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Up to London

Posted by Gary Martin on June 23, 2008 at 22:02

In Reply to: Up to London posted by Pat Lees on June 23, 2008 at 21:49:

: Do you say 'up to London' regardless of which way you are coming from and if so why?

This is an odd one. The widespread, if a little archaic, use of 'up' when travelling to London is based partly on the importance of the capital and partly on the habit of denoting railway lines as 'up' lines (to London) and 'down' lines (out of London).

Students are usually said to go 'up' to university, especially to Oxford or Cambridge, so an Oxbridge student from London could find themselves going up both there and back. Annoying if you chose to cycle I'd have thought.

Added to that we also have the terms 'Up North' and 'Down South', which contradict 'up to London'. From here in the North of England I would always say 'down to London', although some would tut-tut about that.