Pimlico, Holborn, Chelsea, Westminster and Victoria encompass central London and differ from the districts which made up the geographical heart of the bustling capital some one hundred years ago, and while there is no formal area known as central London, certainly for the time being and the foreseeable future this is it.
However, the characteristics which define the current area known as central London and the central area of any large modern city and defined the central London area a century or more ago is a high density of people comprising both commuters and residents and mercilessly high land values and a concentration of both nationally and internationally significant organizations and facilities.
The five districts which comprise the modern central London area differ in many ways and yet the entire eclectic mix of districts, each with its own unique signature all have a single common historical denominator. From their very foundation in the past they have had and still do have a diverse mix of entertainment, visitor attractions and public spaces for relaxation and leisure.
Moving from east to west, the architecture and street grid layout changes from a typical middle ages layout of closely packed and narrow streets with many narrow alleys which were designed for mere horse and cart and hand barrow traffic of the 15th and 16th centuries culminating in wide open spaces, big squares and wide streets lined with Georgian and Regency architecture emanating from the middle of the 18th through to the early 19th century designed for large carriages and teams of horses.
Monday to Friday sees an influx of some two million people coming in from the suburbs and commuter towns within a hundred mile radius of central London, and in summer months visitor numbers are swelled to breaking point with tourists and visitors arriving from all over the country and indeed the wider world all coming in to sample the night life of which the city is famous.
The historical and cultural icons of central London which include Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Churchill War Rooms, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, all of which are some of the most widely recognised images in the world and the open recreational spaces such as St James’ Park, Hyde Park and Regents Park cut a remarkable green swathe through the city centre districts and these well laid out and intricately designed locations are much the same as they were when they first opened to the public.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable elements of living in or visiting central London is the free opportunity of venturing down small side streets, winding alleys and wide open squares and thoroughfares to discover little gems which aren’t on the main tourist trail; small galleries and museums, specialist shops and stores many of which are in plain view while others not appearing to be at all what they are from the outside.
Live music and entertainment can be found across the entire central London area with an amazing mix of jazz clubs, punk clubs and soul music venues all hosting bands and complete with dancing and entertainment on into the small hours; indeed there are many clubs and venues hosting live music of many differing genres all of which give central London its distinctive, tangible and colourful entertainment reputation.
Combine this with an international cuisine found in thousands of ethnic eateries, bistros, restaurants and taverns across the area as a whole can only briny you to the same conclusion, that London and its central districts are a haven for life, love and entertainment on a grand scale.