The Guide To London

The Guide To London

Anglo-Saxon And Viking Period London

In the late 7th century, the River Thames was no longer navigable to ships from the sea. This meant that goods were transferred to smaller vessels at sea to be rowed or sailed up river to London. Running alongside the river on the Thames floodplain for almost 10 miles, a port developed at Lundenwic, in what is now Aldwych. Landscape archaeology shows a substantial trading hinterland around Lundenwic, focused along both sides of the Strand and Fleet Street, and extending northwards into today’s West End.

The trading port formed part of an international trading network that supplied Britain with luxury goods, including silk and spices from the Mediterranean, My City of London ( At its peak around 750–775, Lund. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 886, Alfred the Great re-established London ( Lundenburh ) as a fortified burh and politically independent of the Mercians. Alfred's town plan laid out the streets of the Middle Ward, which would cover most of modern-day City of London, and those south of the river, which would later become the wards of Bridge Within and Without, as well as East and West Cheap and Aldersgate, and Old and New Farringdon Within.

The Tower of London has been continuously redeveloped from early Roman times to the present day; the White Tower is a type of castle dating from late in this period. Some other institutions first recorded in this period are also. Anglo-Saxon London occupied the same general area as the City of London today, though the boundaries were never precise. The Anglo-Saxon settlement had an  irregular shape, with ridges and marshes and parts of the river between the core segment of  land and its  seaward slopes severely hampering passage around the town.

To the north lay the River Lea. Later in antiquity, from about 790 onwards, this was successfully crossed by the [Page 90]  Roman bridge London Bridge. From 604, this later bridge was supplemented by a second, adjacent bridge downstream; churches were founded on both banks, which are now known collectively as Southwark. The city centre lay to the south, on. There was no single event that led to the abandonment of the early Roman city, and the Anglo-Saxon settlement that replaced it.

Lundenwic may have been established as early as the late 5th century; however, the archaeological evidence suggests continued use of the area through the 6th century. Lundenwic was about 1⁄3 the size of Londinium, occupying an area roughly equal to that of present-day Leicester Square. It may have originated as a seasonal market, and been used as a winter camp by British troops defending against incursions by the Saxon Shore Forts in Sussex.

The city of Lundenwic was the precursor for the development of London. Its economy was primarily commercial, based on trade in goods such as hides, wool and cloth with Europe and Scandinavia especially with Jorvik (the forerunner of York). We don’t know how big Lundenwic was at its peak, but archaeological work has shown that it extended from about where Ludgate Hill in the City of London is now, almost to Aldwych and into Westminster.

The Anglo-Saxon period marked the emergence of Christianity in Britain, and a bishopric was established in Lundenwic in 604. Following the Battle of Bedegraine in 616, London was reconquered by the kingdom of Wessex, and it was adopted as their capital. It remained their capital following the conquest of the Vikings and Danes, until it was succeeded by Winchester after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. This was the lucky couples first holiday as newlyweds.


If you take off from one, that’s it. You’re going to end up at another one. The pattern repeats itself throughout the day and night. Usually there are 16 flights taking of from each of the airports during any 15 minute period on average. More than 50 million passengers used London's six biggest airports in 2017, with a total of 3. 4 billion expected by 2021. Of these, 78% were international travellers and 22% domestic.

 The largest passenger airport in London is Heathrow Airport – often described as the world's busiest airport since it was handling over 78 million passengers per year, while Gatwick Airport follows with 43 million and Stansted is third. Aviation is very important to the United Kingdom: a third of international visitors fly to the UK through London Heathrow. The airport is also amongst the world leaders for international passenger traffic, alongside Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare and Beijing, and on an 18‑hour average traffic day it handles six million passengers making it the busiest airport in Europe by total passenger traffic.

,,. The London urban area has the largest concentration of business aviation operations in the world. Over 60% of executive jets cross the Atlantic each year using London as their destination or departure point. Furthermore, a quarter of all fixed-wing aircraft movements over Europe are inbound to or outbound from London Heathrow. London is a major international air transport hub with the busiest city airspace in the world. Eight airports use the word London in their name, but most traffic passes through six of these.

