Main UK cities
Here is a list of the UK's most popular cities. Each one has plenty of places to explore and its own unique treasures to discover, from Rosslyn Chapel that featured heavily in The Da Vinci Code, which can be found just outside Edinburgh, to Rock City, an Indie/rock club that is also the main live gig venue in Nottingham.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
The UK's cities are interlinked by a reasonably good motorway network so getting around the country is relatively easy in principle. In reality, as with other countries, morning and evening rush hour traffic is heavy, particularly around the larger conurbations, and Bank Holiday weekends can bring traffic to a standstill, so make sure you have enough fuel for your car (and your passengers!) and if travelling with children, something to keep them occupied.
If you have already visited London, you will know that it is a leading global city, and a world cultural capital. It is the world's most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world's largest city airport system according to passenger traffic. It's not difficult to see why, as London is brimming over with historic buildings, landmarks, museums, galleries, events, markets, parks, shops, restaurants and pubs, many of which you will have undoubtedly heard of. Let us start by telling you a few interesting facts about London:
The world's first traffic light was erected outside the House of Parliament in 1868. It blew up the following year, injuring the policeman who was operating it.
Brought back from China by Dutch merchants, tea made its first appearance in London in September 1658, when the new beverage was advertised in a pamphlet by Thomas Garraway, a coffeehouse owner.
The world's first public street lighting with gas was installed in Pall Mall, London in 1807. In 1812, the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company became the world's first gas company.
The only true home shared by all four Beatles was a flat at 57 Green Street near Hyde Park, where they lived in the autumn of 1963.
Established in 1890, the City and South London Railway was the first deep-level underground railway in the world. It was also the first major railway to use electric traction. It had six stations and ran for 3.2 miles (5.1 km) in a pair of tunnels between the City of London and Stockwell, passing under the River Thames.
London consists of 32 administrative districts, or "boroughs" as they are known, plus the City of London, a major business and financial centre right at the heart of London. One of the biggest issues anyone coming to London faces is the price of the property, being the third most expensive city in the world. If you look at the "classic areas" in which everybody wants to live, you really will not get a lot for your money, so it is worth looking a little further afield and at some up and coming areas. The tube network is fast and the trains are frequent, so getting about London is not difficult.
City of London
The City of London is a city and county within London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the agglomeration has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It is one of two districts of London to hold city status; the other is the adjacent City of Westminster.
The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City (often written as just City and differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising City) and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2) in area. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City.
The local authority for the City, namely the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It is also unusual in having responsibilities and ownerships beyond its boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London.
The City is a major business and financial centre. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and it continues to be a major meeting point for businesses. London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, published in 2008. The insurance industry is focused around the eastern side of the City. A secondary financial district exists outside of the City, at Canary Wharf, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the east.
The City has a resident population of about 7,000 (2011) but over 300,000 people commute to and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City, especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple—fall within the City of London boundary.
Barking and Dagenham
The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham lies around 9 miles (14.4 km) east of Central London. It is an Outer London borough and the south is within the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway; an area designated as a national priority for urban regeneration. At the 2011 census it had a population of 187,000, the majority of which are within the Becontree estate. The local authority is Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council. Barking and Dagenham was one of six London boroughs to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Barking and Dagenham has its own local radio station Time 107.5 FM. The Station covers Barking Dagenham and surrounding areas and brings local people up to date news and event guides.Much of the housing of the borough was constructed by the London County Council during the interwar period of 1921-1939. Major settlement of the area, mostly escaping slum conditions in the East End of London, occurred during this period when the new motor and chemical industries such as the Ford Motor Company plant at Dagenham were set up. Since the decline of these industries in the 1980s, employment has shifted towards service sector jobs. Much of the borough is within the London Riverside area of the Thames Gateway zone and is the site of considerable house building and other development.
The London Borough of Barnet is a suburban London borough in north London, England, forming part of Outer London. It is the second largest London borough by population with 331,500 inhabitants and covers an area of 86.74 square kilometres (33 sq mi), the fourth highest. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the east. The borough was formed in 1965 from parts of the counties of Middlesex and Hertfordshire. The local authority is Barnet London Borough Council.
Barnet has two Grade I Listed buildings, both designed by Edwin Lutyens: the Church of St Jude, the parish church of Hampstead Garden Suburb with a Gothic spire and on the opposite side of Central Square, the Free Church, of similar design but with a concrete dome. The Royal Air Force Museum is a museum built on part of the site of Hendon Aerodrome, dedicated to the history of aviation, and the British Royal Air Force in particular.
Church Farmhouse Museum on Greyhound Hill in Hendon is a grade II* listed 17th-century farmhouse used by Barnet Council as an exhibition space and museum until the Council closed to save money on 31 March 2011. Early in 2014 it was given the classification of "vulnerable" by English Heritage after having stood abandoned for almost three years. Friern Hospital was a large Victorian psychiatric hospital located in Friern Barnet, which has been converted into flats.
The Jewish Military Museum is a museum located in Hendon. It features exhibits about Jews serving in the British armed forces from the 18th century to the present day.
The London Borough of Bexley is a London borough in south-east London, England. It has common borders with the London Borough of Bromley to the south, the Royal Borough of Greenwich to the west, across the River Thames to the north it borders the London Borough of Havering, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and a small boundary with the unitary authority Thurrock in Essex to the north east, to the east it borders the Dartford borough in Kent and to the south east a boundary with the Sevenoaks district of Kent. The borough is within the Thames Gateway, an area designated as a national priority for urban regeneration. The local authority is Bexley London Borough Council.
Bexley, lying as it does on the outer fringe of London, has many relatively large areas of open space. The Borough owns and maintains over one hundred parks and open spaces, large and small; and there is still a part of the Erith Marshes bordering the River Thames. The Crayford Marshes lie to the east of that river, as do Foots Cray Meadows further south.
The largest of the open spaces are Lesnes Abbey Woods, Danson Park and Hall Place Gardens. There are also many golf courses and sports fields, particularly to the west of Crayford.
The London Borough of Brent is a London borough in north west London, and forms part of Outer London. The major areas are Kilburn, Wembley and Willesden.
It borders the boroughs of Harrow to the north-west, Barnet to the north-east, Camden to the east and Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea to the south, and Westminster to the south-east. Most of the eastern border is formed by the Roman road Watling Street, which is now the modern A5. Brent has a mixture of residential, industrial and commercial land. Brent is home to Wembley Stadium, one of the country's biggest landmarks, as well as Wembley Arena. The local authority is Brent London Borough Council.
The borough of Brent is extremely diverse, ethnically. In the 2011 census, those who claimed British white heritage made up 18% of the borough's population. 18% claimed other white heritage, 5% were of mixed heritage, those of South Asian heritage comprised about 33%, those of African and Caribbean heritage about 19%, and other ethnic groups about 7%.
