A quick and easy way to get to different places in the city is to use an Underground train. The trains run all day and most of the night. Buy your ticket before you get on the train. It's better not to make your journey between eight o'clock and ten o'clock in the morning, or four o'clock and six o'clock in the evening. These are called the 'rush' hours. Thousands of people are going to work or coming home again then, and it is difficult to move or to find a place to sit on the train.
You can see much more of London from one of its famous red buses. Some special visitors' buses take you to many of the interesting places in the city on one journey. It takes about one and a half hours, but you can break your journey and get off (and on again) at the different places you want to visit.
London taxis are called 'black cabs'. Most of them are black, but some are not. You can stop one if it has a 'For Hire' sign on it. The drivers are usually friendly and helpful.
Why not take a boat trip along the River Thames? Boats leave Westminster Pier and Charing Cross Pier, and they go to Tower Pier and Greenwich.
Between April and October, you can take a longer boat trip to Hampton Court (about four hours) - a beautiful palace in a big park.
4 Some places to go
The Queen has her London home at Buckingham Palace. It is at the end of The Mall - a long road that begins at Trafalgar Square. At half past eleven most mornings the soldiers at Buckingham Palace 'change the guard'. It takes about thirty minutes, and hundreds of visitors come to watch.
And in August and September, you can usually visit some of the rooms in the palace. But there are always lots of people coming to see them, so be ready to wait.
You can also visit the Royal Mews at the palace. This is the home of the Queen's horses and coaches.
The Queen's Gallery is also at the palace, and you can visit it at most times of the year. Here you can see pictures from all over the world.
The Tower of London is now a museum, and one of London's most famous buildings. More than two million people visit it every year. Yeoman Warders (also called Beefeaters) tell them all about the Tower.
You can see the Crown Jewels, and visit the Bloody Tower and the White Tower. Or take a walk round the wall and perhaps see one of the Tower's famous black birds: the ravens.
Tower Bridge is near the Tower of London. It is one of the most famous bridges in the city and first opened in 1894.
St Paul's Cathedral is not far away, on Ludgate Hill. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Fire of London. Wren built more than fifty London churches. Visitors can go up to the Golden Gallery to look across London.
Westminster Abbey is more than nine hundred years old, and is a very famous London church. After William the Conqueror, every King and Queen of England was crowned king or queen here.
The Houses of Parliament are near Westminster Abbey. This is the home of the British government The clock high up on the building is called Big Ben.
The Prime Minister - the head of the British government - lives at 10 Downing Street. Walk along Parliament Street to Whitehall, past the government buildings, and you can see the little street on your left.
Parks and gardens
When you are tired of looking at buildings, you can sit or walk in one of London's beautiful parks.
Hyde Park has a lake in the middle called the Serpentine, and you can take a boat out on the water.
It is a good place to get away from the crowds and the noise of the city.
You can listen to the speakers at Speakers' Corner near Marble Arch. People from all over the world come and speak here. You can ask a speaker some difficult questions if you like. Or you can stand on a box and speak to some of the listeners!
Kensington Gardens is next to Hyde Park. Here you can see the statue of Peter Pan, the famous boy in the children's story, Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie.
Regent's Park is the home of London Zoo. The zoo has thousands of birds and animals from all over the world. There is also a theatre in the park. On a summer's evening, you can sit out under the night sky and watch a play by William Shakespeare, England's most famous writer.
St James' Park is next to The Mall. It is smaller, but many people think it is more beautiful.
Thå most famous shop in London some people say the most famous inthe world - is Harrods, in Knightsbridge. It opened in 1849.
Oxford Street has many big hops - Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Debenhams. Thåãå are always lots of people looking at the shops here, but at Christmas thousands more people come to see the wonderful Christmas lights - and to buy things for their friends and family for Christmas.
Charing Cross Road is famous for its bookshops. There are lots of them, and they sell old and new books. One of the oldest and most famous is Foyles. It has thousands of books - but it can sometimes be very difficult to find the book you want!
Covent Garden was once a big food market, but now it has lots of small shops and cafes - and there are street performers to watch.
There are two very famous markets in London. Petticoat Lane market (open on Sundays) is in Middlesex Street, and is a good place to buy cheap clothes and things for the home. At the market in Portobello Road (open on Saturdays) you can buy old clocks, old chairs and tables, and hundreds of other things.
... and eating
You can find food from nearly every country in the world in London. In Soho, in the West End of London (see map on pages 18 and 19), you can eat food from Italy, India, China, Japan, Greece, and lots more places.
There are also thousands of pubs in the city. In many pubs you can eat as well as drink.
Or why not have some English fish and chips? They are cheap, and good to eat.
Or you can have 'tea' at the Ritz in Piccadilly, or at the Savoy Hotel in the Strand.
7 Going out
Theatres and music
London's West End has some of the best theatres in the world, so tickets can be expensive. Go in the afternoon; it is often cheaper. There is something for everybody -from a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre, to Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap (this play began in 1952 and thousands of visitors see it every year).
There are lots of cinemas to visit. The most expensive are in the West End, but you can sometimes get cheap tickets on Mondays.
You can hear wonderful music and singing from all over the world at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gore, the London Coliseum in St Martin's Lane, and the Barbican Centre, Silk Street.
For ballet, go to the Sadler's Wells Theatre in Rosebery Avenue, or to the Royal Opera House.
To get cheap tickets, buy them an hour or two before it begins.
Do you like to listen to jazz musicians? You can hear some of the best at Ronnie Scott's Club in Frith Street, or at the Bull's Head, Barnes at Barnes Bridge, or at 100 Club at 100, Oxford Street.
