“When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London. ”
London, the primary city and capital of the United Kingdom has a history dating 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 terrorist attacks. The City of London is its historic core.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
- Three of the top ten museums and galleries in the world are in London and 857 art galleries in total.
- London presents more live comedy than any other city in the world. From hosting new talent in the back rooms of pubs to the likes of Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock and Steve Coogan are performing in major arenas.
- The only true home shared by all four Beatles was a flat at 57 Green Street near Hyde Park, where they lived in the autumn of 1963.
- In 1926, John Logie Baird demonstrated how television would work in what is now Bar Italia in Frith Street, Soho.
- London has more than 800 bookshops and over 380 public libraries including British Library which holds the Magna Carta.
- London has played a major role in countless films from A Clockwork Orange, Harry Potter to Notting Hill and is now the world’s third busiest film production centre with over 14,000 ‘shooting days’ in 2011 including the 23rd Bond film Skyfall.
- Over a fifth of all the UK’s cinema screens are based in London. There are more cinema screens in the capital (796) than in any other part of the country.
- London Fashion Week 2012 generated over £100m of orders, saw the return of Philip Treacy and was the most socially savvy yet with over 2 million viewers tuning in from more than 100 countries to the live-streamed of Topshop’s latest collection.
- From the first performance of Shakespeare at The Globe in 1599 there are now at least 200 shows to choose from every day across West End including current hits Matilda and War Horse.
- Wilton’s Music Hall in the city is the world’s oldest surviving Music Hall, built in 1743 and still a living piece of London’s musical history.
- The London Design Festival is now the world’s leading event of its kind, which attracted over 350,000 people in 2012 to innovative projects including the groundbreaking audio-technology, the BE OPEN Sound Portal.
- A third of all the UK’s archives are in London including the National Archives which dates back to the 11th century and preserves William the Conqueror’s Domesday survey.
- London boasts some of the oldest milliners in the world including Lock & Co (est. 1676) famous for creating Lord Nelson’s original bicorn hat, as well as a specially commissioned version for Hatwalk as part of the London 2012 Festival.
- London also has more international visitors than any other city in the world. Almost 15.5 million every year – join the party, you’ll fit right in!
- Cab drivers in London are special. To become a taxi driver they must pass ‘The Knowledge Test’. Taking two to four years to study, they must memorize 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks. In fact, cab drivers’ brains are heavier on average than a regular brain.
“London is a modern Babylon.”