London: History and Knowledge about the Capital
London is the capital of England, the largest and most populated city in the United Kingdom. It is also the seat of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Founded almost 2,000 years ago by the Romans under the name of Londinium, London was the most populated city in the nineteenth century. Today overtook in Europe by Paris, Moscow or Istanbul. London remains a metropolis with one of the largest financial centers in the world, rivaling New York and Hong Kong. The City of London is a very important financial center joined by Canary Wharf where huge banks have settled.
Number of residents: The Londoners
In terms of population, in 2015 London and its region had 12,317,800 inhabitants. Londoners are well known around the world for their lifestyles, Fish & Chips, Gin Tonic or Royal Family, many people know the mores of English.
Sport & Culture
Today, the capital remains the only city in the world to have organized the Olympic Games three times (1908, 1948, 2012), it shows the dynamism of the city on the cultural level. Indeed, the capital plays an important role in art, in fashion but also in sports with the Premier League, indeed, this is the most football league seen and followed in the world.
Each year, the capital receives more than 28 million tourists and has several UNESCO World Heritage sites and many emblematic monuments: on this website we wrote about Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Observatory of Greenwich, Kew Gardens or St. Paul’s Cathedral. Of course, there is also the iconic Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and its St. James’s Park or Big Ben as well as renowned institutions like the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Navy Museum or the TATE Modern.
Climate in London
The London climate is a perfect symbol of the oceanic climate. Precipitation is regular all year long and often in the form of drizzle. The average annual rainfall is 622.5 mm. February is the driest month of the year. This level is lower than Rome or Sydney. Oddly, London is actually one of the driest European capitals, with less water resources per person than Israel.
The annual sunshine is very low, hence the legend of the greyness in London.
Summers are temperate, hot days are rare and winters are cold but rarely freezing. The hottest month is July with average temperatures of 21.0°C rarely exceeding 33°C. The highest temperature was 38.1°C, measured in the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, on August 10, 2003, during the heat wave.
In the other hand, the coldest month is January with average temperatures of 2.4°C to 7.9°C. The coldest temperature was -16.1°C on January 1, 1962 at Northolt.
Abundant snowfall is almost unknown in the UK’s capital. During the most recent winters, the snow has rarely been more than an inch (less than 3 cm). This is due to the fact that the vast London agglomeration creates a microclimate, with the heat locked up by the buildings of the city. The famous London smog, a mixture of fog and smoke, has become extremely rare in the streets of the English capital. In 1954, he caused the death of 4,000 people.
Pollution has decreased in the recent years but is still important, which is a problem in the capital. In fact, about 9,000 people die prematurely because of air pollution, according to King’s College London.
The London parks
The parks are numerous in London, often large and very well maintained. They are identified as nature reserves and botanical gardens.
There are eight large parks in London with this status:
- Hyde Park
- Green Park
- Saint James’s Park
- Richmond Park
- Regent’s Park
- Greenwich Park
- Bushy Park
- Kensington Park
The Mayor of London manages the city’s public transport network, one of the largest in the world and one of the best transport networks in the world ahead of New York and Paris (according to TripAdvisor).
The legendary London Underground, also called London Tube is composed of 274 stations, 16 lines and a total length of 408km. There are also suburban trains or trains to Europe via the St Pancras International Station.
In terms of road transport, you have a huge choice of buses running 24 hours a day and making more than 700 different trips. The red double-decker buses are, of course, the symbols of the city and even of the country, as are the old-fashioned black taxis.
Many applications like Uber or ViaVan allow you to get around by taxi at a lower cost, often hybrid Toyota Prius will take you from point A to point B.
The bicycle transport network is also developing with new bike lanes and new self-service bicycles developed by Santander.
About the air transport, London is highly developed and even considered a global airmail hub. Indeed, there are six airports in London:
- London City
- London Southend
Stansted and Luton are specialized in short-haul flights of low-cost airlines like Ryanair or EasyJet.
With the River Thames flowing in the heart of London, tourist boats are in service every day of the year. The most famous and most popular piers are:
- Westminster Millenium Pier
- London Eye Pier
- Enbankment Millenium Pier
- London Bridge City Pier
- Tower Poer
- Greenwich Pier
Who to do in London? Our proposal activities
The incredible view of London at the top of the Sky Garden. The suspended garden of the capital
Walk in the district of Greenwich, its royal observatory, its magnificent view, its market or the Cutty Sark, unmissable destination during your stay
Brick-Lane Market, the London market to do absolutely on sunday
The inevitable walk along the Thames and the visit of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
St. Paul’s Cathedral and surrounding area, Tate Modern or Millennium Bridge
Kew: The Royal Botanical Gardens 45min from the city center. Beautiful landscapes and plants from around the world