As of 2011, 41.5% identify themselves as Christian, 18.6% Muslim, 17.8% Hindu and 10.6% irreligious.
The London Borough of Bromley is south of the River Thames. Bromley is the principal town in the London Borough of Bromley.
The borough is the largest in Greater London by area and occupies 59 square miles (153 km2), of which the majority is Metropolitan Green Belt land. It is also perhaps the most rural.
Most of the population lives in the north and west of the borough, with an outlier at Biggin Hill in the far south. The borough shares borders with the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich to the North, Bexley to the North East, Southwark and Lambeth to the North West, as well as Croydon to the West. It also borders the Sevenoaks District of Kent to the East and South, and the Tandridge District of Surrey to the South West.
Westerham Heights, the highest point in London at an altitude of 804 feet (245 m), is located on the southern boundary. The Prime Meridian passes through Bromley.
About 30% of the land in Bromley is farmland, the highest figure of a London Borough.
The London Borough of Camden forms part of Inner London. The southern reaches of Camden form part of central London. The local authority is Camden London Borough Council.
The area is in the northern part of the city, reaching from Holborn and Bloomsbury in the south to Hampstead Heath in the north. Neighbouring areas are the City of Westminster and the City of London to the south, Brent to the west, Barnet and Haringey to the north and Islington to the east. It covers all or part of the N1, N6, N7, N19, NW1, NW2, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW8, EC1, WC1, WC2, W1 and W9 postcode areas. It contains parts of central London.
There are 162 English Heritage blue plaques in the borough of Camden representing the many diverse personalities that have lived there. Three of London's busiest railway stations are in the borough, namely Euston, King's Cross, and St. Pancras. Somewhere in the region of 52 million passengers using the three every year.
The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in south London, England and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of 87 km2 (33.6 sq mi) and is the largest London borough by population. It is the southernmost borough of London. At its centre is the historic town of Croydon from which the borough takes its name. Croydon is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and from a small market town has expanded into one of the most populous areas on the fringe of London. Croydon is the civic centre of the borough. The borough is now one of London's leading business, financial and cultural centres, and its influence in entertainment and the arts contribute to its status as a major metropolitan centre.
The area is one of the hearts of culture in London and the South East of England. Institutions such as the major arts and entertainment centre Fairfield Halls add to the vibrancy of the borough. However, its famous fringe theatre "the Warehouse Theatre" was put under administration in 2012 when the council withdrew its funding and the building itself was demolished in 2013. The Croydon Clocktower was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 as an arts venue featuring a library, the independent David Lean Cinema (closed by the council in 2011 after 16 years of operating, but now partially reopened on a part-time and volunteers basis) and museum. From 2000 to 2010, Croydon staged an annual summer festival celebrating the area's black and Indian cultural diversity, with audiences reaching over 50,000 people. An internet radio station, Croydon Radio, is run by local people for the area. The borough is also home to its own local TV station, Croydon TV. Premier League football club Crystal Palace F.C. play at Selhurst Park in South Norwood, a stadium they have been based in since 1924. Other landmarks in the borough include Addington Palace, an 18th-century mansion which became the official second residence of six archbishops, Shirley Windmill, one of the few surviving large windmills in Greater London built in the 1850s, and the BRIT School, a creative arts institute run by the BRIT Trust which has produced artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis.
The London Borough of Ealing overs part of west London and a small part of northwest London. Its administrative centre is Ealing Broadway. Other major centres include Acton, Greenford and Southall. The local authority is Ealing London Borough Council.
Within the borough are two garden suburbs, Brentham Garden Suburb and Bedford Park. 330 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
The borough has a long-standing Irish community which is particularly visible through the number of established Irish pubs in the borough and the popularity of Gaelic games in the community. Country flags for example can be seen flown on the outside or hung inside of various pubs in the area, especially on St Patrick's Day. St Benedict's School has also had a long term affiliation with the Irish community in Ealing, as it is a Catholic school.
Ealing and Acton have a large British-Polish community that owes its origins to the World War II refugees and Polish armed forces finding both cheap accommodation and work in the Acton area, which then had a high proportion of London's light engineering companies involved with government war contracts. This community has grown considerably including more shops with authentic Polish food since Poland joined the EU and its migrant workers have been able to come to the UK freely; in 2011 the borough had the UK's highest proportion of Polish speakers at 6% of the population. This has also led to an increase in Polish social centres in the borough. In Southall in the west of the borough and Hayes in the borough of Hillingdon there is one of the largest South Asian communities in the UK. This community developed in 1950s.
There are also churches and centres for London's Hungarian and Assyrian communities in South Ealing.
The London Borough of Enfield borders the London Boroughs of Barnet (to the west), Haringey (to the south) and Waltham Forest (to the south-east), the districts of Hertsmere (to the north-west), Welwyn Hatfield and Broxbourne (both to the north) in Hertfordshire, and Epping Forest (to the east) in Essex. The local authority is Enfield Council.
Enfield Town used to be a small market town in the county of Middlesex on the edge of the forest about a day's travel north of London. As London grew, Enfield Town and its surrounds eventually became a residential suburb, with fast transport links into central London.
Enfield has a history of armaments manufacture—see Royal Small Arms Factory. The Lee–Enfield .303 rifle was standard issue for the British Army until 1957, although its usage carried on afterwards for some time. Other firearms manufactured there include the Bren and Sten machine guns—the "en" in both cases denoting the place of manufacture.
The world's first solid state circuitry colour televisions were manufactured by Ferguson at their now closed plant in Enfield.
The first dishwasher to be mass-produced was in Hotpoint's now closed Enfield plant.
The Barclays Bank branch in Enfield was the first place in the world to have an ATM or cash machine.
A fine example of art deco factory building can be found along Southbury Road, with the former Ripaults factory, now an office building for MAN trucks.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is found in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the London Borough of Greenwich was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to the east. The local council is Greenwich London Borough Council.
Greenwich is world famous as the traditional location of the Prime Meridian, on which all Coordinated Universal Time is based. The Prime Meridian running through Greenwich and the Greenwich Observatory is where the designation Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT began, and on which all world times are based. In 2012, Greenwich was listed as a top ten global destination by Frommer's – the only UK destination to be listed.
Greenwich was one of six host boroughs for the 2012 London Olympics and events were held at the Royal Artillery Barracks (shooting), Greenwich Park (equestrianism) and The O2 - the former Millennium Dome (gymnastics and basketball).
To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Greenwich became a Royal Borough on 3 February 2012, due in part to its historic links with the Royal Family, and to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status as home of the Prime Meridian.
Hackney is bounded by Islington to the west, Haringey to the north, Waltham Forest to the north-east, Newham to the east, Tower Hamlets to the south-east and the City of London to the south-west. Much of Hackney maintains its inner-city character and in places like Dalston large housing estates now sit side-by-side with gated communities. In South Hackney, near Victoria Park, there is terraced Victorian and Edwardian housing.
