London

London

Overview
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by most measures. Located on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history
History of London
London, the capital of the United Kingdom , has a recorded history that goes back over 2,000 years. During this time, it has grown to become one of the most significant financial and cultural capitals of the world. It has experienced plague, devastating fire, civil war, aerial bombardment and...

 going back to its founding by the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, who called it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, largely retains its square-mile medieval boundaries.
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Timeline

1066   William the Conqueror is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.

1305   William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, is captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London where he is put on trial and executed.

1497   Cornish rebels Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank are executed at Tyburn, London.

1534   The Irish rebel Silken Thomas is executed by the order of Henry VIII in London, England.

1536   Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery and incest. She is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.

1559   Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London.

1571   The Royal Exchange opens in London.

1578   Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England to Frobisher Bay, Canada, eventually to mine fool's gold, used to pave streets in London.

1604   William Shakespeare's tragedy ''Othello'' is presented for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1609   Shakespeare's sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

 
Quotations

London goes beyond any boundary or convention. It contains every wish or word ever spoken, every action or gesture ever made, every harsh or noble statement ever expressed. It is illimitable. It is Infinite London.

Peter Ackroyd|Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography (2000)

Ah! my poor dear child, the truth is, that in London it is always a sickly season. Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be.

Jane Austen, Emma (1816)

London is a bad habit one hates to lose.

Anonymous popular saying, as quoted by William Sansom|William Sasom in, Blue Skies, Brown Studies, Hogarth press, (1961)

As I came down the Highgate HillI met the sun's bravado,And saw below me, fold on fold,Grey to pearl and pearl to gold,This London like a land of old,The land of Eldorado.

Henry Howarth Bashford (1880-1961), English physician and writer. London, from Romances (1917)

I've been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I find something fresh in it every day.

Walter Besant|Walter Besant, on his deathbed, June 1901

London is a splendid place to live in for those who can get out of it.

George John Gordon Bruce, 7th Lord Balfour of Burleigh|Lord Balfour of Burleigh. The Observer (UK) newspaper, Sayings of the Week, 1st October 1944

I don’t know what London’s coming to—the higher the buildings the lower the morals.

Noël Coward (1899-1973), English playwright and actor. ‘Law and Order’, Collected Sketches and Lyrics

London is a modern Babylon.

Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred, Bk. V. Ch. V. (1847)

London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), British author. As stated by Dr. Watson, in A Study in Scarlet, Pt. 1. Ch. 1. (1887)

London, thou art the flour of cities all!

William Dunbar (1460?-1520?), London
Encyclopedia
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by most measures. Located on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history
History of London
London, the capital of the United Kingdom , has a recorded history that goes back over 2,000 years. During this time, it has grown to become one of the most significant financial and cultural capitals of the world. It has experienced plague, devastating fire, civil war, aerial bombardment and...

 going back to its founding by the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, who called it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, largely retains its square-mile medieval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 forms the London region
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

 and the Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 administrative area,See also: Independent city#National capitals. governed by the elected Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

 and the London Assembly
London Assembly
The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget. The assembly was established in 2000 and is headquartered at City Hall on the south...

.
London is a leading global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and has the fifth-largest city GDP in the world (and the largest in Europe). It has the most international visitors of any city in the world and London Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 is the world's busiest airport by number of international passengers
World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic
The following is a list of the world's busiest airports by international passenger traffic.London Heathrow has been the busiest since 2000-2010 year-to-date statistics:Airports Council International's year-to-date figures are as follows....

. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2012
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

 London will become the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.
London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. In July 2010 Greater London had an official population of 7,825,200, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

. The Greater London Urban Area
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

 is the second-largest in the EU
Largest urban areas of the European Union
This is a list of all the urban areas of the European Union which have greater than 750,000 inhabitants each in 2011.This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for urban areas in the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.-Important...

 with a population of 8,278,251, while London's metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 is the largest in the EU with an estimated total population of between 12 million and 14 million. London had the largest population of any city in the world from around 1831 to 1925.
London contains four World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s: the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

; Kew Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs...

; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

, Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

 (in which the Royal Observatory
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

 marks the Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

 (0° longitude) and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

, the London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

, Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly...

, St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name...

, Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 and Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

, National Gallery
National gallery
The National Gallery is an art gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom.National Gallery may also refer to:*Armenia: National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan*Australia:**National Gallery of Australia, Canberra...

, British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 and 40 theatres. The London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the second-most extensive (after the Shanghai Metro
Shanghai Metro
The Shanghai Metro is the urban rapid transit system of China's largest city, Shanghai. The system incorporates both subway and light rail lines. It opened in 1995, making Shanghai the third city in Mainland China, after Beijing and Tianjin, to have a rapid transit system...

).

Toponymy



The etymology of London
Etymology of London
The etymology of the name of the city of London has been the subject of speculation for centuries, though no generally accepted explanation has been found...

 is uncertain. It is an ancient name and can be found in sources from the 2nd century. It is recorded c. 121 as Londinium
Londinium
The city of London was established by the Romans around AD 43. It served as a major imperial commercial centre until its abandonment during the 5th century.-Origins and language:...

, which points to Romano-British
Romano-British
Romano-British culture describes the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest of AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and...

 origin. The earliest attempted explanation, now disregarded, is attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth was a cleric and one of the major figures in the development of British historiography and the popularity of tales of King Arthur...

 in Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae
The Historia Regum Britanniae is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written c. 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It chronicles the lives of the kings of the Britons in a chronological narrative spanning a time of two thousand years, beginning with the Trojans founding the British nation...

. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud
Lud son of Heli
Lud , according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's legendary History of the Kings of Britain and related medieval texts, was a king of Britain in pre-Roman times. He was the eldest son of Geoffrey's King Heli, and succeeded his father to the throne. He was succeeded, in turn, by his brother Cassibelanus...

, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.

From 1899 it was commonly accepted that the name was of Celtic origin and meant place belonging to a man called *Londinos; this explanation has since been rejected. Richard Coates
Richard Coates
Richard Coates is an English linguist. He is professor of linguistics at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He was formerly professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex, where he served as Dean of the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences from 1998 to 2003...

 put forward an explanation in 1998 that it is derived from the pre-Celtic Old European
Old European hydronymy
Old European is the term used by Hans Krahe for the language of the oldest reconstructed stratum of European hydronymy in Central and Western Europe...

 *(p)lowonida, meaning 'river too wide to ford', and suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 which flows through London; from this, the settlement gained the Celtic form of its name, *Lowonidonjon.

Until 1889 the name "London" officially only applied to the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 but since then it has also referred to the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

 and now Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

.

Prehistory and antiquity



Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

 settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in 43 AD. This lasted for just seventeen years and around 61, the Iceni
Iceni
The Iceni or Eceni were a British tribe who inhabited an area of East Anglia corresponding roughly to the modern-day county of Norfolk between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD...

 tribe led by Queen Boudica
Boudica
Boudica , also known as Boadicea and known in Welsh as "Buddug" was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire....

 stormed it, burning it to the ground. The next, heavily planned incarnation of the city prospered and superseded Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 as the capital of the Roman province
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 of Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

 in 100. At its height during the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of around 60,000. By the 7th century, the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 had created a new settlement called Lundenwic
Anglo-Saxon London
This article deals with the history of London during the Anglo-Saxon period, from the ending of the Roman period in the 5th century to the Norman invasion in 1066.-Lundenwic:...

 over a mile (2 km) upstream from the old Roman city, around what is now Covent Garden
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

.

It is likely that there was a harbour at the mouth of the River Fleet
River Fleet
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its two headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath; each is now dammed into a series of ponds made in the 18th century, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds. At the south edge of Hampstead Heath these two streams flow...

 for fishing and trading, and this trading grew, until the city was overcome by the Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s and forced to move east, back to the location of the Roman Londinium, in order to use its walls for protection. Viking attacks continued to increase, until 886 when Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 recaptured London and made peace with the Danish leader, Guthrum
Guthrum
The name Guthrum corresponds to Norwegian Guttom and to Danish Gorm.The name Guthrum may refer to these kings:* Guthrum, who fought against Alfred the Great* Gorm the Old of Denmark and Norway* Guthrum II, a king of doubtful historicity...

. The original Saxon city of Lundenwic became Ealdwic ("old city"), a name surviving to the present day as Aldwych
Aldwych
Aldwych is a place and road in the City of Westminster in London, England.-Description:Aldwych, the road, is a crescent, connected to the Strand at both ends. At its centre, it meets the Kingsway...

, which is in the modern City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

.

Two recent discoveries indicate that London could be much older than previously thought. In 1999, the remains of a Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 bridge were found on the foreshore north of Vauxhall Bridge. This bridge either crossed the Thames, or went to a (lost) island in the river. Dendrology dated the timbers to 1500BC.

In 2010, the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to 4500BC, were found on the Thames foreshore, South of Vauxhall Bridge. The function of the mesolithic structure is not known, but it covers at least 50m x 10m, and numerous 30 cm posts are visible at low tides. Both structures are on South Bank, at a natural crossing point where the River Effra flows into the River Thames, and 4 km upstream from the Roman City of London. The effort required to construct these structures implies trade, stability, and a community size of several hundred people at least.

Middle Ages



With the collapse of Roman rule in the early 5th century, London was effectively abandoned. However, from the 6th century an Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 settlement known as Lundenwic
Anglo-Saxon London
This article deals with the history of London during the Anglo-Saxon period, from the ending of the Roman period in the 5th century to the Norman invasion in 1066.-Lundenwic:...

 developed slightly to the west of the old Roman city, around what is now Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

 and the Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

, rising to a likely population of 10–12,000. In the 9th century London was repeatedly attacked by Vikings, leading to a relocation of the city back to the location of Roman Londinium, in order to use its walls for protection. Following the unification of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 in the 10th century London, already the country's largest city and most important trading centre, became increasingly important as a political centre, although it still faced competition from Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

, the traditional centre of the kingdom of Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

.

In the 11th century King Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 re-founded and rebuilt Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 and Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, a short distance upstream from London became a favoured royal residence. From this point onward Westminster steadily supplanted the City of London itself as a venue for the business of national government.
Following his victory in the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

, William, Duke of Normandy, was crowned King of England in the newly finished Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. William constructed the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, the first of the many Norman castles in England to be rebuilt in stone, in the southeastern corner of the city to intimidate the native inhabitants. In 1097, William II
William II of England
William II , the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales...

 began the building of Westminster Hall, close by the abbey of the same name. The hall became the basis of a new Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

.

During the 12th century the institutions of central government, which had hitherto accompanied the royal court as it moved around the country, grew in size and sophistication and became increasingly fixed in one place. In most cases this was Westminster, although the royal treasury, having been moved from Winchester, came to rest in the Tower. While the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 developed into a true capital in governmental terms, its distinct neighbour, the City of London, remained England's largest city and principal commercial centre and flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London. In 1100 its population was around 18,000; by 1300 it had grown to nearly 100,000.

Disaster struck during the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 in the mid-14th century, when London lost nearly a third of its population. London was the focus of the Peasants' Revolt
Peasants' Revolt
The Peasants' Revolt, Wat Tyler's Rebellion, or the Great Rising of 1381 was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe and is a major event in the history of England. Tyler's Rebellion was not only the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history but also the...

 in 1381.

Early modern


During the Tudor period
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 the Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 produced a gradual shift to Protestantism, with much of London passing from church to private ownership. Mercantilism
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

 grew and monopoly trading companies such as the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 were established, with trade expanding to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. London became the principal North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad. The population rose from an estimated 50,000 in 1530 to about 225,000 in 1605.

In the 16th century William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 and his contemporaries lived in London at a time of hostility to the development of the theatre. By the end of the Tudor period in 1603, London was still very compact. There was an assassination attempt on James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 in Westminster, through the Gunpowder Plot
Gunpowder Plot
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.The plan was to blow up the House of...

 on 5 November 1605. London was plagued
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 by disease in the early 17th century, culminating in the Great Plague
Great Plague of London
The Great Plague was a massive outbreak of disease in the Kingdom of England that killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London's population. The disease is identified as bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted through a flea vector...

 of 1665–1666, which killed up to 100,000 people, or a fifth of the population.

The Great Fire of London
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

 broke out in 1666 in Pudding Lane in the city and quickly swept through the wooden buildings. Rebuilding took over ten years and was supervised by Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

 as Surveyor of London. In 1708 Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 was completed. During the Georgian era
Georgian era
The Georgian era is a period of British history which takes its name from, and is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain : George I, George II, George III and George IV...

 new districts such as Mayfair
Mayfair
Mayfair is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster.-History:Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today...

 were formed in the west; and new bridges over the Thames encouraged development in South London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

. In the east, the Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

 expanded downstream.

In 1762 George III acquired Buckingham House
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 and it was enlarged over the next 75 years. During the 18th century, London was dogged by crime and the Bow Street Runners
Bow Street Runners
The Bow Street Runners have been called London's first professional police force. The force was founded in 1749 by the author Henry Fielding and originally numbered just six. Bow Street runners was the public's nickname for these officers, "although the officers never referred to themselves as...

 were established in 1750 as a professional police force. In total, more than 200 offences were punishable by death, and women and children were hanged for petty theft. Over 74 per cent of children born in London died before they were five. The coffeehouse
Coffeehouse
A coffeehouse or coffee shop is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. It shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on...

 became a popular place to debate ideas, with growing literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 and the development of the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 making news widely available; and Fleet Street
Fleet Street
Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

 became the centre of the British press.




