As the capital of the United Kingdom and a leading economic hub, the city of London is one of the world’s most visited travel destinations. It is a region with a history that extends back thousands of years and has evolved into a modern city, boasting an extensive list of attractions and amenities that draw travellers from across the globe. London is known for its dining, nightlife, and art scene, as well as its live music, sports and entertainment events that are regularly on. Given these points, the following information has been put together to let travellers know more about what makes London a global travel destination and what they need to know about the UK ETA for London.
The Origins and Early History of London
The remains of human-made structures dating back to between 4,800 and 4,500 BCE have been found in the London area near the Thames River. The recorded history of the city comes into fuller view upon the arrival of the Roman Empire. It was during this era that the city of Londinium appeared. It reached its height during the 2nd century CE when its population may have been as high as 60,000 inhabitants.
London After the Romans
Roman rule in the London region collapsed during the early 5th century CE. The city was significantly depopulated during the subsequent centuries and the arrival of settlers from across the North Sea. By 500 CE, an Anglo-Saxon settlement called Lundenwic had developed next to the remains of the abandoned Roman site.
London saw a decline during the 820s CE when it was attacked by Viking raiders many times. The Anglo-Saxon king Alfred the Great refounded the city in 886. Evidence suggests that the area within the old Roman walls was reoccupied while trade returned to the region.
London During the Middle Ages
In 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England in London. He had the Tower of London constructed in 1078. By the 12th century, many of the institutions of the central government of England had become fixed to the city on a permanent basis. The population of London had already reached around 100,000 inhabitants by 1300.
The Black Death had a major impact on London and was responsible for the deaths of up to one-third of its inhabitants. In the following centuries, the city would recover. Trade and business in the city began to pick up during the Tudor era, which is when much of the region’s property passed from the church into private hands.
London of Today
Today, the city of London is a modern metropolis that serves as an international hub for finance. As well as the primary residence for the British monarchy, it is the seat of government for the United Kingdom and home to the Houses of Parliament. It is an international city with a diverse population of residents who come from all around the world. It is also a leading travel destination, with visitors arriving year-round to visit the region’s attractions.
Dining Options Across the London Region
London offers dining opportunities that range from traditional British cuisine to international dishes from across the globe. Travellers can choose from casual and fining dining establishments. There are also takeaway spots around the city offering a variety of local meal options.
Live Entertainment in London
There is an extensive number of different live entertainment events that are regularly on in London. They range from rock concerts and broadway productions to sporting events and symphony performances. The city’s pubs feature live music almost nightly. Large venues for live entertainment include the Royal National Theatre, the O2 arena and Wembley Stadium.
Typical Weather Conditions in London
London’s climate is warm and temperate, with an average of 690 mm of rain per year. The average temperature in the London region is around 10-11° C.
The Notable Landmarks and Popular Sights of London
As the official royal residence of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace is one of the most visited attractions in London. It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that it attained its current status.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is among the most visited places around the city. It dates back to the reign of William the Conqueror and is officially titled ‘His Majesty’s Royal Palace’ and ‘Fortress of the Tower of London’.
The British Museum
Featuring exhibits that focus on topics such as art, history and culture, The British Museum currently has some eight million works in its permanent collection. Millions of visitors from around the world come to the museum each year.
What Travellers Need to Know About the UK ETA for London
The UK ETA for London is a new system introduced by the United Kingdom Home Office to serve as a pre-check for international travellers coming to the country. The goal is to have the system fully in place by the end of 2024. Travellers can submit their ETA application online. Once it is received, it will go through a series of security databases to determine the traveller’s eligibility to enter the United Kingdom. Past criminal activity will be the primary factor determining how applications are processed. Travellers intending to visit the London region from countries that require Electronic Travel Authorisation need to be aware of this incoming system and the ETA application process.
Reasons for the launch of the UK ETA system
The UK ETA for London is part of a new strategy that the Home Office is implementing to create the world’s most secure and effective border control and legal migration system. The programme is scheduled to launch in either 2023 or 2024. Current estimates state that up to 30 million travellers around the world will use the new UK ETA system for tourism as well as business and transit purposes before they come to visit the country.
Required documentation to apply for the UK ETA for London
The ETA requirements for travellers to the United Kingdom include a biometric passport and a valid email address. Applicants must also have a credit or debit card to pay the UK ETA application fee. Additionally, applicants must provide personal information, including their residential address, date of birth and the details of their planned travel.
The UK ETA application process
Understanding the ETA application process is vital for travellers planning a trip to London. There are 92 countries from which individuals will require ETA approval prior to entering the United Kingdom. Holders of British passports do not have to apply through the UK ETA system. From 2024 onward, holders of Irish passports will be exempt from the ETA. British nationals who reside overseas will also be exempt from the programme in many circumstances from 2024 forward.
Requirements for the new UK ETA
ETA eligibility requires an applicant to hold a valid e-passport from a country with no visa entry requirements for the United Kingdom for travel purposes. Travellers who receive UK ETA approval will be allowed to remain in the country for up to six months for purposes of tourism and business. Transit purposes are also covered under the ETA. To attain ETA approval, applicants should have no previous immigration violations. They should have no past criminal record that could cause them to be deemed as a threat to the safety of the residents of the UK. Travellers must submit their ETA application online, pay their fee, and await approval before boarding any flights bound for UK airports.
Travel purposes covered under the new UK ETA
The types of travel that fall under the purview of the UK ETA include tourism, business and short-term transit purposes. Additional information about the programme is available on the official ETA FAQ. Travellers who plan to visit London should read over all of this information early on, as it is the best way to make sure that applications have sufficient time to be processed and approved before booking or planning any departures to the UK.