The historical and administrative heart of Hackney is the area roughly extending north from Mare Street and surrounding the Church of St John-at-Hackney; known as Hackney Central. To the north of the borough are Upper Clapton and Lower Clapton, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington. To the east is the large open space of Hackney Marshes and the districts of Hackney Wick and Homerton. Light industries in the area around the River Lea employ over 3,000 people and some were also used for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
There are 1,300 listed buildings in Hackney, including the Hackney Empire, Tudor Sutton House, and the Grade I medieval St Augustine's Tower. The Borough contains 25 conservation areas including Clapton Square, and urban open-spaces including Clapton Common and Clissold Park. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and Victorian housing, and areas of industrial heritage.
Hammersmith and Fulham
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is a London borough in West London, and forms part of Inner London. Traversed by the east-west main roads of the A4 Great West Road and the A40 Westway, many international corporations have offices in the borough. The local council is Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council.
The borough comprises a patchwork of extremely affluent as well as some less affluent neighbourhoods; The areas of Fulham, Parsons Green, Brackenbury Village, Brook Green, Ravenscourt Park and the Riverside compose of highly expensive Victorian and Edwardian houses, contrasting to the areas of White City and Shepherd's Bush.
Virgin Group operates its headquarters at The School House, 50 Brook Green. Sony Mobile Communications has its headquarters in the borough.
Iberia operates the Iberia House in the borough. All Nippon Airways operates the London Office on the fourth floor of Hythe House. South African Airways has its United Kingdom office in the South African Airways House. CE Europe, a subsidiary of Capcom, has its head office in the George House in Hammersmith in the borough. As of May 2011 it will be relocating to the Metro Building in Hammersmith. Iran Air's London offices are also located in the borough. The airline moved there by Wednesday 4 January 2012. Coca-Cola, Disney and L'Oréal also all have UK headquarters in Hammersmith, as well as a number of other major businesses.
For a 15-year period Air France had its UK and Ireland office in Hammersmith. In 2006 the UK and Ireland office was moved to Hatton Cross, London Borough of Hounslow.
Also, TAP Portugal runs an administrative office in the Borough, near to Hammersmith Bus Station.
Chelsea Football Club is based in the borough and plays Premier League football. Both Fulham F.C. and Queens Park Rangers play in the Championship, and are also based in the borough.
The London Borough of Haringey is in North London and classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs. Clockwise from the north, they are: Enfield, Waltham Forest, Hackney, Islington, Camden, and Barnet.
Haringey covers an area of more than 11 square miles (28.5 km2). Some of the more familiar local landmarks include Alexandra Palace, Bruce Castle, Jacksons Lane, Highpoint I and II, and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The borough has extreme contrasts: areas in the west, such as Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End are among the most prosperous in the country; in the east of the borough, some wards are classified as being among the most deprived 10% in the country.
Haringey has 600 acres (2.4 km2) of parks, recreation grounds and open spaces which make up more than 25% of its total area. They include both smaller local areas and large green areas which provide an amenity for Londoners beyond the borough's boundaries. Local Nature Reserves and a number of conservation areas can also be found in the borough. The borough is also home to five distinct ancient woods. These are Highgate Woods, Queen's Wood, Coldfall Wood, Bluebell Wood and North Wood.
The borough has achieved Green Flag status for eight of its parks which is the highest awarded to any London borough. Highgate Wood in Haringey is one of only eight Green Heritage sites in London.
Amongst the larger open spaces are: Finsbury Park, Alexandra Park, Highgate Wood, Coldfall Wood and the Lee Valley Park.
The London Borough of Harrow is located in north-west London, England. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs: Hillingdon to the west, Ealing to the south, Brent to the south-east and Barnet to the east. The local authority is Harrow London Borough Council.
Its site on and near the greenbelt and ease of access to central London (20 minutes by train to Marylebone and 12 minutes to Euston via London Midland) makes Harrow a good place to live not only for families but affluent singles as well. Rising property prices in all London areas have helped to see a large increase in property redevelopment of its existing Edwardian and 1920s to 1940s housing stock, which in turn is attracting new residents looking for a clean, safe, and relatively green environment to live in, close to central London.
The presence of Harrow School on the main 'hill' of Harrow has preserved the myth that it is an affluent, leafy area (recent house price averages on the hill were £1,500,000), but the affluence of the hill is now surrounded by typical north-west London suburbia of 1930s semi-detached houses and flats.
Some may consider it affluent in comparison to other similar areas of London but more recent studies are proving that there is increasing poverty. Harrow Council is focusing regeneration efforts on areas such as Wealdstone and South Harrow and many new 'key service workers'-type flats are springing up. In the north part of the borough, there is a greenbelt strip of highly affluent housing in the areas of Northwood, Pinner and Stanmore.
Harrow is considered a borough of "contrasts", with high levels of affluence in such areas as Harrow-on-the-Hill, Pinner, and Stanmore and high levels of deprivation in Wealdstone and South Harrow.
Harrow is a diverse borough, having 63.8% of its population from the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities, with the largest group being of Indian ethnicity (specifically those from Gujarat and South India). The borough can also claim to have the largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils in the UK and Ireland as well as having the highest density of Gujarati Hindus in the UK. Census data shows that the majority of Sri Lankan Tamils live in the areas of North Harrow, South Harrow and Rayners Lane. Indians are mostly in the eastern Kenton and Queensbury areas.
The London Borough of Havering is in east London and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in Havering is Romford and the other main communities are Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. The borough is mainly characterised by suburban development with large areas of protected open space. Romford's urban centre is a major metropolitan retail and night time entertainment centre and to the south the borough extends into the London Riverside redevelopment area of the Thames Gateway. The name Havering is a reference to the Royal Liberty of Havering which occupied the area for several centuries. The local authority is Havering London Borough Council.
In 2011 the borough had a population of 237,232 over 43 square miles (111.4 km2). There is a high ratio of area per capita as large sections of Havering are parkland and 23 square miles (60 km2) (more than half the borough) is Metropolitan Green Belt protected land. Those areas of development are extensive but rarely intensive. It has, at 4.5%, a below average unemployment rate for Greater London, and one of the lowest crime rates.
Havering has a significantly higher proportion of residents in white ethnic groups than other outer London boroughs (87.7% – 2011 census). The Black African population is the most significant minority ethnic group in Havering (3.2%). The Upminster ward of the borough is the third least ethnically diverse in Greater London, with a Simpson's diversity index of 1.10.
There are over 7,000 businesses based in Havering. Romford is the main commercial hub of the borough with a small district of mainly office development close to the railway station. There is also some industry to the south between Rainham and the River Thames such as Rainham steel headquarters, on the boundary or Elm Park. Light industry elsewhere in the borough has been in decline, with major employers such as the former Star Brewery now closed down. New industrial development is encouraged in the south of the borough has been encouraged by the London Development Agency (now GLA Land and Property), with the opening of the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence.
