City: The City of London - The bustling heart of the capital

City: The City of London - The bustling heart of the capitalOne of the most important parts of the capital, holding city status in its own right and acting as a separate ceremonial county, the City of London is a popular area for financiers and legal workers.

It is often referred to as the Square Mile - as it is just over one square mile in area - and it is home to much of the UK's financial services industry, which is why so many professionals choose property to rent in the City of London in order to be close to their place of work.

Addresses range from swanky apartments and penthouse suites to smaller flats and studios, and most of those who live in the City are single individuals or couples.

History of the area

The City of London was established around AD50, seven years after the Roman invasion of Britain. Its boundaries were created during the Roman period when the London Wall was built, but since then its jurisdiction has expanded slightly.

It constituted most of London during the medieval period, although modern-day London has grown up around it and now it is just a tiny part of a much larger metropolis.

But that doesn't make it any less important. Today it is a major centre for business and finance - home to the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange and Lloyd's of London - as well as a significant legal centre.

It has a resident population of around 7,000, although more than 300,000 people work in the area.

Things to do in the City of London

Although the City of London has no sizeable parks within its boundary, there are several gardens and small open spaces for residents to enjoy, ranging from formal gardens to secluded churchyards.

Finsbury Circus is the largest public open space in the City, featuring a bowling green and a bandstand. There's also Cleary Garden, Postman's Park and St Paul's Churchyard to name a few.

One of the biggest attractions of living in the City it its many bars and restaurants, which range from traditional watering holes and gastropubs to high-end cocktail bars and exotic eateries.

There's also theatre, dance, music and cinema at the Barbican Centre, as well as classic and contemporary productions at the Bridewell Theatre.

History and heritage

Because it is the oldest part of the capital, the City of London boasts numerous historic buildings and heritage sites for residents to explore.

There's the Gothic Guildhall, which survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, there's Leadenhall Market, which one of the capital's finest examples of Victorian architecture, there's the Georgian splendour of Mansion House and there's the neo-Baroque grandeur of the Old Bailey.

Other famous buildings include the Royal Exchange, Smithfield Market, St Paul's Cathedral, Temple Bar and the Monument, which was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London.

Shopping

The City of London is not usually associated with fantastic shopping opportunities, but residents can actually find plenty of places to purchase luxury goods or snap up a bargain within the Square Mile.

Cheapside is one of the oldest shopping thoroughfares in London and it is now home to the City's only major shopping centre, One New Change, which features three floors of retail outlets and restaurants, as well as a roof terrace offering amazing views of St Paul's Cathedral.

There are also a number of markets, such as Leadenhall, Petticoat Lane and Spitalfields, selling everything from clothing to specialist food and drink.

Transport options

The City of London is the most well-connected part of the capital, sitting at the very heart of the public transport network within easy reach of most other areas of Central London and its suburbs.

It is served by seven London Underground lines and there are eight railway stations either within its boundaries or close to them. There are also two DLR stations in the City, linking it to Canary Wharf, London City Airport and the new Olympic venues in Stratford.

Some 40 high-frequency bus routes run through the City too, including ten that run for 24 hours a day, while river services are available from the piers at Blackfriars, London Bridge and the Tower of London.

Published 30th August, 2012

© 2012 Estates IT Limited

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The City of London is a major financial centre and a popular area for professionals to live

City: The City of London - The bustling heart of the capital

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