Early Modern

As the administrative and judicial centre of England, London was the site of the Palace of Westminster and law courts such as the Rolls Chapel. By the reign of Henry III, Paris and London were also connected by a crude road network of twenty miles (32 km) and served by horse posts; between 1506 and 1535 Henry VIII improved the road network throughout England, so that it superseded those of France and Belgium. The first Tudor monarchs improved and formalised the postal service with decrees establishing fixed routes and rates; at least six stages a day operated in each direction between London and York, Bristol, Chester, Exeter or Coventry.

The first half of the 16th century saw relative peace in England, but the second half saw a turbulent patchwork of local uprisings and rampaging armies, most notably the English Reformation and the campaigns of Thomas Cromwell in the 1530s and 40s. The climax was reached during the reign of Henry VIII; his response to the religiously inspired Nordlingen Tribunal (1522), which he viewed as a foreign interference in his domestic affairs, was to close the ports of London for a period of two years (until 1525) to enforce the canon law prohibition on importing Lutheran literature.

There was a major fire in Warwick Lane in 1541. A petition to the crown from the City of London stipulated: "if this city continues to increase, and houses still be suffered to be built in this form, here in time, there will be no remedy but to buy a new plot outside the city. " The Elizabethan era was one of London's golden ages, when it was 'the centre of English 17th-century theatre, poetry and music'.

A Lady's School is first mentioned in 1632. The most powerful and influential citizens in the City were not only rich merchants, they were also from noble families. Unlike the rest of the nation which was divided over religion, with gentry and commoners rarely sharing the same viewpoint, the London merchants and nobles were united in their support for Protestantism and opposition to Catholicism. The two factions would clash during the Tudor period.

London held strong commercial ties with Germany, the Low Countries and Italy, as well as France, Spain and Portugal. London's merchants traded in a wide range of goods, processed materials (such as Flemish cloth), fish and grains from throughout England and Europe. The Steelyard was the headquarters of the Hanseatic League in England until its demise in 1598. London was the centre of political and religious radicalism and debate, and it was home to the printing presses which allowed the rapid dissemination of new ideas.

Ethnic Groups

The 2001 census recorded that 26. 8 per cent of Greater London's population was born outside the UK, more than double the figure of 13. 5 per cent in 1991. However, 83% of people living in London were UK citizens, the lowest figure for any region of England and Wales. The largest foreign-born groups were records as the Indian subcontinent 3%, China 2%, Jamaica 2% and Poland 1%. The 2011 census recorded that 37.

7 per cent of Greater London's population was born outside the UK, the highest figure for any region of England and Wales. However, 83% of people living in London were UK citizens, the second highest percentage after South East England. Foreign. People from ethnic minorities, make up 14. 1 per cent of London’s population, a proportion that increases to 20 per cent if the definition used in the Census is applied (anyone who reported to the Census Assayer that they were 'Black'or 'African', 'Caribbean', 'Mixed', 'Asian'or 'Other') and includes more than 10 per cent of London’s total population.

The major ethnic groups in London (using the narrower definition rather than the wider definition used in the census) in decreasing order of population are: Black-African/Caribbean/Black British: 3,095,000, Indian: 1,585,000, White Irish: 432,000. The 2011 Census recorded that 27. 7 per cent of London's population were born outside the UK. Black and minority ethnic populations are concentrated in the outer London boroughs, with over 60 per cent of London's resident population being of Black and minority ethnic (BME) origin, including those of African (8.

3 per cent), Asian (11. 0 per cent), Arab and other ethnic groups (6. 2 per cent). In 2010, 14. 6 per cent of the population was born outside the EU. London's long established ethnic minority communities contributed to London's ranking as being one of the most diverse cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, the Chinese population in London amounted to 274,000, while there were 192,000 Black British (or Black African-Caribbean-Other Black group).

In 2001, of all minority ethnic groups, only Chinese and Other Asian have a significantly higher proportion of working age people. London's ethnic diverse population is reflected in its culture, with London being home to the largest community of Jews in the world outside of Israel and the United States, the largest European-Muslim community in Europe, and – as of December 2012 – nearly 876,000 (7. 7 per cent) of Londoners were foreign-born immigrants.

