10 top facts you might not know about London

Published by Mike Cole 115 days ago

If there's one thing that Thames Rockets will always stand by, it’s that we LOVE London. The sights, the sounds, the feel of this city is truly unique. With 2000 years of stories, history and events there really is no end to the amazing facts and figures our guides relish in telling our passengers every day. 

With that in mind, we've put together ten of our favourite unusual tales of this great city. We guarantee you haven't heard them all...

  1. ’The Strangers Bar' is Parliament's outside bar and has two awnings, one green and one red. The green represents the seats in the House of Commons and the red represents the seats in the House of Lords. Not only that but Lambeth Bridge on the Lords end is red, and Westminster Bridge on the Commons end is green. Now that's colour coordination!
  2. Portcullis House opposite Big Ben is one of the most expensive buildings in Britain, costing a huge £234 million pounds. It is bomb proof, bullet proof and shatter proof. Unfortunately in its first week of opening it flooded... oops!
  3. The Ministry of Defence headquarters is also known as the 'iceberg' as there is more of the building underground than above - 19 more floors to be precise!
  4. Waterloo Bridge is the longest bridge to span the river Thames and is known as the 'Ladies Bridge' as it was built by a convoy of women workers during the second world war. It is the only time in London history that a bridge has been completed on time and under budget. Coincidence...?
  5. The Millennium Bridge opened on time in the year 2000. As people flocked to cross the bridge for the first time it quickly became clear the bridge was structurally unsound and began to wobble violently. It was closed and finally reopened in 2002 with the unfortunate nickname 'the wobbly bridge’. It is the only bridge that cost more to repair than it did to build...
  6. The Globe Theatre is a faithful replica of the original Elizabethan building and is the only building in London that by law is allowed a thatched roof.
  7. The Monument is a commemorative landmark of the Great Fire of London in 1666, and is equal in height to its distance of where the bakery once stood where the fire started. Did you know more people have perished falling off the monument to the great fire than in the great fire itself...?
  8. HMS Belfast was once the largest ship in the British naval fleet, and one of the first ships to start firing on D-Day, 6th June 1944. Its guns had a range of 12.5 miles and if they were to be fired today they would hit the Scratchwood Services on the M1!
  9. The Tower of London was built the last time Britain was successfully invaded in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings. It was the original site of London Zoo until the Duke of Wellington moved it to its current home in Regent's Park.
  10. Tower Bridge is actually insured as a ship with its own dedicated Captain to aid navigation on the Thames.

Have we got your imagination going? There’s so much more to see and hear so join us on board when the time comes and see London from an entirely new angle. It's the perfect London outdoor experience this summer for the whole family to get back together, and we can't wait!

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