A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a very interesting fact about people in London – they are more anxious and generally less happy than people in other parts of the country.
Of course, there could be countless reasons for this, but when we stop to look at what is available on their doorstep, we’re actually struggling to think of them! After all, London is a vibrant and lively city that caters to all tastes and demographics in so many different ways.
What is there possibly not to like?
So let’s see if we can cheer them up and remind them why they are luckier than they think!
It’s easy to get around
Get yourself an Oyster card and you can easily hop onto a bus, train or Tube without any fuss or rummaging in your pocket for loose change. This also means you won’t be queuing up behind other people doing the same, allowing you to get to your destination with the minimum of hassle. And London’s transport network is pretty idiot-proof – so people with no idea how to get around can get to their chosen destination without any difficulties whatsoever.
Endless great views
Locations such as Blackfriars Bridge and Westminster Bridge offer truly incredible views of the iconic London skyline, with landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Perhaps most Londoners have got so used to it that they don’t really notice it anymore, but we never stop appreciating the spectacle that’s on offer from the city’s many vantage points.
Free things to do
A trip to London is actually far more affordable than some might think, as many of its leading attractions, from the Imperial War Museum to the National Gallery, are free to enter. You could easily plan a trip to the city based around locations that don’t cost a penny.
London is a fabulous destination if you’re into sport. Not only is it home to leading football clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea, it’s also home to the iconic Wembley Stadium. And of course, plenty of other sports get to shine here as well, with tennis for instance getting its main spotlight at Wimbledon. And who could forget the 2012 Olympics? It was a true unifying moment not only for the country, but for the whole world – and an event that certainly gave Rio de Janeiro a lot to live up to this year!
London’s uniqueness lies largely in the international make-up of its population. Communities from far and wide have settled in the city and turned into an eclectic and diverse place and a true melting pot of disparate influences. This gives it a distinctive feel and offers the chance to immerse yourself in many different cultures without actually having to travel too far.
Lots of great food
London’s international population is apparent in many ways, most particularly in the variety of food on offer. You can enjoy pie and mash at one restaurant and top-quality Lebanese food further down the road, and there are probably Italian, Indian and Thai eateries dotted around too, along with plenty of nationalities. So why not come to London and enjoy a culinary trip across the globe?
London’s theatre scene is renowned the world over, with the West End in particular consistently staging the biggest shows and hosting the world’s leading theatrical talent. Add to that the rich array of live music on show at places such as the O2 Arena and Hammersmith Apollo, then you’ll soon realise that you are never short of top-quality entertainment to enjoy in the evening. At the same time, smaller theatres and live music venues are flying the flag for emerging talent, giving visitors a chance to see something new every night of the week.
A rich history
Much of the history of the UK has been shaped in London and the legacy of countless events from the past can still be seen today. It’s well worth spending time in London becoming acquainted with aspects of London’s history from its industrial heritage to its political past. Again, much of this can be done for free, as there’s a huge number of blue plaques dotted around London denoting the birthplace or homes of key historical figures. And if you want to pay to learn more, a tour of locations such as the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London should be supremely satisfying.
No, we can’t explain why people in other parts of the UK are happier in London, considering the rich tapestry the city offers.
Does familiarity breed contempt? We hope not, as most of the people we speak to effusively praise London as the greatest city in the world.
Perhaps it’s not very British to talk up the place you live, but you’ll ardently defend it if somebody else dares to criticise it in any way. For us personally, we think London has plenty of reasons to make you smile.