Districts of London, United Kingdom
The city, familiar to everyone since childhood, cannot be studied by guidebooks: it is exactly the same as in millions of pictures, and at the same time shockingly different, lively, colorful. On the one hand, this is one of the greenest capitals in Europe, where each district has its own park, or even several. However, when you find yourself in disadvantaged neighborhoods built up with council housing (souncil house is an analogue of social housing for the poor), you see only not very neat stone jungle. Check TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.COM to learn more about United Kingdom.
We are not surprised at anything. On the way to Trafalgar Square, you can find yourself in the Indian or Chinatown (“Chinatown” in Soho). Burying your nose in a map, you suddenly enter a hipster “market”: an alley lined with shops with strange clothes and comics. And all this will happen to you in the most that neither is the tourist center, somewhere in Westminster or South Camden.
“Excuse me, where is Big Ben?”
The heart of London, the area from which it is easiest to start the report, is the City: it is a kind of city within a city, a separate administrative unit, with self-government, preserved since the Middle Ages. In addition to the City, there are 32 administrative districts in Greater London: another city (city of Westminster), three royal boroughs (borough – translated from English as “town”), which include Greenwich, Kingston upon Thames, as well as Kensington and Chelsea; all the other 28 go in the “just borough” category.
According to its own regulations, London is divided into internal and external. The interior, divided by the Thames, is essentially the central part of the city; it does not go beyond the former County of London, that is, it lives within the boundaries of 12 districts (Westminster, Greenwich Islington, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Louisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham), territorially here add an independent city.
To get around faster, just look at how the city metro is divided into zones: Inner London is in the central circle of zones 1-2. The next circle (zones 3-4) already covers several dozen areas, including the “sports famous” to the whole world Wimbledon and Wembley, Greenwich (“the capital’s sea gate”, the only remote area where there are enough monuments for a full day of inspection), Tottenham and other. The last circle of zones 5-6 encircles Greater London, this includes the nearest suburbs and Heathrow Airport. Here is concentrated “the same London”.
So, there are three historical centers (in Inner London, of course, since most of the Outer London remained forests and swamps until the beginning of the 20th century), from where the city grew – they were all settlements from time immemorial (that is, they count from pre-Christian or early Christian). On the left, north, bank of the Thames – this is Westminster and the City, on the right – Southwark, connected to them by the Tower Bridge (no epithets: we reverently walk, look, blown away by a heavy wind). The city center on the north bank has almost no monuments preserved before 1666, the year of a grandiose fire. The southern coast generally saved only a few ancient monuments and left great memories for itself.
City and Tower Hamlet
In the City, London appears gloomy and majestic (the bulk of St. Paul ‘s Cathedral, St Bridge Church), as well as office and modern: skyscrapers Broadgate Tower, St Mary Ax, etc. are added to it. In both areas there is not much housing for tourists, apartments predominate. Such rooms or apartments quickly disperse.
West of the City is another historic centre, Westminster; busy and in places much less neat. It occupies a vast territory (from Camden in the north to the Thames in the south), includes the most famous city parks (Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park and St. James’s Park) and the most prestigious quarters, which are sometimes called separate areas: Belgravia, Covent Garden with its string of theatres, Soho, Mayfair, Marylebone. It is useless to list all the sights of Westminster: Trafalgar Square, the royal residence at Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament with its Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tate Gallery. This is another London from the cover. Most touristy streets: Whitehall, Baker Street, Oxford Street, Drury Lane, Piccadilly, Fleet Street
At the same time, winding along the poorly lit alleys around the Royal Opera House (like the quarter, the theater is called Covent Garden), you risk getting into a puddle of suspicious origin with both feet. Or, leaving a store on one of the main streets, step on a homeless person who is going to sleep for the night, wrapped in a sleeping bag, right under his windows.
There are many hotels in Westminster; hard work, you can find a more or less decent option.
North of the City and Westminster stretches Camden – an area that must be seen to fall in love with London. After the crowds in Westminster, it breathes deeply here – it is a calm, respectable, historical (south side, Bloomsbury), green area. Instead of parks in the Georgian era, many squares were laid out (Queen Square, Russell Square, Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury Square and Bedford Square). And the square-park Lincoln’s Inn Fields on the border with Westminster is considered the prototype of Central Park in New York.
Here, in the British Museum, one of the world’s largest collections of antiquities is kept, and most of the faculties of the University of London are concentrated in Camden. By the way, the Kings Cross station complex, from the non-existent platform of which the train to Harry Potter University departed, is also located in Camden. As in other parts of London, the buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries alternate with skyscrapers and residential areas. And it is also a market area of the “London” format: with an abundance of cheap souvenirs, the simplest food, youth clothes of a controversial look and quality, but exceptionally cheerful.
Settling somewhere in Bloomsbury, you can visit the British Museum almost daily and take walks in Westminster and the City. However, there are many chain hotels here, which is why the average price tag is quite high.
In other areas of Inner London on the West Bank of the Thames, we will see mostly respectable residential areas with low-rise buildings, modern theaters, parks, the world-famous stadiums of London football clubs, shopping centers and many restaurants. Hotels here are much cheaper, because you can’t get to the main attractions on your own two feet.
There are fewer sights in Inner London on the other side of the Thames, they are mainly located across the river from the Tower – in Lambeth: The Eye of London, Waterloo Station and the main public gardens of the empire in the 17-19 centuries Vauxhall Gardens, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, medieval City Cathedral, Imperial War Museum. Thrifty tourists also prefer to settle here – the deeper to the north, the more economical.
London cannot be called a safe city for tourists. So, guides always advise to be careful and not to meddle in the quarters of Outer London, inhabited by African Americans, or rather, “African Englishmen”. On the other hand, in the city center you are even more at risk from pickpockets and phone thieves (thefts are common when the phone is snatched at the exit of the subway – in the area where it starts to catch a signal).
Even more to beware of public transport (!). If London motorists watch the road and pedestrians, then the drivers of the famous double-decker buses make dangerous maneuvers at crowded intersections during the day, and dashingly drive at night. Therefore, at night, the road in the center should be crossed only when you are convinced that not a single “red” looms on it.