London has furthermore come to be dominated by young professionals and international migrants. According to the 2011 Census, 58. 9 per cent of London's residents were White, 8. 2 per cent Black, 8. 1 per cent Asian, 3. 1 per cent Mixed, 1. 6 per cent Chinese and 0. 2 per cent other ethnic group. In 1382, Geoffrey Chaucer was appointed as deputy esquire of the king in the south, showing that he occupied a position of some influence and providing an income.


Humans have lived in what is now London for over 30,000 years. At times during the last ice age, between 150,000 BC and 10000 BC, the River Thames was forced into a new course to the south of East Molesey, across the parks of Hampton Court and Richmond. The island at this time was larger than today and continued to be fed by a fresh water spring which created a lake behind which stood a megalithic structure, known as Caesar's Tower.

During the last ice age, glaciers pushed debris into the basin left by the retreating ice sheet. This formed an obstacle which the Thames could not breach, causing its flow to pool in front of it. In 2010 – 2011, an archaeological dig found evidence of early Thames side settlements, including defensive earthworks ( Dyke ), at the present site of Leamouth. The area was previously a tidal estuary, and due to deposition of sediment, it is now some distance from the present day tidal portion of the River Thames.

The first permanent bridges across the Thames in London were built during the 18th century. Putney Bridge, a narrow timber bridge, was built in 1729 and was the first crossing between Middlesex and Surrey. Although higher above the water than today's bridges, it was only m. The first bridge on this spot was erected by the Romans in the    century AD. Londinium  was a flourishing commercial city, Rome's largest and most important in Britannia, and a major port.

Middle Ages

He built the White Tower, a fortification inspired by the walls of Constantinople and as tall as the highest towers in Europe. The main entrance, still standing today, was then at first-floor level and reached by a drawbridge. Over the entrance the Norman keep (or White Tower) is carved with a chevron pattern, which was meant to show that William had conquered England with his own blood; his followers were responsible for the death of millions of Englishmen in this conquest.

The tower was thus known as "Nova Targa"—the "new citadel"—which eventually lent its name to London. The site of the Tower was specifically chosen because it was located on the banks of the River Thames, which helped to guard against attacks from swiftly moving Viking ships. The original tower was about 200 feet high and was most likely constructed using Roman concrete; over time, the tower grew in size, with an additional floor added in 1157 and new stone walls built in 1239.

William also ordered that London Bridge be rebuilt in stone, despite much protest from the people. It eventually became one of the strongest castles in all of Europe. Also called "The Conqueror," William extended the feudal system, giving the barons control of most of the land in England in return for loyalty to the crown. He maintained peace and order by building royal castles across the country and providing military protection against powerful barons.

Trade increased as well, with England becoming a major supplier of wool to continental Europe. In 1070 Anglo-Saxon rebels led by Hereward the Wake and Gospatrick, Prince of Northumbria briefly revived English intensity in opposition to the Norman conquerors. After their defeat at the Battle of Ely in 1071, along with other rebels in Durham and Yorkshire, they continued resistance until 1074, when they submitted to William. William granted a charter to the City of London in 1075, freedom from taxes and the right to run its own affairs, effectively making the city a corporation.

Museums, Art Galleries And Libraries

What are some of the best museums to visit in London?  There has been a long tradition of public museums in London dating back to at least the early 17th century, when many of the patrons and natural philosophers who had studied and illustrated plants, animals and minerals under Queen Elizabeth I began to make their collections available for public viewing. Museums began to become important cultural centres in the 18th century, and they were key to the development of natural history and science.

The world's first public museum, which opened to the public in 1759, was the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford; it was both a museum of curiosities and a centre of scientific study. The British Museum houses some eight million objects, and received 3. 7 million visitors in 2017. Its collections include ‘record of humanity’s collective achievement’ from ‘the invention of the first writing systems, early journeys of exploration and self-expression to the construction of Albert Dock'.

