25 Interesting Facts About London
- The UK does not have a national day, though sometimes it uses the birthday of the Queen.
- London is the biggest city in the UK and the most expensive to live in.
- For almost 300 years French was the official language in the UK, from 1066 to 1362.
- Killing a swan is illegal in the UK. If you kill one you get a fine of £5,000 or a 6-month sentence.
- In the past London had different names like Londinium or Ludenburg.
- J.K. Rowling was the first writer to ever become a billionaire from her writings. In ’14, her total net worth reached $1 billion.
- There are no active volcanoes in the UK.
- There are more English speakers in the US, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and the Philippines than in the United Kingdom.
- According to a legend, the Scottish flag with a white cross over a blue background is a representation of the shape of clouds formed when Scotland was fighting with Angles, a tribe of Germanic invaders.
- Shakespeare added approximately three-thousand words to the English language.
- Every year a person in the UK gets through 38 kilograms of newspaper on average.
- Birmingham is the second-largest city in the UK.
- During the 16th century, the king raised a tax for everyone with a beard.
- The English are tea addicts: an Englishman drinks more tea than any person of any other nation (over twenty times more than Americans!).
- European continental land is linked with The U.K. through the Channel Tunnel. It connects the city of Calais (France) and Dover (England). At 21 miles this road is the second-longest underground tunnel.
- Wales’ capital city Cardiff is known as the ‘City of Arcades’ as it is home to the highest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary indoor shopping arcades of any British city.
- In London, the tube route from Leicester Square to Covent Garden is the most popular tube route for tourists despite the fact that it is actually quicker to cover this distance on foot!
- Did you know that Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world that is still being used by the royal family and that Buckingham Palace was built in 1702 on the site of an infamous brothel!
- Big Ben is not a clock. Contrary to popular belief that Big Ben refers to the world-famous clock, it is actually the name of the thirteen-ton bell. The tower itself is known as St. Stephen’s Tower.
- That London is one of the cities with the highest cultural diversity in the world, can be gauged from the fact that about 25% of the inhabitants of London were born outside of England!
- The London Eye is the tallest observation wheel in the world and each rotation takes about 30 minutes.
- Did you know that the River Thames, which flows through London, has over 200 bridges and 20 tunnels? Something to keep in mind next time you’re walking back to your hotel near the Tower of London! What an amazing and endearing part of our exciting world!
- Margaret Thatcher was the first woman ever elected as the Prime Minister of the UK. At the same time, she’s known as the longest servant as a PM of the UK.
- The typical food in the U.K. is roast beef and Yorkshire beef, but the Brits have voted Chicken Tikka as their national dish. The Chicken Tikka is actually an Indian recipe.
- The first postage stamp was created in the U.K. It was designed in May 1840, and it featured Queen Victoria.
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