London is the world-renowned capital of the United Kingdom, and with a population of around 9 million people (based on 2018 figures), it is an extremely popular travel destination with around 20 million tourists travelling there every year. This is hardly surprising considering how much there is to do and see in London town! It doesn’t matter where in the world you have come from, you will have heard of London and everything that the British capital has to offer.
However, there is a lot more to London than just the sights, such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Instead, London has a lot of different things to offer, from the friendly locals to the hidden secrets around every street. Therefore, we have put together a list of four things that we bet you don’t know about London!
It Can Take 2-4 Years to Be a Black Taxi Driver
While in some countries being a taxi driver is often considered a job that anybody can train to do, it takes a lot of hard work to become one of London’s famous black cab drivers. Each London cab driver is required to know a staggering 25,000 streets, over 300 routes, and around 20,000 landmarks in order to be a fully certified taxi driver. ‘The Knowledge’ test puts drivers through their paces and they are awarded with the ‘green badge’ to prove that they know their stuff. No visit to London is complete without a trip in one of the city’s famous black taxis, so be sure to check out the etiquette for the London Black Cab before you go!
The Not-So Underground
While the underground is the world-famous form of transport that both locals and tourists use to get around the city, the majority of the underground system is actually above the ground. Many people don’t realise that around 55 percent of the tube network exists and runs on a surface level. So, don’t be shocked if you board the tube and find that you don’t stay underground for long!
Great Ormand Street Hospital Owns Peter Pan
The Great Ormand Street Hospital is one of the main children’s hospitals that resides in the Bloomsbury area of the Camden borough of London. It treats around 600 children every day who suffer from a wide variety of different illnesses. The hospital relies heavily upon charitable support, and in 1929, J. M Barrie, the author of popular children’s story Peter Pan, gifted the entire rights and royalties of the story to the hospital.
Tower Bridge Walkway
Tower bridge is one of the most recognised bridges in the whole of the UK, but many people are unaware that the top deck of the bridge was originally a walkway. However, it was closed to the public in 1910 as it had become a place for gathering prostitutes.
London is one of the most well-known cities in the entire world, but now you know some of the most interesting surprises that this popular city has to offer!