, London was the largest town in England, where Westminster Abbey stood proudly as one of the grandest churches in Europe. During Tudor period between late 15th to early 17th century, Reformation led to gradual shift to Protestantism and much of London turned to private ownership. During the following centuries, it went through catastrophes such as the Great Plague and the Great Fire in 1666, but was then followed by fast economic, social and cultural development. Between 1831 to 1925, London became the largest city in the world. It’s ancient core, the City of London, retains its 1.12 sqm medieval boundaries and the metropolis around this core, which is split between the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent and Hertfordshire, make up the Greater London, with an area of 607 sqm and total population of more than 8.9 million people.
Today, London is a leading international city in the arts, finance, tourism, entertainment, fashion, commerce, education, healthcare, media, professional services, R & D and transportation. It is also the world’s largest financial centre. London is the most visited city as evidenced by international tourist arrivals and has the world’s busiest airport, London Heathrow. It has a diverse range of people and cultures, with over 300 languages spoken. Therefore, you can find any type of cuisine in the city. It is also home to several well-known universities, along with famous museums- London is home to over 200 museums- and art galleries. London is also host to at least two fashion weeks every year, as well as the annual British Film Awards (BAFTA).
Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City and Southend.
Train Stations (National Rail)
Kings Cross/St Pancras, Euston, Paddington, Waterloo, Victoria and Charing Cross.
Underground (Tube), Bus, National Rail and Taxi.
***Note: daily or weekly travel cards are available for underground and buses.
The hotels in London are countless! I will break it down into, but not limited to, three of the major areas central London:
South West (SW):
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites, 41, Bulgari, Lanesborough, Jumeirah Lowndes, Hari, COMO Halkin, Milestone, Kensington, Millenium, Mandarin Oriental, Rembrandt and Blakes.
Four Seasons, Dorchester, Claridge’s, Beaumont, Connaught, Ritz, Millenium, Dukes, Brown’s, Chiltern Firehouse, Athenaeum, Metropolitan, Langham and Hilton Bayswater.
East Central (EC) and East (E):
Great Northern, Renaissance St Pancras, Savoy, Piccadilly, Rosewood, One Aldwych, Corinthia, Shangri La and Grange City.
The number of recommended restaurants in this remarkable city is countless as well. Again, this will be broken down into three major areas, but not limited to:
South West (SW)
Lobster & Burger, Aquavit, Novikov, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Duck & Waffle, Stockholm Deli, Salmontini, Bar 61 Restaurant, Five Fields, Motcombe, Zaika, Ivy, Big & Easy, and Harwood Arms.
Ledbury, Granger, Royal China, Four Seasons, Chiltern Firehouse, Ceviche, Palomar, Brass Rail, Benares, Galvin at Windows, Ceviche, Le Boudin Blanc, Gymkhana, Le Gavroche, Lima, Trader’s Vics, Iran and Victoria.
West Central (WC), East Central (EC) and East (E)
Typing Room, Aqua Shard, Bocca di Lupo, Social Eating House, Golden Union, Barrafina, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Iberica, Veeraswamy, Granger, The Ivy Brasserie, Simpsons in the Strand, The Lady Ottoline and The Black Friar.
Museums in London
This could be overwhelming as there are around 200 museums in the Greater London area! The following is a list of most popular museums in the city, which could help you decide which to visit. Most of the large ones are free of entry to vie their permanent collection. They might charge you entrance fee for special or temporary exhibitions.
South Kensington is often referred to as the museum area as it is home to three of the city’s most well known museums: Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum.
For football lovers, London is very exciting as it is home to at least six Premier League football clubs, including Queens Park Rangers (although recently relegated). The famous ones are: Chelsea Football Club at Stamford Bridge, Fulham; Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in North London; and Tottenham Hot Spurs in White Hart Lane, North London. There is also West Ham Football Club in east London who took over the London Stadium in 2016, as well as Crystal Palace Football Club that is based in Selhurst Park, southeast London. Most of these clubs offer tours in their football grounds.