The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The Capital of the UK

Category: Land + People

The capital of the UK is London which is situated on both banks of the river Thames and has the population of seven million people. There are four areas or boroughs in London: Westminster, the City, the West End, and the East End.

Westminster is the governmental and political centre of London. Westminster Palace (the seat of the Houses of Parliament), Westminster Abbey and Scotland Yard are there. There are also such important streets as Whitehall (the street, in which the important government offices are located) and Downing Street (the London residence of the Prime Minister and the place where the Cabinet meets).

Westminster Abbey is used for the coronation of all the British monarchs. William the Conqueror became the first king, crowned in the abbey.

The City or Square Mile is the commercial and business centre of London with many offices, banks and the Stock Exchange. It is the oldest part of London, its area is about a square mile. Only five thousand people live here, but more than a million people work in this area. There are also some historical sights in the City. Among them are the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The bestknown street here is Fleet Street, where most newspapers have their offices.

The West End is London‟s main entertainment and shopping district. It is associated with wealth, luxury and goods of high quality. There are a lot of historical places in this part of London, such as Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden (the famous Royal Opera House), Trafalgar Square (named after the battle at Trafalgar) and Piccadilly Circus. London is also famous for its parks, which are Hyde Park with its Speaker’s Corner, Kensington Gardens, St. James’s Park and London Zoo. The National Gallery, Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the Tate Gallery (which was named after its founder Sir Henry Tate) are well-known, too. The West London area is also known for its fashionable and expensive residential areas, such as Notting Hill, Knightsbridge and Chelsea.

The University of London is also in the West End. Bloomsbury is London’s student quarter. (Cf: In Paris, the Sorbonne University is in Latin Quarter – a district, where students and artists live.)

The East End is the eastern side of London, which is near the Port of London. It is also one of the poorest areas in London, where working people live. It is an industrial district, which is very important for the UK‟s commerce and trade.

Greater London (Большой Лондон) is an administrative part, which includes the city of London, its suburbs, outskirts and the surrounding counties.

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