London is a cosmopolitan city quite unlike any other European capital, with a rich and illustrious history that is more than 2 thousand years old. It has an innumerable variety of attractions that cater to people with varied interests. Whether you are a young or old have an interest in culture, music, arts or entertainment you will find an incredible amount to see and do in the city.
Being a tourist hub, London also is home to a diverse selection of hotels. From fine boutique hotels like the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel to budget hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of accommodation.
If you are looking for a hotel to stay on a visit to London, it is best to opt for a hotel that lies within the centre of the city like the Grand Park Kensington Hotel. Apart from being in the city centre it has excellent transport connectivity to other parts of London.
Another convenient option to stay in London is the hotels near Lancaster gate tube station, which offers good facilities and amenities at an affordable price. If you are a first time visitor to London here is some interesting trivia about the city of London…..
London was the first country in the world to install traffic lights. These were installed in 1868 outside the House of Commons. It functioned effectively for a year after which it blew up and injured the operator.
Westminster Abbey is a popular draw with tourists to the city. It is where some of the country’s most prominent citizens from various domains of society like music, literature, politics, art etc, lie interred. Edmund Spenser, who was a pet of the Elizabethan era also, has his tomb here. It is alleged that at the time of his burial some of his contemporaries, which include Shakespeare honoured the genius of Spenser by throwing their unpublished manuscripts into his grave.
The traffic rules in the UK differ from that in many countries of Europe. According to law it is mandatory that all cars travel on the right hand side of the road in the Savoy Court area, as per a decree that was passed in 1902, by Parliament. It was done with the view to allow theatregoers to alight from their carriages directly in to the Savoy Theatre.
The origin of the names of some the districts in London are rather interesting and unique. Piccadilly derived its name from a particular type of stiff collar that was stitched by a tailor, who lived in the area of Piccadilly in the seventeenth century. Covent Garden originally served as a market garden for the convent of Westminster Abbey that was nearby. Mayfair got its name from a fair that was held in the area every year in the month of May.
The Palace of Westminster is more popularly known as The Houses of Parliament and serves as home to the British political system, which comprises of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It has an impressive 1,000 rooms, 11 courtyards, 100 staircases, six restaurants and eight bars all of which are solely for the use of the members of Parliament. The Palace was built in a strategic manner along the side of the Thames River, so that at no time could it be completely surrounded by a mob in case of a public riot.
One of London’s most well known hospitals is St. Thomas Hospital. An interesting titbit to know is that the hospital originally comprised of seven buildings, with each for one day of the week. It was supposed to be this way for the hospital staff to known which day a patient was admitted. Now only two of the buildings remain.
London has had many rick landlords through the ages who owned vast chunks of property in the city. One such Londoner was Dr Samuel Johnson, who in his lifetime owned 17 properties in the city. Now of all just one property remains, Dr Johnson’s Memorial House in Gough Square that serves as a museum. And an interesting thing to know is that it contains an authentic a brick transported all the way from the Great Wall of China in 1822.
We all know that London is a popular choice as a location for some of the biggest Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters over the years. From sequences of the James Bond series of movies to scenes of the famous Harry Potter movies all have been shot in different locations of London. And East London wins the prize for the being the most popular film locale in the city, from A Clockwork Orange to Oliver. And Greenwich has also been immortalised in the movies with its famous naval buildings standing in as a replacement for Washington in the Hollywood movie Patriot Games.
England is well known for its historic pubs and pub culture forms an integral part of the British social scene. Although, if you fancy having a tipple along with your breakfast there are not too many places that are licensed to serve alcohol early in the morning. Two such places that have a legal permit to serve alcohol along with breakfast (as early as 7 a.m.), is the Borough pub the Market Porter and the Fox and Anchor in Smithfield.
The terrible conflagration that took place in London in 1666 is known as the Great Fire of London. Although it caused a lot of damage to property and houses, amazingly just six people died in the aftermath of the fire. The astonishing part is that seven people died later, by either jumping or falling from the monument built to commemorate the fire. As result a safety rail was built around it to prevent any such events in the future.