The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London. It was formed from the districts of Hayes and Harlington, Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the historic county of Middlesex. Today, Hillingdon is home to Heathrow Airport and Brunel University, and is the second largest of the 32 London boroughs by area.
Hillingdon Council governs the borough, with its headquarters in the Civic Centre in Uxbridge. For administrative purposes, the borough is split into North and South Hillingdon. The south's former strong connection with industry has diminished since the 1980s to be replaced by a preponderantly residential suburban population; the north has remained a consistently residential suburban area. The borough's residential areas expanded with the extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Harrow on the Hill to Uxbridge in the early 1900s and the gradual establishment of stops along the line, becoming known as "Metro-land".
The borough maintains over 200 green spaces, totalling around 1,800 acres (730 ha). As much of the area is within the Metropolitan Green Belt it was, in 2008, one of the least densely populated of all the London boroughs; open spaces range in size from the Colne Valley Regional Park by the River Colne in the north of the borough, to smaller gardens and parks such as the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens and Lake Farm Country Park in the south of the borough.
Harmondsworth Moor, a park owned by the borough, is administered by British Airways on behalf of the borough. After British Airways planned to create a new headquarters in 1992, the airline agreed to convert a former landfill site into Harmondsworth Moor.
The Grand Union Canal passes through parts of the borough, including Hayes, Uxbridge, Yiewsley and West Drayton. Ruislip Lido was built as a feeder reservoir for the canal, but was eventually disconnected and changed to become a recreational lido. Two Sites of Special Scientific Interest next to the canal, Frays Farm Meadows and Denham Lock Wood, are managed by the London Wildlife Trust.
The borough also operates children's centres, recreational areas for children of under five years of age and their families. The centres include: Barra Hall, Belmore, Cherry Lane, Colham Manor, Cornerstone, Cowley St. Laurence, Harefield, Hillside, McMillan Early Childhood Centre, Nestles Avenue, Oak Farm, and Uxbridge College (Hayes Campus).
The London Borough of Hounslow is in west London. As well as the town of the same name, the borough includes Chiswick, Brentford and Feltham and Osterley Park, Syon House, Kew Bridge Steam Museum and Chiswick House. To the south-east, it borders the River Thames. Like neighbouring Richmond upon Thames, Hounslow is a very long-stretched borough, with the eastern end adjacent to Hammersmith near Central London, whereas the opposite end is clearly in the city's outskirts. The local authority is Hounslow London Borough Council.
This outer borough of Greater London lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames and was the site of the first stop on an important coach route to Southampton, Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The A30 "Great South West Road" trunk road, which runs down to Penzance in Cornwall, starts in the borough. Hounslow town developed on either side of the main Great West Road from London to the West of England (not to be confused with the modern road of the same name), causing a large number of inns to be built to serve the travellers. A few, such as The Bell retain their names, although the buildings have largely been replaced. The Bell marks the former junction of the coaching routes. Historic milestones are preserved on the Staines Road (now re-numbered as the A315 but joining the "old" A30 again just inside the borough's western boundary)
Hounslow grew rapidly in the latter half of the 20th century due to other travel, a connection to the largest of London's airports since the 1940s, Heathrow Airport which is in the Hounslow post town. Little known is that aviation dates to the early 1900s here when one of London's earliest airfields was situated on Hounslow Heath because of the extremely flat terrain. The Great West Road, which crosses the borough from Chiswick to Heathrow, at one time served nationally and globally famous manufacturers including Firestone, Gillette and Coty. As a result, the area became known as the "Golden Mile". A few of these factory sites remain today, such as Gillette Corner, and the Great West Road is still home to many prestigious names (see "famous companies" below), providing them with easy non-motorway access between Slough, London Heathrow Airport and Central London.
53.3% of the borough's population is White, 34.4% is Asian, and 6.5% is Black. There is a major split between ethnic diverse areas and those that are not: the eastern part of the borough (e.g. Chiswick, Turnham Green) and the western part (e.g. Bedfont, Feltham) have White British majorities and have a low foreign-ethnic population. Meanwhile the central wards, consisting of the areas of Hounslow, Hounslow West, Hounslow Heath, Cranford and Heston, have a very high ethnic diversity with a low White British population.
In terms of religion, 42% identify themselves as Christian, 14% Muslim, 10.3% Hindu, 9% Sikh, 1.4% Buddhist and 0.3% Buddhist. At nine percent, Hounslow has the largest proportion of Sikhs in London, and the third highest in England before Slough and Wolverhampton. In addition, 18% of the population are not religious.
The London Borough of Islington is in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury, but the merged entity remains the second smallest borough in London and the third smallest district in England. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury. The local authority is Islington Council.
Islington is short of large parks and open spaces, given its status in recent decades as a desirable place of residence. In fact, Islington has the lowest ratio of open space to built-up areas of any London borough. The largest continuous open space in the borough, at 11.75 hectares (29 acres), is Highbury Fields.
Islington has access to large open spaces in neighbouring London boroughs. The Islington district of Finsbury Park is next to the southern end of Finsbury Park, in Haringey. The "Green Route" of the Regent's Canal tow path provides access to Regent's Park to the west – in Camden; and Victoria Park to the east – in Tower Hamlets. Many other open spaces such as Clissold Park in Hackney are situated on the borders of the borough. Islington also contains many well-kept public squares and greens, such as Canonbury Square and Thornhill Square.
There are three Local Nature Reserves in Islington, Gillespie Park, Barnsbury Wood, and the part of the Parkland Walk which is in the borough.
The London Borough of Islington is home to two higher education institutions: City University, London at Northampton Square, formerly the Northampton Institute, founded in 1894; and
London Metropolitan University, North Campus on the Holloway Road, formed from the merger of the University of North London and London Guildhall University in 2002. The University of North London was founded on this site in 1896 as the Northern Polytechnic Institute.
Moorfields Eye Hospital is a major centre for postgraduate training of ophthalmologists, orthoptists, optometrists, and nurses.
Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (often abbreviated to RBKC) is an inner London borough of Royal borough status, to the west of the centre. As the smallest borough in London and the second smallest district in England, this urban area is one of the most densely populated in the United Kingdom, just behind the London Borough of Islington.
The borough is immediately to the west of the City of Westminster and to the east of Hammersmith & Fulham. It contains major museums and universities in "Albertopolis", department stores such as Harrods, Peter Jones and Harvey Nichols and embassies in Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Kensington Gardens. It is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest. It contains many of the most expensive residential districts in London and even in the world, as well as districts with high levels of social housing and poverty.
The local authority is Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council. The borough's motto is Quam Bonum in Unum Habitare, which can be roughly translated as 'How good to dwell in unity'.
