London is a wonderful city that isn’t without its eccentricities. When visiting the city you will encounter marvellous tales while touring attractions and chatting with London residents in passing. But, to warm you up ahead of your trip, we’ve rounded up some of the most fascinating facts and trivia about London. These will entertain, inspire, and (most importantly) help you navigate the city during your stay at the Park Grand London Hotel.
The London Underground is the oldest subterranean train
The “tube” officially opened on 10th January 1863 with steam locomotives while the first electrified underground line opened in 1890. It set the trend for cities worldwide.
Superstition dictates that ravens must always live at the Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. When you visit, you will notice an unkindness of ravens – carefully presided over by a Yeoman Warder. King Charles II summoned six ravens to the palace as he believed that without them, the fortress would fall. Superstition stuck around!
Over 200 museums stud the streets
With over 200 museums and galleries spread throughout the city, you will never fall short on things to do. Most of these are free to visit which is great for those seeking London discount hotels.
Big Ben is an alias
The attraction that we all refer to as Big Ben is in fact the Elizabeth Tower. It’s the bell behind the clock face within the tower that is called Ben. Or, “Big” Ben due to the sheer size of the device!
5 our 6 London airports are not in city limits
London is served by six major airports: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted, and London Southend. However, only London City sits within the Greater London border. Fortunately, the excellent transport network connects accommodation near London airports seamlessly to the centre.
Always stand on the right
This one is extremely important if you intend on getting around London via the tube. When travelling on the London Underground, always stand on the right. That applies to when you’re riding the escalators as well as while in transit around the station. There’s much debate as to why a nation that drives on the left-hand side deemed the right more appropriate for subterranean travel.
London is the greenest city in Europe
With 3,000 parks and green spaces of varying sizes accounting to 47 per cent of the city, London is technically the greenest city in Europe. The figures reveal that the city is covered with 11,000 acres of greenery, 8.3 million trees, and 14,000 species of plant. Which means it falls under the United Nations definition of a forest. That’s a reason to book London hotels special offers now – your lungs will surely thank you for it.
London is the smallest city in England
That’s right, this isn’t an April Fool’s! The London that we talk about is technically called Greater London. The City of London is the oldest part of the capital and only covers 1.2 square miles of land.
300+ languages are spoken in London
London is a massively diverse city that attracts nationalities from all around the world. Keep an ear tuned and see how many languages you hear while in the city or in the lobby of the Park Grand London Hotel and you might be surprised!
Black cab drivers are highly skilled
Despite the rise of rideshare apps, traditional black taxi cabs are in hot demand in London. These days you can pay your fare using a credit or debit card too! But, in order to qualify as a Hackney cab driver, candidates are required to memorise every single street in the capital. Before being allowed to work, they must pass a test called the Knowledge of London which takes an average of 3-4 years to train for.
London almost had a tropical skyline
While designing the plans for St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren envisioned a giant pineapple topping the church in place of the dome we see today. However, as you stroll around the city streets you may note small architectural details elsewhere that resemble pineapples.
Historic residents would rent pineapples
Another pineapple-related fact before we move on. During the 19th century, pineapples were revered as a beacon of wealth that few could afford. Londoners took to “renting” pineapples for dinner parties and sending them back the next day, untouched. Perhaps if you snap up the winning London hotels special offers you can celebrate by picking up a pineapple for dessert!
It is not illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
Despite a common belief, it appears that there is no law against dying in the house of the UK parliament. It is however illegal to be drunk in a London pub, according to the 1872 Licensing Act.
London contains more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi
Eagle-eyed restaurant goers have spotted this one. There are supposedly around 10,000 Indian restaurants in London. See how many you can count, or, even better – dine at.
Norway gifts London a yearly Christmas tree
Since 1947, Norway has gifted the city a Christmas tree every yuletide. It is a symbol of gratitude for the aid given to Norway by the British during World War II. If you book London discount hotels during November and December, you can visit the giant spruce in Trafalgar Square.
London buses were not always red
Originally, London’s buses were painted all different shades with each hue being indicative of the route. The fleet received a makeover in 1907 and now we are accustomed to the iconic scarlet double-deckers zipping around the city streets.
The Tube is a filming location
It’s not simply a mechanism to get you from the museums to your accommodation near London airport! The London Underground appears in countless film and television series. Sliding Doors (1998), James Bond: Skyfall (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Killing Even (2018-2022) are just some examples where the action takes place on the iconic transport network.