Did you Know?— 10 interesting facts about London

June 10, 2014

London is a city full of life.  This often means that London holds some interesting and little known secrets.  See if you were aware of any of these interesting tidbits about the city; then go to London and discover your very own London secret.  London holds enough secrets for everyone.

1. In Britain, motorists drive on the left – except for one road: Savoy Court, leading into the Savoy Hotel, where cars enter and exit on the right. This was changed by an act of parliament, to enable women to exit cars first, since they traditionally sat behind the driver (from horse and carriage days).

Cars on Savoy Road

2. More languages are spoken in London than in any other city in the world (270).

3.  23 and 24 Leinster Gardens in Paddington are dummy houses built to hide the Tube line running underneath (the Metropolitan). The windows are painted on,  and behind the façade is a track. Local pizza firms will ignore your request for delivery here – they’ve heard it before.

4. Big Ben is actually the bell, not the clock. You can’t actually SEE Big Ben but you can hear him chime!

bid ben

5. The junction of Edgware Road and Marble Arch is the site of the original Tyburn Tree, London’s official execution place, where more than 50,000 people were hanged.

The Hanging Tree

6. Mosquitoes live in the tube. They’re not native to Britain and can’t be found anywhere else. It’s thought they travelled on Underground trains from Heathrow where they arrived by plane. They also form their own unique species.

 

7. We all know some street names in London are (shall we say unique) some of the most unusual are Ha Ha Road in Greenwich, Hooker’s Road in Walthamstow, Quaggy Walk in Blackheath, and Cyclops Mews and Uamvar Street in Limehouse.

ha ha road

8. Among the many things Londoners have left on the Tube are a samurai sword, a stuffed puffer fish, a human skull, and a coffin.

underground sign

9. Mayfair is named after a fair that used to be held in the area every May; Piccadilly after a kind of stiff collar made by a tailor who lived in the area in the 17th century; and Covent Garden was originally the market garden for the convent of Westminster Abbey.

10. In 1945, a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by five minutes.

starling flock