Though densely populated, London retains large swathes of green parkland and open space, even within the city centre.
Greater London is all of the area surrounded by the M25 orbital motorway, and consists of 32 London Boroughs and the City of London that, together with the office of the Mayor of London, form the basis for London's local government.
To the North East lies the gateway to the affluent Epping Forest area.
West Taking in much of the ancient English county of Middlesex (which many local residents still identify with rather than "London") and former parts of Buckinghamshire.
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Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy.
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South Containing many commuter suburbs with housing in varying styles, as well as the buzzing urban centres of Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Bromley, all four having cultural facilities in their town centres with leafy residential neighbourhoods fanning out from them.
East Mostly originally part of the county of Essex, taking in former industrial areas on the upper Thames Estuary such as Beckton, Barking and Dagenham.
South Bank The name South Bank is usually used to refer specifically to the complex around the National Theatre near Waterloo and the London Eye.
The wider area South of the Thames, including Bankside (Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre) and up to Borough, was historically the location of the activities frowned on by the Puritans who exiled theatre, cock-fighting and bear fights from the original walled City of London to the south of the river.