Late modern and contemporary



London was the world's largest city from about 1831 to 1925. London's overcrowded conditions led to cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866. Rising traffic congestion
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

 led to the creation of the world's first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in 1889. Its principal responsibility was to provide infrastructure to cope with London's rapid growth, which it successfully accomplished. The MBW...

 oversaw infrastructure expansion. It was replaced in 1889 by the London County Council
London County Council
London County Council was the principal local government body for the County of London, throughout its 1889–1965 existence, and the first London-wide general municipal authority to be directly elected. It covered the area today known as Inner London and was replaced by the Greater London Council...

, London's first elected city-wide administration. The Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 and other bombing by the German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

during World War II killed over 30,000 Londoners and destroyed large tracts of housing and other buildings across London. Immediately after the war, the 1948 Summer Olympics
1948 Summer Olympics
The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom. After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin...

 were held at the original Wembley Stadium, at a time when the city had barely recovered from the war.

In 1951 the Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition in Britain in the summer of 1951. It was organised by the government to give Britons a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war and to promote good quality design in the rebuilding of British towns and cities. The Festival's centrepiece was in...

 was held on the South Bank
South Bank
South Bank is an area of London, England located immediately adjacent to the south side of the River Thames. It forms a long and narrow section of riverside development that is within the London Borough of Lambeth to the border with the London Borough of Southwark and was formerly simply known as...

. The Great Smog of 1952 led to the Clean Air Act 1956
Clean Air Act 1956
The Clean Air Act 1956 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed in response to London's Great Smog of 1952. It was in effect until 1964, and sponsored by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in England and the Department of Health for Scotland.The Act introduced a number of...

, which ended the "pea-souper
Pea soup fog
Pea soup, or a pea souper, is a type of visible air pollution, a thick and often yellowish smog caused by the burning of soft coal. Smog, a portmanteau of hi"smoke" and "fog", can be lethal, and even the healthy may be inconvenienced by it.-London:...

" fogs for which London had been notorious. From the 1950s onwards, London became home to a large number of immigrants, largely from Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries such as Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, India, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, making London one of the most diverse cities in Europe.

Starting in the mid-1960s, London became a centre for the worldwide youth culture, exemplified by the Swinging London
Swinging London
Swinging London is a catch-all term applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London, in the 1960s.It was a youth-oriented phenomenon that emphasised the new and modern. It was a period of optimism and hedonism, and a cultural revolution. One catalyst was the recovery of the...

 subculture associated with The King's Road, Chelsea and Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in London, United Kingdom, located in the Soho district, near Oxford Street and Regent Street. It is home to numerous fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques...

. The role of trendsetter was revived during the punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 era. In 1965 London's political boundaries were expanded to take into account the growth of the urban area and a new Greater London Council
Greater London Council
The Greater London Council was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council which had covered a much smaller area...

 was created. During The Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

 in Northern Ireland, London was subjected to bombing attacks by the Provisional IRA. Racial inequality was highlighted by the 1981 Brixton riot. Greater London's population declined steadily in the decades after World War II, from an estimated peak of 8.6 million in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s. The principal ports for London moved downstream to Felixstowe
Port of Felixstowe
The Port of Felixstowe, in Felixstowe, Suffolk is the UK's busiest container port, dealing with 35% of the country's container cargo. It was developed following the abandonment of a project for a deep-water harbour at Maplin Sands. In 2005, it was ranked as the 28th busiest container port in the...

 and Tilbury
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

, with the London Docklands area becoming a focus for regeneration as the Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

 development. This was borne out of London's ever-increasing role as a major international financial centre during the 1980s.

The Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier is the world's second-largest movable flood barrier and is located downstream of central London. Its purpose is to prevent London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the sea...

 was completed in the 1980s to protect London against tidal surges from the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986, which left London as the only large metropolis in the world without a central administration. In 2000, London-wide government was restored, with the creation of the Greater London Authority
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority is the top-tier administrative body for Greater London, England. It consists of a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, and an elected 25-member London Assembly with scrutiny powers...

. To celebrate the start of the 21st century, the Millennium Dome
Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, colloquially referred to simply as The Dome or even The O2 Arena, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium...

, London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

 and Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge (London)
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge...

 were constructed. On 7 July 2005, three London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 trains and a double-decker bus
Double-decker bus
A double-decker bus is a bus that has two storeys or 'decks'. Global usage of this type of bus is more common in outer touring than in its intra-urban transportion role. Double-decker buses are also commonly found in certain parts of Europe, Asia, and former British colonies and protectorates...

 were bombed in a series of terrorist attacks
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

.

Local government


The administration of London is formed of two tiers—a city-wide, strategic tier and a local tier. City-wide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority is the top-tier administrative body for Greater London, England. It consists of a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, and an elected 25-member London Assembly with scrutiny powers...

 (GLA), while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities. The GLA consists of two elected components; the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

, who has executive powers, and the London Assembly
London Assembly
The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget. The assembly was established in 2000 and is headquartered at City Hall on the south...

, who scrutinise the mayor's decisions and can accept or reject his budget proposals each year.
The headquarters of the GLA is City Hall
City Hall (London)
City Hall is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority which comprises the Mayor of London and London Assembly. It is located in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge...

, Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

; the current mayor is Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

. The mayor's statutory planning strategy is published as the London Plan
London Plan
The London Plan is a planning document written by the Mayor of London, England in the United Kingdom and published by the Greater London Authority. The plan was first published in final form on 10 February 2004 and has since been amended. The current version was published in February 2008...

, which is being revised, for final publication in 2011. The local authorities are the councils of the 32 London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s and the City of London Corporation. They are responsible for most local services, such as local planning, schools, social services
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

, local roads and refuse collection. Certain functions, such as waste management, are provided through joint arrangements. In 2009-2010 the combined revenue expenditure by london councils and the GLA amounted to just over 22 billion ₤ (14.7 billion ₤ for the boroughs and 7.4 billion ₤ for the GLA)

Policing in Greater London, with the exception of the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, is provided by the Metropolitan Police Force
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

, overseen by the Metropolitan Police Authority
Metropolitan Police Authority
The Metropolitan Police Authority is the police authority responsible for supervising the Metropolitan Police Service, the police force for Greater London ....

. The City of London has its own police force – the City of London Police
City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, England, including the Middle and Inner Temple. The service responsible for law enforcement within the rest of Greater London is the Metropolitan Police Service, a separate...

. The British Transport Police
British Transport Police
The British Transport Police is a special police force that polices those railways and light-rail systems in Great Britain for which it has entered into an agreement to provide such services...

 are responsible for police services on National Rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 and London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 services in the capital.

The London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade
The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for London.Founded in 1865, it is the largest of the fire services in the United Kingdom and the fourth-largest in the world with nearly 7,000 staff, including 5,800 operational firefighters based in 112 fire...

 is the statutory
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

 fire and rescue service for Greater London. It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority is a functional body of the Greater London Authority and was established under the Greater London Authority Act 1999. Its principal purpose is to run the London Fire Brigade....

 and is the third-largest fire service in the world. National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 ambulance services
Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient, or the medical practitioner, believes constitutes a medical emergency...

 are provided by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust
London Ambulance Service
The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the largest "free at the point of contact" emergency ambulance service in the world. It responds to medical emergencies in Greater London, England, with the ambulances and other response vehicles and over 5,000 staff at its disposal.It is one of 12...

, the largest free at the point of use emergency ambulance service in the world. The London Air Ambulance
London Air Ambulance
London's Air Ambulance, also known as London HEMS , is an air ambulance service that responds to seriously ill or injured casualties in and around London, England....

 charity operates in conjunction with the LAS where required. Her Majesty's Coastguard
Her Majesty's Coastguard
Her Majesty's Coastguard is the service of the government of the United Kingdom concerned with co-ordinating air-sea rescue.HM Coastguard is a section of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency responsible for the initiation and co-ordination of all civilian maritime Search and Rescue within the UK...

 and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways....

 operate on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

.

National government


London is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers...

, which is located around the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

. Many government departments are located close to Parliament, particularly along Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

, including the Prime Minister's
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 residence at 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

. The British Parliament is often referred to as the "Mother of Parliaments" (although this sobriquet
Sobriquet
A sobriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. It is usually a familiar name, distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise, but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation...

was first applied to England itself by John Bright
John Bright
John Bright , Quaker, was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. He was one of the greatest orators of his generation, and a strong critic of British foreign policy...

) because it has been the model for most other parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

s, and its Acts have created many other parliaments.

Scope



Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London. The small, ancient City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 at its core once contained the whole settlement, but as the urban area grew the City Corporation resisted attempts to amalgamate it with its suburbs, causing "London" to be defined in a number ways for different purposes; and the situation was once open to legal debate. Forty per cent of Greater London is covered by the London
London postal district
The London postal district is the area in England, currently of , to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856 and throughout its history has been subject to periodic reorganisation, contraction and division into increasingly smaller postal...

 post town, within which 'LONDON' forms part of postal addresses.

The London telephone area code (020) covers a larger area, similar in size to Greater London, although some outer districts are omitted and some places just outside are included. The area within the orbital M25 motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

 is normally what is referred to as 'London'. and the Greater London boundary has been aligned to it in places.

Outward urban expansion is now prevented by the Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
The Metropolitan Green Belt is a statutory green belt around London, England. It includes designated parts of Greater London and the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey in the South East and East of England regions.-History:The...

, although the built-up area extends beyond the boundary in places, resulting in a separately defined Greater London Urban Area
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

. Beyond this is the vast London commuter belt
London commuter belt
The London commuter belt is the metropolitan area surrounding London, England from which it is practical to commute to work in the capital. It is alternatively known as the Greater South East, the London metropolitan area or the Southeast metropolitan area...

. Greater London is split for some purposes into Inner London
Inner London
Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the interior part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. The area was first officially defined in 1965 and for purposes such as statistics, the definition has changed over time. The terms Inner London and Central...

 and Outer London
Outer London
Outer London is the name for the group of London Boroughs that form a ring around Inner London.These were areas that were not part of the County of London and became formally part of Greater London in 1965...

. The city is split by the River Thames into North
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

 and South
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

, with an informal central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 area in its interior. The coordinates of the nominal centre of London, traditionally considered to be the original Eleanor Cross
Eleanor cross
The Eleanor crosses were twelve originally wooden, but later lavishly decorated stone, monuments of which three survive intact in a line down part of the east of England. King Edward I had the crosses erected between 1291 and 1294 in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile, marking the nightly...

 at Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

 near the junction of Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 and Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

, are approximately 51°30′26"N 00°07′39"W.

Status


Within London, both the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 and the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 have city status
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 and both the City of London and the remainder of Greater London are the ceremonial counties
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

. The current area of Greater London has incorporated areas that were once part of the counties of Middlesex
Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

 and Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

. London's status as the capital of England, and later the United Kingdom, has never been granted or confirmed officially—by statute
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

 or in written form.

Its position was formed through constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political custom)
A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those Commonwealth of Nations states that follow the Westminster system and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most...

, making its status as de facto capital a part of the UK's unwritten constitution
Constitution of the United Kingdom
The constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed.Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single core constitutional document. In this sense, it is said not to have a written constitution but an uncodified one...

. The capital of England was moved to London from Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

 as the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 developed in the 12th and 13th centuries to become the permanent location of the royal court
Noble court
The court of a monarch, or at some periods an important nobleman, is a term for the extended household and all those who regularly attended on the ruler or central figure...

, and thus the political capital of the nation. More recently, Greater London has been defined as a region of England
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

 and in this context known as London.

Topography


Greater London covers an area of 1583 square kilometres (611.2 sq mi), an area which had a population of 7,172,036 in 2001 and a population density of 4542 PD/km2. A larger area, referred to as the London Metropolitan Region or the London Metropolitan Agglomeration covers an area of 8382 square kilometres (3,236.3 sq mi) has a population of 12,653,500 and a population density of 1510 PD/km2. Modern London stands on the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, its primary geographical feature, a navigable
Navigability
A body of water, such as a river, canal or lake, is navigable if it is deep, wide and slow enough for a vessel to pass. Preferably there are few obstructions such as rocks or trees to avoid. Bridges must have sufficient clearance. High water speed may make a channel unnavigable. Waters may be...

 river which crosses the city from the south-west to the east. The Thames Valley
Thames Valley
The Thames Valley Region is a loose term for the English counties and towns roughly following the course of the River Thames as it flows from Oxfordshire in the west to London in the east. It includes parts of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, North Hampshire, Surrey and west London...

 is a floodplain
Floodplain
A floodplain, or flood plain, is a flat or nearly flat land adjacent a stream or river that stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls and experiences flooding during periods of high discharge...

 surrounded by gently rolling hills including Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill, London
Parliament Hill is an area of open parkland in the south-east corner of Hampstead Heath in north-west London. The hill, which is high, is notable for its excellent views of the capital's skyline...

, Addington Hills
Addington Hills
Addington Hills is a park in Upper Shirley, London, England. It is managed by the London Borough of Croydon. It was part of the old parish of Addington before the suburb of Shirley was developed in the 1930s. The site consists largely of woodland on a gravel bed, with London's largest area of...

, and Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a hill of located on the north side of Regent's Park in London, England, and also the name for the surrounding district. The hill has a clear view of central London to the south-east, as well as Belsize Park and Hampstead to the north...

. The Thames was once a much broader, shallower river with extensive marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

lands; at high tide, its shores reached five times their present width.

