For many people around the world, London is at the centre of the English experience. Even decades after stepping down as the world’s superpower, England holds a special place in the hearts of citizens from all walks of life because of the impact of this tiny island country and London is at the forefront of that perception. You may think to credit the United States of America with the spread of the English language, but were it not for Britain’s influence on it, perhaps even the U.S.A would be more aligned with the Spanish or French world.
So it’s not surprising that when you visit Great Britain, you’re more likely to visit London than any other locale. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the largest city, maybe it has the sites you want to see, maybe it has worked it’s way into your psyche and you’re brainwashed to see any other place as desirable – whatever your reason, there’s no denying the pull of London.
It is, for many people, the cultural centre for much of the world.
London’s cultural contributions vary from the historical to the modern and to say which is more important is a difficult debate indeed. With the modern, you have the performances of the English National Opera or the stage productions from the West End. Taking in a production is, for many, what it is to visit the great city, seeing works of art from centuries past, recent creations or classics with modern twists. Even concerts are epic events in London, particularly at the O2 arena with it’s enormous capacity and host to some of the world’s greatest musical acts – many of which got their big break right here in London.
In regards to the historical, none can deny the pull of the symbols of old to shape the modern world, influencing the far recesses of the globe often without any deliberate intention. Taking a leisurely stroll along the Thames River will give witness to countless historical buildings, ranging from bridges to cathedrals to the Houses of Parliament. Indeed, in Westminster Abbey you can find the gravestones of many of histories greatest literary minds, many of whom are still shaping the way we think and write to this day.
London’s cultural influence doesn’t stop there either, as people from all walks of life make up its citizenry, making it a truly international city. What happens in London has a direct impact on what happens in the rest of England and the United Kingdom as a whole. It may not be your favourite city, or even the one you live in, but denying its influence on the English speaking world would be folly.
If nothing else can be said about it, London is a great primer for other locales in the UK. If what you see at its very essence appeals to you when you visit London, know that it is but a small part of the larger nation that for many, is still the greatest place on Earth.