Figures released in 2013 by London’s Poverty Profile – a joint project between New Policy Institute and Trust for London – found Kensington and Chelsea to have the greatest imbalance between high and low earners. The top quarter earn at least £41 per hour, three and a half times the level of the lowest quarter at £12 per hour or less.
The number of French people living in Britain has increased every year since 1991, according to French government statistics. It jumped by 8,716 in 2006, the biggest gain in at least 20 years. French people live throughout much of London, but particularly in Kensington. There are several French schools, officially classed as independent schools in Britain, as they are not maintained or owned by local councils or the Department for Education: La Petite École Française in west London and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington (which is owned and run by the French state) are among them.
Chelsea Football Club is located at Stamford Bridge on the border of Chelsea and neighbouring Fulham. As a result of Chelsea's expensive location and wealthy residents, Chelsea F.C. has the wealthiest supporters in England.
Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is in southwest London. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden, Tolworth and part of Worcester Park. It is the oldest of the four Royal Boroughs in England. The others are Kensington and Chelsea and Greenwich also in London, and Windsor and Maidenhead. The local authority is Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council.
Kingston upon Thames, on the south bank of the River Thames has existed for many hundreds of years. Many Roman relics have been found in the surrounding areas. A church has stood on the site of All Saints' Church, in the centre of Kingston, for more than a thousand years. An earlier church was sacked by the Vikings in 1009 AD. Kingston was the site of the coronations of seven Anglo-Saxon monarchs.
Kingston has many attractions in and near it, ranging from nature attractions and historical attractions to theme parks.
Some of the borough's attractions are:
Chessington World of Adventures Resort in the south of the borough. The closest railway station is Chessington South. Chessington is one of the UK's premier theme parks attracting thousands of visitors from all around the UK to its rides, roller coasters, aquarium and zoo
Thames Riverside - Flowing beside Kingston and Surbiton. The River Thames gives visitors a peaceful getaway either feeding the swans or enjoying a cup of coffee next to the river. Closest railway stations are Surbiton or Kingston plus moderate walks
Coronation Stone - Situated outside The Guildhall in Kingston, this ancient rock was the crowning point of some of England's early kings
Richmond Park - One of the world's largest urban parks, three times the size of Central Park in New York City. Richmond Park's Kingston Gate is situated within the borough's boundary. Full of nature and deer, it's a peaceful walk away from the city
Kingston Town Centre - One of London's biggest shopping destinations, with hundreds of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a large entertainment complex consisting of Pizza Express and other restaurants, Odeon Cinema and Tenpin Bowling. Also in the town centre is a historic market which has been running for hundreds of years
Hampton Court Palace and Palace Grounds - The home of King Henry VIII, the magnificent palace is situated in Hampton Court, just a short drive from Kingston
Bentall Centre (a shopping centre)
Close to Kingston, and located between Kingston, Richmond and Roehampton, is Richmond Park, one of the oldest of London's royal parks.
The borough is home to the highest number of South Koreans in Europe, in the town of New Malden.
The London Borough of Lambeth is situated in south London and forms part of Inner London.
Lambeth is a long, thin borough (approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and 7 miles (11 km) long). Brixton is the civic centre of the borough and there are other town centres. The largest shopping areas are (in order of size) Streatham, Brixton, Vauxhall, Clapham and West Norwood.
In the northern end of the borough are the central London districts of the South Bank, Vauxhall and Lambeth while at the very south of the borough are the leafy suburbs of Gipsy Hill, Tulse Hill, West Dulwich and West Norwood. In between the two are built-up and inner-city districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill, Clapham, Clapham Park, Herne Hill, Stockwell and Kennington which are each at different stages of gentrification and have elements of suburban and urban settlement while Vauxhall and South Lambeth are central districts being redeveloped with high density business and residential properties. Streatham sits somewhere between suburban London and inner-city Brixton with the partly suburban and partly built-up areas of Streatham, Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale.
Despite the Borough's high population density, it contains some open spaces of Metropolitan importance including Brockwell Park and Brockwell Lido, Streatham Common, half of Clapham Common, and West Norwood Cemetery. Other spaces include Archbishop's Park, Norbury Park, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Ruskin Park and Kennington Park.
Along and around the South Bank a tourist area has developed around the former GLC headquarters of County Hall and the Southbank Centre and National Theatre. Also on the river is the London Eye and Shell Centre. Nearby is St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace and the Florence Nightingale Museum.
A prominent landmark in the middle of the borough is the Art Deco Sunlight Laundry on Acre Lane SW2.
The London Borough of Lewisham is in south-east London and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham. The local authority is Lewisham London Borough Council.
The Prime Meridian passes through Lewisham. Blackheath, Goldsmiths, University of London and Millwall F.C. are located within the borough.
The borough is surrounded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to the east, the London Borough of Bromley to the south and the London Borough of Southwark to the west. The River Thames forms a short section of northern boundary with the Isle of Dogs in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Deptford Creek, Pool River, River Quaggy and River Ravensbourne pass through the borough. Major landmarks include All Saints Church in Blackheath, the Citibank Tower in Lewisham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church (Sydenham's German Church, technically located in Forest Hill), and the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.
The London Borough of Merton is located in south-west London.
The borough was formed under the London Government Act 1963 in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey. The main commercial centres in Merton are Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, of which Wimbledon is the largest. Other smaller centres include Raynes Park, Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park and Pollards Hill.
The borough derives its name from the historic parish of Merton which was centred on the area now known as South Wimbledon. Merton was chosen as an acceptable compromise, following a dispute between Wimbledon and Mitcham over the new borough's name. The local authority is Merton London Borough Council.
According to the council's comparative assessment of wards made in 2004, the most deprived wards within the borough were in the south and east where unemployment rates, educational attainment and the quality of health were worst. The most affluent wards were in the north and west of the borough.
The constituency area of Wimbledon is an affluent area of London with a high proportion of city workers, while Mitcham and Morden is relatively deprived by comparison, which explains the geographical split of political representation of the borough at both national and local elections.
Merton currently operates a Police Cadet scheme under the Metropolitan Police Service.
Each year The Championships, Wimbledon, better known as simply Wimbledon, one of the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments (along with the US, French and Australian Opens) is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Church Road Wimbledon. The event takes place over a fortnight at the end of June and beginning of July and is the largest annual sporting event to take place in the United Kingdom with over 200,000 visitors during the Wimbledon fortnight.
In 2003, the largest mosque in western Europe was opened in Morden. The Baitul Futuh mosque can accommodate 10,000 people and was built at a cost of £5.5 million entirely donated voluntarily by the Ahmadiyya Communit, it is claimed. The mosque has been voted in the top 50 in the world by Spectator magazine. It is also acting as the centre for the 'Loyalty, Freedom and Peace' campaign in order to improve the integration of Muslims and non Muslims alike.
