London

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London
Heron TowerTower 4230 St Mary AxeLeadenhall BuildingWillis BuildingLloyds BuildingCanary Wharf20 Fenchurch StreetCity of LondonLondon UndergroundElizabeth TowerTrafalgar SquareLondon EyeTower BridgeRiver ThamesLondon montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article.
About this image
Clockwise from top: City of London in the foreground with Canary Wharf in the far background, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Tower Bridge and a London Underground roundel in front of Elizabeth Tower
London is located in the United Kingdom
London
London
Location within the United Kingdom
London is located in Europe
London
London
Location within Europe
London is located in Earth
London
London
Location within Earth
Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionLondon (coterminous)
CountiesGreater London
City of London
Settled by RomansAD 47[1]
as Londinium
DistrictsCity of London & 32 boroughs
Government
 • TypeExecutive mayoralty and deliberative assembly within unitary constitutional monarchy
 • BodyGreater London Authority
Mayor Sadiq Khan (L)
London Assembly
 • London Assembly14 constituencies
 • UK Parliament73 constituencies
Area
 • Total607 sq mi (1,572 km2)
 • Urban
671.0 sq mi (1,737.9 km2)
 • Metro
3,236 sq mi (8,382 km2)
 • City of London1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2)
 • Greater London606 sq mi (1,569 km2)
Elevation36 ft (11 m)
Population
 (2018)
 • Total8,908,081
 • Density14,670/sq mi (5,666/km2)
 • Urban
9,787,426
 • Metro
14,257,962[3] (1st)
 • City of London
8,706 (67th)
 • Greater London
8,899,375
DemonymsLondoner
GVA (2018)
 • Total£487 billion
($624 billion)
 • Per capita£54,686
($70,110)
Time zoneUTC (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
22 areas
Area codes
  • 020, 01322, 01689, 01708, 01737, 01895, 01923, 01959, 01992
PoliceCity of London
Metropolitan
Fire and rescueLondon
AmbulanceLondon
AirportsHeathrow (LHR)
City (LCY)
Outside London:
Gatwick (LGW)
Stansted (STN)
Luton (LTN)
Southend (SEN)
GeoTLD.london
Websitelondon.gov.uk

London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. London is the city region with the highest population in the United Kingdom. On the Thames, London has been a central city since it was founded by the Romans two millennia ago as Londinium.

London's original city centre, the City of London is England's smallest city. In 2011 had 7,375 inhabitants on an area of 2.9 km².

The term "London" is also used for the urban region which developed around this city centre. This area forms the region of London, as well as the Greater London administrative unit, led by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

In modern times, London is one of the world's most important political, economic and cultural centres. London was the capital of the British Empire and so for almost three centuries the centre of power for large parts of the world.

The city has about 9.1 million inhabitants (2018). If one counts the entire metropolitan area of London (London Metropolitan Area), it has about 15 million people. The city is the largest in Europe by population. The climate is moderate.

History[change | change source]

The Romans built the city of Londinium along the River Thames in the year AD 43. The name Londinium (and later 'London') came from the Celtic language of the Ancient Britons. In the year AD 61, the city was attacked and destroyed. Then the Romans rebuilt the city, and London became an important trading hub.

After the decline of the Roman Empire, few people remained in London. This was partly because the Anglo-Saxon people of Sub-Roman Britain were primarily agricultural. Once the Romans had gone, trade with Continental Europe dwindled. In the 9th century, more people started living in London again. It became the largest city in England. However, it did not become the capital city of England again until the 12th century.

After the railways were built, London grew much larger. Greater London has 33 boroughs (neighbourhoods) and a mayor. The old City of London is only a square mile in size but has its own Lord Mayor.

Another famous old part of Greater London is Westminster, which was always a different city from the City of London. In Westminster is Westminster Abbey (a cathedral), The Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben), and 10 Downing Street (where the Prime Minister lives).

Events[change | change source]

Landmarks[change | change source]

The Millennium Dome, seen from the River Thames.
A panorama of modern London, taken from the Golden Gallery of Saint Paul’s Cathedral

London Business and Economy[change | change source]

London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark.

The London Stock Exchange is the most international stock exchange and the largest in Europe.

Financial services[change | change source]

London's largest industry is finance. This includes banks, stock exchanges, investment companies and insurance companies The Bank of England is located in London and is the second oldest bank in the world.

Professional services[change | change source]

London has many professional services such as law and accounting firms.

Media[change | change source]

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which has many radio and TV stations, is in London.

Tourism[change | change source]

Tourism is one of London's biggest industries. London is the most visited city in the world by international tourists with 18.8 million international visitors per year. Within the UK, London is home to the ten most-visited tourist attractions. Tourism employed about 350,000 full-time workers in London in 2003. Tourists spend about £15 billion per year.[7]

Technology[change | change source]

A growing number of technology companies are based in London.

Retail[change | change source]

London is a major retail centre, and in 2010 had the highest non-food retail sales of any city in the world, with a total spend of around £64.2 billion. The UK's fashion industry, centred on London, contributes tens of billions to the economy.

Manufacturing and construction[change | change source]

For the 19th and much of the 20th centuries London was a major manufacturing centre (see Manufacturing in London), with over 1.5 million industrial workers in 1960. Many products were made in London including ships, electronics and cars. Nowadays, most of these manufacturing companies are closed but some drug companies still make medicine in London.

