London is the capital of the United Kingdom and of England, and one of the largest cities in Europe.
From being the capital of Roman Britannia it rose to become the centre of the British Empire and to contribute today 17% of the GDP of the world's seventh largest economy.
London and Londonium has been one of the world's most important centres of commerce and politics for almost two millennia.
Originally a Celtic town, it was settled by the Roman invaders who called it Londinium and used it as a port on the River Thames.
The Thames runs right through the city and bisects it, north from south, although it is crossed by a number of bridges and tunnels, the most famous of which is the neo-Gothic Tower Bridge.
Over the years, London has increased dramatically in size, absorbing meadows, woodlands, villages and towns and spreading outwards in every direction.
Outward growth has been physically interrupted (though by no means halted) through the definition of a Green Belt.
In recent years development has been concentrated in the London Docklands area.
Today the Greater London administrative area comprises the City of London and 32 London boroughs including the City of Westminster.
The City of London, also known as the "square mile", is predominantly the financial centre, and geographically a very small area.
Although bustling during the working week, the City of London is usually much calmer on the weekends.
The London that most tourists see is the West End with all its theatres, shops and restaurants.
In contrast, the East End has played host to successive waves of immigrants for centuries and contains some of the UK's more deprived areas.
The citizens of London are, and have been for many centuries, diverse in most respects.
On census day, 2001, the City and the 32 boroughs (some 1579 km2 or 610 sq miles) had 7,172,036 inhabitants, making London one of the most populous cities in Europe alongside Moscow and Paris.
The airfields of London City Airport, Heathrow, Biggin Hill, Kenley Aerodrome and Northolt lie within the London boundary.
Other airports, such as London Gatwick Airport, London Luton Airport, and London Stansted Airport, as well as those at Manston and Southend, incorporate "London" in their name, but the towns of Gatwick, Luton and Stansted where they are situated lie in the Home Counties at some distance from London.
Special train stations built at Gatwick, Luton and Stansted help to offset their physical remoteness from the capital and thus spread scheduled airline services in a safe and manageable way across the region.
Public Transport System
The London public transport system is one of the few systems in the world to be a tourist attraction in its own right; its infrastructure, however, is, and historically has been, financially stretched and under-resourced, leading to frequent difficulties and delays in making journeys.
While Transport for London runs the London Underground, also known as the Tube, the famous red double decker buses are now run by private companies, although it is a requirement that the buses are still painted (mostly) red.
Being the capital city, London has a rich and diverse cultural industry.
The City of London or "Square Mile" is the financial centre of London, with many banks and financial institutions.
While the Port of London is now only the third largest in the United Kingdom, rather than largest in the world, it still handles 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
London's economy generates 116,444 million pounds annually, and accounts for 17% of the UK's Gross Domestic Product.
One of the UK's largest industries, and in 2003 employed the equivalent of 350,000 full time workers in London.
Prime London Tourist Attractions
Charing Cross Road
and many, many more.
For a more information about London see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London) November 2005
I first visited England and the British Isles (U.K.) with my daughter Sarolta during 1978.
One of the reasons for us visiting the place was that living in New Zealand especially during the 50s, 60s and 70s not a day passed without hearing about England, Britain or some place or something connected with it.
The second and very important reason was, that my first wife, Dot came from England.
The third and another important reason was that we like to travel and of course there's plenty to see in 'ye old 'England.
As both of us, Hui Chin and I visited London/England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Island before and during our 2003 trip around Europe we returned to renew old friendships, revisit some memorable places and attractions and catch up with recent happenings and added attractions, like the Eurostar under the Channel fast train between London - Paris - Brussel and the London Eye, the giant Ferris Wheel.
Everthing OK, everything is fine, everything checked out Ok.
In 2005 we came back again, you know London has that something.
No idea what it is , so we might come back again to see if we can figure it out.
Well, in 2006 we came to have a look around again.
This time we went around England as well.
I can tell you, that all's well.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
London (Light Rail) Underground 2004
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