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London Tours Can Be Fun And Cultural Too

May 22, 2008
One of the most interesting cities in the UK is London. Not only is it the capital city, but it is a city with a vast amount of things to do. London has a colourful history, and a large proportion of tourist attractions are related to this. Of course, the first thing to come to mind when thinking of London is the Queen and Royal Family. London is an enormous city and navigating your way around can be tricky. To take the stress out of this there are plenty of organised tours where one can sit back and relax. If a tour is not to your liking, then the easiest way to get about is the underground or Tube.

When visiting London the easiest way to see everything you want is by booking a tour. For the more energetic there is a walking tour. There are also tours specifically for the younger generation. One of the favoured tours is on an open top 'red bus' (weather permitting), a rare sight these days. Other interesting tours are those of the taverns, historic monuments and 'rock and roll' tours.

In the world there can be no more culturally and ethnically diverse a city as London. The population of London is more than seven million with over 300 different languages are spoken in London schools. To experience this enormous array of different cultures, one only has to walk about as each culture is generally represented in small, distinct, areas of the city. As you move from one area to the next you will notice small and subtle changes until you find yourself in a completely different environment.

An altogether different experience can be had by visiting one the famous street markets on offer in London. London has always been known for the fabulous Billingsgate Fish Market. Its present location in the Isle of Dogs has only been home to the fish market since 1962. Billingsgate fish market first started life about 1500 years ago. Another must see market is Walthamstowe Market, the longest street market in England which stretches for 1.61 kilometres.

The relationship between London and Literature runs deep. One of the most widely known literary figure is poet, actor and playwright William Shakespeare (born 1564, died 1616). Of course most people visiting London will have some knowledge of the works of Shakespeare as he is one of the most important writers in the English Language. For those people studying, or just with a strong interesti in, Shakespeare there are a number of tours which take in the important places associated with Bard with some specially designed to cater for this trade with many including the viewing of a performance, of one of his plays, at the Globe Theatre.

It was in 1613 that the original Globe Theatre was destroyed. The theatre burnt to the ground when a canon fired on stage during a production hit the thatch roof. The original theatre was built between 1598-1609, and was only in use during the warmer, drier, summer months of the year. After its destruction the Globe was rebuilt, re-opening in 1614. Unfortunately the theatre was forced to close again due to protests by Puritans. In 1664 it was finally knocked to the ground.

Charles Dickens is another famous person from the world of literature who has close ties with London, and there are numerous tours affiliated with him. When he was a child Dickens lived at 16 Bayham Street, Camden. Today however you will find a plaque at 141 Bayham Street, this is because number 16 has been demolished. Another of his home still stands and that is now the Dickens Museum (48 Doughty Street). Unfortunately the remainder of Dickens homes are no longer standing. One such home is 1 Devonshire Terrace, where Dickens lived in 1839. Today an office block is in its place at Marylebone Road.

Everyone likes a bargain, and if books are ones passsion then the South Bank Book Market is a must see place. Found outside the National Film Theatre at Riverside Walk SE1 the market is open on saturdays and sundays and has been in existence since 1982. In the summer the opening times are 10.30 am - 6.30 pm, and in the winter 12pm to 5.30 pm. There are a great number of secondhand stalls where everyones tastes are catered for.
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