Since the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 the Thames has been extensively embanked
Thames Embankment
The Thames Embankment is a major feat of 19th century civil engineering designed to reclaim marshy land next to the River Thames in central London. It consists of the Victoria and Chelsea Embankment....

, and many of its London tributaries
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 now flow underground
Subterranean rivers of London
The subterranean or underground rivers of London are the tributaries of the River Thames and River Lea that were built over during the growth of the metropolis of London...

. The Thames is a tidal river, and London is vulnerable to flooding. The threat has increased over time due to a slow but continuous rise in high water
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

 level by the slow 'tilting' of Britain (up in the north and down in the south) caused by post-glacial rebound
Post-glacial rebound
Post-glacial rebound is the rise of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period, through a process known as isostasy...

.

In 1974, a decade of work began on the construction of the Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier is the world's second-largest movable flood barrier and is located downstream of central London. Its purpose is to prevent London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the sea...

 across the Thames at Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

 to deal with this threat. While the barrier is expected to function as designed until roughly 2070, concepts for its future enlargement or redesign are already being discussed.

Climate



London has a temperate oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

, similar to much of southern Britain. Despite its reputation as being a rainy city, London interestingly receives less precipitation in a year than Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 at 834 mm (32.8 in), or Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 at 923 mm (36.3 in), do. Winters are generally chilly to cold with frost usually occurring in the suburbs on average twice a week from November to March. Snow usually occurs about 4 or 5 times a year mostly from December to February. Snowfall during March and April is rare but does occur every 2–3 years. Winter temperatures seldom fall below -4 °C or rise above 14 °C (57.2 °F). During the winter of 2010, London experienced its lowest temperature on record (-14C) in Northolt and the heaviest snow seen for almost two decades, a huge strain on London's transport infrastructure. Summers are generally warm and sometimes hot, the heat being boosted by the Urban heat island
Urban heat island
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon. The temperature difference usually is larger at night...

 effect making the centre of London at times 5°C (9°F) warmer than the suburbs and outskirts. London's summer average is a comfortable 24 °C (75.2 °F). On average there are 7 days a year above 30 °C (86 °F) and 2 days a year above 32 °C (89.6 °F). Temperatures of 26°C (80°F) usually occur on a weekly basis from mid- June to late August. During the 2003 European heat wave
2003 European heat wave
The 2003 European heat wave was the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. France was hit especially hard. The heat wave led to health crises in several countries and combined with drought to create a crop shortfall in Southern Europe...

 there were 14 consecutive days above 30 °C (86 °F) and 2 consecutive days where temperatures soared up to 38 °C (100.4 °F), leading to hundreds of heat related deaths. Rain generally occurs on around 2 out of 10 summer days. Spring and Autumn are mixed seasons and can be pleasant. In 2011, October 1st reached 30 °C (86 °F) and in April 2011 it reached 28 °C (82.4 °F). However in recent years both of these months have also had snowfall. Temperature extremes range from -10C(14F) to 37.9C(100.22F).

Districts



The City of London and the 32 London boroughs

  1. City of London
    City of London
    The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...


  2. City of Westminster
    City of Westminster
    The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...


  3. Kensington and Chelsea
    Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
    The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....


  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
    London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
    The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is a London borough in West London, and forms part of Inner London. Traversed by the east-west main roads of the A4 Great West Road and the A40 Westway, many international corporations have offices in the borough....


  5. Wandsworth
    London Borough of Wandsworth
    The London Borough of Wandsworth is a London borough in southwest London, England, and forms part of Inner London.-History:The borough was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and much of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, but...


  6. Lambeth
    London Borough of Lambeth
    The London Borough of Lambeth is a London borough in south London, England and forms part of Inner London. The local authority is Lambeth London Borough Council.-Origins:...


  7. Southwark
    London Borough of Southwark
    The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...


  8. Tower Hamlets
    London Borough of Tower Hamlets
    The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...


  9. Hackney
    London Borough of Hackney
    The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....


  10. Islington
    London Borough of Islington
    The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...


  11. Camden
    London Borough of Camden
    In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough were already developed and had a total population of 96,795. This continued to rise swiftly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 270,197 in the middle of the century...


  12. Brent
    London Borough of Brent
    In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 2,022. This rose slowly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 5,646 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased...


  13. Ealing
    London Borough of Ealing
    The London Borough of Ealing is a borough in west London.-Location:The London Borough of Ealing borders the London Borough of Hillingdon to the west, the London Borough of Harrow and the London Borough of Brent to the north, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to the east and the London...


  14. Hounslow
    London Borough of Hounslow
    -Political composition:Since the borough was formed it has been controlled by the Labour Party on all but two occasions. In 1968 the Conservatives formed a majority for the first and last time to date until they lost control to Labour in 1971. Labour subsequently lost control of the council in the...


  15. Richmond
    London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
    The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a London borough in South West London, UK, which forms part of Outer London. It is unique because it is the only London borough situated both north and south of the River Thames.-Settlement:...


  16. Kingston
    Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
    The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London, England. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the three Royal Boroughs in England, the others are Kensington and Chelsea, also in London,...


  17. Merton
    London Borough of Merton
    The London Borough of Merton is a borough in southwest London, England.The borough was formed under the London Government Act in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey...



  1. Sutton
    London Borough of Sutton
    The London Borough of Sutton is a London borough in South London, England and forms part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the 80th largest local authority in England by population. It is one of the southernmost boroughs of London...


  2. Croydon
    London Borough of Croydon
    The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in South London, England and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the largest London borough by population. It is the southernmost borough of London. At its centre is the historic town of Croydon from which the borough takes its name...


  3. Bromley
    London Borough of Bromley
    The London Borough of Bromley is a London borough of south east London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in the borough is Bromley.-Geography:...


  4. Lewisham
    London Borough of Lewisham
    The London Borough of Lewisham is a London borough in south-east London, England and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham...


  5. Greenwich
    London Borough of Greenwich
    The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...


  6. Bexley
    London Borough of Bexley
    The London Borough of Bexley lies in south east Greater London, and is a borough referred to as part of Outer London. It has common borders with the London Borough of Bromley to the south, the London Borough of Greenwich to the west, across the River Thames to the north it borders the London...


  7. Havering
    London Borough of Havering
    The London Borough of Havering is a London borough in North East London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in Havering is Romford and the other main communities are Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. The borough is mainly characterised by suburban development with large...


  8. Barking and Dagenham
    London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
    In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 1,937; and the area was characterised by farming, woodland and the fishing fleet at Barking. This last industry employed 1,370 men and boys by 1850, but by the end of the century had ceased to exist; replaced by...


  9. Redbridge
    London Borough of Redbridge
    The London Borough of Redbridge is a London borough in outer north-east London. Its administrative headquarters is at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford. The local authority is Redbridge London Borough Council.-Etymology:...


  10. Newham
    London Borough of Newham
    The London Borough of Newham is a London borough formed from the towns of West Ham and East Ham, within East London.It is situated east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. According to 2006 estimates, Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the...


  11. Waltham Forest
    London Borough of Waltham Forest
    The London Borough of Waltham Forest is in northeast London, England. Officially, it forms part of Outer London as it borders Essex. However, it can be seen that the NE London boundary does not extend far compared to elsewhere in the city...


  12. Haringey
    London Borough of Haringey
    The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough, in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs...


  13. Enfield
    London Borough of Enfield
    The London Borough of Enfield is the most northerly London borough and forms part of Outer London. It borders the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Waltham Forest...


  14. Barnet
    London Borough of Barnet
    The London Borough of Barnet is a London borough in North London and forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 331,500 and covers . It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the...


  15. Harrow
    London Borough of Harrow
    The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough of north-west London. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs: Hillingdon to the west, Ealing to the south, Brent to the south-east and Barnet to the east.-History:...


  16. Hillingdon
    London Borough of Hillingdon
    The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London, England. The borough's population was recorded as 243,006 in the 2001 Census. The borough incorporates the former districts of Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the...



London's vast urban area is often described using a set of district names, such as Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...

, Mayfair
Mayfair
Mayfair is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster.-History:Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today...

, Wembley
Wembley
Wembley is an area of northwest London, England, and part of the London Borough of Brent. It is home to the famous Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena...

 and Whitechapel
Whitechapel
Whitechapel is a built-up inner city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England. It is located east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by the Bishopsgate thoroughfare on the west, Fashion Street on the north, Brady Street and Cavell Street on the east and The Highway on the...

. These are either informal designations, reflect the names of villages that have been absorbed by sprawl, or are superseded administrative units such as parishes or former boroughs
Metropolitan boroughs of the County of London
The term metropolitan borough was used from 1900 to 1965, for the subdivisions of the County of London created by the London Government Act 1899....

.

Such names have remained in use through tradition, each referring to a local area with its own distinctive character, but without current official boundaries. Since 1965 Greater London has been divided into 32 London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s in addition to the ancient City of London. The City of London is the main financial district and Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

 has recently developed into a new financial and commercial hub, in the Docklands to the east.

The West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

 is London's main entertainment and shopping district, attracting tourists. West London
West (London sub region)
The West is a sub-region of the London Plan corresponding to the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. The sub region was established in 2004 and was adjusted in 2008 to include Kensington and Chelsea. The west has a population of 1.6 million and...

 includes expensive residential areas where properties can sell for tens of millions of pounds. The average price for properties in Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

 is £894,000 with similar average outlay in most of central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

.

The East End
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

 is the area closest to the original Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

, known for its high immigrant population, as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London. The surrounding East London
North East (London sub region)
The North East is a sub-region of the London Plan corresponding to the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, and the City of London. The sub region was established in 2008 and replaced the larger East sub region that had been...

 area saw much of London's early industrial development; now, brownfield
Brownfield land
Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Expansion or redevelopment of such a facility may be complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations. Cf. Waste...

 sites throughout the area are being redeveloped as part of the Thames Gateway
Thames Gateway
The Thames Gateway is an area of land stretching east from inner east London on both sides of the River Thames and the Thames Estuary. The area, which includes much brownfield land, has been designated a national priority for urban regeneration, taking advantage of the development opportunities...

 including the London Riverside
London Riverside
The London Riverside is a new development area in north east London, England and part of the larger Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The London Riverside area forms part of the Green Enterprise District, a project to create a low-carbon economy region in Greater London.It is one of two zones...

 and Lower Lea Valley
Lower Lea Valley
The Lower Lea Valley is the southern end of the Lea Valley, surrounding the River Lea , which runs along the boundary of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on its western bank and the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Newham on its eastern bank, into the River Thames. The river forms the...

, which is being developed into the Olympic Park
Olympic Park, London
The Olympic Park in London is a new sporting complex currently under construction, adjacent to the Stratford City development in Stratford, Bow, Leyton & Homerton in East London for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics....

 for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics
London 2012 Olympic bid
London 2012 was the successful bid for the 2012 Summer Games, to be held in London with most events taking place in Stratford, Newham. The British Olympic Association had been working on the bid since 1997...

.

Architecture


London's buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, and have been built over a long period of time. Many grand houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery
National gallery
The National Gallery is an art gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom.National Gallery may also refer to:*Armenia: National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan*Australia:**National Gallery of Australia, Canberra...

, are constructed from Portland stone
Portland stone
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major...

. Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco
Stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

 or whitewashed buildings. Few structures pre-date the Great Fire
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

 of 1666, except for a few trace Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 remains, the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 and a few scattered Tudor
Tudor architecture
The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period and even beyond, for conservative college patrons...

 survivors in the City. One notable building that remains from the Tudor period
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 is Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

, which is England's oldest surviviving Tudor palace, built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey circa 1515.
Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

's late 17th century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and 19th centuries such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

, to the early 20th century Old Bailey
Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

 and the 1960s Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

 form part of the varied architectural heritage.

The disused, but soon to be rejuvenated, 1939 Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, South London. The station comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built first in the...

 by the river in the southwest is a local landmark, while some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

, most notably St. Pancras
St Pancras railway station
St Pancras railway station, also known as London St Pancras and since 2007 as St Pancras International, is a central London railway terminus celebrated for its Victorian architecture. The Grade I listed building stands on Euston Road in St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, between the...

 and Paddington. The density of London varies, with high employment density in the central area
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

, high residential densities in inner London
Inner London
Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the interior part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. The area was first officially defined in 1965 and for purposes such as statistics, the definition has changed over time. The terms Inner London and Central...

 and lower densities in the suburbs
Outer London
Outer London is the name for the group of London Boroughs that form a ring around Inner London.These were areas that were not part of the County of London and became formally part of Greater London in 1965...

.

The Monument
The monument
In addition to any monument, the monument may refer to:*Monument to the Great Fire of London, England*Monument House in the U.S....

 in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

, which originated nearby. Marble Arch
Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England...

 and Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch or the Green Park Arch, is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London and at the north western corner of Green Park...

, at the north and south ends of Park Lane
Park Lane (road)
Park Lane is a major road in the City of Westminster, in Central London.-History:Originally a country lane running north-south along what is now the eastern boundary of Hyde Park, it became a fashionable residential address from the eighteenth century onwards, offering both views across Hyde Park...

 respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Memorial
Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the...

 and Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 in Kensington
Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

. Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000. It is a column of the Corinthian...

 is a nationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

, one of the focal points of the city centre.


