London is the capital and the biggest city of United Kingdom. Located on the River Thames in southern England. About 8.4 million people live in the city, of which about 2.7 are in inner London. Its population, along with its suburbs, was 15,010,295 in 2012, making it the largest city in Europe, and one of its most important political, economic and cultural centers. The current administrative division of London was formed on 1 April 1965 with the creation of Greater London. The city has a large number of universities, institutes, museums and theaters. Many international organizations and international companies also take their headquarters in the city, specifically the original city “London City”, which has an independent administration from most areas of the capital.
Many Londoners enjoy going to high-end street markets, which sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to rare jewelry and antiques. Popular street markets are Peticot Road, Middlesex Street on the eastern edge of the city, Brick Street Market in Soho, and Portobello Road Market, near Kensington Gardens.
One of the most popular mass sports is football, and there are several professional clubs that play in the Football League, which lasts from August to April, and the most important matches are held at Wembley Stadium, which has a capacity of about 80,000 spectators. One of these matches is the football final, and international matches. Amateur rugby is also a popular sport, and the match season lasts from September to April, and world rugby matches are held at Twickenham Rugby Grounds in Richmond upon Thames.
Cricket matches are played during the spring and summer seasons. Lord’s Cricket Grounds, to the west of Regent’s Park, are the international home of cricket, and The Oval in Lambeth Circle are other historic cricket grounds.
Londoners enjoy other sports, such as golf, horse racing, and tennis, and there is a huge sporting potential in the Crystal Palace National Sports Center, which is located in Bromley Circle, and Wembley tennis matches are held, in late June and early July each year, in Wimbledon Park, Merton Circuit, and these matches are among the most famous tennis matches in the world. There are more than 2,300 authorized pawnshops in London, where people bet on various sports, including horse racing.
London is the largest university in Britain and Europe, with about a hundred thousand students and contains many colleges, which are almost administratively separate from the university. The most important of these colleges:
University College London (UCL)
King’s College London
London School of Economics
School of Oriental and African Studies
Institute of Education