A city of rich history, culture, amazing landmarks.
London is the capital of England. It is the largest city in the U.K. and the 5th largest city in the world. London is visited by more people than any other city in the world. London has the largest airport system worldwide. London is a fascinating city with a diverse population and culture. It is a leading city in fashion, food, music, and tourism.
London started as a small Roman village on the Thames River. It became the capital of Britannia. As the Roman Empire discentagrated, the Saxons settled in London and took over in the 5th century. In 1066, King William of France took over London. In 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta. It stated that Kings or Queens must get approval from Royal council to make decisions. This royal council eventually turned into parliment. In 1509, King Henry VIII took over London and separated England from the Roman Catholic Church. Most English people today are Protestant Christians. King Henry VIII started the Tudor Dynasty. Trade began to grow and companies like the The East India Company were established. London was the number 1 sea port on the North Sea. The population began to rise. In the 16th century, William Shakespeare wrote plays and built a theater called the Globe. In the 17th century, London had the Great Plague which wiped out 100,000 people. There was also a Great Fire that swept through the city for 5 days and destroying 60% of the town. It took ten years to rebuild the city. In the 18th century, London was filled with crime. In 1750, a professional police group, Bow Street Runners, formed to get rid of all crime. London was bombed in WWI and WWII. In 1952, the Great Smog led to the Clean Air Act. Afterwards, London became popular with the youth in music and fashion. Today, London is run by the Mayor. Prime Minister lives in London. Queen Elizabeth lives in Buckingham palace. Her successor will be Prince Charles.
Weather and Geography
London is flat with some hills. It located next to the Thames River. The weather is cool in the winter and warm in the summer. It is pretty nice year round. The average temperature is 18 - 61' F in winter. The average temperature is 77 - 88' F. It rains less than you think. On average, they get 29 inches of rain a year. One should always, be prepared because you never know when the sun will disappear and the rain will come out.
London offers a wide variety of dining experiences. From high end fine dining at fancy restaurants to local staples at cafes and pubs. You will find potatoes everywhere, because Londoners love to eat potatoes with everything. The top common dish is fish and chips which is fried fish and fried potatoes. On Sunday, you might be invited over for roast and Yorkshire pudding. The pudding is a bread. For dinner you might eat bangers and mash or a Lancashire hotpot. A banger is a sausage. A hotpot is lamb covered in sliced potatoes. For a more elegant meal, you might order a Beef Wellington which is a steak stuffed in pastry bread and served with potatoes.
Londoners wear suits to the office and dress their best. At home and out public, they like to be casual but dressy. They like their clothes to fit and be tailored. They always want to look their best even when they are wearing jeans and t-shirt. Men will even wear a suit coat with jeans and a tee to dress it up a bit. London is on the edge of fashion. They have fashion shows and leading designers.
London's music scene became popular in the 1960's with groups like the Beatles. In the 80s, they brought David Bowie and new wave music. In the 90s, the produce groups like Spice Girls and Cold Play. Today, they have some of the most popular singers. Adele, Taio Cruz, The Wanted, and One Direction come from the London music scene.
London has lots of sports. It is home to Wimbeldon, World Champions of Tennis. People play football, we might call it soccer. They also play Cricket which is kind of like baseball. The bat is flat and the pitcher is called a bowler because they roll the ball to the batter. Another big sport in London is Rugby which is like American Football without pads. The Summer Olympics has come to London 3 times: 1908, 1948, and 2012.
If you are a history buff, London is full of historical landmarks. One of the oldest and most famous is the Tower of London. It was a castle built by William the Conqueror. In 1100s, it was turned into a prison until 1952. Now, it is place to hold the crown jewels, see ghosts, and hear about the history of London. Another Landmark, you are familiar with is Buckingham Palace. It is home to Queen Elizabeth and her family. If you get there at the right time of day, you can watch the changing of the guard. For outdoor landmarks, you have Trafalgar Square, the London Bridge, and Parliment Hill. Trafalgar Square is great for seeing contemporary art, attending a political demonstration, or going to a community event.
People visit London everyday for all sorts of reason. If you are planning a trip, here are somethings you might want to put on your to do list. One the newest attractions and most exciting is the London Eye. It is a huge ferris wheel with 32 capsules. The capsules hold 25 people. You can walk around in it. It takes 30 minutes to go all the way around. It has 360 degree view of London. For Harry Potter fans, you can go to Warner Brothers Studios and get a tour of the Harry Potter movie sets. For history and culture, you can go to one of the 240 museums in London. Some of the popular museums are the British Museum, the London Museum, and the Natural History Museum. You can also get a guided tour and go on a red double decker bus. While you are there, don't forget to take a picture of yourself in the red telephone booth.