London City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

UKflag200The City of London is the capital of the United Kingdom and is the most populated city in the entire European Union. Central London is the business address of more than half of the United Kingdom’s top 100 listed companies. The city is considered as the world’s leading financial, business and cultural center; and the rise of the city as one of the superpowers of the world is attributed to the influence of politics, education, media, entertainment, arts, and even fashion.  Ever since the concept of tourism has been ingrained into the lifestyle of society, London has become a popular leisure destination of both locals and foreigners; with the city having 4 heritage sites and famous landmarks, including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, London Eye and other historical areas.

Residential Places in London

The city of London is one of the three leading financial centers in the world, along with Tokyo and New York. Considering the massive influx of businesses in and out of city, real estate can only be called luxurious when eyeing a place in the locale. The West End of London is considered as the shopping and entertainment district of the city. The real estate areas are complete with scenic views, well-trimmed gardens and artistic designed mansions and houses that can only be describes as luxurious. These areas are mostly coveted, even if the price is quite high, due to the location – that is, away from the hustle and bustle of the city — particularly areas in the West End includes Knightsbridge, Chelsea, and Notting Hill.  An expat also recommended a few other areas as seen on the Britain Expat Forum last September 9, 2009:

There are also a lot of nice suburbs in Surrey….

Look at Kingston Upon Thames, Worcester park, New Malden, Cheam, Sutton.
Sutton and Kingston boroughs still offer grammar schools (selective non fee-paying schools) for 11-18 year-olds.
All are within easy commuter distance of central London.. with much cheaper accommodation

If the real estate and luxurious mansions in the West End are overly expensive for your budget, then the assortment of apartments and condos in Central London would be ideal for your needs. Being the center of the busy city, it is literally convenient for easy access to various establishments in the area. These apartments and condos come with basic to luxurious interiors, some even fully furnished and equipped for maximum comfort.

Another aspect of residential areas is its proximity to educational institutions and the best ones were identified in a post at the Britain Expat Forum last September 18, 2009:

Try Blackheath, just a few miles outside the city (about 15mins communting time) has a nice ‘village feel’ and some good open space. Also has good private schools.

A bit further out try Sevenoaks. Quite pricey, but prime communter land. Approx 35mins into London. Lots of v.good private schools.

Pros of private schools – good education, small class sizes, lots of extra cirrcular activities. Cons, its pretty expensive, average approx £3000 per child per term, plus extras (would need to allow between £10,000 – £12,000 per year).

Hospitals and Universities of London

The University of London, being the largest institution devoted to teaching and research in the United Kingdom, is the most popular choice in the city. Home to at least a population of 190,000, both stay-in or off-campus students, the University of London has 160 buildings located in an estate in Bloomsbury which contains both faculty buildings, library, dormitories, and a separate building for other different studies offered. Another institution that is located in London is the London School of Economics and it is the world‘s leading social science institution for teaching and research, plus has the most international student body of any university in the world today.

There are three main teaching hospitals popular in London, namely St. Bartholomew, The Royal London Hospital, and the London Chest Hospital. All these institutions provide high-end medical services and research that have produced medical breakthroughs every year. With a full staff 24/7, these hospitals aim to provide medical services, from simple checkups to complicated surgery, unlike anything else in the world. St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts) is located in West Smithfield; the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, and London Chest in Bonner Road. The hospitals have a switchboard telephone number of 020 7377 7000, with the following direct dial extensions for the following hospital: Barts’ is 020 7601, and London Chest’s 020 8983.

Commercial Places in London

Considering the reputation of London as one of the financial titans of the world — not to mention the number of tourists that flock into the city — chains of shopping malls and boutiques line the busy streets, to accommodate locals and visitors alike. From accessory shops to fashion boutiques, and from bookstores to shopping malls, London has a lot to offer if you’re willing to find them. The Commercial Street forms a part of the inner ring road of London and houses the Bank of London and various other financial institutions. Also, the area is lined with shops and boutiques, showcasing the most delectable cuisines to priceless antiques. If you are planning to browse around for literary goodies then Charing Cross Road is the perfect stop. From Trafalgar Square to St Giles’ Circus, Charing Cross Road is renowned for its bookshops. From comic books, arts and science, fiction to drama – all can be appreciate, viewed, and purchased in any one of the shops open. For entertainment and shopping purposes, the Covent Garden is your best stop. Home to the Royal Opera House, one of the paramount entertainment areas of the city, and the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden is also lined with restaurant and shops for high-end and branded labels.

Service Establishments in London

The popular city of London is never without its dangers, as what is expected in a city that never really sleeps. The Metropolitan Police, based in New Scotland Yard, Broadway, serves as the main security force to combat various crimes or incidents in the city. It can be reached through their switchboard trunk line 020 7230 1212 and is open for 24 hours from Monday to Sundays. You can also dial the emergency hotline 999 if you want immediate action to your needs.

The London Fire Brigade, located in 8 Albert Embankment in London, can be contacted through the emergency hotline 999, in case of fire related emergencies. For non-emergency assistance or inquiries into the department, you may dial the 24-hour switchboard 020 7587 2000 or you can send correspondence via email to [email protected]. For Internet service providers, the most popular ISP in the city of London is BT (British Telecommunications) Total Broadband, which provides high-speed broadband Internet connection to any part of the city. Their main office is located at 81 Newgate Street, London. If you are using a BT landline, inquiries and connection information will be answered by dialing 150. Non BT subscribers may call 0800 800.

Embassies in London

Considering the popularity of London, being a financial titan in the world, the city is home to numerous foreign agencies for Britons who wish to travel outside the country, whether for the sake of business or tourism. For inquiries or suggestions regarding visa and passport applications, there are a variety of foreign embassies in London for those who wish to travel to other countries. To know about the location of these foreign embassies, you may visit for a detailed list of contact information and location of these institutions.

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