10 Things You Might Not Know About London

I’m excited to continue the 10 things you might not know about series today with my favorite city, London! I shared several posts a couple years ago when I first visited the city (you can check them out here) and am SO excited to have another trip in the works in 2017! I feel like interesting facts about London could go on forever with all of the history the city has, but for now, let’s start with 10 things you might not know about London.

Check out these 10 things you might not know about London!

  1. The world’s first subway was built in London in 1863, and despite the name, London Underground, most of the “tube” is above-ground.
  2. The Times New Roman font was commissioned by The Times of London in 1929 after backlash of the current font being badly printed and antiquated.
  3. 1,000+ bodies are buried under Aldgate Station in London as a result of The Great Plague that swept the city in the 1600s.
  4. Great Ormond Street Hospital in London owns the rights to Peter Pan, and receives royalties from all works and performances related, since being gifted them in 1929 by the author.
  5. The Great Fire of London in 1666 resulted in the loss of 70% of the city, including the original St. Paul’s Cathedral. It took 25 years to rebuild the city.
  6. In order to be a taxi driver in London, one must pass the “Knowledge” test, which includes 320 basic routes around the 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks within a six-mile radius. It is said to take 2-4 years to master it.
  7. The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is presented as a gift from the people of Oslo (Norway) each year, as a thank you to London for their help during WWII.
  8. There are more than 300 languages spoken in the city – more than any other city in the world!
  9. The identity of “Jack the Ripper,” London’s (and one of the world’s) most notorious serial killers has never been discovered. The list of suspects is pretty lengthy, but a notable one includes a member of the royal family.
  10. In 1868, the world’s first traffic light was installed near Westminster Palace in London and required someone to manually operate it.

 

Have you visited London? Did any of these facts surprise you?

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  • I LOVE London, too–we’re going back and forth on whether to take our daughter on a trip there next year. I never knew that that Times newspaper created the Times New Roman font: you’ve taught me something new today! :D

    • So glad to hear you learned something new! My vote would be YES for taking your daughter to London. Any excuse to go back, I’m there :) haha

  • Love this series! I’ve never been overseas, but would love to someday!

    • Thank you, Jackie! Which city/country would be at the top of your list?

      • Anywhere in Italy would be #1! Then anywhere in Europe after that! I don’t do well with flying though, so that’s totally something that would hold me back.

  • We’re about to book our next trip to Europe, and London is definitely on the list! That taxi driver test sounds super intense, but at least you know that you’ll be safe in your cabbies hands!

    • Hooray! I can’t recommend London enough! Where else are you looking at for destinations?

      • We just bought our tickets last night, but the plan is a few days in Edinburgh then we’ll go to London and then end in Paris! I’m so excited! If you have any recommendations I’d love them!

  • Leslie Soto

    This is such an interesting post! I had no idea all this history about London! So Jack the Ripper could have been a member of the Royal family? And the Ormand Street Hospital owns the rights to Peter Pan!?! London can give you all the feels!

    • It really can! And yes! Crazy to think that it could’ve been someone in the royal fam!

  • London is one of my favorite places! I love the fact about the Christmas tree. Also, London must have some great taxi drivers.

    • Same! I can’t imagine trying to memorize all of that info! I’ve started relying way too heavily on Google Maps :)

  • I’ve been to London and would love to go back one day. It’s such a fun city! I always love these posts from you. :) It’s so cool to learn some of these new facts.

    • Thanks so much, Crystal! What was your favorite thing about London during your last visit?

  • Love these facts! I knew a couple of things but most were new to me!

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    Way cool facts! I’ve never been to London but my hubby has. Might have to put it on my bucket list!

    • You definitely should – it’s such an amazing place!

  • Esther

    London is my favorite city in the world! I knew #5 and #6, but the rest was new information. Thanks for sharing!

    • Same! So glad to hear you learned some new info about the city!

  • Love these! I am so enamored by London, but I haven’t visited yet!

    • Me too, girl! I hope you get there soon, it’s a spectacular place!

  • Leah Hall

    I know that I want to go sometime, haha! These are so interesting, thanks for these great facts!

    • You absolutely must! So glad to hear you enjoyed them – thanks for reading, Leah!

  • Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    I live in London and did not actually know the one about Great Ormond Street Hospital! Thats such a cool fact!

  • I have never been to London yet. It’s on my bucket list though! 30 different languages! Wow!! That’s crazy but awesome. That taxi cab test seems so intense. Thank You for sharing these awesome things with us!

    • I hope you get there one day, Mistle. It’s an incredible place!

  • These are so fun! Being a London cabbie does not sound like an easy task! I’ve never visited but would so love to go.

    • I can’t even imagine trying to study for that test! I hope you get to London one day – maybe you can quiz your cab driver too :) Ha!

  • Thanks for all these fun facts! I’ve never been to London before, definitely a place I want to visit in the near future. :)

    Chloe // http://funinthecloset.com/skincare-product-review-dear-klairs/

    • I hope you can get there soon, Chloe! You’ll love it!

  • #6 is amazing! 2-4 years? That’s dedication :)

    Amber
    http://bit.ly/BabyBlueDress

  • you have me dying to go back! Pulling out my passport right now!

    • Haha, I can’t wait to get back either :) When was your last visit?

  • I knew about 6 and 9 but the rest was new to me.. and I have been living here now for quite some years haha..
    Nadine Cathleen | Karateandcaviar.com

    • So glad to hear you learned some new things + jealous that you live in London!

  • Amanda Marie

    Love all these facts!! I really hope to be able to visit one day!

    • Thank you! I hope you can too – it’s an incredible place!

  • Clare Colley

    I knew some of these facts but some I had no clue. Interesting read to someone who was visited London lots :-)

    • I’m glad you learned some new things :) Goal achieved!

  • Nicole Parise

    Love this! I visited last year, but I can’t wait to go back. Keep these coming!
    xx nicole
    http://www.nicoleparise.com

    • Will do! These are my favorite posts to write :) What were your top highlights from your London visit?

  • bee15

    First of all, love this post! Second, you taught me all new things, except the Jack the Ripper bullet point. I love all these little tidbits! Visited London a few years back but didn’t spend nearly enough time. xxx bee

    • Thank you! I don’t think you could ever spend enough time in London – I love it!

  • A lot of those surprised me! I’m loving this series! I’m a sucker for fun trivia.

    • Thanks, Leanna! I love writing them! I’m a big trivia buff too :)

  • m most likely going there in March for my 30th birthday!!!!

    • Woooo! How exciting! I can’t think of a better way to spend your birthday!

  • I wish more taxi drivers had to pass a knowledge test, lol!! Wish I didn’t know about the plague bodies! That’s insane!!

    • Right?! Although that’s one intense test, haha. London is full of interesting things!

  • Well, I’ve been watching The Crown so you have SO indulged me! I wish that taxi cab drivers in DC had to pass a similar test!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • Love it! I’m about halfway through The Crown – Netflix is killing it with these original shows! And I agree. Some cab drivers are just totally clueless!

  • This is so interesting! I didn’t realize that about the amount of languages spoken there. The linguist in me loves that fact! London is so wonderful, I can’t wait to go back. <3

    • I can’t either! When was your last visit to London?

      • I was there in 2014 for a few days. Quick solo trip!