London, England

This page was created by Mary Soon Lee. Please note that I no longer live in London, and so cannot provide you with up-to-date information.

Modern-day London

A visitor may see grimy old buildings, tee shirts of the royal family on sale in every tourist stall, ten million anonymous strangers in ten thousand anonymous streets. But these are the streets I grew up in. I see this complex, ugly, straining city--Soho and Brixton; Chelsea and middle class suburbia; people crushed together on the underground; the fat black London taxis; red double-decker buses; tiny parks tucked in unexpected corners; the wide, dirty river that started it all; a history deep enough to decay into comfortable neglect and still anchor this city--and it is a thing of beauty.

Located at 51deg30 N, 0deg10 W, London is the capital city of England. The home of famous buildings from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament, London welcomes millions of tourists each year. Since the London Stock Exchange was founded in the eighteenth century, the city has been one of the leading international finance centres. London is also a manufacturing city, focusing on light industries such as electronics and pharmaceuticals.

What to do in London?

Having grown up in London, I visited and re-visited and re-re-visited many of the tourist attractions. My interest in seeing Buckingham Palace has likewise waned. But I recommend any of the following:

  • Kew Gardens, near Richmond in South West London. If you're tired of city streets, Kew Gardens has huge green lawns, trees that are centuries old, glasshouses containing exotic plants, a lake, views of the Thames, a Pagoda, rhododendrons, azaleas, bamboo, roses.
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • London Zoo in Regent's Park
  • Nighttime sightseeing. Maybe I'm jaded due to overexposure, but sights that bore me by day become beautiful after dark. The lighted bridges over the Thames, St. Paul's Cathedral by floodlight, Piccadilly Circus pulsing neon-bright.

    Historical London

    Last updated September 2007 by Mary Soon Lee