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This traveller's guide to London recognises cultural, functional and social districts of varying type and size: Bloomsbury Vibrant historic district made famous by a group of turn-of-the-century writers and for being the location of the British Museum, the University of London and numerous historic homes, parks, and buildings. City of London The City is where London originally developed within the Roman city walls and is a city in its own right, separate from the rest of London.
It is now the most important financial centre in the world, but an area where modern skyscrapers stand next to medieval churches on ancient street layouts.
Westminster A city in its own right, the seat of government and an almost endless list of historical and cultural sights, such as Buckingham Palace, The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and Westminster Abbey.
South Containing many commuter suburbs with housing in varying styles, as well as the buzzing urban centres of Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Bromley, all four having cultural facilities in their town centres with leafy residential neighbourhoods fanning out from them.
East Mostly originally part of the county of Essex, taking in former industrial areas on the upper Thames Estuary such as Beckton, Barking and Dagenham.
Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy.
The capital and largest city of England, and of the wider United Kingdom, it is also the largest city in Western Europe and the European Union.
Heathrow Airport is located in this part of the city.
Settlement has existed on the site of London since well before Roman times, with evidence of Bronze Age and Celtic settlement.
You can find a restaurant from just about any ethnic group in the world.
North Largely made up of lush green middle-class/bourgeois suburbs, many of which were formerly part of the counties of Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire before being absorbed into Greater London.
London's long association with the theatre, for example, can be traced back to the English renaissance (witness the Rose Theatre and great playwrights like Shakespeare who made London their home).
With the rise of Britain to supreme maritime power in the 18th and 19th centuries (see Industrial Britain) and the possessor of the largest global empire, London became an imperial capital and drew people and influences from around the world to become, for many years, the largest city in the world.
Southwark-Lewisham Inner southern districts of London; traditionally residential, with a large melting pot of communities.