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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London's vast urban area is often divided into a large set of districts (e.g. Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Whitechapel, among dozens of others). These are for the most part informal designations which have become commonplace through tradition, with no official boundaries. One area of London which does have a strict definition is the City of London (usually just called The City), the principal financial district of the UK. The City has its own governance and boundaries, giving it a distinctive status as a 'city within a city'. London's other financial hub is the Docklands area in the east of the city, dominated by the Canary Wharf complex, whilst many other businesses locate in the City of Westminster which is the home of the UK's national government. The West End (actually in Central London, in the City of Westminster) is London's main entertainment and shopping district, with locations such as Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus acting as tourist magnets. The actual West London region, further out from the centre, is traditionally known for fashionable and expensive residential areas such as Notting Hill, Kensington and Chelsea where properties are bought and sold at impressive prices. Meanwhile, the eastern side of London contains the East End the area closest to the original Port of London, known for its high immigrant population, as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London. The surrounding East London area, of which the East End is seen to form a part, saw much of London's early industrial development, and is currently part of the Thames Gateway regeneration that includes the 2012 Olympics. North London and South London are informal divisions of the capital made by the River Thames, although they can define varying areas.
The River Thames in London provided the major highway between London and Westminster in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, during the period now referred to as the Little Ice Age, the Thames often froze over in the winter. This led to the first Frost Fair in 1607, complete with a tent city set up on the river itself and offering a number of amusements, including ice bowling. After temperatures began to rise again, starting in 1814, the river has never frozen over completely. The building of a new London Bridge in 1825 may also have been a factor; the new bridge had fewer pillars than the old and so allowed the river to flow more freely, thus preventing it from flowing slowly enough to freeze in cold winters. By the 18th century, the Thames was one of the world's busiest waterways, as London became the centre of the vast, mercantile British Empire.
In the early 1980s, a massive flood-control device, the Thames Barrier, was opened. It is closed several times a year to prevent water damage to London's low-lying areas upstream. In the late 1990s, the 12-km-long Jubilee River was built, which acts as a flood channel for the Thames around Maidenhead and Windsor.
The Thames is crossed by many bridges and tunnels. Famous crossings of the Thames include: Dartford Crossing Thames Barrier Blackwall Tunnel Rotherhithe Tunnel Thames Tunnel Tower Bridge London Bridge Millennium Bridge Hungerford Bridge Westminster Bridge Maidenhead Railway Bridge Marlow Bridge
You are viewing panorama No.24 (London, River Thames and Jubilee Bridge), one of 56 Virtual Reality 360 degree views of London.
Map of London showing the location of London, River Thames and Jubilee Bridge at Latitude 51.50612 / Longitude -0.11932.
We have visited London on a number of occasions to produce this tour, this page was created on Mon, 9 Apr 2012 19:19:19 +0100.
5 Day, 10 Day, 15 Day long range weather forecast and current conditions for London, River Thames and Jubilee Bridge, London