The London Borough of Newham is formed from the former Essex county boroughs of West Ham and East Ham, within east London.
It is situated 5 miles (8 km) east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and contains most of the Olympic Park including the Olympic Stadium. According to 2010 estimates, Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the districts in the country, with no particular ethnic group dominating. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council, the second most deprived in England, although other reports using different measures show it differently. Indeed, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Knowsley, the City of Kingston-upon Hull, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are the local authorities with the highest proportion of areas amongst the most deprived in England.
The borough's motto, from its Coat of Arms, is "Progress with the People." The Coat of Arms was derived from that of the County Borough of West Ham, while the motto is a translation of the County Borough of East Ham's Latin "Progressio cum Populo".
People of White British ancestry nevertheless remain the largest single ethnic group in the borough. The largest non-White British ethnic groups are Indian (14%), African (12%), Bangladeshi (12%) and Pakistani (10%). Newham has had for many decades a large Indian community. The ethnic group to increase the most in number since 1991 is the Bangladeshi community.
The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools. The borough also owns and operates Debden House, a residential adult education college in Loughton, Essex, and is home to the Rosetta Art Centre, a dedicated visual art organisation which delivers courses at its base in Stratford and produces participatory art projects, programmes and initiatives. The Essex Primary School in Sheridan Road with over 900 pupils is one of the biggest primary schools in London.
The University of East London has two campuses in Newham: the Stratford Campus, at Stratford and the Docklands Campus, next to the regenerated Royal Albert Dock.
Birkbeck Stratford is a collaboration between Birkbeck, University of London and UEL to increase participation in adult learning.
The University of East London had formed a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee which resulted in the United States Olympic Team using University of East London campuses as training bases during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The London Borough of Redbridge is in north-east London. It is known for its award winning parks and open spaces, excellent transport links, thriving shopping areas and high-performing schools. The borough is known as the 'leafy suburb' with one quarter of the borough covered by forest and green, and three quarters of homes are owner-occupied.
Its administrative headquarters is at Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford. The local authority is Redbridge London Borough Council.
Redbridge is one of London's greenest Boroughs, with more than 35 parks, playgrounds and open spaces to enjoy. These include Hainault Forest Country Park, with 300 acres of countryside including adventure play areas, cafe and petting zoo. Roding Valley Park, a wildlife sanctuary with a wide range of flora and fauna and woodland areas to explore. Fairlop Waters Country Park, which offers a huge range of activities both on and off the water. The award winning Valentines Park, situated next to the beautiful Valentines Mansion, ornamental gardens, bowling green and outdoor gym among other attractions. Claybury Woods and Park, a conservation area that features and ancient area of oak and hornbeam woodland, meadows and wildlife ponds. Six parks have attained the prestigious Green Flag Award.
Redbridge has a number of sports and leisure facilities including the fantastic road and off road cycling tracks at Redbridge Cycling Centre, top class water sports at Fairlop Activity Centre, in Fairlop Waters and sporting facilities at Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre, in Forest Road, Fairlop. Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, in Barkingside features a swimming pool, dance studio and spa. There are also a number of outdoor gyms in the Borough's parks.
Richmond upon Thames
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is in south-west London and forms part of Outer London. It is the only London borough on both sides of the River Thames. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963. It is governed by Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council.
The borough is home to the National Physical Laboratory and the attractions of Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre that draw domestic and international tourism.
The borough is approximately half parkland – large areas of London's open space fall within the borough boundaries, including Richmond Park, Kew Gardens, Bushy Park and Old Deer Park. The predominant other land use is residential use and most businesses within the boundaries consist of retail, property improvement/development and professional services; parts of it – including Barnes, Richmond, St Margarets, Cambridge Park and Marble Hill, some areas of Twickenham and much of East Sheen – rival Stanmore Hill and Kenley as the highest house-price districts and neighbourhoods of Outer London. In 2006, research commissioned by a major mortgage lender found that, on the quantitative statistical indices used, the borough had the best quality of life in London and was in the top quarter of local authorities nationwide. A neighbouring authority in Surrey achieved the best quality of life in that report.
Demography is a diverse picture as in all of London: each district should be looked at separately and even those do not reflect all neighbourhoods. Whatever generalisations are used, "the fine-grained texture of London poverty" by its minutely localised geography must always be taken into account according to an influential poverty report of 2010.
The borough has a non-League football club, Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C., who play at Beveree Stadium in Hampton. The Twickenham Stadium hosts rugby internationals and the Twickenham Stoop is home to the Harlequins Rugby Team and London Broncos rugby league team.
Richmond Rugby Club are also active and share their grounds with London Scottish F.C.. The Richmond Minis is a large youth rugby organisation whilst the Richmond Heavies organise games for more veteran players.
Cricket is played in many locations around the borough including Ham Common, Richmond Green and Kew Green.
The River Thames flows through the borough and there are a number of sailing and rowing clubs located along it.
The borough has a large amount of equestrian activity; this includes the Horse Rangers Association and Ham Polo Club.
Richmond's swimming pools, Pools on the Park, are located in Old Deer Park close to the town centre. The outdoor pool is open in the summer months only.
The London Borough of Southwark in south London forms part of Inner London and is connected by bridges across the River Thames to the City of London. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963. All districts of the area are within the London postal district. It is governed by Southwark London Borough Council.
That part of the South Bank within the borough is home to London Bridge terminus station and the attractions of The Shard, Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and Borough Market that are the largest of the venues in Southwark to draw domestic and international tourism. Dulwich is home to the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Imperial War Museum is in Elephant and Castle.
Southwark has many notable places of Christian worship, Anglican, Roman Catholic and independent non-conformist. These include Charles Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle, Southwark Cathedral (Church of England), St George's Cathedral (Roman Catholic), and St Mary's Cathedral (Greek Orthodox). London's Norwegian Church and Finnish Church and the Swedish Seamen's Church are all in Rotherhithe. St George the Martyr is the oldest church in Greater London dedicated to England's Patron Saint, the redundant St Thomas Church is now the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret. The other redundant church is Francis Bedford's in Trinity Church Square, now a recording studio, Henry Wood Hall.
Whilst Christianity is the dominant religion of the borough, several religious minorities are also active, and places of worship for Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Jews may be found.
Southwark has many literary associations. Charles Dickens set several of his novels in the old borough where he lived as a young man. The site of The Tabard inn (featured in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), the White Hart inn and the George Inn which survives.
The rebuilt Globe Theatre and its exhibition on the Bankside remind us of the area's being the birthplace of classical theatre. There is also the remains of the Rose Theatre. In 2007 the Unicorn Theatre for Children was opened on Tooley Street with both the Southwark Playhouse and the Union Theatre having premises in Bermondsey Street. The Menier Chocolate Factory combines a theatre and exhibition space.
