Visit London - 10 Things That Will SHOCK You About London, England
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From Sticker Shock to Almost Being Hit By a Double Decker Bus to The International Flavor of the Capital of Cool, London, England has a lot to offer travelers, tourists and trip goers alike. Here are our list of 10 things that shock tourists when they visit London.
Filmed in London, England
Copyright Mark Wolters 2016
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All Comments (21)
Full-time Londoner here - this is pretty accurate. Tbh I do wonder how many tourists come here and are actually a bit disappointed at how un-English London is, in the sense that they came here for a more English experience. London is really its own country. And it's great if you actually live here, because you can pretty much travel the world without having to leave the city.
To anyone thinking about visiting England (and I am a proud Englishman), do not just visit London as it does not reflect "England". Go to places like Oxford, York, The Lake District, Yorkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Bath and of course Suffolk (my home county). It pains me to say, Wales is also stunning, so make sure you visit this gem of a country.
I've been visiting London many times over the years and the biggest "shock" for me is how much friendlier and service minded the city has become. Gone are the surly cashiers and the apathetic wait staff. People are largely helpful and friendly and seem genuine with it. At first I thought may be it's the influx of eastern Europeans but no, this change of attitude applies across the board.
i bet some americans are also shocked not everyone speaks in queens tongue, chews crumpets and carries extra tea bags
You’re 100% spot on about London. It’s a very international city and often regarded as the centre of the world or the world’s capital city. It attracts everyone rich and poor to its many micro towns. London is divided into 33 boroughs or towns each with its own local government and parliament and each borough sends at least two representatives to the national parliament - the House of Commons. Within each borough are mini boroughs or what used to be villages that grew over time to make up the borough and each village or district is very unique in its own right and has its own unique history, architecture, migration and settlement patterns, languages and cultural flavours. Immigrants often flock to areas where there are concentrations of people or institutions from their own backgrounds and where they might feel most comfortable living. So you have Jewish people concentrated in parts of East and North London, Turks and Kurds in North London, South Asians in East, west and south London and pockets of Black and Irish settlements across the city. Each London district is so different that emerging from the underground tube could feel as if you’ve just arrived in a different country with different people, architecture and cultures. London also has two great divides and they often meet at the centre and that is the great North London and South London divide. The great River Thames is the dividing line between North and South London. You either live north or south of the river and it is not often that the two meet unless you live in Richmond Upon Thames which transverses the river. Londoners are most conscious of this North-South division especially amongst native Londoners. Firstly, your geographic place of birth determines your London ethnicity and there are only 6 london ethnicities Central (including the City of London and the West End, North, North West, West,,South West, South East, and East End. your borough is your political identity and your district represents your tribal identity. These identities are taken very seriously by Londoners and even migrants to the city soon get ensconced in them the longer they live in the city and it determines their whole lifestyle eg how and where they shop, neighbourhood preference , their social and economic class division, the type and quality of education and housing that can be accessed for rent or to buy, how and where they choose to visit and socialise, who they can or will visit or not visit in terms of friends and family , sexual lifestyles, dating habits, your voting pattern and political and world view, religious outlook, health, age, fashion, cultural and eating habits. These factors taken together will determine your basic london personality I.e the type of Londoner you are and the lifestyle you enjoy is centred on the district that you choose to settle in permanently or temporarily. Incomers to London often very quickly discover the importance of paying attention to those factors because they can make o r break you as a Londoner and they will most definitely determine your level of happiness or depression and contentment in the city as a whole. Choosing to reside in the wrong london neighbourhood is often one of the key reasons for hating or leaving London. In my opinion it is of prime importance to the native and non native Londoner as it will determine the quality of life you enjoy and level of happiness you achieve in the city and ultimately where you feel you truly belong in the scheme of things.
I went to London in 2018 and was amazed at how good the public transportation system was. The Tube and the bus system were great. It was so easy to get around, I only had to use a taxi a couple of times while in London.
I think the most shocking thing on my first visit is how easy it is to use the tube. It was something I was actually very nervous about. The first time I went I stayed near St. Pancras and took the Circle Line everywhere (not efficient.. I know). The next time I went I took the correct lines to get where I needed to go, it's very easy to navigate.
I'm planning our very first (month long) Eurotrip for next year and I'm so glad I found you. Your videos are so helpful. You and Jocelyn take away so much anxiety out of this process.
A real good review (from a local). One thing about London is whilst it is culturally diverse, there is a strong sense of civic pride, and despite it being the main attraction for immigrants, it has changed actually less over the last decades than most of rural England. One of the best features is the parks, there plenty of large parks within the city and the suburbs, and the tube i.e. subway has an incredible character when it comes to Victorian and Art Deco engineering and architecture.
