About London

London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, home of the royal family, seat of government and is at the heart of British political, business and financial life. It covers a land area of over 600 square miles (1,579 square km) and has a population of approximately 7.5 million. It is one of the world’s great international finance centres with over 800,000 of its workforce involved in financial services. The majority of the world’s financial institutions have a presence here and it is the home of Lloyds of London: the world’s leading specialist insurance market.

The city has an extremely long and eventful history. The Romans first established a stronghold in the vicinity of modern day London in about 43AD and, from then on, the city grew in importance, largely due to its strategic position on the River Thames.

London has excellent transport links. It is served by five airports: Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Luton and Stansted. Gatwick and Heathrow offer flights to most major international destinations as well as domestic and European flights. London City, Luton and Stansted primarily offer domestic and European flights, with London City specialising in flights for the business traveller from the centre of London. London is also linked by train to Continental Europe, with non-stop express services to Paris and Brussels and excellent connections to other European cities.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and covers 94,524 square miles (244,820 square km). Being an island, the United Kingdom has an extensive coast line measuring some 7,223 miles (12,429 km). The coast line is so heavily indented that nowhere in the country is further than approximately 78 miles (125km) from tidal water. The UK is now connected to Continental Europe by the Channel Tunnel which was opened in 1994 and is the longest undersea tunnel in the world.

The total population of the UK is around 60.2 million. The official language is English and the currency is the Pound Sterling. The UK is a member of the European Union but has chosen to remain outside the European Monetary Union for the time being.

The UK is one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and is a founding member of NATO and of the Commonwealth. It is a member of most international organisations, including the World Trade Organisation and the OECD.

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