10 things you didn’t know about London – Part 2

A view of St Paul's Cathedral, London, from across the ThamesFollowing on from the first blog post in a two part series, which can be read in full here, today we’re providing another five things you probably didn’t already know about London.

6.  Three London Bridges

The London Bridge that you may know and love isn’t the original; it is actually the third version to be in place between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge.

The very first bridge is said to have been constructed by the Romans in 1176.  Throughout the years, London Bridge has always been a busy thoroughfare and was once lined with shops.

In 1757, the shops and buildings were demolished, prior to the bridge itself being replaced with a new one in 1831.  This, in turn, was replaced by the London Bridge that still stands in 1973.

7.  250 festivals a year

Around 250 festivals take place in London every year, including London’s largest free festival, The Mayor’s Thames Festival, and Europe’s biggest street festival, The Notting Hill Carnival, which attracts near one million people.

These festivals can be anything from food and drink festivals to flower shows and music events.

8.  Marble Arch was originally the entrance to Buckingham Palace

Marble Arch is one of the famous landmarks of London, but did you know it was originally constructed to be the main entrance to the grounds of Buckingham Palace?

There are many stories as to why it was moved to its current location at Hyde Park – some people say it was too small to allow coaches through, whilst some say the Queen requested more personal space for her burgeoning family.

9.  Shortest Tube journey

The shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the underground network is approximately 270 metres (300 yards).

The tube journey between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line takes only about 40 seconds from platform to platform, but costs £4.30 (at the time of writing).  So it is the shortest journey, but the most expensive; yet it still remains the most popular journey with tourists.

10.  The iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral

As you may know, St. Paul’s Cathedral is part of the amazing imagery that is London’s skyline.

Because of this, there are strict regulations in place that ensure certain views of the Cathedral aren’t obstructed by any other buildings.

This is one of the reasons that some of London’s latest buildings are such weird shapes, like the Gherkin and the Shard.

London really is a city that you can never know everything about.  There is simply too much going on each and every day.

But why not give it a try and learn as much as you can about the city we love – whilst enjoying a sumptuous afternoon tea here at DUKES Hotel, perhaps?  Our concierge team is amongst the most knowledgeable around and we can help you discover many more surprising things about London whilst you’re here!