London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, and is the top most visited tourist destination in the country. With stunning architecture, an incredible history, the greatest museums and art galleries the city truly has something for all who visit it. It is also the most populated city in the UK, apart from being out of the largest cities in the world. It is the perfect destination to plan your next holiday with the family this summer!
And if you want to stay in central London, without having to spend a prohibitive sum of money the hotels in Shoreditch are suitably priced with world class amenities.
A great option to stay with the family is The Montcalm club hotel that offers an elegant ambience with great facilities and terrific customer service. Some of the lesser known facts about the city, which even many Londoners are not aware about include:
- Westminster Place or more commonly referred to as the country’s Houses of Parliament is certainly humongous in size. With 100 staircases, 11 courtyards, six restaurants, eight bars and 1,000 rooms, it certainly must be a challenge for the house keeping department! And the bad news is that all of these are not open for admission to the general public! The reason the palace was built along the River Thames was to prevent it from being surrounded on all sides by mobs, in the event of breakdown of law and order.
- The architectural design of design of St Bride’s Church located in Fleet Street is thought to be the inspiration for the popular tiered wedding cake; we are so accustomed to seeing at weddings these days.
- Did you know that the popular nursery rhyme that we heard as kids ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ actually has a strange origin? It is believed to have originated from the act of pawning one’s suit once an individual had squandered all his cash at the pubs in the area of Clerkenwell.
- The statue of Eros that we see at Piccadilly Circus was intended to depict the Angel of Christian Charity. It was built to commemorate the fine work done for the poor and destitute by the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury. And it’s rather unusual stance of an arrow aimed towards Shaftesbury Avenue, is supposedly thought to be a rather gross visual double entendre.
- If you do ever feel like a having a drink early in the morning accompanied with breakfast head to the either the Fox and anchor pub in Smithfield or the Market Porter in Borough as they are the only two places in London, which have an authorised permit to serve food and drinks at 7 am. This was done to keep in with the work schedule of market porters in the bygone days that began work at 7 am.
- There is just one true home that the legendary Beatles lived in together during the autumn in 1963. The legendary band members stayed at 57 Green Street in a flat close to Hyde Park.
- If you have heard about unusual quotations on tombstones, they certainly do not come more succinct and exact like that of Richard Burbage. He was a well known stage actor in the Elizabethan era. Richard is buried in the cemetery at St. Leonard’s in Shoreditch. His tombstone simple reads “Exit Burbage” in deference to his stage career. Talk about befiiting!
- London has the unique distinction of being the first city in the world to have a population of more than a million residents in 1811. And it held the record for well over a century until Tokyo usurped the title in 1957.
- The well known Punch and Judy show that we are familiar with has very interesting beginnings. As per a entry of writer Samuel Pepys’s diary for the 09th of May, 1662 it was first performed at an event in Covent Garden. And since then there have been similar types of puppet shows at the location every year.
- One of the newest and most magnificent creations is the Dome, which was the focal point of the celebrations to usher in the Millennium in 2000. It is gargantuan in size in fact it is so massive that it can accommodate both the Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island, New York and the Great Pyramid of Giza with ease!
- The road junction of Elephant and Castle in London got its name from a medieval craftsmen’s guild. The guild had a symbol that featured an elephant, which was in relation to the ivory handles they carved for knives.
- London’s alternate version of royalty the famous Pearly Kings and Queens have an appellation, which is derived from their apparel that is studded with innumerable pearl buttons. They originally were regarded to be the elite of the barrowboys and costermongers that frequented the streets of London. They were elected to the post to protect the barrowboys and costermongers from competitors in the area.
- Some of the areas of London have rather interesting origins for their names. Covent Garden, when it began was a simple market garden that was located in the then convent at Westminster Abbey. Piccadilly, gets its rather unique name from Robert Price, an enterprising tailor, who made a reputation for himself stitching “Piccadillos” a kind of stiff white collar, which was in vogue at that time. And Mayfair, derives its lovely name from a fair that was regularly held in the same area every year, in the month of May!
- For those who want to brush up on their general knowledge, John Logie Baird is accredited with the invention of the telly in 1926. At least, he made what was the first prototype of its kind in a venue that now serves as Bar Italia in Frith Street, Soho!
- The smallest house in the city is just 3 ½ feet in width and is part of the Tyburn Convent that is situated in Hyde Park Place. It is where 20 nuns actually live!