The northern end of the borough opposite the Square Mile includes the More London and London Bridge City developments accommodating the offices of major professional service firms. Notable such businesses include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Norton Rose, Ernst & Young, Lawrence Graham and Actis. The Greater London Authority is based at City Hall.
The press and publishing industry is also well represented in Southwark; the Financial Times has its head office in Southwark Bridge Road, IPC Magazines in Southwark Street, and the Evening Standard and Daily Mail at Surrey Quays. Campus Living Villages UK also has its head office in the borough.
Some of the old industrial and wharfside heritage remains at the now defunct Surrey Commercial Docks now Surrey Quays, including Greenland Dock and Baltic Quay, where major residential schemes were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Near Tower Bridge old warehouses have been converted to new mixed uses at Butler's Wharf and Hay's Wharf. Similarly, further west, the Oxo Tower hosts restaurants, shops and housing.
The London Borough of Sutton is situated in South West London and forms part of Outer London. It covers an area of 43 km2 (17 sq mi) and is the 80th largest local authority in England by population. It is one of the southernmost boroughs of London. It is south of the London Borough of Merton, west of the London Borough of Croydon and east of the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames. The local authority is Sutton London Borough Council. Its principal town is the eponymous Sutton.
The Borough has some of the schools with the best results in the country.
A Trust for London and New Policy Institute report on levels of poverty throughout Greater London described Sutton as "not especially deprived, but not as prosperous as places such as Richmond or Kingston." It noted that Sutton had the highest rate in London of pupils achieving 5 A* - C GCSEs. In December 2014 Sutton was described by a senior Government official as the most "normal place in Britain". In connection with this, the leader of Sutton Council described the borough as "quietly brilliant", and noted that 91% of residents say it is "a great place to live".
Low levels of recorded crime are a feature of the borough, being among the lowest in London. An Ipsos MORI poll in 2014 found that 97% of residents felt safe in the borough during the day, and 71% felt safe at night. The 2014 Family Hotspots Report, on the best places in England and Wales for families to live, placed three areas within the borough among the top 10 places in London. The areas were identified as postcodes SM1, SM2 (Sutton town) and SM3 (Cheam). A study in 2015 found that Sutton was the fourth happiest borough in which to live out of 33 in London.
It was shown in a national detailed Land Use Survey by the Office for National Statistics in 2005 that the London Borough of Sutton had the highest proportion of land taken up by gardens, 35.1%, of any district in England; this compared with the London Borough of Harrow and Bournemouth, second and third greatest respectively.
In total, the London Borough of Sutton has 89 parks and open spaces within it boundaries, representing a total area of 1,500 acres (6.1 km2).
Varied in size and layout, green spaces range from the compact Manor Park in Sutton town centre and Sutton Green just to the north of Sutton town centre, through the medium-sized Grove Park, which forms a notable part of the Carshalton conservation area, to the large and historic Oaks Park in the south of the borough. In the west of the borough is the large Nonsuch Park.
Just to the north of Sutton town centre there is more extensive green space in the form of Sutton Common, which originally (until the beginning of the nineteenth century) encompassed the aforementioned Sutton Green. Today, a small portion of Sutton Common is given over to a major junior tennis facility. The Common extends both to the east and west of Angel Hill. Slightly further in the opposite direction out of Sutton lie Banstead Common and Banstead Downs—these start a few hundred yards from the southern end of the town, and extend for an additional mile south in the direction of neighbouring Banstead.
Manor Park was created in 1914 on a site in the town centre opposite the police station. Its grounds include the Sutton War Memorial, which was added in 1921. A fountain was added in 1924. In 2010 its new café of straw-bale construction was London's first environmentally friendly building to use this building method.
Features of interest in the Victorian Grove Park include a white Portland stone bridge, known as the Leoni Bridge where Lower Pond meets the park. Upper Mill is recent reconstruction of a watermill that has existed here from Anglo-Saxon times. The cascade is near the footbridge towards the Stone Court corner of the park. The 1.5m fall is now ornamental in design and was reconstructed in the 1960s. Its original purpose was to create a head of water to power Upper Mill.
Oaks Park has a long history. It was substantially laid out for the Earl of Derby in the 1770s, but its villa dates back to around 1750 and is in that era's fashionable landscape style, with trees forming a perimeter screen and placed in artful clumps to suggest a natural landscape.
Nonsuch Park near Cheam in the west is the last surviving part of the Little Park of Nonsuch, a deer hunting park established by Henry VIII of England surrounding the former Nonsuch Palace. The name "Nonsuch" was given as, it was claimed, there was "none such place like it" in Europe.
In addition, Sutton borough contains a large number for its size of Local Nature Reserves.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is situated to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks and Canary Wharf. Many of the tallest buildings in London occupy the centre of the Isle of Dogs in the south of the borough. A part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is in Tower Hamlets. The borough has a population of 272,890, which includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in the capital and has an established British Bangladeshis business and residential community. Brick Lane's restaurants, neighbouring street market and shops provide the largest range of Bengali cuisine, woodwork, carpets and clothes in Europe. The local authority is Tower Hamlets London Borough Council.
Tower Hamlets has one of the smallest indigenous populations of the boroughs in Britain. No ethnic group forms a majority of the population; a plurality of residents are of White ethnicity, while a large Asian community, British Bangladeshi (32%) are the largest ethnic minority in the borough. British Somalis represent the second largest minority ethnic group. There are also a number of Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, and Black African/Caribbean residents.
As Tower Hamlets is considered as one of the world's most racially diverse zones, it holds various places of worship. The main religions practised in the borough are Islam and Christianity. With 34.5% of its population Muslim, Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of Muslims in England. There are more than 40 mosques and Islamic centres in Tower Hamlets. The most famous is the East London Mosque, one of the first mosques in Britain allowed to broadcast the adhan and one of the biggest Islamic centres in Europe. The Maryam Centre, a part of the mosque, is the biggest Islamic Centre for women in Europe, which was opened to the public on 2013, adding a new main prayer hall, ameliorated funeral services, education facilities, a fitness centre, and support services. The East London Mosque runs Muslim Community Radio (MCR), in partnership with the Islamic Forum of Europe, which started to broadcast in 1998 through an RSL, then through Spectrum, and since 2001 acquired the rights to broadcast 24 hours a day across east London during the month of Ramadan. In 2005 it moved into a new studio in the London Muslim Centre. It is run by volunteers at the mosque, and provides programmes for women, children, sharia and islamic jurisprudence sessions, taraweeh prayer, and shows such as Daily Halaqa, Qur'anic class, Easy Talk, Drive Time and many more, all in English and Bengali.
he borough hosts the world headquarters of many global financial businesses, employing some of the highest paid workers in London. Canary Wharf is home to the world or European headquarters of numerous major banks and professional services firms including Barclays, Citigroup, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, Infosys, Fitch Ratings, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, RBC, Skadden, State Street and Thomson Reuters. Savills, a top-end estate agency recommends that 'extreme luxury' and ultra-modern residential properties are to be found at Canary Riverside, West India Quay, Pan Peninsula and Neo Bankside.
