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History
London gets it's name from the ancient name of LONDINIUM. There is some controversy over whether this was a Latin or Celtic name and also as to whether London was founded by the Romans or if it existed on a small scale before that. The Romans invaded Britain in AD43 and built a wooden bridge close to the East side of where London Bridge now stands around AD50.  Famously Queen Bodecia led an attack on the City around AD60 and took the city from the Romans, burning the City to the ground in the process. It took about a decade for London to rise again and by AD140 it became the capital of Britain or what at that time was known as Britannia. Formerly Colchester, England's oldest known city, had been the capital. London was still yet to grow into anything like the huge bustling cosmopolitan City we associate it with being today and between the years 410 (the end of the Roman occupation in Britain) and 560 became almost deserted by the population. The true birth of the modern London did not begin in earnest until the Anglo-Saxons settled there around the year 600. The Anglo-Saxons actually settled in Lundenwic, an area about 3/4 of a mile from the original Roman London in what today is called Aldwych.

General facts
London, the United Kingdom (UK) capital city, used to be any area with a London postcode (click here for London Postcodes list and explanation), these extend out to Edmonton to the North, Hanwell to the West, Streatham to the South and Abbey Wood to the East. However in more recent times with the building of the M25 London orbital motorway London is now considered anything within the M25 motorway. The M25 is a circular motorway which makes a ring road around the whole of London. Greater London covers an area of 1579 sq. km. (610 sq. miles). London has around 6.7 million residents and probably edging towards 10 million as the number of people there at peak times. Ask a cabby where the centre of London is and he will probably tell you Charing Cross Station, however in practical terms central London is considered the W1 postcode. This area is bounded by Piccadilly to the South, Oxford Street the North, Tottenham Court Road to the East and Park Lane to the West. W1 takes in one of London's most expensive areas in Mayfair, home to the rich and famous. Some great shopping can be found in W1 including jewellery and fashion at Bond Street, famous high street chains, smaller shops, restaurants and bars at Regent Street, and electrical and home entertainment shop after shop at Tottenham Court Road. For tourists Oxford Street is a must with all the assortments that make great presents for folks back home.
Most visitors to London looking for a sightseeing holiday will look for accommodation in the central and Western postcodes. When it comes to London tourism these are the areas most often talked about and visited. These include WC1 Bloomsbury, WC2 Holborn, NW1 Camden, W1 West End, SW1 Victoria, W2 Paddington, NW8 St. Johns Wood , NW3 Hampstead, W11 Ladbroke Grove, W14 West Kensington, W8 Kensington, SW7 South Kensington, SW6 Fulham, SW10 Old Brompton and SW5 Earls Court. In terms of attractions, shopping, things-to-do, famous areas, these areas have the largest density.
However London is so much larger than this in reality, as previously mentioned its become the whole area with the M25 orbital motorway.

London Counties
Great Britain is divided geographically into 86 counties. London takes in parts of 4 separate counties. These are Middlesex, Essex, Surrey and Kent. Other than for geographical purposes Counties have little meaning in modern times.  Counties are one layer of a tier system that goes right down to local boroughs at the most local level. Read more about Counties here.

Blue Plaques
Throughout London you will come across buildings with Blue Plaques on the front of the building. In truth they are not all blue, this is a generic name given to the type of commemoration. Some local authorities put up their plaques which vary in colour and shape, for example Westminster put up green ones. These are commemorative plaques giving information on past residents. The first plaque was erected on Lord Byron's home in 1867 by the Royal Society of Arts, although this no longer exists. The oldest currently existing plaques are those at the home of the poet John Dryden at 43 Gerard Street W1, and one for Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon III at 1c King Street, St James's. They were erected in 1875. in 1901 the London County Council took over responsibility for putting up the Blue Plaques from the Riyal Society of Arts. Responsibility switched to the GLC in 1965 and then to English Heritage in 1986. A commemoration plaque cannot be erected unless at least 100 years have past since the persons birth or 20 years from his death. There are nearing 900 plaques in London. Strangely enough one of the most popular is actually for a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street.

