10 interesting facts about London

23 December 2016 ( 27 April 2017 )

Heading to the capital soon? Here are 10 interesting facts about London that you might not already know...



If you can't resist the pull of those big city lights, you're probably no stranger to London. After all, the English capital boasts a fair old few. But of course, that's not all this enticing destination offers.

Whether it's world class shopping, diverse world cuisine or a host of historical and modern attractions you seek, you'll find it all in this dynamic and cosmopolitan city.

Yet even those familiar with our capital's charms might be surprised to find out a few new things about the Big Smoke...


1. The iconic clock tower isn't called Big Ben. One of London's most famous landmarks operates under a false identity -- its real name is simply The Clock Tower. Big Ben is the name of the bell within.


2. The Houses of Parliament are officially known as the Palace of Westminster. This makes this famous political landmark the largest palace in the country.


3. Great Ormond Street Hospital was gifted the copyright of Peter Pan by the author. J.M. Barrie -- he had no children of his own so made sure that the hospital received royalties from all associated works and performances of his masterpiece.


4. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. So, don't even think about it unless you want to be accused of seriously flouting the law.


5. The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree comes all the way from Norway. To show their gratitude to the people of England for their alliance in World War II, the people of Oslo, Norway, present London with the Christmas tree proudly displayed in Trafalgar Square every year.

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6. There was a Circle Line party the night before London banned drinking on public transport. On May 31st 2008, the eve of the day the ban was to be brought into action, revellers took a trip on the Circle Line, many in fancy dress, for one last knees-up before the era of public transport prohibition began.


7. The City of London is actually one of the smallest cities in the UK. If we're getting technical, this itty-bitty city only boasts just over 7,000 residents. However, the administrative district of Greater London, plays host to roughly 8.3 million residents and spans a large enough area to squeeze in New York four times over.


8. Speaking of the Big Apple, the long arm of the New York Police Department stretches all the way to London and is operational in the city.


9. There are around 20 subterranean rivers flowing beneath London's streets.


10. The address 'Number 1, London' is a Grade I listed Georgian building that was once the home of the 1st Duke of Wellington. It's also known as Apsley House and is open to visitors keen to sneak a peek at one of the best preserved examples of an 18th century English aristocratic residence in town.


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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.