City Break in London – Why Do it
- Learn what the term “multiethnic metropolis” really means.
- Offer yourself the chance to roam its streets and marvel its monuments.
- No marvel if you need more than 10 city breaks just to visit London’s art galleries and sights!
- Dive into Europe’s shopping paradise.
- Overwhelm yourself with the beauties and treasures of world famous museums.
- No, you don’t need to have a small fortune for your London city break!
A must visit – and for good many reasons.
London, the capital of the United Kingdom, ranks among the world’s oldest great metropolises, with a history of nearly 2.000 years. It is rightly considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and by far Britain’s largest financial, political and cultural centre.
Situated in southeastern England and crossed by the River Thames, its limits generally correspond to the boundaries that separate the metropolitan county of Greater London from the generally known as “home counties” of Kent, Surrey, and Berkshire. With a multiethnic population of little less than 10 million people, London is widely known for its majestic architecture, beautiful monuments, world renowned museums and vast marketplaces.
General Landscape & Climate
London enjoys the equable climate of South East England with mild winters and temperate summers. The average day temperature is 52°F or 11°C. January’s average temperature would be 42°F or 5.5°C. July is about 65°F or 18°C.
The sun shines briefly five days out of six annually. Due to global warming, temperatures have risen significantly. There are roughly 200 dry days out of 365, so you do not need your umbrella as much as in the past. About 23 inches (585 mm) of rain falls per year.
The winters are usually mild if snow falls it does not normally stay on the ground but melts away. If it snows at all it is usually during the first three months of the winter. As far as the weather goes, the best time to visit London is in the spring although every season has its good points.
London is situated on the Thames which is a tidal river cutting across South England and stretching through the city. Many streams and minor rivers flow into the main stem of the Thames. London started out being built in a basin which eventually spread into the valley of the Thames.
The City of London, which is known as the ‘Square Mile’ is in the very heart of the metropolis and is a ‘city within a city’. London is divided into various zones and the City is Zone 1. The further you go from the center, the higher the Zone number.
London is very green as far as cities go and has nine main parks, the most well known is Hyde Park, which as the tributary stream of the Serpentine River running through it. It also has the famous ‘Speaker’s Corner where anyone can get up on a box and speak to the public. The other eight parks are:
- Green Park – A peaceful green oasis in the heart of town.
- James’s Park – The oldest Royal Park, spectacular pageants.
- Kensington Gardens.
- Regent’s Park – home of the London Zoo.
- Richmond Park – Nature reserve, full of fallow & red deer.
- Kew Gardens – The botanic gardens are worth a visit.
- Greenwich Park – Royal Observatory, Maritime Museum.
- Bushy Park – Close to Hampton Court Palace, red & fallow deer.
London has four distinctive sections:
- The West End – Theatres and shopping.
- The East End – Home of the cockneys, barrow boys & flower girls.
- South West London – Expensive area for properties and boutiques.
- South East London – Globe Theatre, London Eye & Museums.
The City’s character
London most distinguishing characteristic is its immensely complicated heart – in fact, the city centre’s most defining characteristic is the total absence of form. The best way to describe London is “polycentric”: numerous districts that seem to compete each other without ever having a winner. The city has at least two of what other cities usually have just one: mayors, dioceses, chambers of commerce, police forces, opera houses, orchestras and, of course, universities.
Still, the modern city developed from three centres:
- the settlement known as the City of London, dating from the Roman Era; it is also known as “the Square Mile” or just “the City”.
- and the City of Westminster.
The “City” served mostly as a trade and financial centre. Southwark, was the cultural and spiritual heart of the city, hosting most of its monasteries, hospitals, inns, as well as great theatres (such as the “Rose” and the “Globe”. Westminster, on the other hand, developed around the prominent abbey, and hosted most of the state’s agencies and courts, as well as the most stylish districts for living and shopping, the famous West End.
Gradually the city expanded further beyond and suburbs were allowed to form their own administrative structures. Its population exploded during the 18th and 19th centuries and industrialization led to further expansion, engulfing villages and small neighbouring. The catastrophic years of World War II signified a turning point in the city’s history, as it ceased its rapid expansion.
After the war it was decided that the metropolis should not continue to grow and a Green Belt was imposed. All expansion was diverted beyond this boundary. Finally, London’s administrative boundaries included roughly the entire physical metropolis, which came to be known as the Greater London.
London’s most famous sights – the Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussaud’s collection, the Tower of London, the three great South Kensington museums, the Tate galleries – along with its great marketplaces attract more than 7.000.000 millions of visitors each year.
Unique City Break Feature: genuine multiethnic blend that proudly preserves its national heritage and a combination of relentless shopping and unique sightseeing.