City of London



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London - City of London
It can be very confusing to hear of references to both London and the City of London. The 'City of London' is quite a small and a distinct area in its own right and is the part of London known as the 'Square Mile' or the Financial District. Here you will find major financial institutions from all over the world as well as the London Stock Exchange. It is the area with the postcodes EC1, EC2, EC3 and EC4. It takes in the areas of Clerkenwell, St Paul's, Bank, Bishopsgate and Moorgate and is to the East of London. In medieval times the City of London was actually the true City of London itself, the full extent of London and not as it is is now a small area with the capital city of London itself. The square mile sees huge population fluctuations. As a working area of London and not having much of a resident population during weekdays the City swells to some 300,000 inhabitants of which just some 9,000 are officially resident. This is reflected in the social amenities and you will find a thriving weekday nightlife while at weekends the City becomes something of a ghost town with many pubs not even bothering to open. The City of London has become notable for its so called "Ring of Steel" boundary. This came about after the IRA bombing of the City in the 90's. The City police reworked the traffic system so that entry and exit from the city was reduced to a handful of routes. At these entry points cameras and police patrols are setup so that everyone entering the city is photographed and many are spot checked. The off-shoot of this has been a large reduction in crime with the City of London. Policing within this area is actually carried out by a police force separate to the rest of London. The City of London police are separate body to the Metropolitan Police who are responsible for the rest of London.

The high density and mobility of the Cities population and workforce led to the development of the City of London Airport. Just 6 miles from the square mile it gives quick access to European cities as compared to  the longer routes out to Stansted and Heathrow. Its even popular for making the trip the few miles to Heathrow for inter-continental flights since on a busy Friday night travel from the City to Heathrow can be as  much as 2 hours.

These days many of the financial institutions are also to be found in the Docklands area which is even further east but is not part of the 'City of London'.

Canary Wharf
Recently with the development of the Canary Wharf and Docklands area there is some confusion over which areas now comprise the City of London. However while Canary Wharf is now a large financial sector in its own right its actually a little way removed from the City of London and is in the E14 postcode.

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