Weather
The Uk has a very temperate climate meaning it doesn't experience extremes of temperatures. This in reality means while it doesn't experience extreme cold it also doesn't experience extreme heat. Typically in winter overnight temperatures for an exceptionally cold night in London may hit -10c (14f)and daytimes temperatures may be around 4c or 5c (40f), these would be considered very cold temperatures and colder than normal. At the other end of the scale summer may see the odd days of around 32c (90f), a few more days in the 27-29c range (80's f) with normal temperatures around 21c (70f). London being in the South of England would be expect to be a few degrees higher all year round than other areas further North. One thing to expect is rain. Even though the UK does experience times of comparative drought you can always expect to experience some drizzle to heavy rain whether your visit is in winter or summer.

WHERE IS:
CHINATOWN (WC2):
Between Trafalgar Square and Soho. An area with a large population of Chinese run shops and restaurants. Nearest tubes: Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus. images
COVENT GARDEN (WC2):
Bounded by Kingsway, High Holborn, Charing Cross Road and the Strand. Covent Garden is a vibrant area popular with tourists. Well known for its street entertainers (buskers) who can usually be found around the piazza. The piazza is the central part of Coven Garden home to many pubs, shops and restaurants. Many of London's best known theatres are in Covent Garden and this really is one of those areas anyone visiting London simply has to see. Nearest tubes: Holborn, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Aldwych. images
SOHO (W1):
A mix of pubs, clubs and restaurants with some red-light type establishments. (strip clubs, adult video shops etc.) Nearest tubes: Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester square. images
THEATRELAND (W1, WC1, WC2):
While London has theatres all over there is a high concentration in the area bounded by Soho, Covent Garden and the Strand. This has become known as Theatreland. Many of these can be found on Shaftsbury Avenue and along the Strand. These include the Adelphi, Strand, Vaudeville theatres on the Strand and the Apollo, Criterion, Geilgud, Lyric, Palace and Shaftsbury theatres on Shaftsbury Avenue.
WEST END (W1):
The area bounded by Regent Street, South part of Marylebone and Park Lane. Basically this takes in most of the W1 postcode and is considered central London. This takes in great shopping at places like Regent Street, Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road and great night life at places like Soho and Piccadilly Circus.

POPULAR SHOPPING:
KENSINGTON HIGH STREET W8:
OFTEN THE PLACE OF CHOICE FOR DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES WHOSE FORMER RESIDENCE, KENSINGTON PALACE, IS AT THE EAST END OF THE ROAD more information and images
CAMDEN HIGH STREET NW1:
TO THE SOUTH OF CAMDEN HIGH STREET ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF SHOPS AND PUBS, SHOPPING IS A GOOD MIX WITH A MANY DEALING IN FASHION. TO THE NORTH IS THE FAMOUS CAMDEN MARKET, OPEN ALL WEEK BUT BEST VISITED ON SUNDAYS WHEN ALL STALLS ARE OPEN, REPUTATION OF TRENDY SLIGHTLY OFF THE WALL ITEMS AND FASHION  more information images
OXFORD STREET W1:
Oxford Street is world famous for having one of the largest densities of shops per square foot of any shopping area in the world. In excess of 300 shops trade along this more information and images
EDGWARE ROAD W2:
AT THE MARBLE ARCH END THIS IS A POPULAR AREA FOR WITH VISITORS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST WITH MANY MIDDLE EASTERN STYLE RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS
BOND STREET W1:
FAMOUS FOR ITS JEWELLERY SHOPS AND UPMARKET FASHION BOUTIQUES
KNIGHTSBRIDGE SW7:
BEST KNOWN AS HOME TO HARRODS DEPARTMENT STORE BUT MUCH LIKE SLOANE STREET IS A MIX OF UPMARKET SHOPPING AND EXPENSIVE RESIDENTIAL AREAS WITH MANY RESTAURANTS AND BARS. KNIGHTSBRIDGE RUNS ALONGSIDE THE SOUTHERN END OF HYDE PARK
SLOANE STREET SW7:
UPMARKET FASHION SHOPS AND BOUTIQUES
KINGS ROAD, CHELSEA SW3:
MIX OF UPMARKET BOUTIQUES, LARGER STORES, BARS AND CAFES images
NOTTING HILL GATE W11:
SMALL BUT CHIC HIGH ROAD, MADE FAMOUS BY THE FILM OF THE SAME NAME
KING STREET, HAMMERSMITH W6:
MAINSTREAM SHOPPING WITH A WIDE SELECTION OF SHOPS AND BARS
QUEENSWAY W2:
popular with visitors from the middle east but something for everyone including a covered shopping centre image
GOLDERS GREEN ROAD NW11:
LOTS OF SMALLER BOUTIQUES, RESTAURANTS AND BAKERIES AND POPULAR WITH LONDON'S JEWISH POPULATION
REGENT STREET W1:
famous high street chains, smaller shops, restaurants and bars
TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD W1:
ROWS OF ELECTRICAL, COMPUTER AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHOPS

