London, London, London… Who is not fascinated by England’s capital? Famous for the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey (to name just three!) visiting ‘the big smoke’ has been on millions of people’s bucket lists across the world, in 2020 alone, and it is not hard to see why.
When it comes to the United Kingdom, it comes as no surprise that London is the most popular city, with 21.7 million international visitors. London has so much to offer and caters to a vast variety of budgets, interests, tastes and demographics. We all know London and what it is about, but have you ever thought to dive deeper?
Make your next visit even more exciting by exploring these 7 awesome facts about London that (probably) did not know…
1) It is the smallest city in the UK
Yes, you read that correctly. No, do not click on your browser’s back arrow… We can explain! The City of London is actually only 1.1 square miles in size, and is home to just roughly 7,500 residents. What we all commonly fail to do is separate the City of London from Greater London, instead treating them as the same place. Well, technically they are not.
2) Over 300 languages are spoken
It is common knowledge that London is an exciting, multi-cultural and diverse place to live and visit. With that in mind, it makes sense that there are a lot of languages spoken in the city. Three hundred, though? That is impressive, and certainly an awesome fact.
3) London was the capital city of 6 different countries
Just when you think that London could not get any more fascinating, you find out that it was once upon a time a safe place for the governments in exile of six different countries during Hitler’s occupation of Europe. In a nutshell, it means that London was technically the capital city of Belgium, France, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, and Poland during World War 2.
4) Sheriffs are still in action
Never seen a sheriff roaming around London? Well, that is fair, but they are still certainly in action. While they are no longer the kind that capture criminals in the same way that they did in the 7th century, they are in place to fulfil duties such as carrying out the instructions of the High Court of Justice.
5) There are over 700 hotels
As one of the biggest tourist hot spots on the entire planet, it should come as no surprise that the city boasts over 700 hotels! What is more, there is an establishment ideal for any and all kinds of budgets, styles and preferences. Dorsett Hotel, City, for example, is a 4-star hotel that promises contemporary elegance.
6) Big Ben is not actually called Big Ben
Then what is he called?! We hear you cry. Well, while it is true that the bell is named Big Ben, the famous landmark was supposed to be called ‘The Clock Tower’. Really, you can call it whatever, but if you want to be factually correct then you know what to start saying now.
7) It is easy to know when the Queen is home
The next time you find yourself stood outside Buckingham Palace and wondering if the Queen is home, just look out for the flag. Not many people realize that you can see the Royal Standard flag being flown from any building where the Queen is presently at, including Buckingham Palace!