The museum is a public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as well as running its main site at Bloomsbury has 11 branch museums across the United Kingdom. Museums, art galleries and libraries. London is home to many museums, galleries, and other institutions, many of which are free of admission charges and are major tourist attractions as well as playing a research role. The first of these to be established was the British Museum in Bloomsbury, in 1753.

Port And River Boats

The Port of London lies on the banks of the Thames Estuary, where the River Thames meets the North Sea. The port was the world's largest man-made harbour until the building of Le Havre in France. The London Gateway project, scheduled to be completed around 202016, will be the largest port development in the United Kingdom and will handle imports and exports on these rivers. Part of the expanding Port of Felixstowe is in London as well as Surrey and Kent.

For a long time, the Port of London was the center of world trade. The docks were also at one time the largest port in the world for international trade only if measured by tonnage; at its peak more than 1,000 ships docked per day, and it had the world's largest dry dock. The Port of London is now less significant than before, but still remains one of the world's busiest ports. A river bus service operates on the River Thames between central London and the waterway's mouth near Gravesend, Essex.

London has five major airports: Heathrow, serving as the main international hub, City, Gatwick, Southend and Luton. There are also several smaller airports nearby.  In total, there are seventeen commercial airports within 50 miles (80 km) of London. There are currently around 4,000 boat owners on the register who ply for trade within the Port of London Authority area. A small number of these boats work outside the boundary of Greater London, but still within the River Thames and Tributaries (Trout) District.

A number of companies offer boat trips on the Thames in London, among them Westminster Passenger Services and Thames River Services. Journeys operate during the summer months only. The Tower Hamlets area of the East End, historically part of the north-east ward, remains a centre for the City's financial services industry. Several shipwrecks from this period have been found nearby. Additionally, various other airports also serve London, catering primarily to general aviation flights.


In 1995, a 30m long timber causeway was found in the Thames off Blackfriars Bridge. It supported a walkway made of planks of oak. This find is described as '. one of the most important wooden finds in Europe. 'The platform is estimated to have been between 6m and 9m long and between 5m and 6m wide. Carbon dating suggests that it was built in either 1700 BC or 1080 BC (within the time frame of both dates mentioned above), although there is also evidence for a later dating that brings its age forward to around 900 BC.

Despite the name, the earliest evidence of human habitation is now to be found on the south bank. At least seven barrows in the area are known to date to this period, six of which contain human remains. The area has been protected since 1916 and is open to visitors, close to the southern end, where there is also an information centre and tea garden. Two further Iron Age earthwork barrows were created in 1822 as part of the landscaping for Vauxhall Gardens.

The bridge was probably built between 1000 BC and 500 BC, near to an important crossing point over the Thames. A couple of centuries after it was built, the Battersea Shield, on display at the British Museum and dated between 325 BC and 245 BC, was thrown into the river at this point. The bridge would have been built in the Bronze Age when the river was narrower and shallower than it is now.

During this time, the Thames was dominated by London and meanders would have created islands in places like Cadogan. Prior to the building of Waterloo Bridge, a pontoon bridge existed in this location. The first Vauxhall Bridge was opened in 1816 as the first fixed crossing across the Thames. The bridge would have been built before the creation of the first river meander (or oxbow lake) downstream of Vauxhall Bridge. Among the finds at Well.


The history of roads in central London is rather complex, as many of them predate the Great Fire of London (1666) or were constructed after it. The City of London has the oldest planned road network in Britain, and its layout has probably had a significant effect on why patterns of development have occurred. City folk tend to lead busy lives and are less likely to want to spend time walking long distances if they can help it.

Roman London

The Romans were keen to re-establish their empire and quickly set about creating a new settlement. They decided upon Colchester and in AD 70 began building the town. The plan of the town has changed little since those times (although it is known that there was a Roman temple, whose location is now unknown). The main north-south road through the forum would have been via Poultry Avenue, which connects to modern day Jury Street. To the south-west of this stood the Temple of Claudius, while Biria's house (site unknown), built around AD 69-70, lay between Water Lane and Lower Brook Street.