High-rise development is restricted at certain sites if it would obstruct protected views of St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

. Nevertheless, there are plans for more skyscrapers in central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 (see Tall buildings in London), including the 72-storey Shard London Bridge
Shard London Bridge
Shard London Bridge is a skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. When completed in May 2012, it will be the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th-tallest building in the world, standing tall...

 which is currently under construction. Development temporarily stalled as a result of the recent financial crisis, but is reported to be recovering. Older buildings are mainly brick built, most commonly the yellow London stock brick
London stock brick
London stock brick is the type of hand-made brick which was used for the majority of building work in London and South East England until the growth in the use of Flettons and other machine-made bricks in the early 20th century. Its distinctive yellow colour and soft appearance come from the...

 or a warm orange-red variety, often decorated with carvings and white plaster mouldings.

In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium- and high-rise buildings. London's skyscrapers such as 30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, the Swiss Re Building , is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London, completed in December 2003 and opened at the end of May 2004...

, Tower 42
Tower 42
Tower 42 is the second tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the fifth tallest in London overall. The original name was the National Westminster Tower, having been built to house the National Westminster Bank's International Division. Seen from above, the tower closely resembles the NatWest...

, the Broadgate Tower
Broadgate Tower
The Broadgate Tower is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London. It was constructed from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the fourth tallest building in the City of London....

 and One Canada Square
One Canada Square
One Canada Square is a skyscraper in Canary Wharf in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is the tallest completed building in the United Kingdom since 1991, standing at above ground level and containing 50 storeys...

 are usually found in the two financial districts, the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 and Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

. Other notable modern buildings include City Hall
City Hall (London)
City Hall is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority which comprises the Mayor of London and London Assembly. It is located in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge...

 in Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

 with its distinctive oval shape, and the British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

 in Somers Town
Somers Town, London
Somers Town, was named for Charles Cocks, 1st Baron Somers. The area in St Pancras, London, was originally granted by William III to John Somers, Lord Chancellor and Baron Somers of Evesham. It was to be strongly influenced by the three mainline north London railway termini: Euston , St...

/Kings Cross
Kings Cross, London
King's Cross is an area of London partly in the London Borough of Camden and partly in the London Borough of Islington. It is an inner-city district located 2.5 miles north of Charing Cross. The area formerly had a reputation for being a red light district and run-down. However, rapid regeneration...

. What was formerly the Millennium Dome
Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, colloquially referred to simply as The Dome or even The O2 Arena, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium...

, located by the Thames to the east of Canary Wharf, is now used as an entertainment venue called The O2 Arena
The O2 (London)
The O2, visually typeset in branding as The O2, is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, England, including an indoor arena, a music club, a Cineworld cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars and restaurants...

.

Parks and gardens


The largest parks in the central area of London are the Royal Parks
Royal Parks of London
The Royal Parks of London are lands originally owned by the monarchy of the United Kingdom for the recreation of the royal family...

 of Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

, its neighbour Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. It is shared between the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The park covers an area of 111 hectares .The open spaces...

 at the western edge of central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 and Regent's Park
Regent's Park
Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is in the north-western part of central London, partly in the City of Westminster and partly in the London Borough of Camden...

 on the northern edge. Regent's Park contains London Zoo
London Zoo
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847...

, the world's oldest scientific zoo, and is located near the tourist attraction of Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud and was formerly known as "Madame Tussaud's", but the apostrophe is no longer used...

 Wax Museum.

Closer to central London are the smaller Royal Parks of Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

 and St. James's Park
St. James's Park
St. James's Park is a 23 hectare park in the City of Westminster, central London - the oldest of the Royal Parks of London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St. James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less.- Geographical location :St. James's...

. Hyde Park in particular is popular for sports and sometimes hosts open-air concerts. A number of large parks lie outside the city centre, including the remaining Royal Parks of Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed , it covers , and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. It commands fine views over the River Thames, Isle of...

 to the south-east and Bushy Park
Bushy Park
- External links :***...

 and Richmond Park
Richmond Park
Richmond Park is a 2,360 acre park within London. It is the largest of the Royal Parks in London and Britain's second largest urban walled park after Sutton Park, Birmingham. It is close to Richmond, Ham, Kingston upon Thames, Wimbledon, Roehampton and East Sheen...

 to the south-west, as well as Victoria Park, East London
Victoria Park, East London
Victoria Park is 86.18 hectares of open space that stretches out across part of the East End of London, England bordering parts of Bethnal Green, Hackney, and Bow, such as along Old Ford Road, London E3 and Victoria Park Road E9. The park is entirely within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets...

 to the east. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is a hill of located on the north side of Regent's Park in London, England, and also the name for the surrounding district. The hill has a clear view of central London to the south-east, as well as Belsize Park and Hampstead to the north...

 to the north of Regent's Park is a popular spot to view the city skyline.

Some more informal, semi-natural open spaces also exist, including the 320 hectares (790.7 acre) Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

 of North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

. This incorporates Kenwood House
Kenwood House
Kenwood House is a former stately home, in Hampstead, London, on the northern boundary of Hampstead Heath. It is managed by English Heritage.-History:...

, the former stately home
Stately home
A stately home is a "great country house". It is thus a palatial great house or in some cases an updated castle, located in the British Isles, mostly built between the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, as well as converted abbeys and other church property...

 and a popular location in the summer months where classical musical concerts are held by the lake, attracting thousands of people every weekend to enjoy the music, scenery and fireworks.

Demography


With increasing industrialisation, London's population grew rapidly throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was for some time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the most populous city in the world until overtaken by New York in 1925. Its population peaked at 8,615,245 in 1939 immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War. There were an estimated 7,556,900 official residents in Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 .

However, London's continuous urban area extends beyond the borders of Greater London and was home to 8,278,251 people in 2001, while its wider metropolitan area has a population of between 12 and 14 million depending on the definition used. According to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

, London is the most populous city and metropolitan area of the European Union
Largest cities and metropolitan areas in the European Union (Eurostat)
Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, has created the concept of Larger Urban Zone in an effort to harmonise definitions of urbanisation in the European Union and in countries outside the European Union...

 and the second most populous in Europe (or third if Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 is included). During the period 1991–2001 a net 726,000 immigrants arrived in London.

The region covers an area of 1579 square kilometres (609.7 sq mi). The population density is 4542 PD/km2, more than ten times that of any other British region
NUTS:UK
In the NUTS codes of the United Kingdom , the three levels are:-NUTS codes:...

. In terms of population, London is the 25th largest city and the 18th largest metropolitan region in the world. It is also ranked 4th in the world in number of billionaires (United States Dollars) residing in the city. London ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, alongside Tokyo and Moscow.

Ethnic groups



According to the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

, based on 2009 estimates, 69.7 per cent of the 7,753,600 inhabitants of London were White
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

, with 59.5 per cent White British
White British
White British was an ethnicity classification used in the 2001 United Kingdom Census. As a result of the census, 50,366,497 people in the United Kingdom were classified as White British. In Scotland the classification was broken down into two different categories: White Scottish and Other White...

, 2.2 per cent White Irish and 8.0 per cent classified as Other White. Some 13.2 per cent are of South Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

 descent, with Indians
British Indian
The term British Indian refers to citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in India. This includes people born in the UK who are of Indian descent, and Indian-born people who have migrated to the UK...

 making up 6.2 per cent of London's population, followed by Pakistanis and Bangladeshis
British Bangladeshi
A British Bangladeshi is a person of Bangladeshi origin who resides in the United Kingdom having emigrated to the UK and attained citizenship through naturalisation or whose parents did so; they are also known as British Bengalis...

 at 2.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively. 2.0 per cent are categorised as "Other Asian". 10.1 per cent of London's population are Black
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

, with around 5.3 per cent being Black African
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

, 4.0 per cent as Black Caribbean
British African-Caribbean community
The British African Caribbean communities are residents of the United Kingdom who are of West Indian background and whose ancestors were primarily indigenous to Africa...

 and 0.8 per cent as "Other Black". 3.5 per cent of Londoners are of mixed race; 1.8 per cent are Chinese
British Chinese
British Chinese , including British-born Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in, or have migrated to, the United Kingdom. They are part of the Chinese diaspora, or overseas Chinese...

; and 1.7 per cent belong to another ethnic group
Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom
The classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom has attracted controversy in the past: particularly at the time of the 2001 Census where the existence and nature of such a classification, which appeared on the Census form, became more widely known than general.Different classifications, both...

.

Across London, Black
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

 and Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

 children outnumber White British
White British
White British was an ethnicity classification used in the 2001 United Kingdom Census. As a result of the census, 50,366,497 people in the United Kingdom were classified as White British. In Scotland the classification was broken down into two different categories: White Scottish and Other White...

 children by about six to four in state schools. However, White children represent 62 per cent of London's 1,498,700 population aged 0 to 15 as of 2009 estimates from the Office for National Statistics, with 55.7 per cent of the population aged 0 to 15 being White British, 0.7 per cent being White Irish and 5.6 per cent being from other EU White backgrounds. In January 2005, a survey of London's ethnic and religious diversity claimed that there were more than 300 languages spoken and more than 50 non-indigenous communities which have a population of more than 10,000 in London. Figures from the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 show that, , London's foreign-born population is 2,650,000 (33 per cent), up from 1,630,000 in 1997.

The 2001 census showed that 27.1 per cent of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

's population were born outside the UK. The table to the right shows the 20 most common foreign countries of birth of London residents in 2001, the date of the last published UK Census. A portion of the German-born population are likely to be British nationals born to parents serving in the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 indicate that the five largest foreign-born groups living in London in the period July 2009 to June 2010 were those born in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Bangladesh and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

.

Religion


The majority of Londoners – 58.2 per cent – identify themselves as Christians. This is followed by those of no religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

 (15.8 per cent), Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (8.5 per cent), Hindus
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 (4.1 per cent), Jews (2.1 per cent), Sikhs
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 (1.5 per cent), Buddhists
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 (0.8 per cent) and other (0.2 per cent), though 8.7 per cent of people did not answer this question in the 2001 Census.

London has traditionally been Christian, and has a large number of churches, particularly in the City of London. The well-known St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 in the City and Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark, London, lies on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge....

 south of the river are Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 administrative centres, while the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, principal bishop of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 and worldwide Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, has his main residence at Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. It is located in Lambeth, on the south bank of the River Thames a short distance upstream of the Palace of Westminster on the opposite shore. It was acquired by the archbishopric around 1200...

 in the London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Lambeth
The London Borough of Lambeth is a London borough in south London, England and forms part of Inner London. The local authority is Lambeth London Borough Council.-Origins:...

.

Important national and royal ceremonies are shared between St Paul's and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is not to be confused with nearby Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster...

, which is the largest Roman Catholic cathedral in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

. Despite the prevalence of Anglican churches, observance is very low within the Anglican denomination. Church attendance continues on a long, slow, steady decline, according to Church of England statistics.
London is also home to sizeable Muslim, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

, and Jewish communities. Many Muslims live in Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

 and Newham
London Borough of Newham
The London Borough of Newham is a London borough formed from the towns of West Ham and East Ham, within East London.It is situated east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. According to 2006 estimates, Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the...

; the most important Muslim edifice is London Central Mosque
London Central Mosque
The London Central Mosque is a mosque in North London, England. It was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, completed in 1978, and has a prominent golden dome. The main hall can hold over five thousand worshippers, with women praying on a balcony overlooking the hall...

 on the edge of Regent's Park
Regent's Park
Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is in the north-western part of central London, partly in the City of Westminster and partly in the London Borough of Camden...

. Following the oil boom, increasing numbers of wealthy Middle-Eastern Muslims have based themselves around Mayfair
Mayfair
Mayfair is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster.-History:Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today...

 and Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

 in west London. London is home to the largest mosque in western Europe, the Baitul Futuh
Baitul Futuh
The Baitul Futuh Mosque in London has been deemed the second largest mosque complex in Western Europe, behind the Mosque of Rome. Completed in 2003 at a cost of approximately £5.5 million, entirely from donations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the mosque covers an area of and the full complex...

 Mosque, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...


London's large Hindu community is found in the north-western boroughs of Harrow
London Borough of Harrow
The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough of north-west London. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs: Hillingdon to the west, Ealing to the south, Brent to the south-east and Barnet to the east.-History:...

 and Brent
London Borough of Brent
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 2,022. This rose slowly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 5,646 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased...

, the latter of which is home to one of Europe's largest Hindu temple
Hindu temple
A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

s, Neasden Temple
Neasden Temple
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden , is a Hindu temple in the London Borough of Brent in northwest London. Built entirely using traditional methods and materials, Neasden’s Swaminarayan Mandir is Britain’s first authentic Hindu temple. It was also Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple,...

. Sikh communities are located in East and West London, which is also home to the largest Sikh temple in the world outside India.

The majority of British Jews
British Jews
British Jews are Jews who live in, or are citizens of, the United Kingdom. In the 2001 Census, 266,740 people listed their religion as Jewish. The UK is home to the second largest Jewish population in Europe, and has the fifth largest Jewish community worldwide...

 live in London, with significant Jewish communities in Stamford Hill
Stamford Hill
Stamford Hill is a place in the north of the London Borough of Hackney, England, near the border with Haringey. It is home to Europe's largest Hasidic Jewish and Adeni Jewish community.Stamford Hill is NNE of Charing Cross.-History:...

, Stanmore
Stanmore
Stanmore is a suburban area of the London Borough of Harrow, in northwest London. It is situated northwest of Charing Cross. The area is home to Stanmore Hill, one of the highest points of London, high.-Toponymy:...