Some of the most famous English football clubs are in London. You can see Arsenal play at Arsenal Stadium, Avenell Road, N5. Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6, and Tottenham Hotspur play at White Hart Lane, High Road, N17.
To watch the very English game of cricket, go to Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, NW8. This is the 'home of cricket' for most English people.
8 Museums and galleries
The British Museum in Great Russell Street is the biggest museum in Britain. Tickets are free.
The Museum of London at 150, London Wall is one of the most interesting museums in the city. It tells the story of London and its people.
One more museum that tells a story is the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI), on the South Bank (under Waterloo Bridge). This tells the story of cinema and television, and there are many things for visitors to see and do. You can act with actors on a film 'set'. Or you can read the news on TV!
Four million people visit the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square every year. They come to look at more than two thousand pictures. Tickets are free.
At the National Portrait Gallery in St Martin's Place, you can see pictures of famous people. Tickets are free here, too.
The London Dungeon in Tooley Street is a 'Museum of Horror'. Half a million people visit it every year, but they don't always stay to see it all!
Madame Tussaud's in Marylebone Road is famous for its people made from wax. You can see famous people from the past and famous people of today - Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Pavarotti, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Sylvester Stallone. And in the 'Chamber of Horrors' you can see some very bad people!
9 Places and parades
Londoners often talk about 'The City' (see map on pages 18 and 19). They are talking about the oldest part of London, the home of the Bank of England, and many other big offices.
About five thousand people live in The City, and at weekends it feels empty. But between Monday and Friday, nearly half a million people come here to work in the banks and offices. Look for the City men with their dark suits and umbrellas!
St Paul's Cathedral is in the middle of The City, and the Bank of England has an interesting museum that you can visit.
Also in the The City is a very tall building - 60.6 metres high - called The Monument. Christopher Wren built this, too, and it stands on the place where the Fire of London began in 1666.
Some interesting and exciting days
Every year on a Saturday morning in June, 'foot guards' and 'horse guards' have a parade for the Queen. This is called 'Trooping the Colour'. The 'colour' is the flag that the soldiers carry. Thousands of people stand in The Mall to see the Queen and the soldiers go past.
The exciting Notting Hill Carnival is on the last Sunday and Monday in August. There are two wonderful parades to watch, one on Sunday and one on Monday, and you can see them going through the streets near Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove.
On the second Saturday in November, Londoners can see their new Lord Mayor in the Lord Mayor's Show - a parade from Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's home, to the Strand. The Lord Mayor is the most important person in The City after the Queen. The first Mayor of London was Henry Fitzailwin, in 1189. They were not called Lord Mayors until the time of King Henry the Eighth.
Big red buses . . . London policemen ... Buckingham Palace ... Speakers' Corner . .. Big Ben . . . Notting Hill Carnival - these are some of the things you can find in London.
But there are many, many more.
Come and see!
A Checking your understanding
Pages 1-5 Find the answers to these questions.
1 How many visitors go to the Tower of London every year?
2 Who gave London its name?
3 In 1666, a lot of Londoners lost their homes. How?
4 When is it better not to make your journey on the Underground?
Pages 6-9 Write answers to these questions.
1 Where and when can you see soldiers 'change the guard'?
2 Who built St Paul's Cathedral?
3 Where and what is Speakers' Corner?
Pages 10-15 In London ...
1 ... which road is famous for its bookshops?
2 ... which famous market is open on Sundays in Middlesex Street?
3 ... what Agatha Christie play began in 1952?
4 ... what English sport can you watch at White Hart Lane?
5 ... which museum tells the story of cinema and television?
6 ... where can you see famous people made of wax?
Pages 16-19 Are these sentences true (T) or false (F)?
1 'The City' is the oldest part of London.
2 The Bank of England is in Westminster.
3 The Monument stands on the place where the Fire of London began.
4 You can see the Trooping of the Colour on a Saturday in July.
5 The first Mayor of London was Christopher Wren.
Â Working with language
1 Complete these sentences with the information from the book.
1 Hampton Court is ...
2 The Mall is...
3 At the Queen's Gallery you can see ...
4 Covent Garden was once ...
5 At Ronnie Scott's Club you can listen to ...
6 At the National Portrait Gallery you can see ...
2 Put these sentences in the right order. Check your answers with pages 2 and 3.
1 100,000 people died from an illness called the plague.
2 It destroyed St Paul's Cathedral and eighty-eight other churches.
3 But soon after AD 400, the Romans left Londinium to go back to Rome.
4 Today, more than six million people live here.
5 A year later, in 1666, there was a big fire - the Fire of London.
1 You are on a visitors' bus in London. Which four interesting places do you get off the bus to visit? Write a paragraph about each of them. Say why you want to see them.
2 You are on holiday in London. Write a postcard to a friend saying what you did today.
D Project work
Write an 'In the beginning ...' about your own town or city. How did it get
its name? Who lived there first? What old buildings can you see today and when were they built? How many people live in your town or city today?
act to be in a play or film
bank a place where you keep money
cathedral a big, important church
church a building where people go to talk and sing to God
destroy break something so that you can't use it again
fall down move quickly down to the ground
fire something hot that destroys things
food the things we eat
gallery rooms where you can go to look at pictures
government the people who say what must happen in a country
king the most important man in a country (often husband of a queen)
market a place in the street where you can buy and sell things
museum a building to keep beautiful, old and interesting things for people to look at
music a nice noise to listen to when people sing or play something
park a place where there are trees and grass, and where people can walk and sit
place where something or someone is
pub a building where people drink and talk to their friends
queen the most important woman in a country (often wife of a king)
soldier a man or woman who fights for their country
speak say something
theatre a building where you can see plays and hear music
world all seas and countries are on it, and all people and animals live on it