London - The Extraordinary City

London - The Extraordinary City - Tower Bridge

Estimates suggest that over 500,000 visitors are entering London during this summer's Olympic Games in order to support their national competitors through the biggest sporting competition in the world, as well as taking time out to explore what the British capital has to offer.

Plenty know that the Queen lives at Buckingham Palace or that Jerry Springer was originally from London, but there is far more to the city than first appears!

There is always something new and astounding to uncover about historical and modern-day London - here is a selection of peculiar facts to help get you started on your London adventure:

  • Some 80,000 umbrellas are lost annually on the London Underground.
  • There are a dozen 'secret' rivers flowing beneath London. One, the Effra, travels under the Oval cricket ground.
  • In 1945, a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by five minutes.
  • Mosquitoes live in the tube system. They're not native to Britain and can't be found anywhere else. It is thought that they travelled on Underground trains from Heathrow where they arrived by plane. They also form their own unique species.
  • Covent Garden is really a spelling mistake! The area used to be the market garden for what is now Westminster Abbey monastery and convent.

What are your favourite quirky London facts? In fact, we'd love to hear your own stories or curiosities about your home town wherever you are in the UK. Leave a comment below, or please get in touch!

Author: Samantha May, Treasure Trails Ltd