, Golders Green
Golders Green
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.In the...

, Hampstead
Hampstead
Hampstead is an area of London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden in Inner London, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland...

, Hendon
Hendon
Hendon is a London suburb situated northwest of Charing Cross.-History:Hendon was historically a civil parish in the county of Middlesex. The manor is described in Domesday , but the name, 'Hendun' meaning 'at the highest hill', is earlier...

 and Edgware
Edgware
Edgware is an area in London, situated north-northwest of Charing Cross. It forms part of both the London Borough of Barnet and the London Borough of Harrow. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

 in North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

. Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue
Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue
Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue has the largest community of any single orthodox synagogue in the whole of Europe. It is a constituent of the United Synagogue...

 has the largest membership of any single Orthodox synagogue in the whole of Europe, overtaking Ilford
Ilford
Ilford is a large cosmopolitan town in East London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Redbridge. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. It forms a significant commercial and retail...

 synagogue (also in London) in 1998. The community set up the London Jewish Forum
London Jewish Forum
The London Jewish Forum is dedicated to the promotion of Jewish life in London. The Forum provides a platform for engagement between London Jewry and the Greater London Authority, Mayor's Office, London Boroughs and MPs / MEPs. It works to promote the full and active engagement of the Jewish...

 in 2006 in response to the growing significance of devolved London Government.

Economy



London generates approximately 20 per cent of the UK's GDP
Economy of the United Kingdom
The economy of the United Kingdom is the sixth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal GDP and seventh-largest measured by purchasing power parity , and the third-largest in Europe measured by nominal GDP and second-largest measured by PPP...

 (or $446 billion in 2005); while the economy of the London metropolitan area—the largest in Europe—generates approximately 30 per cent of the UK's GDP (or an estimated $669 billion in 2005). London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world and vies with New York City as the most important location for international finance.

London's largest industry is finance, and its financial export
Financial export
A financial export is a business service provided by a domestic firm to a foreign firm within the scope of financial services...

s make it a large contributor to the UK's balance of payments
Balance of payments
Balance of payments accounts are an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.These transactions include payments for the country's exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers...

. Around 325,000 people were employed in financial services in London until mid-2007. London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. Currently, over 85% (3.2 million) of the employed population of greater London works in the services industries. Due to its prominent global role, London's economy has been affected by the late-2000s financial crisis
Late-2000s financial crisis
The late-2000s financial crisis is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s...

. The City of London estimates that 70,000 jobs in finance will be cut within a year. The City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 is home to the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

, London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

, and Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's, also known as Lloyd's of London, is a British insurance and reinsurance market. It serves as a partially mutualised marketplace where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk...

 insurance market.

Over half of the UK's top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies are headquartered in central London. Over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100 are located within London's metropolitan area, and 75 per cent of Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies have offices in London.
Along with professional services
Professional services
Professional services is an industry of infrequent, technical, or unique functions performed by independent contractors or by consultants whose occupation is the rendering of such services....

, media companies are concentrated in London
Media in London
London is a major international communications centre with a virtually unrivalled number of media outlets. Almost all of the major media organisations in the UK are based in London. Much of the British media is concentrated in London and is sometimes accused of having a "London bias"...

 and the media distribution industry is London's second most competitive sector. The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 is a significant employer, while other broadcasters also have headquarters around the City. Many national newspapers are edited in London. London is a major retail centre and in 2010 had the highest non-food retail sales of any city in the world, with a total spend of around £64.2 billion. The Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

 is the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s of cargo each year.

London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark. One way to get an idea of their relative importance is to look at relative amounts of office space: Greater London had 27 million m2 of office space in 2001, and the City contains the most space, with 8 million m2 of office space.

Tourism


Tourism is one of London
Tourism in London
London is the world's leading tourism destination, and the city is home to an array of famous tourist attractions. London attracts 30 million international visitors per year, making it the world's most visited in terms of international visits. The Tourist Board for London is called Visit London...

's prime industries and employs the equivalent of 350,000 full-time workers in London in 2003, while annual expenditure by tourists is around £15 billion. London attracts over 14 million international visitors per year, making it the world's most visited city. London attracts 27 million overnight-stay visitors every year.

In 2009 the ten most-visited attractions in London were:
  1. British Museum
    British Museum
    The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

  2. National Gallery
    National gallery
    The National Gallery is an art gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom.National Gallery may also refer to:*Armenia: National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan*Australia:**National Gallery of Australia, Canberra...

  3. Tate Modern
    Tate Modern
    Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London, England. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group . It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year...

  4. Natural History Museum
    Natural History Museum
    The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

  5. London Eye
    London Eye
    The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

  6. Science Museum
    Science museum
    A science museum or a science centre is a museum devoted primarily to science. Older science museums tended to concentrate on static displays of objects related to natural history, paleontology, geology, industry and industrial machinery, etc. Modern trends in museology have broadened the range of...

  7. Tower of London
    Tower of London
    Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

  8. National Maritime Museum
    National Maritime Museum
    The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

  9. Victoria and Albert Museum
    Victoria and Albert Museum
    The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

  10. Madame Tussauds
    Madame Tussauds
    Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud and was formerly known as "Madame Tussaud's", but the apostrophe is no longer used...


Transport



Transport is one of the four main areas of policy administered by the Mayor of London, however the mayor's financial control does not extend to the longer distance rail network that enters London. In 2007 he assumed responsibility for some local lines, which now form the London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 network, adding to the existing responsibility for the London Underground, trams and buses. The public transport network is administered by Transport for London
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 (TfL) and is one of the most extensive in the world. Cycling
Cycling in London
Cycling in London has enjoyed a renaissance since the millennium. London's cyclists enjoy a cheaper, and often quicker, way around town than those by public transport or car, and as many trips in London are local, these can easily be done by bike. As London's public transport system is...

 is an increasingly popular way to get around London. The London Cycling Campaign
London Cycling Campaign
The London Cycling Campaign is an independent membership charity lobbying for better conditions for cyclists in London. Its vision is to make London "a world-class cycling city"...

 lobbies for better provision.

The lines that formed the London Underground, as well as trams and buses, became part of an integrated transport system in 1933 when the London Passenger Transport Board
London Passenger Transport Board
The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

 (LPTB) or London Transport
London Transport (brand)
London Transport was the public name and brand used by a series of public transport authorities in London, England, from 1933. Its most recognisable feature was the bar-and-circle 'roundel' logo...

was created. Transport for London
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 (TfL), is now the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, and is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

.

Air


London is a major international air transport hub with the largest city airspace in the world. Eight airports use the word London in their name, but most traffic passes through six of these. London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

, in Hillingdon
London Borough of Hillingdon
The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London, England. The borough's population was recorded as 243,006 in the 2001 Census. The borough incorporates the former districts of Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the...

, West London, is the busiest airport in the world
World's busiest airport
The definition of the world's busiest airport has been specified by the Airports Council International in Geneva, Switzerland. The ACI defines and measures the following three types of airport traffic:...

 for international traffic, and is the major hub of the nation's flag carrier, British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

. In March 2008 its fifth terminal was opened. There were plans for a third runway and a sixth terminal however these were cancelled by the Coalition Government
United Kingdom coalition government (2010–present)
The ConservativeLiberal Democrat coalition is the present Government of the United Kingdom, formed after the 2010 general election. The Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats entered into discussions which culminated in the 2010 coalition agreement, setting out a programme for government...

 on 12 May 2010. Similar traffic, with the addition of some low-cost
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

 short-haul flights, is also handled at London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is located 3.1 miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick,In 2010, the name changed from London Gatwick Airport to Gatwick Airport...

, located south of London in West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

.

Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

, situated north east of London in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, is the main UK hub for Ryanair
Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

 and Luton Airport
London Luton Airport
London Luton Airport is an international airport located east of the town centre in the Borough of Luton in Bedfordshire, England and is north of Central London. The airport is from Junction 10a of the M1 motorway...

 to the north of London in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

, caters mostly for low-cost short-haul flights. London City Airport
London City Airport
London City Airport is a single-runway airport. It principally serves the financial district of London and is located on a former Docklands site, east of the City of London, opposite the London Regatta Centre, in the London Borough of Newham in east London. It was developed by the engineering...

, the smallest and most central airport, is focused on business travellers, with a mixture of full service short-haul scheduled flights and considerable business jet
Business jet
Business jet, private jet or, colloquially, bizjet is a term describing a jet aircraft, usually of smaller size, designed for transporting groups of up to 19 business people or wealthy individuals...

 traffic.

London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport or Southend Airport is a regional airport in the district of Rochford within Essex, England.During the 1960s, Southend was the third-busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It remained London's third-busiest airport in terms of passengers handled until the end of the 1970s,...

, east of London in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, is a smaller, regional airport that mainly caters for low-cost short-haul flights. It recently went through a large redevelopment project including a brand new terminal, extended runway and a new train station offering fast links into the capital. EasyJet
EasyJet
EasyJet Airline Company Limited is a British airline headquartered at London Luton Airport. It carries more passengers than any other United Kingdom-based airline, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 500 routes between 118 European, North African, and West Asian airports...

 currently have a base at the airport.

Buses and trams



London's bus network
London Buses
London Buses is the subsidiary of Transport for London that manages bus services within Greater London, UK. Buses are required to carry similar red colour schemes and conform to the same fare scheme...

 is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with 8,000 buses, 700 bus routes, and over 6 million passenger journeys made every weekday. In 2003, the network's ridership was estimated at over 1.5 billion passenger trips per annum, more than the Underground. Around £850 million is taken in revenue each year. London has the largest wheelchair accessible network in the world and, from the 3rd quarter of 2007, became more accessible to hearing and visually impaired passengers as audio-visual announcements were introduced. The distinctive red double-decker buses are internationally recognised, and are a trademark of London transport along with black cabs
Hackney carriage
A hackney or hackney carriage is a carriage or automobile for hire...

 and the Tube.

London has a modern tram network, known as Tramlink
Tramlink
Tramlink is a tramway system in south London in the United Kingdom which began operation in May 2000...

, based in Croydon
Croydon
Croydon is a town in South London, England, located within the London Borough of Croydon to which it gives its name. It is situated south of Charing Cross...

 in South London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

. The network has 39 stops, three routes and carried 26.5 million people in 2008. Since June 2008 Transport for London
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 has completely owned Tramlink and plans to spend £54m by 2015 on maintenance, renewals, upgrades and capacity enhancements. Since April 2009 all trams have been refurbished.

Cycling



Cycling in London has enjoyed a renaissance since the turn of the Millennium. Cyclists enjoy a cheaper, and often quicker, way around town than those by public transport or car, and the launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays Cycle Hire is a public scheme bicycle sharing scheme that was launched on 30 July 2010 in London, United Kingdom. The scheme's bicycles are informally referred to as Boris bikes, after Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time of the official launch.BCH commenced operations...

 scheme in July 2010 has been successful and generally well-received.

Port


From being the largest port in the world, the Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

 is now only the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year. Most of this actually passes through the Port of Tilbury
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

, outside the boundary of Greater London.

Rail



The London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 — all of which is now commonly referred to as the Tube, though originally this designation referred only to the deep-level lines, as distinct from the sub-surface lines — is the oldest, and second longest metro
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 system in the world, dating from 1863. The system serves 270 stations
Metro station
A metro station or subway station is a railway station for a rapid transit system, often known by names such as "metro", "underground" and "subway". It is often underground or elevated. At crossings of metro lines, they are multi-level....

 and was formed from several private companies, including the world's first underground electric line, the City and South London Railway.

Over three million journeys are made every day on the Underground network, over 1 billion each year. An investment programme is attempting to address congestion and reliability problems, including £7 billion (€10 billion) of improvements planned for the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

. London has been commended as the city with the best public transport. The Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

, which opened in 1987, is a second, more local metro system using smaller and lighter tram-type vehicles which serve Docklands and Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

.

There is an extensive above-ground suburban railway network, particularly in South London, which has fewer Underground lines. London houses Britain's busiest station – Waterloo
Waterloo station
Waterloo station, also known as London Waterloo, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. The station is owned and operated by Network Rail and is close to the South Bank of the River Thames, and in Travelcard Zone 1....

 with over 184 million people using the interchange station complex (which includes Waterloo East station) each year. The stations have services to South East and South West London, and also parts of South East
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

 and South West England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

. Most rail lines terminate around the centre of London, running into eighteen terminal stations with the exception of the Thameslink
Thameslink
Thameslink is a fifty-station main-line route in the British railway system running north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton, serving both London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport. It opened as a through service in 1988 and by 1998 was severely overcrowded, carrying more than...

 trains connecting Bedford
Bedford
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

 in the north and Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

 in the south via Luton and Gatwick
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is located 3.1 miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick,In 2010, the name changed from London Gatwick Airport to Gatwick Airport...

 airports.

Since 2007 high-speed Eurostar
Eurostar
Eurostar is a high-speed railway service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains traverse the Channel Tunnel between England and France, owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel....

 trains link St. Pancras International
St Pancras railway station
St Pancras railway station, also known as London St Pancras and since 2007 as St Pancras International, is a central London railway terminus celebrated for its Victorian architecture. The Grade I listed building stands on Euston Road in St Pancras, London Borough of Camden, between the...

 with Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

, Paris, and Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

. Journey times to Paris and Brussels of two-and-a-quarter hours and one hour 50 minutes respectively make London closer to continental Europe than the rest of Britain by virtue of the High Speed 1 rail link to the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...

 while the first high speed domestic
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

 trains started in June 2009 linking Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 to London.

