London is placed where the road from the Continent through Kent, confined between the Thames marshes and the Wealden forest, emerges on the banks of the river at the head of the estuary. London Bridge is the pith and cause of London. Below, either on the north side or the south, and often on both, are flats of alluvium, with a breadth of at least three miles. In the earlier centuries high tide converted these into an arm of the sea, replaced at low water by a reedy fen, through which the river wound with uncertain course. The tributary flow of the Lea was through a similar though narrower marsh bottom, and the Isle of Dogs was the Lea delta, compelling the Thames to cut a bluff into the Greenwich rise on the southern shore. Thus London stood
on an angle of solid ground, with tidal marsh to east and south of it, across which roads were afterwards brought on the Hackney and Newington causeways.
London, to same, is an imposing place, to be respected rather than enjoyed. To me, this city is as unpretentious as the smallest country hamlet. When London is known and absorbed, it remains in the mind not as a memory of monuments and museums, but of utterly simple and sympathetic sights: the galleries at Covent Gardens filled with students rapt upon a Sadler's Wells balIet; the calm and smoky innards of a corner pub; the dusters of children in Kensington Park; the cheese-and-ale parties in the one-room skylight fiats of Chelsea.
All you've heard to the contrary, Londoners are among the friendliest people of Europe, and London itself is an inviting town.
It has charm and a politeness of attitude, in such abundance, that few travelers fail to extend their stay, once they've arrived.
You would expect one of the oldest democracies on earth to possess a price structure with a broad, mass appeal-and it does.
Despite the surface elegance of England, the entertainment, eating and housing fadlities of that nation are actually far more concentrated in the middle and lower-class areas than in the United States.
Low-cost chain restaurants, moderate hotels and inexpensive nightspots are astonishingly ab und ant, at prices that would shame their American counterparts, because theyare geared to the low (for America) wages of the overwhelming bulk of the British population.
Because of that, the tourist who can't find a satisfying me al for less than a dollar, or a satisfying room for less than three dollars, just isn't half-trying.
HOTELS: These can be obtained for less than half of what you'd pay in an American city. And that outlay results not only in aroom, but in breakfast as well! The first thing to know about British hotels is that all of them include a free, enormous moming me al in their room charges. Served each morning at stated hours in the hotel's dining room, it costs nothing and it's a whopper-the kind that would be priced in the U.S.
The life of Metropolitan England is chiefly conditioned by three circumstances: (1) nearly all the main roads and railways converge upon London; (2) the coast-line, extended from Norfolk to Cornwall, everywhere looks across the Narrow Seas to the neighbouring continent; and (3) there are no considerable sources of mechanical motive power.
Let us now set together some of the typical results of this discussion of British geography, and inquire what broad conclusion may be drawn.
NEW YORK SPECIAL
The City, the place of business, is the nucleus of London. London Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Mansion House, the Royal Exchange, and the Bank of England are its significant monuments. West of the City were the ancient palaces of Westminster and Whitehall, for the rule of the country was necessarily drawn -- in Roman times from York, in Norman times from Winchester -- to the neighbourhood of the great centre to which all news came and whence all roads led. The relative complexity of modern government is indicated by the Houses of Parliament, and by the Public Offices erected beside the Royal Palaces. Between the City and Westminster are the Law Courts and the Temple, the seats of justice and of the study of the law; to northward and westward have arisen large residential quarters dependent on Westminster, the City, and the Temple. Here are the chief artistic, literary, and scientific circles of Britain, and here, therefore, the imperial treasure houses, the British Museum and the National Gallery. Eastward of the City is the Port of London, with its great series of docks and its outports for shipping of heavy burden at Tilbury and Gravesend. North-eastward of the City, and south of the river, are the industrial quarters, which together constitute London the largest manufacturing town of the land. They have no single characteristic industry, but are employed for the most part in the miscellaneous trades which wait upon the necessities and the luxuries of a great capital.