79 Facts About London


London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just over 9 million.

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The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries hosted the national government and parliament.

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London has the busiest city airport system in the world and the London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world.

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London is one of the most-visited cities in the world and is home to the most 5-star hotels of any city.

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London has four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the combined Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time.

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London has many museums, galleries, libraries and cultural venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library, and numerous West End theatres.

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Important sporting events held in London include the FA Cup Final, Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the London Marathon.

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In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.

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London then grew slowly until a dramatic increase in about 950.

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Winchester had been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war.

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London was a centre of England's Jewish population before their expulsion by Edward I in 1290.

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Much of London property passed from church to private ownership, which accelerated trade and business in the city.

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London became the main North Sea port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad.

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The ban on theatre was lifted during the Restoration in 1660, and London's oldest operating theatre, Drury Lane, opened in 1663 in what is the West End theatre district.

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Great Fire of London broke out in 1666 in Pudding Lane in the city and quickly swept through the wooden buildings.

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London then overtook Amsterdam as the leading international financial centre.

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No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

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London was the world's largest city from about 1831 to 1925, with a population density of 325 per hectare.

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Greater London's population declined in the decades after the Second World War, from an estimated peak of 8.

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The principal ports for London moved downstream to Felixstowe and Tilbury, with the London Docklands area becoming a focus for regeneration, including the Canary Wharf development.

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On 6 July 2005 London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics, as the first city to stage the Olympic Games three times.

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Administration of London is formed of two tiers: a citywide, strategic tier and a local tier.

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London is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom.

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Funding cuts to police in London are likely to have contributed to this, though other factors are involved.

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London, known as Greater London, is one of nine regions of England and the top subdivision covering most of the city's metropolis.

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The Greater London boundary has been aligned to the M25 motorway in places.

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The area of Greater London includes areas that are part of the historic counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.

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London has had a small number of earthquakes over the years, notably those of 1750 which macroseismic information indicates had their epicentres directly under the city.

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London's building code is being redrawn so that every new structure must be able to withstand an earthquake of at least 6.

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However, London is vulnerable to climate change in the United Kingdom, and there is increasing concern among hydrological experts that London households may run out of water before 2050.

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The City of London is the main financial district, and Canary Wharf has recently developed into a new financial and commercial hub in the Docklands to the east.

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West London includes expensive residential areas where properties can sell for tens of millions of pounds.

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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.

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London's buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly because of their varying ages.

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Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London, which originated nearby.

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London has 38 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, two national nature reserves and 76 local nature reserves.

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In population terms, London is the 19th largest city and the 18th largest metropolitan region.

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Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2010, London's foreign-born population was 2, 650, 000, up from 1, 630, 000 in 1997.

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London has traditionally been Christian, and has a large number of churches, particularly in the City of London.

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London is home to 44 Hindu temples, including the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London.

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Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London is affiliated to London's historic Sephardic Jewish community.

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Multicultural London English is a multiethnolect becoming increasingly common in multicultural areas amongst young, working-class people from diverse backgrounds.

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London has some of the highest real estate prices in the world.

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London is the world's most expensive office market according to world property journal report.

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London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world as the most important location for international finance.

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London took over as a major financial centre shortly after 1795 when the Dutch Republic collapsed before the Napoleonic armies.

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London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world.

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London is a major retail centre and in 2010 had the highest non-food retail sales of any city in the world, with a total spend of around £64.

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London is a major international air transport hub with the busiest city airspace in the world.

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South London, particularly, has a high concentration of railways as it has fewer Underground lines.

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London is the centre of the National Rail network, with 70 per cent of rail journeys starting or ending in London.

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King's Cross station and Euston station, which are both in London, are the starting points of the East Coast Main Line and the West Coast Main Line – the two main railway lines in Britain.

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London has one of the largest wheelchair-accessible networks in the world and from the third quarter of 2007, became more accessible to hearing and visually impaired passengers as audio-visual announcements were introduced.

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London has a modern tram network, known as Tramlink, centred on Croydon in South London.

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London has river boat services on the Thames known as Thames Clippers, which offer both commuter and tourist boat services.

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London is notorious for its traffic congestion; in 2009, the average speed of a car in the rush hour was recorded at 10.

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London is a major global centre of higher education teaching and research and has the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe.

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Important scientific learned societies based in London include the Royal Society—the UK's national academy of sciences and the oldest national scientific institution in the world—founded in 1660, and the Royal Institution, founded in 1799; the basement of the latter is where Michael Faraday first demonstrated electric motion in 1821.

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The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Opera, and English National Opera are based in London and perform at the Royal Opera House, the London Coliseum, Sadler's Wells Theatre, and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as touring the country.

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London is home to designers Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, Stella McCartney, Manolo Blahnik, and Jimmy Choo, among others; its renowned art and fashion schools make it one of the four international centres of fashion.

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London offers a great variety of cuisine as a result of its ethnically diverse population.

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Chinese takeaways are located throughout London, as are Indian restaurants which provide Indian and Anglo-Indian cuisine.

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Around 1860, the first fish and chips shop in London was opened by Joseph Malin, a Jewish immigrant, in Bow.

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London has five 3-Michelin star restaurants, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea.

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Many hotels in London provide a traditional afternoon tea service, such as the Oscar Wilde Lounge at the Hotel Cafe Royal in Piccadilly, and a themed tea service is available, for example an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea served at the Egerton House Hotel, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych in Covent Garden.

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Literary centres of London have traditionally been hilly Hampstead and Bloomsbury.

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London has played a significant role in the film industry.

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Major studios within or bordering London include Pinewood, Elstree, Ealing, Shepperton, Twickenham, and Leavesden, with the James Bond and Harry Potter series among many notable films produced here.

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London has been the setting for films including Oliver Twist, Scrooge (1951), Peter Pan (1953), The 101 Dalmatians (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), Mary Poppins (1964), Blowup (1966), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Long Good Friday (1980), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), Notting Hill (1999), Love Actually (2003), V for Vendetta (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) and The King's Speech (2010).

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London is a major centre for television production, with studios including Television Centre, ITV Studios, Sky Campus and Fountain Studios; the latter hosted the original talent shows, Pop Idol, The X Factor, and Britain's Got Talent, before each format was exported around the world.

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Many television shows have been set in London, including the popular television soap opera EastEnders, broadcast by the BBC since 1985.

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London is home to many museums, galleries, and other institutions, many of which are free of admission charges and are major tourist attractions as well as playing a research role.

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London is one of the major classical and popular music capitals of the world and hosts major music corporations, such as Universal Music Group International and Warner Music Group, and countless bands, musicians and industry professionals.

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London has numerous venues for rock and pop concerts, including the world's busiest indoor venue, the O2 Arena, and Wembley Arena, as well as many mid-sized venues, such as Brixton Academy, the Hammersmith Apollo and the Shepherd's Bush Empire.

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The largest parks in the central area of London are three of the eight Royal Parks, namely Hyde Park and its neighbour Kensington Gardens in the west, and Regent's Park to the north.

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London has hosted the Summer Olympics three times: in 1908, 1948, and 2012, making it the first city to host the modern Games three times.

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In 2017, London hosted the World Championships in Athletics for the first time.

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Four London-based teams are in the Women's Super League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham United.

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