Roads



Although the majority of journeys involving central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 are made by public transport, car travel is common in the suburbs. The inner ring road
London Inner Ring Road
The London Inner Ring Road is the name commonly given to a route formed from a number of major roads that encircle the centremost part of London...

 (around the city centre), the North
A406 road
The A406 or the North Circular Road is a road which crosses North London, UK, linking West and East London. It, together with the South Circular Road, forms a ring road through the inner part of Outer London...

 and South Circular
A205 road
The A205 or South Circular Road is a direct route which crosses South London, UK, running from Woolwich in the east to the junction of the A406 , the M4 and the A4 at Gunnersbury in the west....

 roads (in the suburbs), and the outer orbital motorway (the M25
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

, outside the built-up area) encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes—but very few motorways penetrate into inner London
Inner London
Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the interior part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. The area was first officially defined in 1965 and for purposes such as statistics, the definition has changed over time. The terms Inner London and Central...

. The M25 is the longest ring-road motorway in the world at 195.5 km (121.5 mi) long. The A1 and M1
M1 motorway
The M1 is a north–south motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 near Aberford. While the M1 is considered to be the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom, the first road to be built to motorway standard in the country was the...

 connect London to Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

 and Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

.

A plan for a comprehensive network of motorways throughout the city (the Ringways Plan
London Ringways
The London Ringways were a series of four ring roads planned in the 1960s to circle London at various distances from the city centre. They were part of a comprehensive scheme developed by the Greater London Council to alleviate traffic congestion on the city's road system by providing high speed...

) was prepared in the 1960s but was mostly cancelled in the early 1970s. In 2003, a congestion charge
London congestion charge
The London congestion charge is a fee charged for some categories of motor vehicle to travel at certain times within the Congestion Charge Zone , a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system...

 was introduced to reduce traffic volumes in the city centre. With a few exceptions, motorists are required to pay £10 per day to drive within a defined zone encompassing much of congested central London. Motorists who are residents of the defined zone can buy a vastly reduced season pass which is renewed monthly and is cheaper than a corresponding bus fare. London is notorious for its traffic congestion, with the M25 motorway the busiest stretch in the country. The average speed of a car in the rush hour is 10.6 mi/h. London government initially anticipated the Congestion Charge Zone to increase daily peak period Underground and bus users by 20,000 people, reduce traffic by ten to fifteen percent, increase traffic speeds by ten to fifteen percent, and reduce queues by twenty to thirty percent. Over the course of several years, the average number of cars entering the centre of London on a weekday was reduced from 195,000 to 125,000 cars – this is a 35-percent reduction of vehicles driven per day.

Tertiary education



London is a major centre of higher education teaching and research and its 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2008/09 it had a higher education student population of around 412,000 (approximately 17 per cent of the UK total), of whom around 287,000 were registered for undergraduate degrees and 118,000 were studying at postgraduate level. In 2008/09 there were around 97,150 international students in London, approximately 25 per cent of all international students in the UK.

A number of world-leading education institutions are based in London. In the 2011 QS World University Rankings
QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings is a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds using a method that has published annually since 2004....

Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

 is ranked 6th, University College London (UCL)
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 7th and King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

 27th in the world. The London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 has been described as the world's leading social science institution for both teaching and research. The London Business School
London Business School
London Business School is an international business school and a constituent college of the federal University of London, located in central London, beside Regent's Park...

 is considered one of the world's leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

.

With 125,000 students, the federal University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

 is the largest contact teaching university in Europe. It includes four large multi-faculty universities – King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

, Queen Mary
Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, Royal Holloway and UCL
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 – and a number of smaller and more specialised institutions including Birkbeck, the Courtauld Institute of Art
Courtauld Institute of Art
The Courtauld Institute of Art is a self-governing college of the University of London specialising in the study of the history of art. The Courtauld is one of the premier centres for the teaching of art history in the world; it was the only History of Art department in the UK to be awarded a top...

, Goldsmiths, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts.-History:...

, the Institute of Education
Institute of Education
The Institute of Education is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom specialised in postgraduate study and research in the field of education and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It is the largest education research body in the United Kingdom, with...

, the London Business School
London Business School
London Business School is an international business school and a constituent college of the federal University of London, located in central London, beside Regent's Park...

, the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a constituent college of the federal University of London, specialising in public health and tropical medicine...

, the Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is a conservatoire, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school and a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas...

, the Central School of Speech and Drama
Central School of Speech and Drama
The Central School of Speech and Drama was founded in London in 1906 by Elsie Fogerty to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students...

, the Royal Veterinary College
Royal Veterinary College
The Royal Veterinary College is a veterinary school located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. The RVC was founded in 1791 and joined the University of London in 1949...

, The School of Pharmacy and the School of Oriental and African Studies
School of Oriental and African Studies
The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

. Members of the University of London have their own admissions procedures, and some award their own degrees.

There are a number of universities in London which are outside of the University of London system, including Brunel University
Brunel University
Brunel University is a public research university located in Uxbridge, London, United Kingdom. The university is named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel....

, City University London, Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

, Kingston University
Kingston University
Kingston University is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, United Kingdom. It was originally founded in 1899 as Kingston Technical Institute, a polytechnic, and became a university in 1992....

, London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University , located in London, England, was formed on 1 August 2002 by the amalgamation of the University of North London and the London Guildhall University . The University has campuses in the City of London and in the London Borough of Islington.The University operates its...

 (with over 34,000 students, the largest unitary university in London), London South Bank University
London South Bank University
London South Bank University is a university in south London. With over 25,000 students and 1,700 staff, it is based in the London Borough of Southwark, near the South Bank of the River Thames, from which it takes its name...

, Middlesex University
Middlesex University
Middlesex University is a university in north London, England. It is located in the historic county boundaries of Middlesex from which it takes its name. It is one of the post-1992 universities and is a member of Million+ working group...

, University of the Arts London
University of the Arts London
The University of the Arts London, formerly known as the London Institute, is a collegiate university comprising six internationally recognised art, design, fashion and media colleges in London, England...

 (the largest university of art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts in Europe), University of East London
University of East London
The University of East London is a university located in the London Borough of Newham, East London, England, based at two campuses in Stratford and Docklands areas...

, the University of West London and the University of Westminster
University of Westminster
The University of Westminster is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. Its origins go back to the foundation of the Royal Polytechnic Institution in 1838, and it was awarded university status in 1992.The university's headquarters and original campus are based on Regent...

. In addition there are three international universities in London – Regent's College
Regent's College
Regent's College is located in Regent's Park, London, England. It is one of the two largest groups of buildings in the park, along with the London Zoo, and was built on the site of South Villa, one of the original eight Regent's Park villas....

, Richmond University and Schiller International University
Schiller International University
Schiller International University is a private American university with its main campus and administrative headquarters in Largo, Florida. It has campuses on two continents in five countries, each offering its own unique experiences to students: Largo; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Heidelberg,...

.


London is home to five major medical schools
United Hospitals
United Hospitals is the historical collective name of the medical schools of London. They are all part of the University of London with the exception of Imperial College School of Medicine which left in 2007. The original United Hospitals referred to Guy's Hospital and St Thomas's Hospital and...

 – Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (part of Queen Mary
Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

), King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry
King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry
King's College London School of Medicine is the medical school of King's College London, and one of the United Hospitals...

 (the largest medical school in Europe), Imperial College School of Medicine
Imperial College School of Medicine
The Imperial College School of Medicine is the medical school of Imperial College London in England, and one of the United Hospitals....

, UCL Medical School and St George's, University of London
St George's, University of London
St George's, University of London is a medical school located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 – and has a large number of affiliated teaching hospitals. It is also a major centre for biomedical research, and three of the UK's five academic health science centre
Academic health science centre
An academic health science centre is a partnership between one or more universities and healthcare providers focusing on research, clinical services, education and training...

s are based in the city – Imperial College Healthcare
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is an NHS trust based in London, United Kingdom. It is the largest NHS trust in England and together with Imperial College London forms an academic health science centre....

, King's Health Partners
King's Health Partners
-External links:* * * * *...

 and UCL Partners
UCL Partners
UCL Partners is an academic health science centre located in London, United Kingdom. It is the largest academic health science centre in Europe, treats more than 1.5 million patients each year, has an annual turnover of around £2 billion and includes around 3,500 scientists, senior researchers and...

 (the largest such centre in Europe). There are a number of business schools in London, including Cass Business School (part of City University London), ESCP Europe, European Business School London
European Business School London
European Business School London is a constituent school of Regent's College and is located in Regent's Park in central London, England...

, Imperial College Business School and the London Business School
London Business School
London Business School is an international business school and a constituent college of the federal University of London, located in central London, beside Regent's Park...

. London is also home to many specialist arts education institutions, including the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts is a British drama school situated on Wandsworth Common, South West London and in Wigan, Greater Manchester making it the only CDS drama school to offer identical training at two separate institutions across The United Kingdom...

, the London Contemporary Dance School, RADA
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is a drama school located in London, United Kingdom. It is generally regarded as one of the most renowned drama schools in the world, and is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1904.RADA is an affiliate school of the...

, the Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

, the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

 and Trinity Laban
Trinity Laban
Trinity Laban is the UK's only conservatoire of Music and Dance. The Higher Education Institute was formed in 2005 when leading centres of music and dance Trinity College of Music and Laban came together...

.

Primary and secondary education


The majority of primary and secondary schools in London are state schools and are controlled by the London boroughs, although there are also a number of private schools in London, including old and famous schools such as the City of London School
City of London School
The City of London School is a boys' independent day school on the banks of the River Thames in the City of London, England. It is the brother school of the City of London School for Girls and the co-educational City of London Freemen's School...

, Harrow
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

, St Paul's School, University College School
University College School
University College School, generally known as UCS, is an Independent school charity situated in Hampstead, north west London, England. The school was founded in 1830 by University College London and inherited many of that institution's progressive and secular views...

, Highgate School
Highgate School
-Notable members of staff and governing body:* John Ireton, brother of Henry Ireton, Cromwellian General* 1st Earl of Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice, owner of Kenwood, noted for judgment finding contracts for slavery unenforceable in English law* T. S...

 and Westminster School
Westminster School
The Royal College of St. Peter in Westminster, almost always known as Westminster School, is one of Britain's leading independent schools, with the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rate of any secondary school or college in Britain...

.

Accent


The London accent long ago acquired the Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 label, and was similar to many accents of the South East of England. The accent of a 21st century 'Londoner' varies widely; what is becoming more and more common amongst the under 30s however is some fusion of Cockney, Received Pronunciation
Received Pronunciation
Received Pronunciation , also called the Queen's English, Oxford English or BBC English, is the accent of Standard English in England, with a relationship to regional accents similar to the relationship in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms...

, and a whole array of 'ethnic' accents, in particular Caribbean, which form an accent labelled Multicultural London English
Jafaican
Multicultural London English , colloquially called Jafaican, is a dialect of English that emerged in the late 20th century. It is spoken mainly in inner London, with the exception of areas such as Brent, Newham, Haringey and Enfield...

 (MLE).

Leisure and entertainment




Within the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, the entertainment district of the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

 has its focus around Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

, where London and world film premieres
Premières
Premières is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-References:*...

 are held, and Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly...

, with its giant electronic advertisements. London's theatre district is here, as are many cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants, including the city's Chinatown
Chinatown, London
The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the Soho area of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and around Gerrard Street...

 district (in Soho
Soho
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable...

), and just to the east is Covent Garden
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

, an area housing speciality shops. The United Kingdom's Royal Ballet, English National Ballet
English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, London, England. Along with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great...

, Royal Opera
Royal Opera, London
The Royal Opera is an opera company based in central London, resident at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Along with the English National Opera, it is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968...

 and English National Opera
English National Opera
English National Opera is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden...

 are based in London and perform at the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

, the London Coliseum, Sadler's Wells Theatre
Sadler's Wells Theatre
Sadler's Wells Theatre is a performing arts venue located in Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington. The present day theatre is the sixth on the site since 1683. It consists of two performance spaces: a 1,500 seat main auditorium and the Lilian Baylis Studio, with extensive...

 and the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 as well as touring the country.


Islington
Islington
Islington is a neighbourhood in Greater London, England and forms the central district of the London Borough of Islington. It is a district of Inner London, spanning from Islington High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy Upper Street...

's 1 miles (1.6 km) long Upper Street, extending northwards from the Angel, has more bars and restaurants than any other street in the United Kingdom. Europe's busiest shopping area is Oxford Street
Oxford Street
Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, as well as its most dense, and currently has approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate,...

, a shopping street nearly 1 miles (1.6 km) long, making it the longest shopping street in the United Kingdom. Oxford Street is home to vast numbers of retailers and department stores, including the world-famous Selfridges
Selfridges
Selfridges, AKA Selfridges & Co, is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store in London's Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK and was opened on 15 March 1909.More recently, three other stores have been...

 flagship store. Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

, home to the equally renowned Harrods
Harrods
Harrods is an upmarket department store located in Brompton Road in Brompton, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air...

 department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

, lies to the southwest.

London is home to designers Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood
Dame Vivienne Westwood, DBE, RDI is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.-Early life:...

, Galliano
John Galliano
John Charles Galliano CBE, RDI is a Gibraltan-born British fashion designer who was best known as head designer of French haute couture houses Givenchy and Christian Dior , and his own self titled fashion house.-Family:He was born in Gibraltar to a Gibraltarian father, Juan Galliano, and a...

, Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney
Stella Nina McCartney is an English fashion designer. She is the daughter of former Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney and the late photographer and animal rights activist, Linda McCartney.-Early life:...

, Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik
Manuel "Manolo" Blahnik Rodríguez CBE, , is a Spanish fashion designer and founder of the self-named, high-end shoe brand.-Biography:Born to a Czech father and a Spanish mother and born and raised in the Canary Islands , Blahnik graduated from the University of Geneva in 1965 and studied art in Paris...

, and Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo
Dato' Jimmy Choo, OBE, born Choo Yeang Keat, is a Malaysian fashion designer based in London, United Kingdom. He is best known for founding Jimmy Choo Ltd that became known for its handmade women's shoes....

 among others; its renowned art and fashion schools make it an international centre of fashion alongside Paris, Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and New York. London offers a great variety of cuisine as a result of its ethnically diverse population. Gastronomic centres include the Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

i restaurants of Brick Lane
Brick Lane
Brick Lane is a street in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. It runs from Swanfield Street in the northern part of Bethnal Green, crosses Bethnal Green Road, passes through Spitalfields and is linked to Whitechapel High Street to the south by the short stretch of...

 and the Chinese food restaurants of Chinatown
Chinatown, London
The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the Soho area of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and around Gerrard Street...

.

There are a variety of regular annual events in the city. The beginning of the year is celebrated with the relatively new New Year's Day Parade
New Year's Day Parade
The New Year's Day Parade is a parade through the streets of the West End of London, which takes place annually on 1 January. The first year the parade took place was 1987, as the Lord Mayor of Westminster's Big Parade...

, fireworks display at the London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

, and the world's second largest street party
Street party
A street party can mean any type of social event taking place on a road.In Britain, these have historically been held to commemorate momentous events, such as VE Day or the Queen's Silver Jubilee, with "bunting, trestle tables covered with sandwiches and cakes, and children playing in the street"...

, the Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which since 1964 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea , London, UK each August, over two days...

 is held during the late August Bank holiday
Bank Holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or a colloquialism for public holiday in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract...

 each year. Traditional parades include November's Lord Mayor's Show
Lord Mayor's Show
The Lord Mayor's Show is one of the longest established and best known annual events in London which dates back to 1535. The Lord Mayor in question is that of the City of London, the historic centre of London that is now the metropolis's financial district, informally known as the Square Mile...

, a centuries-old event celebrating the annual appointment of a new Lord Mayor of the City of London with a procession along the streets of the City, and June's Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British and the Commonwealth armies. It has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. On battlefields, a regiment's colours, or flags, were used as rallying points...

, a formal military pageant performed by regiments of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and British
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 armies to celebrate the Queen's Official Birthday
Queen's Official Birthday
The Queen's Official Birthday is the selected day on which the birthday of the monarch of Commonwealth realms is officially celebrated in Commonwealth countries and in Fiji, which is now a republic. It is an invention of the early 20th century...

.

Literature, film and television




London has been the setting for many works of literature. The literary centres of London have traditionally been hilly Hampstead
Hampstead
Hampstead is an area of London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden in Inner London, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland...

 and (since the early 20th century) Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...

. Writers closely associated with the city are the diarist Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

, noted for his eyewitness account of the Great Fire
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

, Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

, whose representation of a foggy, snowy, grimy London of street sweepers and pickpockets has been a major influence on people's vision of early Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 London, and Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, regarded as one of the foremost modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 literary figures of the 20th century.

The pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

's late 14th-century Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at...

 set out for Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 from London – specifically, from the Tabard
The Tabard
The Tabard, an inn that stood on the east side of Borough High Street in Southwark, was established in 1307, when the abbot of Hyde purchased the land to construct a hostel for himself and his brethren, when business took them to London, as well as an inn to accommodate the numerous pilgrims headed...

 inn, Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 spent a large part of his life living and working in London; his contemporary Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

 was also based there, and some of his work—most notably his play The Alchemist
The Alchemist (play)
The Alchemist is a comedy by English playwright Ben Jonson. First performed in 1610 by the King's Men, it is generally considered Jonson's best and most characteristic comedy; Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that it had one of the three most perfect plots in literature...

—was set in the city. A Journal of the Plague Year
A Journal of the Plague Year
A Journal of the Plague Year is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in March 1722.The novel is a fictionalised account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London...

(1722) by Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

 is a fictionalisation of the events of the 1665 Great Plague
Great Plague of London
The Great Plague was a massive outbreak of disease in the Kingdom of England that killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London's population. The disease is identified as bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted through a flea vector...

. Later important depictions of London from the 19th and early 20th centuries are Dickens' novels, and Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger...

's Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 stories. Modern writers pervasively influenced by the city include Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot and Sir Thomas More he won the Somerset Maugham Award...

, author of a "biography" of London, and Iain Sinclair
Iain Sinclair
Iain Sinclair FRSL is a British writer and filmmaker. Much of his work is rooted in London, most recently within the influences of psychogeography.-Life and work:...

, who writes in the genre of psychogeography
Psychogeography
Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." Another definition is "a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for...

.

London was the setting for the films Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist (1948 film)
Oliver Twist is the second of David Lean's two film adaptations of Charles Dickens novels. Following the success of his 1946 version of Great Expectations, Lean re-assembled much of the same team for his adaptation of Dicken's 1838 novel, including producers Ronald Neame and Anthony...

(1948), Peter Pan
Peter Pan (1953 film)
Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the fourteenth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Pictures...

(1953), The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers is a 1955 British black comedy film made by Ealing Studios. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, it stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson...

(1955), The 101 Dalmatians (1961), Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, produced by Walt Disney, and based on the Mary Poppins books series by P. L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, with songs by...

(1964), Blowup
Blowup
Blowup is a 1966 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, his first English-language film.It tells of a British photographer's accidental involvement with a murder, inspired by Julio Cortázar's short story, "Las babas del diablo" or "The Devil's Drool" , translated also as Blow-Up, and by the life...

(1966), The Long Good Friday
The Long Good Friday
The Long Good Friday is a British gangster film starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. It was completed in 1979 but, because of release delays, it is generally credited as a 1980 film...

(1980), Secrets & Lies (1996), Notting Hill
Notting Hill (film)
Notting Hill is a 1999 British romantic comedy film set in Notting Hill, London, released on 21 May 1999. The screenplay was by Richard Curtis, who had written Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was produced by Duncan Kenworthy and directed by Roger Michell...

(1999), Match Point
Match Point
Match Point is a 2005 dramatic thriller film written and directed by Woody Allen, and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox and Penelope Wilton....

(2005), V For Vendetta
V for Vendetta (film)
V for Vendetta is a 2005 dystopian thriller film directed by James McTeigue and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers, who also wrote the screenplay. It is an adaptation of the V for Vendetta comic book by Alan Moore and David Lloyd...

(2005) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1936 British film produced and directed by George King.-Plot:The film features Tod Slaughter in one of his most famous roles as barber Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd was wrongly sentenced to life in prison. After his release 15 years later, he begins...

(2008). The television soap opera EastEnders
EastEnders
EastEnders is a British television soap opera, first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985 and continuing to today. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End...

, first broadcast in 1985, is also set in the city. London has played a significant role in the film industry, and has major studios at Ealing
Ealing Studios
Ealing Studios is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in West London. Will Barker bought the White Lodge on Ealing Green in 1902 as a base for film making, and films have been made on the site ever since...

 and a special effect
Special effect
The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

s and post-production
Post-production
Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

 community centred in Soho
Soho
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable...

. Working Title Films
Working Title Films
Working Title Films is a British film production company, based in London, UK. The company was founded by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe in 1983. It produces feature films and several television productions, including films starring comic actor Rowan Atkinson...

 has its headquarters in London.

Museums and art galleries




London is home to many museums, galleries, and other institutions, many of which are free of admission charges and are major tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s as well as playing a research role. The first of these to be established was the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 in Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...

, in 1753. Originally containing antiquities, natural history specimens and the national library, the museum now has 7 million artefacts from around the globe. In 1824 the National Gallery
National gallery
The National Gallery is an art gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom.National Gallery may also refer to:*Armenia: National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan*Australia:**National Gallery of Australia, Canberra...

 was founded to house the British national collection of Western paintings; this now occupies a prominent position in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

. In the latter half of the nineteenth century the locale of South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

 was developed as "Albertopolis
Albertopolis
Albertopolis is the area centred on South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, London, England, between Cromwell Road and Kensington Gore, which contains a large number of educational and cultural sites, including:*Imperial College London...

", a cultural and scientific quarter. Three major national museums are located there: the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

 (for the applied arts), the Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

 and the Science Museum. The national gallery of British art is at Tate Britain
Tate Britain
Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J. M. W. Turner.-History:It...

, originally established as an annexe of the National Gallery in 1897. The Tate Gallery, as it was formerly known, also became a major centre for modern art; in 2000 this collection moved to Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London, England. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group . It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year...

, a new gallery housed in the former Bankside Power Station
Bankside Power Station
Bankside Power Station is a former oil-fired power station, located on the south bank of the River Thames, in the Bankside district of London. It generated electricity from 1952 to 1981. Since 2000 the station's building has been used to house the Tate Modern art museum.-History:The station was...

.

Music



London is one of the major classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and popular
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 music capitals of the world and is home to major music corporations, such as EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

, as well as countless bands, musicians and industry professionals. The city is also home to many orchestras and concert halls, such as the Barbican Arts Centre (principal base of the London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra is a major orchestra of the United Kingdom, as well as one of the best-known orchestras in the world. Since 1982, the LSO has been based in London's Barbican Centre.-History:...

), Cadogan Hall
Cadogan Hall
Cadogan Hall is a 900-seat capacity concert hall on Sloane Terrace in Chelsea / Belgravia in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, United Kingdom...

 (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London. It tours widely, and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's national orchestra"...

) and the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 (The Proms
The Proms
The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in London...

). London's two main opera houses are the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

 and the Coliseum Theatre
Coliseum Theatre
The London Coliseum is an opera house and major performing venue on St. Martin's Lane, central London. It is one of London's largest and best equipped theatres and opened in 1904, designed by theatrical architect Frank Matcham , for impresario Oswald Stoll...

. The UK's largest pipe organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 can be found at the Royal Albert Hall. Other significant instruments are found at the cathedrals and major churches. Several conservatoires are located within the city: Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is a conservatoire, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school and a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas...

, Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts.-History:...

 and Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music is one of the London music conservatories, based in Greenwich. It is part of Trinity Laban.The conservatoire is inheritor of elegant riverside buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, designed in part by Sir Christopher Wren...

.
London has numerous venues for rock and pop concerts, including large arenas such as Earls Court
Earls Court Exhibition Centre
The Earls Court Exhibition Centre is an exhibition centre, conference and event venue located in west London, United Kingdom in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . It is the largest exhibition venue in central London. It is served by two underground stations, Earl's Court and West...

, Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium.-History:...

 and the O2 Arena
The O2 arena (London)
The O2 Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsula in London, England.With a capacity of up to 20,000 depending on the event, it is second largest...

, as well as many mid-sized venues, such as Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo
Hammersmith Apollo
Hammersmith Apollo is a major entertainment venue located in Hammersmith, London. Designed by Robert Cromie in Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema, being re-named the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962...

 and the Shepherd's Bush Empire. Several music festivals, including the Wireless Festival
Wireless Festival
The Wireless Festival is a music festival in England that takes place every year in Hyde Park, London, and took place at Harewood House, Leeds in 2006 and 2007. It is owned and managed by Live Nation....

, are held in London. The city is home to the first and original Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Americans Peter Morton & Isaac Tigrett. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2006, Hard Rock was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and...

 and the Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, its present owner...

 where The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 recorded many of their hits. In the 1970s and 1980s, musicians and groups like Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

, Cat Stevens
Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam , commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist, and prominent convert to Islam....

, Ian Dury and the Blockheads
Ian Dury
Ian Robins Dury was an English rock and roll singer, lyricist, bandleader and actor who initially rose to fame during the late 1970s, during the punk and New Wave era of rock music...

, The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

, The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

, The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

, Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

, The Jam
The Jam
The Jam were an English punk rock/New Wave/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped...

, The Small Faces
The Small Faces
The Small Faces were an English rock and roll band from East London, heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues. The group was founded in 1965 by members Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston, although by 1966 Winston was replaced by Ian McLagan as the band's...

, Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

, Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

, Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac are a British–American rock band formed in 1967 in London.The only original member present in the band is its eponymous drummer, Mick Fleetwood...

, The Police
The Police
The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the vast majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting , Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland...

, The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

, Squeeze and Sade
Sade (band)
Sade is a British smooth jazz band that formed in 1983, named for Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu. Their music features elements of R&B, soul, jazz, and soft rock....

, took the world by storm, deriving their sound from the streets and rhythms vibrating through London.

London was instrumental in the development of punk music, with figures such as the Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians...

, The Clash
The Clash
The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly...

, and Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood
Dame Vivienne Westwood, DBE, RDI is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.-Early life:...

 all based in the city. More recent artists to emerge from the London music scene include Bananarama
Bananarama
Bananarama are an English female pop duo who have had success on the pop and dance charts since 1982. Rather than relying on a two part harmony, the duo generally sings in unison, as do their background vocalists. Although there have been line-up changes, the group enjoyed their most popular...

