Use the Underground (the...
Use the Underground (the Tube). This is (usually) one of the fastest ways to get where you're going. Try to avoid it from around 5:30pm until 6:30pm - rush hour, unless you like getting smashed between lots of angry people trying to get home. it really does turn into a cattle stampede when everyone is trying to get out of the station. Not very pleasant. otherwise, it's very handy :-)
Like many cities, London would not be where it is today were it not for its river. Yet for many years the city seemed to turn its back on its famous waterway, regarding more as a barrier between the north and the south of the city than as a feature to be enjoyed and celebrated. Nowadays though the river is one of the delights of London, and a walk on its banks (preferably the south bank where there are fewer roads) is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. My own favourite stretches are near the Southbank Centre where Sunday afternoons are particularly lively, and further east near the modern buildings surrounding City Hall. From both of these stretches there are particularly fine views across the river to some of London’s most famous landmarks – Parliament and Westminster from the former, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge from the latter. In 1802 the poet Wordsworth was inspired by the view from Westminster Bridge to write his famous sonnet, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”, which still for me has one of the most beautiful views in the city:
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning;
Not all visitors realise that the Thames is tidal for all of its length in the centre of the capital - ocean tides move up the river as far as the south-western suburbs. You can see the effects of this at low tide, when muddy stretches are revealed on either bank. Years ago poor children would eke out a living as “mud-larks”, searching for anything of value that had been buried in the mud, and treasure hunters still do the same today.
The river has long been a focus for public celebration, for instance with the famous 17th and 18th century Frost Fairs, held on the river when it occasionally froze, with barbecues, stalls, fairground amusements and performing animals. The winter of 1813-14 saw the greatest and last Frost Fair. The replacement of the old London Bridge in 1831 meant that the river flowed faster and no longer froze sufficiently to bear public events.
This tradition of using the river as a focal point for events has however been revived in recent years, with the current city administration organising wonderful fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve, and a series of free festivals on its banks throughout the year. For instance in September is the Mayor’s Thames Festival, an annual free event celebrating the river. The Festival takes place in the heart of London, between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge, on the river banks and on the adjacent riverside walkways and public open spaces.
Directions If you spend any time at all in London you won’t be able to avoid the river. Try Embankment (District & Circle lines), Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern & Bakerloo lines), London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern lines) or Tower Hill (District & Circle lines) to be sure of getting quite close.
Pass the Temple Bar, and you enter the City. You also enter Fleet Street, once synonymous with the British Press. It's journalistic history goes back hundreds of years, since a man named Wynkin de Worde established a Caxton Press here. Known both as the Street of Ink and the Street of Shame, it is home to some of London's oldest pubs, such as the Cheshire Chees - Dr.Johnson's old haunt - and the Tipperary, which was the first Irish pub in London, and the first place outside of Ireland to serve Guinness. It opened in 1700, though it was a pub long before then under adifferent name. You know the song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"? It's actually about this pub!
Most People Read the independent, i read the Guardian. Those are both Broadsheets
Tabliods - The Sun, The Mirror, News of the World, they concentrate on gossip and rumours, aswell as having Page 3 - basically a woman nude and alot of Advertisements
Broadsheets - The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Times, they concentrate upon major issues concerning the government and also the financial world.
The Centre - There is one newspaper which i know of that has no bias, and thats "The Metro", this newspaper is Free, and can be found in any Tube Station.
All newspapers give Sports coverage, on the back of the paper, Broadsheets sometimes give extra suppliments for free, normally on a wednesday, friday, saturday and sunday.
Normally when you are done reading a newspaper, you should offer it to a person, when you are going to leave the train.
If there is no - one to offer it to, then leave it on the seat, or just bin it.
The Accent - Part 2
The most common accent in London is broadly known as Cockney although linguists would argue that most Londoners do not speak 'true' Cockney. It is one of the broadest English accents and is considered to epitomise the working class of both London and other areas. It is characterised by monophthongization, whereby words such as 'right' and 'mouth' are pronounced 'raaht' and 'maahf'. Cockney also has a very noticeable glottal stop, whereby words such as 'water' and 'little' and pronounced 'wah-ur' and 'lih-ul'. The third most characteristic feature of Cockney is the voiceless glottal fricative - completely dropping the 'h' sound at the beginning of words such as 'house' and 'hammer'. And finally Cockney replaces the 'th' sound in many words with either an 'f' or a 'v' sound, as in 'brother' ('bruvver'), or 'thin' ('fin').
The third accent you may come across in London is known as the Queen's English, following the 16th century tradition that the monarch's usage of speech should be the model for all others to follow. These days, however, only the older members of the Royal Family (and young aspiring so-called socialites living in apartments paid for by their daddies around the Sloan Square area) are regarded as speaking the Queen's English, so you are unlikely to hear it in your day-to-day conversations. With this accent, words like 'house', 'off' and 'tower' would be pronounced 'hice', 'orf' and 'tar', respectively. 'Really' would be 'rairly' and 'yes' would be 'yah'.
For further examples of British accents, try www.ukans.edu/~idea/index2.html