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Anglophenia Blog »
The problem with cities is they’re full of obstacles. Never mind the buildings; the vehicles, the grot and the slops, the signs and the spectacle; there’s a human wall everywhere, and traffic everywhere else. This was just as true back in the 14th Century as it is today, although there was a lot more in the way of grot.
By the 1800s, London was undergoing a rapid growth spurt, thanks largely to the expansion of the British empire and some massive leaps in the fields of engineering, electricity and transport in general, and because of this, they decided to tackle this problem head on. A solution to the problem of getting from one part of the city to the other had now became tantalisingly possible: an underground network of trains! Can you imagine such a thing? Special trains that can go backwards as well as forwards, maybe even powered by electricity one day!
And indeed it was. The first stretch of the London underground, which ran from Farringdon in the east, the financial district, to Paddington station in the west – thus allowing Londoners the chance to commute from outside the city and cross to their place of work with ease and efficiency – opened on January 9, 1863.
Read the whole piece at Anglophenia
However, you won’t find most of the items on our list in typical roundups of famous tourist attractions – we were looking instead for things that are part of Londoners’ own experiences of their city, as well as places that help to draw visitors into the life of the city as it is lived by its inhabitants.