Londoners, as with most English people are quite reserved, and sometimes rude, which could be a shock for Americans.
Thank you for another great vlog!
London is my favorite city, and I found all these things to be very true. The Tower of London is a must-see, and Notting Hill was the most fun neighborhood. The most amazing thing I saw in London was while biking through Hyde Park. I saw a bunch of horse trailers parked, and there was a large group of people with show horses all riding around in a big circle. Being a horse lover, I stopped the bike, parked myself on a park bench and just sat there mesmerized. It was like a dream, and I'll never forget that experience. If you haven't been to London, definitely put it on your list of places to see.
I absolutely love all of your American review videos, my fiance is from Oregon and I'm glad to see that you've done a video about my home city. Our police must be a major shock to all Americans, because 9/10 of them are all approachable and will assist you in however way they can and there's no imminent threat of being shot if things get out of hand.. We do however have authorised firearms officers equipped with body armour and SIG carbine rifles and glock 17 pistols who are the men you see at airports, tube stations and outside tourist hotspots and landmark destinations. We also have specialist firearms officers which are more sort of comparable to your FBI counter terrorist / special op police.
What shocked me the most while in London is to realize how safe the city is, i was walking through St James’ Park at midnight and felt so safe, people were talking in benches in was very dark. I live in LA, and i would never do such a thing in any park here.
Not from London myself though I am English, this was a pretty accurate description, the only inaccuracy was the weather, which is often overplayed by many people from overseas, but not only do summers there get into the 30's ( 80's f) but New York, Berlin , Sydney and Rome are statistically wetter.
I've been trawling YouTube getting an American's perspective on the UK and I think this is among the best of the bunch :D As a Brit who doesn't live in London but has been loads of times during my 23 years, I whole heartedly agree with pretty much everything here :D Make me sorta proud of our small little Island :) Thank you!
My husband and I are heading to London and several places in the UK as well as Germany for the first time at the end of July and couldn't be more excited! We've been pouring through all of your videos for tips and ideas for our trip and you guys have been super helpful!
This one was all spot on! I agree with you on every point! I stopped going to London in 2008 because of the high prices, but between 1999 and 2008, I spent a couple of months in London over the course of several trips. Might go back, IF the exchange rate to the $ ever gets really favorable. In my experience, though, I think Switzerland and Norway are even more expensive, though it may be a close call, now. Have you ever given an opinion on what the most expensive place is? And by that I mean what the most expensive place is for most people, at the same level of travel. I've seen a couple of gurus try to compare hostels in one country to pretty good hotels in another country, using the logic that the hostels were easier to find in one place than the other. I thought that was sort of an "apples and oranges" comparison, though. One thing I do know about England, though, is that prices drop drastically as soon as you leave London. In Switzerland, I could not find anywhere that was cheap, or even reasonable! I lived on a diet of bread and cheese from market vendors, which still was not cheap, and Riiter bars, while I was there.
I agree. I live in Birmingham, England and take drives down to London for day trips. It is very international. Most of the people I was served by at landmarks, shops and restaurants etc were foreign. It’s a great city but also be prepared, it is very, very busy. It’s a fantastic city. Like I said, I live in Birmingham which is only about 95-100 miles away from London and when I visit, I feel like a foreigner in my own country. It is so, so different to my home town where I live. It’s so busy and their way of life is so different. Don’t visit London and think you’ve visited England. You’ve seen nothing. The rest of England is nothing and I mean NOTHING like London. Hire a car and venture out of London. Come to the Midlands, Worcestershire, Warwickshire etc. Take a day trip to Henley In Arden, Stratford Upon Avon where you can see the old buildings, villages and towns. There’s so much more to see.
Really liked this video. I've worked in London for over 25 years and it was fantastic seeing someone with so much enthusiasm pointing out things I've just never stopped to think about in all those years. Cheers!
You should do the things that will shock you about Britain.
As a Brit myself I can tell you that Britain/England is a completely different world once you get outside the capital.
Liverpool and Newcastle are my favourite cities.
I think London is awesome if you aspire to have a posh job, if you're a tourist or if you just wish for a wide choice of entertainment.
I actually enjoyed more some places I've seen while traveling to Dover, Southampton, Oxford and Cambridge than London itself.
Very lovely, picturesque places in the country or other small cities around London, I could actually see myself living there.
London is just too stressful and crowded to live your whole life there imo, just like in any other huge metropolis.