SHOPPING CENTRES/MALLS
BLUEWATER:
In excess of 330 shops, 40 places to eat and a 13 screen cinema. Actually just outside of London in Kent. Easily access via the M25 motorway from anywhere in London.
BRENT CROSS NW2:
COVERED SHOPPING CENTRE IN NORTH LONDON images
THURROCK LAKESIDE:
320 shops, 4 major departments stores, 30 places too eat, a 7 screen multiplex cinema, chapel and a 26 acre lake. Also just outside of London in West Thurrock Essex and easily access via the M25.


OUR FAVOURITE ATTRACTIONS:
LONDON PLANETARIUM: (AN ASTROLOGICAL TOUR ACROSS THE UNIVERSE)
MADAME TUSSAUDS: (WAXWORKS MODELS OF THE FAMOUS)
LONDON ZOO: (HOME TO A MULTITUDE OF DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MAMMALS, BIRDS AND REPTILES) image
TOWER OF LONDON: (LONDON'S VERY OWN ANCIENT CASTLE AND HOME TO THE CROWN JEWELS) image
LONDON EYE (A.K.A. THE MILLENNIUM WHEEL) images
LONDON DUNGEON: (WAXWORKS CHAMBER OF HORRORS)
BUCKINGHAM PALACE (LONDON RESIDENCE OF THE QUEEN) image
NATURAL HISTORY AND SCIENCE MUSEUMS (THE BUILDING ITSELF IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PIECES OF ARCHITECTURE IN LONDON)
ST. KATHERINE'S DOCK (YACHT HEAVEN BY THE RIVER THAMES)  images
HMS BELFAST (FAMOUS WORLD WAR II CRUISER)

POPULAR LANDMARKS - LOCATIONS OF INTEREST
PICCADILLY CIRCUS, W1: (HOME TO THE STATUTE OF EROS, HEART OF THEATRELAND)  images
LEICESTER SQUARE, W1: (CLUBS, BARS, CAFES, HOTELS)  images
TRAFALGAR SQUARE SW1: (NELSONS COLUMN, ONCE FULL OF PIGEONS, MUCH LOVED BY TOURISTS, BUT WHICH HAVE NOW BEEN LARGELY EXPELLED ON HYGIENE GROUNDS)  images
MARBLE ARCH W2: (SPEAKERS CORNER ON SUNDAYS, HOME TO THE ACTUAL MARBLE ARCH)  images
PARLIAMENT SQUARE, SW1: (HOME TO WESTMINSTER ABBEY, HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, HOUSE OF LORDS LANDMARKS THE START OF THE GROUNDS OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND WHITEHALL) images

NOTE: MANY SITES LIST PLACES SUCH AS WINDSOR CASTLE, LEGOLAND AND OTHERS AS LONDON ATTRACTIONS, THESE ARE NOT ACTUALLY IN LONDON. THEY ARE OUTSIDE OF THE M25.

MORE ATTRACTIONS AND LANDMARKS

OUR FAVOURITE PARKS:
REGENTS PARK, NW1: (HOME TO LONDON ZOO) images
HYDE PARK, W2: (ROW ON THE SERPENTINE LAKE WEATHER ALLOWING) images
RICHMOND PARK, SW14:(HOME TO A LARGE NUMBER OF DEER AND ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF LONDON NEAR ROEHAMPTON, THIS IS ALSO LONDON'S LARGEST PARK AT AROUND 2,500 ACRES) WEBSITE
PRIMROSE HILL, NW1: (OPPOSITE REGENTS PARK)

HORSE RIDING:
ITS POSSIBLE TO GO HORSE RIDING IN CENTRAL LONDON. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF STABLES IN BATHURST MEWS W2 IN PADDINGTON. FROM HERE THEY WILL LET YOU HIRE A RIDE FOR A TROT IN HYDE PARK. WEBSITE: http://www.hydeparkstables.com/ ,
IN SOUTH LONDON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER THAMES THERE IS ALSO THE WIMBLEDON VILLAGE STABLES 24A/B HIGH STREET, SW19, WEBSITE


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