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Welcome to London

ESC Congress News 2015 - London

By Susan Price
Royal Brompton Hospital, London

A VERY WARM WELCOME to ESC Congress 2015 and to London, where the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event will be held. This thriving metropolis, defined by its iconic landmarks and centuries of history, culture and heritage, is today a vibrant international centre of fashion, commerce and entertainment. Whether you’re a seasoned visitor or it’s your first trip, you will always find something new and exciting to do in London.

Historic London

London is busy, modern and fast-paced but that doesn’t detract from its history, a heritage that is evident in its buildings and reflected in its UNESCO World heritage sites - the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey) and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Amazingly, many of London’s top museums are free, including the British Museum for world culture, the Natural History Museum (your last chance to see the iconic giant Diplodocus dinosaur), the Museum of London, and the National Gallery (containing masterpieces from virtually every European school of art), to name but a few. If you have enthusiasm for Royalty, you’ll be pleased that Buckingham Palace opens its State Rooms during the summer months, providing a fascinating view of how the monarchy lives in one of the most stunning working palaces in the world. If you are there at the right time, the Changing of the Guard is also free.
Culture and entertaiment

London offers an exciting and eclectic mix of culture and entertainment, reflecting the diversity of this evolving city. The well known Samuel Johnson quotation - ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’ - has never been truer. Between its 250 art galleries, 300 museums, 3800 pubs, 200 nightclubs and 150 theatres there is sure to be something here to please everyone.
A useful resource is the official visitor guide to London (, and, because so much of what this capital city has to offer is free and because many of the main attractions are relatively close to each other, you will do well with a good guidebook, a set of sturdy shoes and your Oyster card - and don’t forget to travel by riverboat if time allows.


When it comes to gastronomy, the reputation of London has deservedly changed; there are over 6000 restaurants representing 70 different world cuisines, and more than 60 Michelin starred restaurants to choose from. To sample some authentic exotic cuisine, head to Brick Lane in Shoreditch for excellent Indian food, or to Chinatown off Shaftesbury Avenue for Chinese food and markets. The famous Notting Hill Carnival comes to town during your stay (30-31 August) and, as London’s biggest street party, always delivers great music, fantastic food and a fun vibe.

Retail therapy

If shopping is your thing, whatever your style, you’ll find it in London. From the high street stores of Oxford Street to the top-end brands of Bond Street and Knightsbridge, there’s something for everyone. Consider a walk down one of the capital’s famous markets for something a little different. Check out Borough market for street food and condiments, Covent Garden for boutiques, bars, restaurants and street theatre, as well as Old Spitalfields and Portobello Road markets simply for the experience.

But whatever you decide to do with your free time in London, please enjoy this fantastic city, and have a great Congress.

London congress is opportunity for local cardiac society

By Dr Sarah Clarke
President, British Cardiovascular Society

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME in 63 years that an ESC Congress has been to Britain, and it is a great honour for the British Cardiovascular Society to host ESC Congress 2015 in London. The Congress gives us the opportunity to increase public awareness of CVD and what can be done to prevent it.

The BCS will be staging several events for congress participants and the public, including a unique and exclusive cycling experience at the Lee Valley VeloPark, not far from the congress centre and where the Olympic track cycling events were held in 2012. Lee Valley is an iconic location to test your cycling mettle or just experience what it’s like to cycle in a velodrome! The package, which includes 60 minutes of 1:1 training on the track with a coach, individual fastest lap challenge and a customised jersey as a momento, is only available during the congress; places are limited and can be booked on the BCS website at

Further exercise, and perhaps more sedate, can be taken along the Heart trail, a one hour walk along the Southbank, from the London Eye to City Hall. Participants will complete interactive challenges, solve clues, learning about heart health with the opportunity to win prizes along the way.

The BCS is also hoping to improve the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest through promotion of the GoodSAM App, a not-for-profit app which enables a community of responders to provide emergency life-saving care in trauma and cardiac arrests. The App notifies closest potential responders and nearest AEDs to the incident.

Overall, there are an estimated 7 million people living with CVD in the UK. The BCS as part of the ESC endeavours to reduce this burden of disease through communication and education of the population and through training of cardiology professionals.

This ESC Congress gives us a unique platform to reinforce the importance of CVD prevention, through interactions with politicians, primary care, the general public and the media. With our various events for delegates and the public and promotion of the JBS3 (Joint Board of Specialties) risk calculator at the BCS Stand we would hope to have a springboard for further prevention campaigns.