London

London

Nobody really knows London, least of all those who have lived and worked in it all their lives. Visitors are often envied for their uncanny instinct for finding fresh facts or view­points, but even their assiduity cannot cover all the ground in the limited time usually available to them – and Greater London covers over 700 square miles. What may be termed ‘Visitors’ London’ extends from Kensington in the west for about five miles to the Tower of London in the east; from Chelsea in the south to Hampstead in the north is also close on five miles and, as one travels along, scarcely a hundred yards pass without encountering something of historical interest or beauty. And this area, which we term ‘Visitors’ London’ and briefly describe in the following pages is just a small part of this whole metropolis.

London is famous for ancient and historic buildings but it by no means dwells solely in the past. You can lunch or dine in a revolving restaurant on top of the highest building in Britain and more than 500 feet above the pavement; in the city you can look down on the floor of the Stock Exchange and see part of London’s vast financial system at work. Some of the world’s greatest art treasures pass through London salerooms. London has the world’s longest underground railway route (16 miles). Piccadilly, Regent Street and Oxford Street are but three out of scores of lively shopping centres. You can take your pick of 20 or more theatres, of two opera houses and a succession of concerts by world famous artists-and all within a mile or so of Trafalgar Square.

And at the end of the day you can wander into a lovely park where the hum of traffic is muted and boat or bathe or just relax. All these things are incidental to what may be termed the ‘basic sights’-the museums, picture galleries, churches and so on. You may even find for yourself that London policemen are indeed ‘wonderful': they are certainly invariably helpful.

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