Tower Hamlets was one of five host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics; the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was constructed in the Lea Valley.
There are over one hundred parks and open spaces in Tower Hamlets ranging from the large Victoria Park, to numerous small gardens and squares. The second largest, Mile End Park, separated from Victoria Park by a canal, includes The Green Bridge that carries the park across the busy Mile End Road. One of the smallest at 1.19 ha is the decorative Grove Hall Park off Fairfield Road, Bow, which was once the site of a lunatic asylum. Other parks include Altab Ali Park, Mudchute park and Grove Hall Park.
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is located in north-east London. The south of the borough contrasts markedly with the north (split by the North Circular Road) in terms of its mixed ethnicity and socio-economic indicators. Taken as a whole, Waltham Forest comprises built-up urban districts in the south with inner-city characteristics, and more affluent residential development in the north with a variety of reservoirs, open space, small sections of Epping Forest, parks, and playing fields, which together cover a fifth of the borough. It is located between Epping Forest District Council in the north, London Borough of Redbridge in the east, London Boroughs of Newham and Hackney in the south, and London Boroughs of Haringey and Enfield in the west (where the River Lea and the surrounding parkland forms a green corridor, traditionally separating north and east London). Waltham Forest was one of the six London boroughs that hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics. The local authority is Waltham Forest London Borough Council. The borough includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in Europe, consisting mostly of Eastern European and Black British, but it has also an established British Pakistani residential settlement and business.
Historically known as the seat of the Arts and Crafts Movement under the stewardship of William Morris, Waltham Forest has continued to succour many contemporary artists & art groups. These include the North East London Independent Artists (NELIA) group, based at the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyd Park, the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone, and a number of independent artists, also mainly in the Leytonstone area. The annual E17 Art Trail, which includes open studios, exhibitions and events, is the biggest art event in the borough, and there is now a similar event in Leytonstone.
Notable people, such as footballer and former England Captain David Beckham, I, Claudius star Derek Jacobi, former Essex and England cricket Captain Graham Gooch, and the film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock, were also born in the borough. The heavy metal band Iron Maiden was formed in Leyton, and Eastenders actress Rita Simons was born in Leytonstone. The poet Pascale Petit, shortlisted three times for the TS Eliot poetry prize, lives in Walthamstow. Notable Grime Artist Lethal Bizzle is from Walthamstow, and Grayson Perry, the 2003 Turner Prize-winning artist, has his studio in Walthamstow.
The London Borough of Wandsworth forms part of Inner London. The local authority is Wandsworth London Borough Council. The London Borough of Wandsworth was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, but excluding Clapham and most of Streatham which were transferred to the London Borough of Lambeth.
Clapham Junction railway station is in Battersea, rather than Clapham in the borough. There are many new or refurbished buildings along the borough's prosperous riverside including the large Chelsea Bridge Wharf. The Peace Pagoda, one of many such international Pagodas is in Battersea Park, a sprawling rectangle often hosting circuses beside the Thames. The London Heliport, London's main and busiest heliport is just beyond Battersea Park and south of this is New Covent Garden Market. In terms of size South Thames College, Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth and The Exchange Shopping Centre, Putney are among the largest secular structures.
Secular architecturally most highly listed buildings include the Battersea Arts Centre (formerly town hall), Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Wandsworth Town Hall, and particularly the interiors of the large Gala Bingo Club, Tooting, the former Granada Theatre, St John's Hill, Clapham Junction by Theodore Komisarjevsky and in terms of ornate mansions a cluster of five large stone and brick buildings mostly converted to diverse public uses in and around Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton at grade II* or above. In Old Battersea two fine masonry mansions survived The Blitz, Old Battersea House and Downshire House - both hold rare Grade II* status.
Wandsworth has the notable Elliott School, a specialist Language College, and former school of Pierce Brosnan. In 1842 Whitelands College was founded in Chelsea by the Church of England, and heavily under the influence of John Ruskin. In 1930/1931 the college relocated to West Hill (Wandsworth Borough) and occupied an enormous purpose-built site, with buildings designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. These buildings, now listed, were one of the Borough's largest educational sites until 2005 when the College, again moved, this time to a site in Roehampton, where it is now a constituent College of Roehampton University. The borough has other schools such as Southfields Academy, St. John Paul II and Ashcroft Technology Academy.
The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough which occupies much of the central area of Greater London including most of the West End. It is to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary is the River Thames. It was created with the 1965 establishment of Greater London. Upon creation, Westminster was awarded city status, which had been previously held by the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster.
Aside from a number of large parks and open spaces, the population density of the district is high. Many sites commonly associated with London are in the borough, including St. James's Palace, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and 10 Downing Street. The borough is divided into a number of localities including the ancient political district of Westminster around the Palace of Westminster; the shopping areas around Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Bond Street; and the night time entertainment district of Soho. Much of the borough is residential, and in 2008 it was estimated to have a population of 236,000. The local authority is Westminster City Council.
The present-day City of Westminster as an administrative entity with its present boundaries dates from 1965, when the City of Westminster was created from the former area of three metropolitan boroughs: St Marylebone, Paddington, and the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster, which included Soho, Mayfair, St. James's, Strand, Westminster, Pimlico, Belgravia, and Hyde Park. This re-structuring took place under the London Government Act 1963, which significantly reduced the number of local government districts in London, resulting in local authorities responsible for larger geographical areas and greater populations.
The City of Westminster is home to a large number of companies. Many leading global corporations have chosen to establish their global or European headquarters in the City of Westminster. Mayfair and St. James's within the City of Westminster also have a large concentration of hedge fund and private equity funds. The West End is known as the Theatre District and is home to many of the leading performing arts businesses. Soho and its adjoining areas house a concentration of media and creative companies. Oxford Street is one of the leading shopping destinations in the world.
The City of Westminster contains many of the most famous sites in London. Some of the popular tourist sites are Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and Big Ben and nearby Westminster Abbey.
The City of Westminster, a central London borough, has 116 parks and open spaces; these include small gardens as well as larger areas of land. The open spaces are managed by Westminster City Council and private resident and business associations. Westminster is also home to four of the Royal Parks (Hyde Park,Green Park, St. James's Park and Kensington Gardens).
In terms of tenure, the borough ranks highest on one standard criteria in analysing housing supply and demand, the proportion of private rented accommodation relative to other types of housing in England. This is indicative of a high density of development and higher investment demand relative to other districts in England and most of the 15 highest-ranking local authorities are boroughs of Greater London. Tourism also increases the proportion of willing third-party landlords, as the two authorities which are outside of London in the list are England's largest south coast holiday resorts.