Britain’s capital is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has been home to some of the greatest minds in history. London has been responsible for numerous innovations in science, culture and technology. It spawned one of the oldest democracies in the world and has continued to grow as a political and economic powerhouse. If you’re planning a visit to the Paddington Park Grand, then here is your chance to brush up on your London trivia. We’ve put together a list of some interesting and intriguing facts about the city that may surprise you.
Home to 8.67 million people, London has a hugely diverse population and is full of culture and history. The city attracts around 16 million international visitors every year, with over 300 different languages being spoken at any given time.
There are 857 art galleries in London, three of which are on the list of top ten museums in the world.
There are over 250 festivals taking place in the city every year, as well as 17,000 music performances spread across over 300 venues.
London Fashion Week generates £100 million and draws in some of the biggest celebrities and fashion designers from all over the globe.
The British Library is among the 380 public libraries in London but if that isn’t enough then you may find something good to read at the 800 book shops scattered throughout the city.
London is well known for its famous black cabs, with drivers that have heard every story in the book. It may shock you to find out that the actual number of black cabs operating in London is around 21,000. What’s perhaps more shocking is that you can still never seem to get one when you need it!
Anyone travelling around London will be very familiar with the underground system. It is one of the oldest subway systems in the world and is made up of 270 stations.
The Tube first opened in 1863 and currently employs over 19,000 staff.
Around 2.7 million journeys are made every day on the Tube, a huge figure that any commuter would vouch for.
The average speed of a Tube train is around 33km per hour, which is just quick enough to get around the 250 mile radius that the Underground system covers.
The Palace of Westminster
Home to the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is the largest in the country, even bigger than the home of the royal family. The historical site is home to 1,000 rooms, 11 courtyards, 100 staircases, six restaurants, eight bars, a hair salon, and even a rifle-shooting range. Construction began in 1840 and took 30 years to complete.
The tower next to Westminster is often referred to as Big Ben, when this is actually the name of the bell housed inside. The original bell was cast in 1856 but had to be replaced after it cracked during its first test. The Elizabeth Tower has 11 floors and stands at 315ft tall. Construction began in 1843 and used 850 cubic metres of stone and 2,600 cubic metres of bricks.
This just scratches the surface when it comes to facts about London. Come down to our hotel near Paddington to start your adventure and see what you can find out about this amazing city.