For two millennia London has been a major settlement, its history dating back to the Romans who founded it and named it Londinium. This original area, now referred to as the City or the Square Mile, retains its medieval boundaries but London has since expanded to become one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, the Square Mile is not the geographical centre point of the London conurbation. It is, however, the city’s world-leading business and financial centre and the financial capital of the world.
London’s true central location - the point from which all distances to London are measured - can be found at the statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square, flanked by the magnificent architecture of the National Gallery and Nelson’s Column. Five major roads leading outwards into the city create a powerful sense that the square is the heart of London.
In recent years, the traditional focus of business in London has shifted slightly east to incorporate the Canary Wharf and Old Street areas. Tech City, an expanding concentration of technology companies around the Silicon Roundabout, plays host to over 3000 digital and technology businesses, including worldwide names such as Google, Intel, Microsoft and Amazon.
Although London is navigable for motorists, as in most major cities public transport is favoured especially in central areas. The London Underground serves more than 270 train stations, over 70 of which are equipped with WiFi, and hundreds of bus routes extend to suburban areas. Visitors and locals can also enjoy the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, with docking stations available across the city. In addition, there are trains to all of Britain’s main cities and the Eurostar from St Pancras provides links to Paris and Brussels.
London’s five international airports make it an important international transport hub, with Heathrow alone carrying more international passengers than any other airport in the world.
The boundaries of the City of London were those of London itself until medieval times. Now just a tiny part of Greater London, its size belies its importance as a global financial centre to rival New York. A serviced apartment in the City would be perfect for a broker who needs to be close to the trading floors.
The leafy borough of Richmond-upon-Thames lies in south west London, with National Rail and underground services connecting it to the centre of the city. A Richmond-upon-Thames serviced apartment would be ideal for anyone who would like to stay in a peaceful, family-friendly environment.
Marylebone is now most famous for its train station, but the area has existed at least since the Domesday Book was written in 1086. The area includes Baker Street, Bond Street and Edgware Road. Extensive transport links mean a Marylebone serviced apartment would be perfect for someone who needs to travel to different areas of London.
Until 1729 London Bridge was the only bridge over the Thames in London. Now, the name also denotes an area south of the river, which is home to Borough Market, City Hall and a great variety of bars and restaurants. Serviced apartments in London Bridge are perfect for anyone working in the City or Southwark.