London. A buzzing, bustling, busy metropolis that’s steeped in history and bursting with culture and diversity. With the UK’s capital riding high on many travellers “must visit” lists, there’s plenty of famous landmarks, stories and places in London that everyone is familiar with. From the niche and culturally diverse Notting Hill (home of the world famous street carnival) or the grisly history of the Tower of London to the beauty of Richmond Park or the authentic market experience at Spitalfields.
But did you know that there’s so much more to London than just Buckingham Palace and Big Ben? London is a city brimming with mystery, with hidden secrets and unique quirks that make it a place people love to live, work and play in. So, step away from the guide book for a moment and read on for 6 things you probably didn’t know about London…
Getting a job as a black cab driver in London isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Black cab drivers have to undergo a rigorous and intense set of exams known as “The Knowledge” this can take up to four years to master and complete. And with over 20,000 landmarks, 25,000 streets and 320 basic routes to master – it’s hardly surprising! Maybe tip next time you grab a black cab back to your hotel.
THE PERFECT MOVIE SET
When we think of Hollywood blockbusters we think of high tech movie sets and sunnier climes. But did you know that many famous movies were filmed in various locations throughout the city? Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Shakespeare in Love, Mary Poppins, Love Actually and Austin Powers just to name a few were filmed in various on location settings in the city.
THE PETER PAN LEGACY
When J.M Barrie created one of the most famous and loved children’s stories of all time, he gifted the rights of his creation to Great Ormond Street Hospital – this was in 1929. Therefore the royalties from any subsequent version, film or TV productions go straight to the hospital. Amazing.
Did you know that for nearly 100 years, London was the most densely populated city on Earth. Hardly surprising! But it was in fact eclipsed in 1925 by Tokyo – so if you think London is busy you should check out the capital of Japan! London’s current population stands at around 8.7 million.
A FAMOUS SPELLING MISTAKE
Everyone has heard of Covent Garden. With its range of delicious restaurants, enthralling market scene and abundance of shops and boutiques it’s also been a mecca for street performers, magicians and buskers alike since 1662! But did you know that the name Covent Garden actually originates from a spelling mistake? It’s true! The area used to be the market garden for a convent in the area.
London might be a bustling metropolis of skyscrapers and world famous landmarks, but did you know that around 40% of Greater London is actually green space? This includes over 3,000 parks – the perfect place to take a break from the city for a while!
So there you have it, 6 things that you might not already know about London. We’re you surprised by any of them? Do you have any other interesting facts that you’d like to share about the capital? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
This blog post is sponsored collaboration. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