London. Whether you live here for a short time or for years, this mysterious, ageless, and forever changing place becomes a part of you. Londoners are always learning new and interesting facts about the city, from stories about the Tower of London to our black cab drivers’ encyclopedic knowledge of the city streets. You may be surprised to learn how many of these facts contradict what you thought you knew about the city. We wanted to explore some strange, outrageous, and hilarious facts about London.
1. London Is The Smallest City In England
That’s right, you heard it right. In reality, London is only a small urban area within the Greater London region. London covers only 1.2 square miles and has a population of around 7,500. Therefore, London is the smallest city in England. Greater London, on the other hand, is an English region comprising a total of 606 square miles and housing over 8.7 million people.
2. Over 300 languages are spoken in London
London’s cultural diversity ranks second on our list of facts about the city. Over 8 million people live in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world. They speak over 300 languages, such as Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, and of course English.
3. Big Ben Is Not The Name For The Tower
London’s iconic Tower is not called Big Ben, as many people mistakenly believe. The clock in the Tower is known as Big Ben. Today, even locals call it Big Ben tower. London’s Palace of Westminster contains the tower at its north end. From 2012 onwards, the tower is known as Elizabeth Tower, but in the past it was known as Clock Tower.
4. London Has 170 Museums
It would be impossible to miss museums in this area since London is a major cultural and historical center. It would be a shame not to stop by one of them if you get to visit this wonderful city. Among them are the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Imperial War Museum, the British Library, and the Wallace Collection.
5. London has an official smallest statue
Among all the grand monuments and large statues in London, it’s nice to know there’s one that’s the smallest. An argument over a missing sandwich led two builders to fall during the construction of The Monument, and they blamed each other for the accident, but it was actually caused by mice. The statue of two mice eating cheese is located on Philpot Lane.
6. YOU CAN DRIVE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD, WHICH IS THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD
It is well known that English people drive on the left side of the road. There is, however, one street in the UK where visitors can reconnect with their roots. There is a road off the Strand called Savoy Court on which drivers are required to drive on the right.
7. The Romans founded London (sort of)
London was first settled by Romans around 2,000 years ago.
However, not in its current state. Back then, it wasn’t even called London.
In Roman times, London was called ‘Londinium’, and it was much smaller than it is now, only about the size of Hyde Park.
The city was so small that Celtic Queen Boudicca burned the entire city to the ground during her revolt. Although it was quickly rebuilt, London gradually grew into the city we know today.
8. London Zoo was the first zoo in the world
The London Zoo was initially intended to be only open to scientists so they could study animals and animal behavior, which meant regular people couldn’t visit.
A change occurred in 1847 when the Zoo became the first place to open to the public.
Today it’s still one of the largest zoos around the world.
10. London is a forest?
London is also classified as a forest by the United Nations, despite being one of the world’s busiest cities and home to over 8 million people.
The reason for this is that London has a lot of trees as well as a lot of people.
Almost a fifth of it is woodland, and 40% is public green spaces such as parks and gardens.