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An Overview of London’s Neighborhoods: Part 1

First time visitors to London will inevitably spend the bulk of their time in an area that stretches roughly from Notting Hill in the west to Tower Bridge in the east, bordered on the south by the River Thames.

This zone includes major tourist attractions like museums, Harrods department store, the Royal Parks, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Soho for nightlife, Covent Garden, the heart of London’s theatre district, then as you carry on east you move into the financial centre of London, the City of London, known just as the City. From Blackfriars east to Tower Bridge this area includes the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange, as well as historical landmarks like the Tower of London and St Pauls Cathedral.

The River Thames horseshoes at the tongue of land known as the Isle of Dogs; this used to be the heart of the Docklands when London was the busiest port in the world. When container ships got too big for the Thames, the docks went into decay until regeneration in the early 1980s. Now it’s all gleaming glass office towers, hotels, penthouse apartments and fashionable restaurants. The dockers of fifty years ago surely wouldn’t recognise the place.

Close to here is London City Airport and then if you continued heading east you pass through solidly working class places like Barking, Ilford, Dagenham and Romford before heading off into the Essex countryside.

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