Places in the UK

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London Camden, Greenwich, Woolwich, Hackney, Hammersmith, Fulham, Islington, Kensington, Lambeth, Lewisham Bethnal Green, Stepney, Wandsworth, Battersea, Westminster

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and England. It is also the most populous city in the European Union. A resident of London is referred to as a Londoner.

Londons produces 19.5% of the UK's GDP, and is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. London is a leader in international finance [2], politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. London is widely considered to be one of the world's major global cities.

London has an estimated population as of 1 January 2005 of 7.5 million and a metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London's population includes an extremely diverse range of peoples, cultures, and religions, making it one of the most cosmopolitan, vibrant and energetic cities on earth. Over 300 languages are spoken in London, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

London is the home of many global organisations, institutions and companies, and as such retains its leading role in world affairs. A city where cutting-edge meets tradition, London is a major tourist destination and an international transport hub. It has many important buildings and iconic landmarks, including world-famous museums, theatres, concert halls, galleries, airports, stadiums and palaces.

Unlike most capital cities, London's status as the Capital of the UK has never been granted or confirmed officially — by statute or in written form. Its position as the Capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto Capital a part of the UK's unwritten constitution.

History of London
St. Paul's Cathedral during the World War II bombings of LondonThe name London is commonly thought to have come from the Latin name Londinium, as London was founded by the Romans during their reign over the land, around AD 43– although there is some slight evidence of pre-Roman settlement. The BBC History website, however, claims that the name Londinium is actually "Celtic, not Latin, and may originally have referred to a previous farmstead on the site"; the root is 'Lond' meaning 'wild' (i.e. overgrown or forested) place. This fortified Roman settlement was the capital of the province of Britannia. According to findings displayed in The Museum of London, the initial language of London was Latin with much Greek spoken due to the presence of Greek speaking Roman soldiers and businessmen. Another suggestion for where the name of the city comes from could be that of the mythical leader, King Lud. It was said that Lud laid out the first set of roads in the city. His statue can be seen hidden at the church of St Dunstan's In The West, Fleet Street.

Around AD 61 the Iceni tribe of Celts lead by Queen Boudica stormed London and took the city from the Romans. The Celts burnt the relatively new Roman town to the ground, and archaeological digs have revealed a layer of red ash beneath the City of London, which is believed to be the burnt remains of the old Roman town.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Roman Londinium was initially defended by the sub-Roman administration and used as a base of operations during the early campaigns against the Jutes in Kent led by Hengist. After Kent had been abandoned in 456 desperate attempts were then made to repel Saxon invasion which came from the south and east. These campaigns were not successful and the city and its environs became indefensible. If the language of Gildas who lived at this time is to be believed, the fight for the beleaguered city was probably savage indeed. Besieged and battered by c.571 the city of Caer Llundain was evacuated by the Romano-Britons and remained a largely uninhabited ruin for more than a generation afterwards.

Although the old city was not settled the surrounding farms were taken by the Middle Saxons. Initially this would have been an active frontier between Saxons and the Britons who were regrouping in Calchwyned and Caer Celemion and was the scene of raids by both sides. In the early 7th Century the East Saxons came into ascendancy and Lundencestir became subject to their authority. In 604 the city received Mellitus as it's first bishop since the conquest when Saeberht of the East Saxons converted to Christianity. Mellitus founded the first St. Paul's Cathedral amid the crumbling ruins on the site of the old Temple of Diana. This would have only been a modest chapel at first and may well have been destroyed after he was briefly expelled from the city by Saeberht's pagan successors. Later in the 7th Century a Saxon village named Lundenwic was established approximately one mile to the west in what is now Aldwych, in the 7th century, probably using the mouth of the River Fleet as a trading ship and fishing boat harbour.

The new town came under direct Mercian control in c.730 and the East Saxons kingdom of which it had once been part was gradually reduced in size and status. Mercian lordship was replaced by that of Wessex after 825. Over the years that followed the trading city of Lundonwic became an important trading centre. Disaster struck in 851 when the new city's ramshackle defences were overcome by a massive Viking raid and was razed to the ground. The old Roman city (then called Lundenburh) was reoccupied during the this time because a fortified place was now essential for it to be better defended against further Viking attacks.

