How many London landmarks and tourist attractions can you name that start with the Letter U? Blue Badge Tourist Guide Fiona Lukas continues our Guide London A-Z video series and provides insights on the historical events, famous and not-so-famous landmarks in London starting with the Letter U.
London landmarks and tourist attractions that begin with the Letter U
Hello and welcome to the Guide London A-Z. I’m Fiona Lukas, a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide looking at the letter U.
We’re starting in the Union Chapel, Upper St, Islington. A congregational chapel with Sunday services is also used as a performance venue. Including an annual festival of organ music, making the most of their world-class 1877 Willis organ. The only one in England with a functional hydraulic blowing system.
University College London
University College London in Bloomsbury was founded by nonconformists in1826 – the first university in England to welcome students of any religious background. Amongst the alumni and staff, there are 30 Nobel Laureates and nowadays over half of their students are international. If you don’t have time for a degree while you are in London you could visit one of their museums: the UCL Museum of Art or the Grant Museum of Zoology. Or, pop into the foyer to see the auto-icon of one of the founders. This figure has a wax replica of Jeremy Bentham’s face, but inside his clothes is his actual skeleton, as requested in his will. His mummified head also used to be on display, but after several unauthorised adventures organised by students he is now safely under lock and key.
University of London
UCL is one of the seventeen institutions that now make up the University of London. In Bloomsbury, we find their most distinctive building – Senate House. The famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster was designed here in WW2 when the building was home to the Ministry of Information. George Orwell used it as a model for the Ministry of Truth in his novel 1984. You might recognise it in films such as Batman Begins, The Theory of Everything, and No Time to Die. It is an art deco beauty designed by the architect Charles Holden, who also designed many stations for the London Underground.
This is Arnos Grove built in 1932. In the 1920s and 30s, London doubled in size and the development of new suburbs went hand in hand with the growth of the London Underground. In the late 1800s, London opened the world’s first deep-level electric railway, and when the Central line opened in 1900, it had a flat fare of two pence and was advertised as the Tuppenny Tube. The Tube name stuck and became the nickname for the entire network. But it all began in 1863 when the Metropolitan railway first London Underground passenger railway anywhere in the world. To celebrate the 150th anniversary in 2013, we once again ran steam trains under the streets of London. Nowadays it costs slightly more than 2 pence but electronic tickets make travelling easy. Transport for London operates one of the world’s largest contactless payment networks. Just tap with a payment device to travel on any of London’s public transport. The world is your oyster. And can you complete the Tube challenge and visit all the stations in a day? Since September 2021 we have 272 stations on the network. Alight at the new Nine Elms to visit the United States Embassy.
United States Embassy
This crystalline cube designed by architect Keiran Timberlake is at the heart of the newly revitalised residential district beside the River Thames. It sits alongside a water feature and gardens planted with British and American plants. A walk along the River Thames is one of the loveliest ways to discover London. Walk downstream from the United States Embassy and you might find the our final U.
Udderbelly is an arts venue in a giant upside-down purple cow. In the summer you’ll find her on the South Bank beneath the London Eye. Hosting a wide range of comedy, music, cabaret and circus acts and surrounded by all sorts of street food stalls and pop-up bars. The perfect place to end a perfect London day.
These are just some of the tourist attractions you can find in London which begins with the letter U. My name is Fiona Lukas. Check out my profile at our website guidelondon.org.uk. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and join us as we explore the A-Z of Guide London.