, Wham!
WHAM!
Wham! were a short-lived British musical duo formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980s. They were briefly known in the United States as Wham! UK due to a naming conflict with an American band....

, The Escape Club
The Escape Club
The Escape Club began in 1983 as an English pop rock band based in London. The band was composed of former Mad Shadows members' lead singer/rhythm guitarist Trevor Steel and guitarist John Holliday, along with former Expressos members bassist Johnnie Christo and drummer Milan Zekavica...

, Bush
Bush (band)
Bush are an alternative rock band formed in London in 1992 shortly after vocalist/guitarist Gavin Rossdale and guitarist Nigel Pulsford met in a London nightclub. Realising they shared a love for such diverse artists as the Pixies, Bob Marley, The Jesus Lizard, MC5, Nirvana, Hüsker Dü, and Big...

, East 17
East 17
East 17 are a pop boy band comprising Tony Mortimer, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell. Tony Mortimer is the group's frontman and primary songwriter. Formed in Walthamstow, London in 1991, the group have achieved eighteen Top 20 singles and four Top 10 albums, and were one of the UK's most popular boy...

, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Spice Girls
Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consisted of Victoria Beckham , Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30...

, Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai is a British jazz funk and acid jazz band formed in 1992. Jamiroquai were initially the most prominent component in the early-1990s London-based acid jazz movement, alongside groups such as Incognito, the James Taylor Quartet, and the Brand New Heavies. Other Acid Jazz artists such as...

, The Libertines
The Libertines
The Libertines were an English rock band, formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty . The band, centred on the song-writing partnership of Barat and Doherty, also included John Hassall and Gary Powell for most of its recording career...

, Babyshambles
Babyshambles
Babyshambles are an English indie rock band established in London. The band was formed by Pete Doherty during a hiatus from his former band The Libertines, but Babyshambles has since become his main project . Babyshambles has released two albums, three EPs and a number of singles...

, Bloc Party
Bloc Party
Bloc Party are a British Indie rock band, composed of Kele Okereke , Russell Lissack , Gordon Moakes , and Matt Tong...

, Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse
Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter known for her powerful deep contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz. Winehouse's 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize...

, Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a British alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a...

, and George Michael
George Michael
George Michael is a British musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham! with his school friend, Andrew Ridgeley...

. London is also a centre for urban music. In particular the genres UK garage
UK garage
UK garage is a genre of electronic dance music originating from the United Kingdom in the early-1990s. UK garage is a descendant of house music which originated in Chicago and New York, United States. UK garage usually features a distinctive syncopated 4/4 percussive rhythm with 'shuffling'...

, drum and bass
Drum and bass
Drum and bass is a type of electronic music which emerged in the late 1980s. The genre is characterized by fast breakbeats , with heavy bass and sub-bass lines...

, dubstep
Dubstep
Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in south London, England. Its overall sound has been described as "tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals"....

 and grime
Grime (music)
Grime is a style of music that emerged from Bow, East London, England in the early 2000s, primarily as a development of UK garage, dancehall, and hip hop...

 evolved in the city from the foreign genres of hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

 and reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, alongside local drum and bass
Drum and bass
Drum and bass is a type of electronic music which emerged in the late 1980s. The genre is characterized by fast breakbeats , with heavy bass and sub-bass lines...

. Black music station BBC 1Xtra was set up to support the rise of homegrown urban music both in London and the rest of the UK.

In the 1980s London was the main city in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a heavy metal movement that started in the late 1970s, in Britain, and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. The movement developed as a reaction in part to the decline of early heavy metal bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black...

 era which made bands like Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

 and Motörhead famous worldwide. During the same decade, the city became influential in the New Wave
New Wave music
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...

 and New Romantic
New Romantic
New Romanticism , was a pop culture movement in the United Kingdom that began around 1979 and peaked around 1981. Developing in London nightclubs such as Billy's and The Blitz and spreading to other major cities in the UK, it was based around flamboyant, eccentric fashion and new wave music...

 movements, providing the background for acts like Culture Club
Culture Club
Culture Club are a British rock band who were part of the 1980s New Romantic movement. The original band consisted of Boy George , Mikey Craig , Roy Hay and Jon Moss...

, the Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

 and Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet are a British band formed in London in the late 1970s. Initially inspired by, and an integral part of, the New Romantic fashion, their music has featured a mixture of funk, jazz, soul and synthpop. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s, achieving ten Top Ten singles...

.

Sports


London has hosted the Summer Olympics
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 twice, in 1908
1908 Summer Olympics
The 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in 1908 in London, England, United Kingdom. These games were originally scheduled to be held in Rome. At the time they were the fifth modern Olympic games...

 and 1948
1948 Summer Olympics
The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom. After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin...

. In July 2005 London was chosen to host the Olympic and Paralympic
2012 Summer Paralympics
The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between 29 August and 9 September 2012. The Games will be held in London, United Kingdom after the city was successful with its bid for the Paralympics and Summer Olympic Games.Even though 2012 will be London's...

 Games in 2012
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

, which will make it the first city in the world to host the Summer Olympics three times. London was also the host of the British Empire Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

 in 1934
1934 British Empire Games
The 1934 British Empire Games were the second of what is now known as the Commonwealth Games. They were held at the White City Stadium in London, England from 4–11 August 1934, apart from the cycling at Fallowfield Stadium, Manchester, and the swimming, which took place at the Empire Pool in Wembley...

. London will host the 2017 World Championships in Athletics
2017 World Championships in Athletics
The 16th World Championships in Athletics are scheduled to be held in 2017 in London, United Kingdom. London were officially awarded the Championships by the IAAF, in Monaco on 11 November 2011.-Bidding process:...

. London's most popular sport is football and it has fourteen League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

 football clubs, including five in the Premier League: Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

, Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

, Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

, Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is an English professional football club, based in White City, Hammersmith and Fulham, west London. As the 2010-11 Football League Championship champions, they now play in the top tier of English football the Premier League, for the first time in 15 years...

 and Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

.

London also has four rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 teams in the Aviva Premiership (London Irish
London Irish
London Irish RFC is an English rugby union club based in Sunbury, Surrey, where the senior squad train, the youth teams and senior academy play home games, and the club maintain their administrative offices. The senior squad play home games at the Madejski Stadium in Reading and compete in the top...

, Saracens
Saracens F.C.
Saracens are a professional rugby union team based in St. Albans, England – although they play their home games at Vicarage Road, in Watford. They are currently members of the Aviva Premiership, the top level of domestic rugby union in England...

, Wasps
London Wasps
London Wasps is an English professional rugby union team. The men's first team, which forms London Wasps, was derived from Wasps Football Club who were formed in 1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London, at the turn of professionalism in 1999...

 and Harlequins
Harlequin F.C.
The Harlequin Football Club is an English rugby union team who play in the top level of English rugby, the Aviva Premiership. Their ground in London is Twickenham Stoop...

), although only the Harlequins play in London (all the other three now play outside Greater London, although Saracens still play within the M25). The other two professional rugby union teams in the city are second division
RFU Championship
The RFU Championship replaced National Division One as the second tier in the English rugby union system in September 2009. Unlike National Division One, which is semi-professional, the RFU Championship is a fully professional league.-History:...

 clubs London Welsh and London Scottish
London Scottish F.C.
London Scottish Football Club is a rugby union club in England. It is a member of both the Rugby Football Union and the Scottish Rugby Union.-History:...

, that play home matches in the city. The city has other very traditional rugby union clubs, famously Richmond F.C.
Richmond F.C.
Richmond Football Club is a rugby union club from Richmond, London. It is a founding member of the Rugby Football Union, and is one of the oldest football clubs...

, Rosslyn Park F.C.
Rosslyn Park F.C.
Rosslyn Park Football Club is a rugby union team. Founded in 1879, the club became the first club based in England to play rugby internationally when it faced Stade Francais in Paris on 18 April 1892. In 1912, the club played in Prague, Budapest and Vienna in the first rugby matches ever played in...

, Westcombe Park R.F.C.
Westcombe Park R.F.C.
Westcombe Park R.F.C is a rugby football club based in Orpington in south-east London. It currently plays in National League 2 South. It takes its name from the Westcombe Park area of what is today part of the London Borough of Greenwich, where the club was originally founded; the club subsequently...

 and Blackheath F.C..

There are currently three professional rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 clubs in London – London Broncos
London Broncos
London Broncos are a professional rugby league football club based in London, England. The club has competed in the Super League competition since its introduction in 1996...

 who play in the European Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

 at The Stoop
The Stoop
Twickenham Stoop is a sports stadium located in the western suburbs of London, England. The stadium is home to Harlequins rugby union team, who play in the Aviva Premiership, and tenants London Broncos, who play in the Super League...

 and the Championship One side the London Skolars
London Skolars
London Skolars are a rugby league club based at the New River Stadium, Wood Green, Haringey in North London. They were founded in 1995 and have been semi-professional since 2003, operating in Championship One...

 (based in Wood Green
Wood Green
Wood Green is a district in north London, England, located in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated north of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of the metropolitan centres in Greater London.-History:...

, London Borough of Haringey
London Borough of Haringey
The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough, in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs...

) Hemel Stags
Hemel Stags
Hemel Stags are a rugby league team based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire playing in the National Division of the Rugby League Conference.The club has played in a number of leagues over the years, from the London League, MASWARLA, National Conference League and the Alliance League...

 based in Hemel Hempstead
Hemel Hempstead
Hemel Hempstead is a town in Hertfordshire in the East of England, to the north west of London and part of the Greater London Urban Area. The population at the 2001 Census was 81,143 ....

, north of London will play in the Championship One from 2013. Numbers for juniors playing the sport in the city are at an all time high with several earning full England caps at international level. In November 2011 Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 will host a Gillette 4 Nations double-header including England v Australia and Wales v New Zealand.
From 1924, the original Wembley Stadium was the home of the English national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, and served as the venue for the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 final
FA Cup Final
The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. With an official attendance of 89,826 at the 2007 FA Cup Final, it is the fourth best attended domestic club championship event in the world and the second most...

 as well as rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

's Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup is a knockout cup competition for rugby league clubs organised by the Rugby Football League. Originally it was contested only by British teams but in recent years has been expanded to allow teams from France and Russia to take part....

 final. The new Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 serves exactly the same purposes and has a capacity of 90,000. Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham Stadium is a stadium located in Twickenham, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is the largest rugby union stadium in the United Kingdom and has recently been enlarged to seat 82,000...

 in south-west London is the national rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 stadium, and has a capacity of 84,000 now that the new south stand has been completed.

Cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 in London is served by two Test cricket
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 grounds Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 (home of Middlesex C.C.C
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

) in St John's Wood
St John's Wood
St John's Wood is a district of north-west London, England, in the City of Westminster, and at the north-west end of Regent's Park. It is approximately 2.5 miles north-west of Charing Cross. Once part of the Great Middlesex Forest, it was later owned by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem...

 and the Oval
The Oval
The Kia Oval, still commonly referred to by its original name of The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth. In the past it was also sometimes called the Kennington Oval...

 (home of Surrey C.C.C
Surrey County Cricket Club
Surrey County Cricket Club is one of the 18 professional county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Surrey. Its limited overs team is called the Surrey Lions...

) in Kennington
Kennington
Kennington is a district of South London, England, mainly within the London Borough of Lambeth, although part of the area is within the London Borough of Southwark....

. Lord's has hosted four finals of the Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

. One of London's best-known annual sports competitions is the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, held at the All England Club
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club , also known as the All-England Club, based at Aorangi Park, Wimbledon, London, England, is a private members club. It is best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass...

 in the south-western suburb of Wimbledon
Wimbledon, London
Wimbledon is a district in the south west area of London, England, located south of Wandsworth, and east of Kingston upon Thames. It is situated within Greater London. It is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, and contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas...

. Other key events are the annual mass-participation London Marathon
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

 which sees some 35,000 runners attempt a 26.2 miles (42.2 km) course around the city, and the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
The Boat Race
The event generally known as "The Boat Race" is a rowing race in England between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights each spring on the River Thames in London. It takes place generally on the last Saturday of March or the first...

 on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 between Putney
Putney
Putney is a district in south-west London, England, located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is situated south-west of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

 and Mortlake
Mortlake
Mortlake is a district of London, England and part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes with East Sheen inland to the south. Mortlake was part of Surrey until 1965.-History:...

.

Twin cities


There are 46 other places on six continents named after London. As well as London's twinning, the London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s have twinnings
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with parts of other cities across the world. Shown below is the list of cities that the Greater London Authority
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority is the top-tier administrative body for Greater London, England. It consists of a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, and an elected 25-member London Assembly with scrutiny powers...

 has twinning arrangements with:
La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

 Arequipa
Arequipa
Arequipa is the capital city of the Arequipa Region in southern Peru. With a population of 836,859 it is the second most populous city of the country...

 La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

, Bolivia Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

  Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

 Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

 Kuwait City
Kuwait City
-Suburbs:Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:Al-Salam ""السلام"" -Economy:...

 Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

  Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 Sylhet
Sylhet
Sylhet , is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh. It is the main city of Sylhet Division and Sylhet District, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma Valley and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills...

 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

  Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

 Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 – Since 1993

The following cities have a friendship agreement with London:
Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

  Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

 Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 (Bombay) Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  Podgorica
Podgorica
Podgorica , is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement...

 Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

 Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...



See also


  • Outline of England
    Outline of England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Its 51,092,000 inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population, while its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England is bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales to the...



External links