The tale of the next century is a confused one, with first English, then Danish, then Norman kings controlling the city. The Danes were ousted from the city by Alfred the Great in 886, and Alfred made London a part of his kingdom of Wessex. In the years following the death of Alfred, however, the city fell once more into the hands of the Danes. The Danes did not have it all their own way. In 1014 they were occupying the city when a large force of Anglo-Saxons and Norwegian Vikings sailed up the Thames to attack London. The Danes lined London Bridge and showered the attackers with spears.

Undaunted, the attackers pulled the roofs off nearby houses and held them over their heads in the boats. Thus protected, they were able to get close enough to the bridge to attach ropes to the piers and pull the bridge down. There is some speculation that the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is Falling Down" stems from this incident. The attacks ceased when the Danish king Canute came to power in 1017. Canute managed to unite the Danes with the Anglo-Saxons, and invited Danish merchants to settle in the city. London prospered under Canute, but on his death the city reverted to Anglo-Saxon control under Edward the Confessor. Edward had been raised in Normandy, so his rule brought French influence and trade.

London was now the most prosperous, and largest city in the island of Britain - but it was not the capital of the realm. The official seat of government was at Winchester, although the royal residence was generally at London. After the disaster of 1066 when the English king Harold II was slain in battle by the Duke of Normandy the city saw dramatic scenes as the boy prince Edgar Aetheling was declared king and he with the people of London barricaded London Bridge to stop the forces of Duke William entering the city. Their efforts were in vain as a few weeks later Edgar was compelled to submit.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901In some ways the medieval history of London can be said to have begun on Christmas Day, 1066, when William the Conqueror was crowned king of England in a ceremony at the newly finished Westminster Abbey, just three months after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. William granted the citizens of London special privileges, but he also built a castle in the southeast corner of the city to keep them under control. This castle was expanded by later kings until it became the complex we now call the Tower of London. The Tower acted as royal residence, and it was not until later that it became famous as a prison. During the medieval period it also acted as a royal mint, treasury, and housed the beginnings of a zoo.

In 1097 William II began the building of Westminster Hall, close by the abbey of the same name. The hall was to prove the basis of a new Palace of Westminster, the prime royal residence throughout the Middle Ages. Westminster was once a distinct town, and has been the seat of the English royal court and government since the mediæval era. Eventually, Westminster and London grew together and formed the basis of London, becoming England's largest – though not capital – city (Winchester was the capital city of England until the 12th century). On William's death his brother Henry needed the support of London merchants to maintain his dubious grip on the throne. In exchange, Henry I gave city merchants the right to levy taxes and elect a sheriff. By the early 12th century the population of London was about 18,000 (compare this to the 45,000 estimated at the height of Roman Britain).

London has grown steadily over centuries, surrounding and making suburbs of neighboring villages and towns, farmland, countryside, meadows and woodlands, spreading in every direction. From the 16th to the early-20th century, London flourished as the capital of the British Empire. In 1666, the Great Fire of London swept through and destroyed a large part of the City of London. Rebuilding took over 10 years but London's growth accelerated in the 18th century and, by the early-19th century, was the largest city in the world until 1925.

London's local government system struggled to cope with this rapid growth, especially in providing the city with adequate infrastructure. In 1855 the Metropolitan Board of Works was created to provide London with infrastructure to cope with its growth. In 1889 the MBW was abolished, and the County of London was created and was administered by the London County Council, the first elected London-wide administrative body. Probably the most significant changes to London in the last 100 years were as a result of the Blitz and other bombing by the German Luftwaffe that took place during World War II. The bombing killed over 30,000 Londoners and flattened large tracts of housing and other buildings across London. The rebuilding during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was characterised by a wide range of architectural styles and has resulted in a lack of unity in architecture that has become part of London's character.

