Why London Is More Than Just Westminster And The City Of London


    With its wealth of history, exciting business opportunities and thriving arts sector, the English capital is one of the top holiday destinations for international visitors in Europe. With accommodation like the Barbican Rooms Hotel getting tourists up close and personal with the history and culture of the city, there’s a chance that you’ll spend most of your holiday exploring the most famous districts. 

    Mainly these are Westminster and the City of London. Westminster is the political and cultural heart of the city and includes landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the West End theatre district. The City of London, a ceremonial borough, is the historic and financial heart, it being bounded by Roman walls built more than two thousand years ago. You can really see both the future and history of the capital in the City of London, its shimmering skyscrapers and trendy districts intermingling with historic landmarks and architecture. 

    But with Westminster and the City of London being just two of 32 boroughs, there’s plenty more to explore in London. The city itself spans a jaw dropping 1500 square kilometres, making it the largest city in Europe. Whilst there are many reasons why guests of the Montcalm Restaurant and hotel might stay in central, this blog will provide an overview of Greater London’s main attractions, hidden gems and historic landmarks.

    So What Are The Boundaries Of The City Of London And Westminster?

    The City of London is located in the east of the centre of the city, and is demarcated by black bollards. Though only 1.12 square miles in size, the area borders Chancery Lane, the borough of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

    Westminster is larger than the City of London at just over 8 square miles and includes areas such as the royal parks of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Oxford Street, Soho and the Houses of Parliament. Westminster was expanded in the mid 1960s to also include Paddington and Marylebone. 

    Boroughs To Visit In Greater London

    So if you’re visiting London and want to explore further afield, there are many places outside of the city centre that offer entertainment, culture and history. Whilst it’s easy to stay in the centre when enjoying a holiday at the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street, now is a better time than ever to explore further afield. with improved public transport and an entire new tube line launching this year, you can reach further afield in no time at all. 


    Hackney is a large borough just east of the City of London and includes a wealth of different areas and districts, all of which are well worth a visit. These include Hackney Wick’s canal districts and the Queen Elizabeth Park, Dalston’s nightclub and culture scene along Kingsland Road and Stamford Hill with its historic Jewish heritage and independent shopping scene. Parks and green spaces to explore in Hackney include Victoria Park, Hackney Marshes and the Abney Park Cemetery.


    Separated from the City of London at the turn of the 20th century, the oldest part of South London now has a life of its own outside of the central regions of Westminster and the City. Southwark is home to attractions such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the historic Borough Market, the highest skyscraper in London – The Shard – and much more to its name. Easy to reach from both Westminster and the City of London, Southwark is an historic borough that though not part of the two leading boroughs, has a history that dates just as far back. 


    This greater southwest London district of the city is best known for its parks and nature reserves. Richmond dates back to the 16th century, when Henry VII ordered the building of Richmond Palace in the area. With gorgeous Georgian era houses and a beautiful town nestled on the meanders of the River Thames, Richmond is the perfect escape for a summer’s day. 

    Though Richmond Palace no longer stands, having been demolished after the execution of Charles I in the English Civil War, the remnants of royal architecture still remain, especially in the existence of Richmond Park, the largest of the 8 Royal Parks. This huge swathe of grass and woodland were designed to be Charles I’s very own private hunting grounds. Even to this day, visitors to the 2500 acre park will see herds of semi wild deer grazing here.

    Waltham Forest

    Heading into deep northeast London now, Waltham Forest is easy to reach from east London’s spa at Montcalm Hotel, thanks to the Liverpool Street overground services. Waltham Forest was only incorporated into Greater London in the mid 60s’, absorbing Leyton and Chingford into Walthamstow’s area. With a wealth of shops and bars, Waltham Forest is rapidly becoming a new nightlife hotspot, but its main draw lies in its association with nature reserves and forests. 

    Epping forest, once hundreds of miles in size, now has enclaves all across the borough of Waltham Forest, whilst the Walthamstow Marshes, bordering Hackney Marshes, is another example of beautiful green space that you can visit during your stay. Other attractions in Walthamstow include one of the longest markets in Europe – Walthamstow High Street, as well as famous printmaker and philanthropist William Morris’s preserved house museum and art gallery. 


    Greenwich is a southeast London borough that stretches 18 square miles and incorporates a wealth of historic attractions and areas. Having developed over hundreds of years, Greenwich has long been associated with seafaring, naval development and navigation. This is exemplified in its free to visit museum, the Royal Maritime Museum at which visitors can explore the famous Victorian era tea clipper – the Cutty Sark as well as many other artefacts from London’s shipping history. 

    Greenwich Park, situated behind the beautiful baroque styled museum, is a royal park with an exceptional view over London. The hill atop which sits the Greenwich Observatory, a ticketed museum and attraction, has a free to enjoy view over London. This hill is also marked with the Greenwich Prime Meridian, from which time is measured across the world and from which global coordinates are reflected off.