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London Quotes: Best Sayings about the UK Capital

Last Updated on 3rd March 2022 by Sophie Nadeau

London. If there’s one place I can’t stop returning to again and again, it’s the big, bustling capital of the UK. Filled with historic monuments, layers of history, and more stories than you could tell in a hundred thousands lifetimes, London is a city that is always worth a visit. And it is always worth your time. Here are the best London Quotes that will (probably- or should that be hopefully?) inspire you to visit the city!

three days in london: visit tower bridge

These London Quotes will make you want to visit: Sayings about the UK Capital City You’ll Want to Repeat

“There are two places in the world where men can most effectively disappear — the city of London and the South Seas.”Herman Melville, The South Seas, 1859. The iconic American novelist is perhaps most famous for penning Moby Dick and lived in London for a short while in the mid-1800s.

“The vibe of London as a city is captivating. It’s both fast-paced and extremely rushed but still has the calmness that would attract any big-city person.”Ali Fazal

“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” – Vivienne Westwood

“In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.”Paddington Bear

“The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.” – Oscar Wilde. Irish poet and writer, Oscar Wilde, was one of London’s most popular playwrights in the 1890s. His most famous works include the Portrait of Dorian Gray and the Importance of Being Earnest. 

“London is a modern Babylon.” Benjamin Disraeli

“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.” – Samuel Johnson. Also known as Dr Johnson, the English poet, writer, biographer, and critic, he was forced to leave Oxford University (where he had won a place) aged just 19 after he ran out of funds to pay his expenses. It was not until several years later that Johnson moved to London and remained there for much of the rest of his life.

“If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.” – David Bailey

“It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed.”George VI. The current Queen’s father (Elizabeth II’s Dad) ruled the UK from 1936 until his death in 1947. He spoke these words on the 23rd September 1940, during the height of WWII.

“London is a world by itself. We daily discover in it more new countries, and surprising singularities, than in all the universe besides.”  Thomas Brown

“I came to London. It had become the centre of my world and I had worked hard to come to it. And I was lost.” V.S. Naipaul. A writer, novelist, travel writer, and Nobel Laureate, Naipaul has published over thirty books over a career spanning more than fifty years. 

“The interesting thing about London is that there are always stylish surprises around every corner.”Natalie Massenet

“London always reminds me of a brain. It is similarly convoluted and circuitous. A lot of cities, especially American ones like New York and Chicago, are laid out in straight lines. Like the circuits on computer chips, there are a lot of right angles in cities like this. But London is a glorious mess.” James Geary

“I’ve been walking about London for the last 30 years, and I find something fresh in it everyday.” Walter Besant

“London has long been regarded as a vibrant, busy, historical metropolitan city rich in history and beautiful iconic buildings. However, like most cities of this scale, it also has a characteristic local side: beautiful village-like enclaves that are extremely photogenic and full of character. Partner all that with a unique style and you’re left with something pretty special.” Siobhan Ferguson

“I travel continuously, and I see many cities, but there is nowhere like London.” – Norman Foster

“London is too full of fogs and serious people. Whether the fogs produce the serious people, or whether the serious people produce the fogs, I don’t know.” – Oscar Wilde

“London is a splendid place to live in for those who can get out of it.”George John Gordon Bruch, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, 1944

“I travel continuously, and I see many cities, but there is nowhere like London.”Norman Foster

“I have often amused myself with thinking how different a place London is to different people.” – James Boswell

“In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.”John Osborne. English playwright, actor and screenwriter, Osborne was best known for his criticism of established social and cultural norms. He was born in London and spent much of the rest of his life in the UK capital city.

“If London is a watercolour, New York is an oil painting.”Peter Shaffer

“I think London’s sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics.”Rachel Weisz

“My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus, they’ve become a Londoner.” Ben Aaronovitch

“In some of the great cities of Europe – Paris, Vienna, Prague, and Brussels – tourists bored with life above ground can descend below. All these cities have sewer museums and tours, and all expose their underbelly willingly to the curious. But not London, arguably the home of the most splendid sewer network in Europe.” Rose George

“It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent.”Henry James

“I went to London because, for me, it was the home of literature. I went there because of Dickens and Shakespeare.” Ben Okri

When exploring London, you will come across lots of excitement by chance, so try to take everything in rather than just rushing around to all of the major tourist haunts.”Richard Branson

“One of the the things I most liked about the city – apart from all its obvious attractions, the theatre, the galleries, the exhilarating walks by the river – was that so few people ever asked you personal questions.” Julia Gregson

“I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining.”Groucho Marx

“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson, composer of the Dictionary. Today, his old house is located in Gough Square and is one of the most secret spots in London to look out for on your next visit. That is, if you can find it!

“The best thing about the London Eye is the journey. It’s not like the Eiffel tower, where you get in a dark lift and come out on to a platform at the top. The trip round is as important as the view.” – Julia Barfield

“Everything in London is quite good, apart from the weather: it’s cold and rainy there, and the winter is long.” – Sayed Kashua

“The English mist is always at work like a subtle painter, and London is a vast canvas prepared for the mist to work on.” – Arthur Symons

“The streets of London have their map, but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?”Virginia Woolf

“Mind the gap.” – London Underground

“How can you ever be late for anything in London? They have a huge clock right in the middle of the town.” Jimmy Kimmel

“A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.” Anonymous

“Aesthetically, London is just beautiful; it’s a gorgeous city. The architecture, monuments, the parks, the small streets – it’s an incredible place to be.” Sara Bareilles

“A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can’t find a parking place.”Paul Theroux. Travel writer and novelist, Theroux is also a literary critic who has spent time living in London. His funny take on Samuel Johnson’s quote can be found in ‘Sunrise with Seamonsters’. 

“The parks be the lungs of London.” – Charles Dickens

“One might fancy that day, the London day, was just beginning. Like a woman who had slipped off her print dress and white apron to array herself in blue and pearls, the day changed, put off stuff, took gauze, changed to evening, and with the same sigh of exhilaration that a woman breathes, tumbling petticoats on the floor, it too shed dust, heat, colour; the traffic thinned; motor cars, tinkling, darting, succeeded the lumber of vans; and here and there among the thick foliage of the squares an intense light hung. I resign, the evening seemed to say, as it paled and faded above the battlements and prominences, moulded, pointed, of hotel, flat, and block of shops, I fade, she was beginning. I disappear, but London would have none of it and rushed her bayonets into the sky, pinioned her, constrained her to partnership in her revelry.”Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway. 

“Nothing is certain in London but expense.” – William Shenstone

“London opens to you like a novel itself… It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, doors and passages. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.”Anna Quindlen

“London is a bad habit one hates to lose.”Anonymous

10 inspiring quotes about London that will make you want to visit the UK capital. Probably. Sayings about London England

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Thursday 18th of January 2018

Samuel Jackson once said that if you're bored of London then you're bored of life!!

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