Places of interest
Buckingham Palace Camden Town Chinatown Covent Garden Downing Street Horse Guards Parade Leicester Square The London Dungeon London Aquarium London Eye London Planetarium London Zoo Madame Tussaud's Piccadilly Circus South Bank Theatreland Tower Bridge Tower of London Trafalgar Square List of hotels in London Hotels in London

Buildings and monuments
Paternoster Square in the City of London1 Canada Square (the centrepiece of Canary Wharf) 30 St Mary Axe (Home of Swiss Re, and also known as "The Gherkin" or even the "Erotic Gherkin") Albert Memorial Alexandra Palace Bank of England Battersea Power Station British Library Broadcasting House BT Tower (Formerly known as the Post Office Tower and Telecom Tower) Buckingham Palace Bush House City Hall Clarence House Cleopatra's Needle Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain Hampton Court Palace Lambeth Palace Kensington Palace Lloyd's building Marble Arch Millennium Dome The Monument (to the Great Fire of London) Nelson's Column The Palace of Westminster seen across the River Thames.National Portrait Gallery, London National Gallery, London Palace of Westminster (Parliament and tower containing Big Ben) Royal Albert Hall Royal Courts of Justice Royal Exchange Royal Festival Hall Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian Royal Opera House Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden St Pancras Station St Paul's Cathedral Somerset House Syon House Tate Gallery (now known as Tate Britain) Tate Modern (formerly Bankside Power Station) Temple of Mithras Tate Modern (formerly Bankside Power Station) Temple of Mithras Tower 42 (formerly known as the Natwest Tower) Westminster Abbey

Markets and shopping areas
Harrods store at night-time, February 2005West End Knightsbridge Borough Market Portobello Road Market Petticoat Lane Market Brick Lane Market Covent Garden Harrods

Parks and gardens
London is well endowed with open spaces. The eight Royal Parks of London are former royal hunting grounds which are now open to the public. Green Park, St James's Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens form a green strand through the West End. Regents Park is on the northern edge of central London, while Greenwich Park, Bushy Park, and Richmond Park are in the suburbs. Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden squares which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public.

Most of London's council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War. Examples include Victoria Park, Alexandra Park and Battersea Park. Some of the other major open spaces in the suburbs, such as Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon Common and Epping Forest have a more informal, semi-natural character. The leading paid entrance garden in London is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. Hampton Court Palace also has a celebrated garden.

Other places of interest
The Old Bailey The Central Criminal Court with famous trials but inconvenient for the unprepared tourist since personal items prohibited include bags and mobile phones.
Tyburn was the location for many infamous executions by hanging. Now near the site of Marble Arch and Hyde Park.

Battersea Power Station and the Millennium Dome are two architecturally interesting buildings which currently stand empty. However mixed use developments centred on both buildings are due to commence in 2005. The Millennium Dome will become an indoor sports hall, and Battersea Power Station will become a shopping and leisure facility.

The Avenue of Stars is a walkway based on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, honouring those who have made notable achievements in the entertainments industry.

Highgate Cemetery is an interesting cemetery where many famous people are buried, for example Karl Marx and Michael Faraday.

Tiny police stations - Wellington Arch and Marble Arch both once housed one, and there is also one in a 'pepper-pot' underneath a ship lamp in Trafalgar Square.