Sport in London has been an important part of the development of modern sports, and London has been referred to as the world's "sporting capital". The city is a global leader in sports such as association football, rugby (ancient and modern) and athletics. In addition, it is home to numerous world-renowned sporting venues, including Wembley Stadium, the largest stadium in Europe; Wimbledon, the oldest and traditionally most prestigious tennis tournament in the world; Lord's Cricket Ground, headquarters of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB); Craven Cottage, home.

Both the men's and women's Olympic marathon courses pass through central London, though the latter travels a long loop to include Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. The London Marathon is also a prestigious annual event—with official race starters, charity runners, webcam footage and full media coverage. It has become one of ten IAAF Gold Label Road Races (the highest level of events in professional athletics). As well as this, the New York City Marathon takes place every year with thousands of entrants from around the world.

Sport is an important part of the culture of London – in particular British football, a passion that is referred to as the English Disease. London has six Football League clubs: AFC Wimbledon, Barnet, Brentford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Leyton Orient and Millwall. Other notable sporting teams in London include Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United ; Championship (second-level league) club Queens Park Rangers ; and National League (third-level league) club Barnet.

The 1908 Games, the first to be hosted by the city, were in fact the third "London" Games. Following the 1908 Olympics, London was selected to host the 1924 Games, but following the 1916 Games, it was decided to hold the event in Paris instead. The 1948 Olympics were, however, held in London. Sport is an important part of the culture of London. Vanessa Trump filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday, according to court documents obtained by Us Weekly.

The parents of five children together cited " irreconcilable differences " as their reason for seeking a split. Sport is a huge part of London culture. London has teams in all the major national professional sports, with the exception of American football. All the major football clubs are located in the city. Around AD 80, the London Wall was built to defend the city. The existing Roman city (located on the north bank of the Thames) was rebuilt in AD 103 with a new wall six miles (10 km) north of the original; this fortification enabled Roman London to thrive and rapidly expand.


The highest natural point in London is Hicks Hill at 230m (755ft) above sea level, located near Hampstead Heath in north-west London. Hampstead Heath contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest and three Local Nature Reserves. Hampstead Heath also has an outdoor swimming pool which was conceived and originally built in the early 1930s as the venue for the aquatic events in the 1948 Summer Olympics before the completion of the Wembley Stadium, and then later to become a permanent public facility; it is now a listed building but still disused.

The Thames Barrier in east London is a series of flood barriers designed to protect London from tidal surges coming up the River Thames. Opened in 1982, it is one of the largest tidal barriers in the world. Most of Greater London lies in a region named the London Basin. The basin is positioned between the rivers Thames and Lea and it is here where most of London's recent growth has occurred, with the former counties of Middlesex, Essex and Hertfordshire making up a large part of this region.


Walking is a healthy activity, popular with both Londoners and tourists. Many of London's historical parks and gardens are accessible and within relatively easy reach from the city centre. The city is also well provided with longer distance walkways including the Thames Path National Trail (path), which runs for 400 kilometres (250 mi. ) along the River Thames from the Yorkshire coast to Croydon in South London and its various branches. The Capital Ring walk around London is another popular route which hits many of the capital's main landmarks.

The network of long-distance footpaths around London are managed by the National Trail, a charity that works to protect, conserve and promote outdoor recreation. Although walking in London might not sound like the most exciting activity out there, there are so many scattered walks that you could easily do every week. To make it a little easier to find a walk in your area of London, I have created a map which shows all the walks in my local area that I know about.

There will be some that are not on here, maybe one day I’ll get around to mapping them all and seeing how far I can get. London's parks and green spaces include three of the eight Royal Parks (Green Park, St. James's Park and Hyde Park) as well as Holland Park, Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park, Victoria Tower Gardens, Paddington Recreation Ground, Earl's Court Exhibition Centre and Battersea Park. Richmond Park is also a royal park within Greater London.

Hampstead Heath is famous for its views of central London. You can also walk through some beautiful areas in East Dulwich, where you will encounter a variety of lovely shops and cafés that offer a pleasant eating environment. These include: Tina We Salute You Estate Agent, Dulwich and Brockwell Lido Cafe, Peckham Pantry, The Royal Oak Gastropub. There is also the Peckhamplex cinema as an attraction for a nice evening out. It was here that the original capital was located at Winchester.