Twinnings[change | change source]

The Tower Bridge in London

London has twin and sister city agreements with these cities:

London also has a "partnership" agreement with Tokyo, Japan.

London Transportation (trains, airports and underground)[change | change source]

The city has a huge network of transport systems including trains, underground (metro) and five main airports.

The Victorians built many train systems in the mid-19th century (1850s). Their main stations are in London, and the lines go to every part of Great Britain. There were originally five major companies but the five companies became a national rail network in modern times. Their terminals at King's Cross, St. Pancras, Paddington, Waterloo and Charing Cross are still used as terminals.

There are five airports, though only one is actually in London (London City Airport). There is the London end of the LondonBirmingham canal, which was important to the industrial 19th century. The most used airport is Heathrow Airport, although it is actually outside the city.

The metro or London Underground is a system of electric trains which are in London. It is the oldest underground railway in the world. It started running in 1863 as the Metropolitan Railway. Later, the system was copied in other cities, for example Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid. Even though it is called the London Underground about half of it is above the ground. The "Tube" is the name used for the London Underground, because the tunnels for some of the lines are round tubes running through the ground. The Underground has got 274 stations and over 408 km of track. Over one billion passengers used the underground each year.

There is a black taxi system regulated by the Metropolitan Police, and various other private enterprise hire car companies. Efforts are being made to make roads safer for cyclists.

Climate[change | change source]

London has an oceanic, or temperate climate. It is not usually very hot or cold. It is often cloudy.

London has a temperate climate with regular, light rain throughout the year. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature at Greenwich of 13.6 ° C to 22.8 ° C. The coldest month is January, with an average of 2.4 ° C to 7.9 ° C. The average annual rainfall is 583.6 mm, and February is normally the driest month. Snow is uncommon in London itself, although there is regular snow in the surrounding area; this is because the extra heat the big city generates makes the city about 5 ° C warmer than surrounding areas in winter.

Climate data for Heathrow Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
(63.0)
19.7
(67.5)
24.2
(75.6)
29.4
(84.9)
32.8
(91.0)
35.6
(96.1)
36.7
(98.1)
38.1
(100.6)
35.4
(95.7)
29.9
(85.8)
20.8
(69.4)
17.4
(63.3)
38.1
(100.6)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
14.1
(57.4)
17.2
(63.0)
21.3
(70.3)
25.8
(78.4)
28.5
(83.3)
30.1
(86.2)
29.7
(85.5)
25.5
(77.9)
20.5
(68.9)
16.2
(61.2)
13.5
(56.3)
31.5
(88.7)
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
(46.6)
8.4
(47.1)
11.3
(52.3)
14.2
(57.6)
17.9
(64.2)
21.0
(69.8)
23.5
(74.3)
23.2
(73.8)
19.9
(67.8)
15.5
(59.9)
11.1
(52.0)
8.3
(46.9)
15.2
(59.4)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
2.1
(35.8)
3.9
(39.0)
5.5
(41.9)
8.7
(47.7)
11.7
(53.1)
13.9
(57.0)
13.7
(56.7)
11.4
(52.5)
8.4
(47.1)
4.9
(40.8)
2.7
(36.9)
7.5
(45.5)
Mean minimum °C (°F) −4.2
(24.4)
−3.9
(25.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
−0.3
(31.5)
3.1
(37.6)
6.7
(44.1)
9.5
(49.1)
9.1
(48.4)
6.0
(42.8)
2.0
(35.6)
−1.7
(28.9)
−4.1
(24.6)
−6.1
(21.0)
Record low °C (°F) −13.2
(8.2)
−9.6
(14.7)
−5.1
(22.8)
−2.6
(27.3)
−0.9
(30.4)
1.5
(34.7)
5.6
(42.1)
5.9
(42.6)
1.8
(35.2)
−3.3
(26.1)
−7.0
(19.4)
−11.8
(10.8)
−13.2
(8.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 55.2
(2.17)
40.9
(1.61)
41.6
(1.64)
43.7
(1.72)
49.4
(1.94)
45.1
(1.78)
44.5
(1.75)
49.5
(1.95)
49.1
(1.93)
68.5
(2.70)
59.0
(2.32)
55.2
(2.17)
601.7
(23.69)
Average rainy days 11.1 8.5 9.3 9.1 8.8 8.2 7.7 7.5 8.1 10.8 10.3 10.2 109.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 61.5 77.9 114.6 168.7 198.5 204.3 212.0 204.7 149.3 116.5 72.6 52.0 1,632.6
Source: Met Office [10] Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute [11][12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Number 1 Poultry (ONE 94), Museum of London Archaeology, 2013. Archaeology Data Service, The University of York.
  2. "London weather map". The Met Office. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. "Metropolitan Area Populations". Eurostat. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  4. "Regional economic activity by gross domestic product, UK: 1998 to 2018". www.ons.gov.uk.
  5. Sub-national HDI. "Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org.
  6. "BBC NEWS - INDEPTH - LONDON ATTACKS". news.bbc.co.uk.
  7. "London Travel Guide". Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Beijing, London to be sister cities". China Daily, 11 April 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
  9. "Sister City - London". nyc.gov. Archived from the original on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  10. "London Heathrow Airport". Met Office. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  11. "Heathrow Airport Extreme Values". KNMI. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  12. "Heathrow 1981–2010 mean maximum and minimum values". KNMI. Retrieved 11 December 2018.

Other websites[change | change source]

Greater LondonLondonCity of London