The largest and most interesting city to visit in England is the capital city, London. The city always has something to do, or somewhere to visit that will suit everyone. The most famous attractions of course are the Royal Family and the Queen, and the traditional ceremonies that are synonymous with them. Travelling around can be quite tiresome and troublesome, as London is a huge city. There are many ways of getting around, the two most popular ways to see London are either the Tube (London underground), or via an organised tour. The Tube is popular as there is a tube station near to every tourist spot.
Touring London via an organised excursion is an exciting option. It is also the quickest way of making sure one sees a vast amount of sights within a short space of time. Choosing the best tour depends upon an individuals taste, and there is no shortage of tours to choose from. The tours on offer range from ‘ghost tours’ to ‘walking tours’, and everything inbetween from historic sights and tours of the famous taverns.
London has a population of over 7 million and is one of the most diverse and cultural cities in the world. The different cultures vary in accordance with the many different faiths, backgrounds and countries of origin the people come from. With all the different ethnicities comes different languages, there are more than three hundred different languages spoken within London. The most common of course is English but others include: Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Gujarati and Bengali to name just a few. The only way to really experience these different cultures is to wander amongst them.
One thing about London which many folk find extremely exciting is the vast number of shops and shopping opportunities. Camden Town is very popular with its colourful array of shops and stores. If browsing through the markets is more your cup of tea then there are numerous exciting examples in London, the oldest is Billingsgate Fish Market which originates from around 500 BC, and only moved to the Isle of Dogs in 1962. London also boasts the longest street market in the United Kingdom (Walthastowe Market).
London has many sights and things to do for the tourist interested in Literature. William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the famous poet and playwright has connections with London. His famous Globe Theatre was sited in London, and even though the original theatre no longer exists, it is possible to visit and watch performances at the newly constructed Globe Theatre, which is close to the site of Shakespeare’s original theatre. There are a lot of different tours available with a Shakespearean connection.
The original Globe was constructed from 1598 to 1609 and William Shakespeare, as well as being a writer and actor there, was one the shareholders. It was during one of the more spectacular performances that the theatre burnt down, apparently a canon set alight the thatch roof. Rebuilding and repair quickly commenced and the theatre was ready for business again in 1614. Sadly it was forced to close for good by the Puritans, and flattened in 1644.
Another celebrated author that comes to mind when touring London is Dickens. He resided in numerous locales across the city, but not all of them are still around today. One home, 48 Doughty Street is still around and is the venue for the Dickens Museum. His earliest residence was 16 Bayham Street in Camden where he stayed a young boy. This residence no longer exists but there is a plaque at 141 Bayham Street commemorating him. In the place where one residence stood is a tower block. That particular home was 1 Devonshire Terrace and the tower blocks address is 15-17 Marylebone Road.
South Bank Book Market, situated at Riverside Walk SE1 is one of the best places to buy books. The market takes place every weekend (saturday and sunday) and is open from 10.30 am to about 7 pm during the summer. In the winter the opening hours are shorter (12 pm to 5.30 pm). There has been a book market here since 1982.