Heritage And Culture
Londinium, that’s what the Romans called it. Founded in 43AD by the Romans, it was abandoned in the 5th century but after King Edward rebuilt Westminster Abbey in the 11th century, it got a new life. From the great fire of London to plague in the 17th century to crime in 18th century, London has seen a lot of black days before it became what it is today – a global city. The buildings, the monuments and grand houses are architecturally doesn’t coincide with any particular design for they were all built in different ages. Still, every remarkable is somehow connected to the culture of the Royal city. The haunted Tower of London, famous St. Cathedral Church, the time conscious Big Ben and royalty special Buckingham palace are London’s true legacy – buildings that speak of London, about London, for London.
With cute British accents, you’ll see the Londoners enjoying their culture to the fullest with Oprah, Ballet, dance and theatre. New Year’s Day Parade and Queen’s birthday celebration have always been celebrated by the city with enthusiasm and anticipated all year long. Recently, the wedding of Prince Williams and Kate Middleton reminded the world that London is the great city of Great Britain. Even though London is connected to its roots too deeply, it still has contemporary artists influencing the culture. It’s not just Paris who has all the top-notch designers – London too has world’s trend setters like Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood. Samuel Pepys witnessed the Great Fire of London and actually wrote about it; Charles Dickens is still read today while William Shakespeare who spend considerable amount in London is world’s favourite writer. And, and, and legendary Sherlock Homes lived in London too. As far as movies go, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant starred in a movie named after a place in London, Notting Hill. The city is a lot more happening than what you think at the face value.
There is a lot to do in London and one visit isn’t remotely enough to get to all the right places in London. Beginning with the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St. Catherdral Church, you should check out the National Gallery, the Royal Oprah, the Leighton House Museum, London Aquarium, London Zoo National Theatre and the Royal Observatory before you proceed to bars and fancy food. There are just so many museums in London – Transport, Imperial War, Hunterian, Handel House, Grant Museum of Zoology, Charles Dickens, Old Operating Theatre – that you’re understanding of the city would really shoot up.
You’re in London which means you need to breathe in the air of the original Hard Rock Café! Well, the food isn’t very special but good Lord, the atmosphere. Who needs to eat anyway? Okay, if you do like good food, Chinatown’s Chinese is Chin-tastic! Fish and chips are not served in newspapers anymore but they are still very much around. Fish Club and Two Brother’s are keeping fish alive, figuratively of course. Brick Land Beigel Bake is open to fatten you up 7 days a week but you know what’s really hitting hard the taste buds of the people – Punjabi Curries of New Asian Tandoori Centre and Ram’s special Gujarati food. Morning coffee at Kaffeine; tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury in the afternoon and a chilled beer at Ye Olde Mitre Tavern would be a perfect drink day.
Shopping in London is epic. Legendary is the word to describe the feeling when you buy stuff from London. Wait, is this why Sophie Kinsella wrote six whole novels on Shopaholic Becky who couldn’t control her spendthrift habits? Can’t really blame her now, can you? London has too many stuff that would look wonderful in your wardrobe. Really. Go to Oxford Street, Victoria, Bond Street, Fulham Road or Knightsbridge and check out what Becky is so crazy about yourself. Statuary warning to all the men out there – carry cash when travelling with females or you’ll never hear the end of it!
London is going to be the home for Olympics in 2012; the preparations are underway and it is expected to give all the other countries a moment of awe. Keeping that aside for a little while and talking about sports culture in London, Football is the most popular sport in London, way above Cricket on the charts because of the elite clubs they have which might have not collected as many trophies as other clubs but still have managed to be the most expensive ones in terms of ticket pricing. The city is not oblivious of others sorts though – Rugby, Rowing, Basketball and Tennis are also well established and different sports tournaments keep people entertained.
London At A Glance:
Airports: Biggin Hill Airport, London Heathrow Airport, London Manston Airport, Southend Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Stansted Airport, Northolt Airport, London Heliport, Hayes Heliport, Croydon Airport, Kenley Aerodome
Prime Places/Towns: London City, Greater London, Greenwich, Birmingham, Notting Hill
Language Spoken: English