Welcome to London

Do we get welcomed to Greater London at any of the capital’s boundary point crossings? The City of London has its dragons guarding most entrances, but the larger city area doesn’t really have such obvious symbols. Do we have any welcome signs? Do they welcome to you London or just to the borough you are entering (which may or may not mention London if you look carefully)? In most sections of the border, only the larger roads have signs, and they are almost always just for the borough. Here’s a few examples, using Google Streetview.

Harrow Borough has nice welcome signs on most larger roads, often 100m or so into the border. They do say London, but you have to look really carefully:

Sign on the A4140 in Stanmore.

This sign makes no mention of London at all, it’s at Hamsey Green, as you enter the London Borough of Croydon. It doesn’t specifically welcome you either:

Welcome to Croydon.

Here’s one that mentions London in a readably large font, although the capital is very much not the focus of the welcome:

Sign on the A30 as you enter the London Borough of Hounslow.

Waltham Forest’s are rather nice, if hard to read:

Welcome sign on Ranger’s Road in Epping Forest.

Hillingdon’s are also nice – there is a “London” therefore although it is very small. The Large City award message is in fact referring to Hillingdon Borough itself – it is large enough on its own to be a “Large City” in the awards, even though it is just one of London’s 32 boroughs.

Sign on Eastbury Road, as you enter London. There is continuous suburbia on both sides of the sign here, the border is also marked here in the north of the borough by a narrow footpath that runs along it for several miles.

The one sign you will virtually always see just inside the London border, on roads big and small, is the Transport for London Low Emission Zone sign. I guess it mentions “London” but isn’t exactly a welcome. (Sometimes this sign is quite a way into London – generally, the zone is as close to the border as possible, but allows a “dirty truck” escape route so that vehicles have an opportunity to turn back between the border and the zone start. For example, it will typically be at the first roundabout or other junction encountered:

Low Emission zone just inside the London border at Polsteeple Hill, in Biggin Hill.

Perhaps it’s just the major railway stations and airports that will give you a London welcome? Even then, I am not sure they do…!

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