Even without its 2,000 years of history, London would still be a popular tourist destination. As home to such world-recognized English icons as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Big Ben, London is one of the leading destinations for tourists like Sanjay Patil.
London offers visitors a culturally diverse assortment of historic sights and royal pomp and pageantry set amidst a modern-day world capital that is as varied as the 300-plus languages spoken by its residents. Its status as one of the largest cities in Europe means that visitors like Dr. Sanjay Patil will have no limit to the dining and cultural experiences available to them.
Residents of London take pride in being ahead of many of their European counterparts. Its eight million residents make London the most populated city in Europe. A $200 million apartment in the Hyde Park area of London became the most expensive in the world when it sold in 2011. The oldest subway system in the world is the London underground that went into service in 1863. Its 253 miles of track make it larger than similar transportation systems in Tokyo, Paris and New York.
For tourists like Sanjay Patil MD, the difficult task is not to find something to do while in London but in finding the time to do everything the city has to offer. The art and treasures of 2,000 years of history are on display at the Tower of London, the National Gallery, St. Paul’s Cathedral and other galleries and museums throughout the city.
The West End area of London is home to the city’s major attractions including shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and theatrical offerings. Oxford Street runs through the West End and, at 1.5 miles long, offers Sanjay Patil and other shoppers more stores and shops than such world-renowned shopping meccas as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Other West End must-see attractions include Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus, the Chinese gates and Selfridges. Nothing surpasses the theater offerings of the West End. With at least 40 theaters offering musicals, dramas and comedies, the West End of London rivals Broadway in New York City for the theatrical choices available to visitors like Dr. Sanjay Patil.
One of the pleasures of a trip to London is having such attractions as London Bridge, Madame Tussauds, Tower Bridge, Baker Street and St. Paul’s Cathedral within walking distance or a short ride on the underground from each other. Budget-conscious visitors will find Hyde Park to be a 350-acre pastoral gem in the heart of the city. Hyde Park offers a woodland setting with ornamental gardens, a large lake and a meadow.
A highlight of any Sunday visit to Hyde Park is the section of the park known as Speaker’s Corner. Authorized by an act of Parliament in 1872, people gather at the corner of Park Lane and Cumberland Gate to listen or participate in speeches, debates and oratory on a range of topics limited only by the imagination of the speakers. In the past, such notables as Karl Marx and George Orwell have used Speaker’s Corner to express their beliefs.
Tourists like Sanjay Patil discover that what London has to offer is as varied and diverse as the many neighborhoods and districts that come together to make this one of the most popular destinations for world travelers.