London

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Capital of United Kingdom and England.

London is one of the great world cities, mentioned in the same breath as Paris, Tokyo and New York. Originally known as Lud, it was settled by the Roman invaders who called it Londinium and used it as a port on the river Thames. The Thames runs right through the city and bisects it, north from south, although it is crossed by a number of bridges and tunnels, the most famous of which is the Gothic Tower Bridge.

Over the years, London has increased dramatically in size, absorbing meadows, villages and towns as it has spread onwards and outwards in every direction. For more detail on the historical development of London see the History of London.

Today Greater London comprises the City of London, the City of Westminster and a number of boroughs. The Corporation of London governs the City of London, also known as the Square Mile, which is predominantly the financial centre, and geographically a very small area. Although bustling during the working week, it is a part of London which is virtually deserted on the weekends.

The London that most tourists see is the West End with all its theatres, shops and restaurants. In contrast, the East End has played host to successive waves of immigrants for centuries and is one of the more deprived areas in the UK. The tourist sites in the West End are mainly in the City of Westminster. The East End is centered on Tower Hamlets.

Prime London Tourist Attractions:

London Transport is one of the few public transport systems in the world to be a tourist attraction in its own right; its infrastructure, however, is, and historically has been, financially stretched and under-resourced, leading to frequent difficulties and delays in making journeys. LT run both the famous red doubledecker buses and the Tube, also known as the Underground.

London is home to a number of football clubs. Some of the more famous ones in the top division are: Arsenal F.C., Charlton Athletic F.C., Chelsea F.C., Fulham F.C., Tottenham Hotspurs F.C., and West Ham United F.C.. Less famous and proportionately less successful clubs include Crystal Palace F.C., Millwall F.C., Queen's Park Rangers F.C., Wimbledon F.C., and Leyton Orient F.C..


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