When you’re in the mood to take a vacation, make sure to keep London on your mind; you may just find it a fascinating place to be. There are so many interesting facts about this lovely city that will enlighten your mind. Jimi Hendrix lived at 23 Brook Street, which has been used as offices, but is now being converted into a museum. Two doors down at 25 Brook Street is where the composer Handel lived from 1723 until his death in 1759, and that apartment has already been turned into a museum. The Beetles played their last gig on the roof of Apple Corps at 3 Saville Row. Now it is an Abercrombie & Fitch store. The reading room at the British Museum is where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in between bouts of getting very drunk and asking Friedrich Engels to lend him more money.
There are literally over 1,000 bodies buried underneath Aldgate station, in a plague pit built in 1665. Only 2 Tube stations have all five vowels in their name: Mansion House and South Ealing. If you ever see someone on a scooter with a fluorescent jacket and a large map, it could possibly be a prospective cabbie studying for the Knowledge exam, which normally takes between 2-4 years to learn fully. To pass the Knowledge, the insanely difficult London geography test required of black-cab driver in the city, you must master 320 basic routes, all of the 25,000 streets that are scattered within those routes, and about 20,000 landmarks and places interest within a 6-mile radius of Charing Cross. Sure hope your memory is sharp for this one.
If you have ever cherished a pet in your lifetime, you’ll appreciate the love these Londoners show for their pets; there is an entire pet cemetery in Hyde Park. In reference to animals, Dog and Duck is a popular British pub name thanks to a game in which dogs would chase a duck whose wings had been clipped so it could only escape by diving into a pond. This was played at Balls Pond Road, near Islington, among other places across the city. London is known for its bright red buses, but these vehicles were not always red. Before 1907, different routes had different colored buses. If you’re into visiting churches, be sure to check out the oldest church in the city. It’s called “All Hallows by the Tower.” It’s near Tower Hill, and was founded in 675. The undercroft had Roman pavement dating from the 2nd century A.D.
In America, we generally call the pavement we drive our calls on “roads,” but until 1994, there were no “Roads” in the city of London, and now there’s only one, Goswell Road, which became part of the Square Mile in 1994 after boundary changes. There are plenty of Lanes, Streets, and Ways, but public paths weren’t generally referred to as roads until the 16th century. If you’ve ever been a fan of poetry, then you’ll be fascinated to learn that many playwrights and poets are buried at Westminster Abbey. The tomb of Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser is there and, according to historian Edward Camden, contains unpublished works by his admirers (possibly including Shakespeare) who threw poems into his grave as a tribute. Now that would be a site to see. You can only imagine how cool it would be to see the famous tributes that lie beneath with this beautiful poet. There are endless amounts of beauty and knowledge you can gain from visiting this magical place. Plan your trip today.