9 Crazy Facts To Prepare You For London

    9 Crazy Facts To Prepare You For London

    London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, bringing in around 30 million visitors every year. It’s unsurprising really, with so much history, culture and entertainment, it makes the perfect holiday destination, especially considering its range of luxury hotels such as the Grand Royale Hotel London.

    At a size of almost 1500 square kilometres and almost 2000 years of history, the city has a lot of stories to tell, whether that be through its architecture, its landscape or its people. If it’s your first stay at Bayswater accommodation, you may want to learn a little more about London before your visit. T guides and information pages concerning London are all over the internet, but if you want to dig a little deeper into the English capital, then keep reading!

    London Is A Designated Forest City 

    Despite its high rise skyscrapers and central concentration of concrete, London is actually designated a forest city. Due to the fact that it has so many trees, parks and green spaces, the large capital of England first the UN definition of “forest” city. London’s forest designation is in tandem with it being a “green” city. Whilst there is no official definition of a green city, London is covered in at least 16% green public space, has many environmental infrastructure projects and retains clean air through the encouragement of plant growth. 

    It’s A City Of More than 300 Languages 

    When someone says that London is an international city, it’s hard to quantify what that actually feels like. But when you know that more than 300 languages are spoken here, you get a better understanding of how the city encourages migration and international business across its boroughs. If you’re a guest of London hotel special offers and missing home, don’t worry, as there’s bound to be a district with a large population from your regional home. The city’s universities are teeming with international students whilst many companies based in London support visas as well. In fact, 37% of London’s population were born outside of the UK, making it the most international city in the world! 

    The Six Ravens Of The Tower 

    There are a range of theories about why ravens were first kept in the Tower of London, but what is now almost a thousand years of rumours and speculation make for difficult facts. What can be attested to is that the ravens that are kept in the Tower of London have been formalised as tradition since the late 19th century, but go back far further. Perhaps because they would scavenge the corpses from executions that took place in the tower during the Mediaeval era, or perhaps because of the animal menagerie kept there between the 13th century and the 19th, the ravens are now a common sight. It is even eulogised that if the six ravens left the care of the yeoman warder raven master, that London would fall to an invading army. 

    London’s Crying Church 

    Less spooky than the nickname given to St Bartholomew, the actual reason for the “weeping church’s” nickname is down to one of its statues’ reaction to water. The church dates back to the 12th century, when it was founded as an Augustinian Priory and is one of the oldest churches in London.

    Located in the Smithfield area of the City of London, St Bartholomew had a Cromwellian era statue installed dedicated to Edward Cooke, a philosopher who had died in 1652. The marble used meant that the water condensed and made it look like the eyes of the sculpture were “weeping”. After Victorian heating systems were installed the illusion stopped, but it went on long enough for the church to gain its spooky nickname. 

    The Secret Rivers Of London 

    London’s most famous river is of course the Thames, which acts as the backbone for the city. Indeed, the Thames was the reason for London’s founding in the first place, suiting maritime trade and transport from beyond the British Isles. However, the tributaries of the Thames had, over time, formed their own rivers. These included the River Tyburn and River Walbrook, but many of them have since been built over as the city evolved and spread. Some of these rivers are now integral parts of the city’s sewage system and run through subterranean culverts, so we wouldn’t recommend seeking them out! 

    London’s Underground Post Train 

    How do you deliver the post for a city spanning 1500 square kilometres? By train of course! The underground post train may not be in operation anymore but visitors can explore the subterranean tunnels through which letters and packages were transported to the various post offices across the city. The London Postal Museum has created its own ride and exhibition concerning the hundred year history of the “Mail Rail”. 

    The Berlin Wall Comes To London

    It’s touching that a museum concerning war has as its first attraction, the remains of peace. The Imperial War Museum in Oval explores the history of British and international warfare, but outside its doors visitors can see a monument using parts of the now destroyed Berlin Wall.

    Oxford Street Is The Busiest High Street In Europe 

    Oxford Street Is The Busiest High Street In Europe

    Oxford Street is well known for its famous shopping centres and flagship brand outlets, but its mile long stretch is also the busiest high street on the continent. Thanks to its central location, concentration of nearby offices and thieving commerce, Oxford Street sees tens of millions of visitors travel along it every year. 

    A Museum With Celebrity Fecal Matter

    Not one to visit before your reservation at the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Restaurant, the Viktor Wynd Cabinet of Curiosities on Mare Street Hackney is a strange paean to everything weird and disgusting. Full of shrunken heads, the skeletons of two-headed lambs and celebrity artefacts, one of the most disgusting artefacts here is a jar alleged to contain the poo of Amy Winehouse. Condoms used by members of the Rolling Stones and a vial containing Russell Crowe’s urine are also on display here, but no one can truly attest to their authenticity.