Abbey Wood Acton Addington Addiscombe Alperton Anerley Aperfield Ardleigh Green Arkley Balham Barking Barkingside Barnehurst Barnes Barnet Barnet Gate Battersea Bayswater Beckenham Beckton Becontree Beddington Beddington Corner Belmont Belvedere Bermondsey Berry's Green Bethnal Green Bexley Bexleyheath Bickley Biggin Hill Blackfen Blackheath Bloomsbury Botany Bay Bow Bowes Park Brentford Brixton Broad Green Bromley Bromley Common Bush Hill Park Camberwell Camden Town Canning Town Carshalton Catford Chadwell Heath Charlton Cheam Cheapside Chelsea Chessington Chingford Chislehurst Chiswick Church End City Clapham Clayhall Cockfosters Collier Row Corbets Tay Coulsdon Cowley Cranford Cranham Crayford Creekmouth Cricklewood Crouch End Croydon Crystal Palace Cudham London Dagenham Dalston Deptford Downe Downham Dulwich Ealing Earlsfield East Barnet East Bedfont East Dulwich East Ham East Sheen East Wickham Eastcote Eden Park Edgware Edmonton Elm Park Elmers End Eltham Enfield Enfield Lock Enfield Wash Erith Farnborough Feltham Felthamhill Finchley Finsbury Foots Cray Forest Gate Forest Hill Forty Hill Friern Barnet Fulham Gidea Park Golders Green Grange Hill Green Street Green Greenford Greenwich Grove Park Hackbridge Hackney Hacton Hadley Heath Hadley Wood Hainault Ham Hammersmith Hampstead Hampton Hampton Hill Hampton Wick Hanwell Hanworth Harefield Harlesden Harlington Harmondsworth Harold Hill Harold Park Harold Wood Harringay Harrow Harrow on the Hill Harrow Weald Hatch End Hatton Havering atte Bower Hayes - Bromley Hayes - Hillingdon Hayes End Heathrow Airport Hendon Herne Hill Heston Higham Hill Highams Park Highbury Highgate Highwood Hill Hillingdon Hither Green Holborn Holloway Hook Hornchurch Hornsey Hounslow Ickenham Ilford Isle of Dogs Isleworth Islington Kelvedon Common Kenley Kensington Kentish Town Kenton Keston Kew Kidbrooke Kilburn Kingsbury Kingston Upon Thames Lambeth Leaves Green Lee Lewisham Leyton Leytonstone Locksbottom London London City Airport Longford Lower Clapton Lower Feltham Malden Rushett Manor Park Marylebone Mayfair Merton Mill Hill Mitcham Monken Hadley Morden Mortlake Motspur Park Mottingham Muswell Hill Nash Navestockside Neasden New Addington New Barnet New Cross New Eltham New Malden Newyears Green Noak Hill Norbiton Norbury North Cheam North Cray North Harrow North Hillingdon North Ockendon Northolt Northumberland Heath Northwood Norwood Norwood Green Nunhead Orpington Paddington Palmers Green Park Royal Peckham Penge Perivale Petersham Petts Wood Pimlico Pinner Pinner Green Plaistow Plumstead Ponders End Poplar Pratts Bottom Primrose Hill Purley Putney Rainham Raynes Park Richmond upon Thames Roehampton Romford Ruislip Rush Green Ruxley Corner Sanderstead Selhurst Selsdon Seven Kings Shepherd's Bush Shirley Shoreditch Shortlands Sidcup Single Street Sipson Slade Green Snaresbrook South Beddington South Croydon South Harrow South Hornchurch South Norwood South Ruislip South Woodford Southall Southborough Southerfield Southgate Southwark Squirrel's Heath St Helier St John's Wood St Mary Cray St Pauls Cray Stamford Hill Stanmore Stanner Road Stepney Stoke Newington Stoney Royd Storfold Stratford Strawberry Hill Streatham Sudbury Sunbury Surbiton Sutton Sydenham Teddington Thamesmead Theydon Mount Thornton Heath Tolworth Tooting Tooting Bec Tottenham Totteridge Tulse Hill Turnford Twickenham Upminster Upper Clapton Upper Norwood Uxbridge Victoria Wallington Waltham Forest Walthamstow Walworth Wandsworth Wanstead Wealdstone Well End Welling Wembley Wennington West Drayton West Ham West Norwood West Wickham Westminster Whetstone Whitechapel Whitton Widmore Willesden Wimbledon Winchmore Hill Wood End Wood Green Woodcote Woodford Woodford Bridge Woodford Green Woodford Wells Woodlands Woodside Woolwich Worcester Par

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From caravan sites, static parks and Campsites. From restaurants, take aways and cafes. From hotels, b & b's and hostels. From car boots, antique fairs and farmers markets. From pubs, bars and nightclubs. To family days out and other things to do.