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5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About London

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by Charlotte Rees-Williams (subscribe)
I'm Lottie, a freelance writer/aspiring journalist, sometimes residing in Cardiff, sometimes in London! Visit my blog at
Published August 26th 2012
You learn something new everyday
When people are asked about London, the same buzz words always pop up - Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Black Cabs, Harrods - the list is actually endless. A city full of such character and history, what about the little known facts about London that people aren't aware of? Here are 5 facts that you probably didn't know about the Big Smoke.

1) Buckingham Palace, the Queen's official residence which dates all the way back in 1702 was built on the site of a notorious brothel. It would be interesting to know if the Queen knows about this random fact. Today the Palace attracts millions of tourists each year and has been firmly in the limelight for the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations where a huge music concert was held. It was also the site where Kate and Will shared a tender 'Just Married' Kiss last year.

Magnus D - Wikimedia Commons

2) Restaurants in London make up approximately 22% of all restaurants in Britain and the only city to boast more Michelin Star restaurants than London is Paris (of course). Everywhere that you travel in London you are guaranteed to be spoilt for choice for eating venues. Whether it's a popular brand restaurant such as Nandos or Prezzo or a stand-alone little café hidden away down a side-street, each area of London offers a plethora of choices for you. And if you want to splash the cash and indulge in a Michelin star meal then Gordon Ramsey and Heston Blumenthal both have restaurants in the London area.

3) 55% of the London Underground is not underground. The underground (or should it be called overground?) is one of the quickest ways to get around London and has been running since 1870. Merchandise featuring the London Underground map is also a firm favourite with the millions of tourists who visit London each year. London has been constantly aiming to improve public transport around the city and also launched the 'Boris' Bike, named after Boris Johnson, London Mayor. This initiative aims to promote bike hire to encourage healthy living for Londoners and to cut down on traffic congestion.

Wikimedia Commons

4) The modern game of tennis originated in London in the 19th century. Wimbledon, home of the world's leading tournament is home to a museum dedicated to the sport and which holds artefacts dating back to 1555. London was transformed into a city of sport for the 2012 Olympics. The Olympic village based in Stratford cost a staggering £500 Million plus to build.

5) Britain's first ever supermarket opened in Earl's Court in 1951. Earl's Court exhibition centre and Earl's Court 2 are now hosts to some of the most popular events in London. Graduate Fashion Week is an annual event held at Earl's Court 2 and celebrates fashion graduates' efforts through catwalk shows, exhibitions and celebrity talks. Earl's Court 1 hosts some of the biggest exhibitions in London from business ventures to the volleyball competition for the London 2012 Olympics.

Get out and about in London and see what other random facts you can discover yourself.

Wikimedia Commons
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Why? London has lots of undiscovered secrets
When: All Year Round
Where: All over London
Cost: Free!
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