100 Things in London

Click on the images below to read intriguing stories and little known facts about London's best bits, and where to find them.

Show only:
Shuffle
Near me
Showing 100 things...
Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

0

In 1952, Albert Gunter was driving the number 78 bus across Tower Bridge when the bascules started to rise. He accelerated and propelled the bus across the widening gap, landing upright on the other side. Far from getting into trouble for it, Albert actually kept his job and was even given a bonus for his efforts.

Tower Hill

Photo: Damien Everett via Flickr Creative Commons

The Monument

The Monument

0

Sir Christopher Wren's Monument to the Great Fire of 1666 is the tallest isolated stone column in the world. It was completed in 1677 and stands 202 ft high - which is also the same distance from the spot in Pudding Lane where the Great Fire is said to have started.

Monument

Photo: Lance Bellers

Courtauld Gallery

Courtauld Gallery

0

Tucked inside Somerset House is the Courtauld Gallery, where you'll find one of the world's greatest collections of Impressionist art. Famous works on show include Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergere (pictured), and Degas' Two Dancers.

Temple

Photo: Courtauld Gallery

Wilton's Hall

Wilton's Hall

0

Wilton's is the world's oldest surviving Grand Music Hall. The front of house rooms, including the bar (originally a pub) originate from as early as the 1740s. In its heyday as a music hall, sailors and their ladies were invited upstairs, gentleman and their wives downstairs. There was a bouncer on the main staircase who made sure the goings on upstairs didn't disturb the patrons downstairs.

Aldgate East, Tower Hill

Credit: Wilton's Hall

The Watts Memorial in Postman's Park

The Watts Memorial in Postman's Park

0

The idea for Postman's Park's 'memorial to heroism in everyday life' was first suggested in a letter to the Times newspaper in 1887 by Victorian artist George Frederick Watts, as a way to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Today, there are plaques for 62 individuals who died trying to save another person. The earliest case is Sarah Smith in 1863, and the latest is Leigh Pitt in 2007.

St Paul's

Credit: The Everyday Heroes of Postman's Park App

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

0

Lying among the splendour, beauty, and around 6 million pieces of mosaic inside St Paul's Cathedral, is the very plain grave of Sir Christopher Wren. On the wall at the head of his tomb is a Latin inscription, arranged by his son. Wren himself had not wanted a memorial at all, so it reads: 'Beneath lies buried the founder of this church and city, Christopher Wren, who lived for more than 90 years, not for himself but for the public good. Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you'.

St Paul's

Credit: St Paul's Cathedral

The Abbey Road Crossing

The Abbey Road Crossing

0

The zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios is filmed by a webcam, which documents a never ending stream of tourists all attempting to recreate the famous Beatles album cover.

St John's Wood, Maida Vale

Photo: Christiaan Triebert via Flickr creative commons

Hatton Garden

Hatton Garden

0

The perimeter of Hatton Garden, London's diamond and jewellery quarter, marks the ancient boundary of a medieval estate. In the oldest printed map of the city, known as the Agas map or Civitas Londinum (surveyed between 1570 and 1605), the walled garden and buildings of the estate can be clearly seen, along with the now submerged River Fleet.

Farringdon, Chancery Lane

Credit: Rachel Lichtenstein, Agas map C.1570

The Police Box in Trafalgar Square

The Police Box in Trafalgar Square

0

The south east corner of Trafalgar Square is home to what used to be the smallest police station in London. Until the 1960s, police inside kept an eye on any trouble in the square from here, with a direct telephone link to Scotland Yard in case reinforcements were needed.

Charing Cross

Photo: Leonard Bentley via Flickr Creative Commons

Fortnum and Mason

Fortnum and Mason

0

Fortnum's in Piccadilly invented the 'scotch' egg, which was said to have been available by 1756. Theatrical historian Walter McQueen Pope wrote in his book, Goodbye Piccadilly, that travellers could enjoy "hardboiled eggs in forcemeat (called Scottish eggs) from Fortnum & Mason".

Green Park, Piccadilly Circus

Photo: Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons

Moira at the Tower of London

Moira at the Tower of London

0

In 2007, Moira Cameron became the first female Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London in over 500 years of the institution's history. Her full title is "Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard in the Extraordinary".

Tower Hill

Paul the London cabbie

Paul the London cabbie

0

London cabbies nearly always have a story to tell. Paul was once hailed down by a woman in Ropemaker Street. He immediately fell for her and by the end of the journey had asked her out. Thirteen years later, she has given Paul the three things in his life that are more important to him than Arsenal, golf and sport: his children.

All stations

St. Ermins Hotel

St. Ermins Hotel

0

Legendary spies, including members of the infamous Cambridge Five, were regulars at St. Ermins hotel around the time of World War II. Rumour also has it that a secret tunnel runs underneath the grand staircase in the lobby directly to the Houses of Westminster. It could be part of the mysterious Q Whitehall network running below London's major government buildings.

St James's Park

Credit: St Ermins Hotel

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

0

Built in 1884 on the banks of the Thames, the Royal Horseguards' entire 8th floor once served as headquarters for the British secret services during World War I. Secret passageways, sliding bookshelves and other classic spy tropes are believed to have been installed here. The marble staircase in the adjoining One Whitehall Place is also the largest freestanding staircase in Europe, and was almost destroyed in WW2.

Embankment, Charing Cross

Credit: The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Athenaeum Hotel

Athenaeum Hotel

0

The Athenaeum Hotel has a vertical garden on its outside wall. It was created by French botanist Patrick Blanc, who spent decades examining the way that wild plants naturally grow on vertical rock faces and trees, and perfected a technique that enables urban plants to grow vertically without the need for soil.

Hyde Park Corner, Green Park

Courtesy of Athenaeum Hotel

Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

0

At the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, a staggered bridge runs across the waterfall and you can walk across it, peering into the froth to spot enormous koi carp lurking in the pools. The bridge follows a Japanese design rule - evil thoughts travel in straight lines. So, a staggered bridge doesn't let them pass from one side of the garden to the other.

Holland Park

Credit: Words and image by The Accidental Londoner

The Shard

The Shard

0

Altogether, the Shard has 11,000 glass panels, and the area of the façade is equivalent to eight football pitches. Twice a week, a team of six window cleaners abseil down the building and give the structure a full wash and polish.

London Bridge

Photo: Chris Eason via Flickr Creative Commons

Freemason's Hall

Freemason's Hall

0

Freemasons' Hall has been the centre of English freemasonry for 230 years. It's the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, the oldest Grand Lodge in the world, and also the meeting place for over 1000 Masonic lodges. The building, which is listed Grade II*, was completed in 1933. The mosaic cornice pictured is 15 feet high and no piece of mosaic is more than one inch square.

Holborn

Credit: Freemason's Hall

Chinatown

Chinatown

0

Chinatown might be home to over 100 restaurants, but it has a musical claim to fame too. A basement in Gerrard Street was also the location of the first rehearsal of Led Zeppelin in August 1968, where they played "Train Kept A-Rollin".

Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus

Credit: Chinatown London

Shaftesbury Theatre

Shaftesbury Theatre

0

The Shaftesbury Theatre was the venue for Fred Astaire's UK debut, but its most successful show was Hair, which ran for almost 2000 performances from 1968 to 1973 (a record for the time). In the mid-1990s it even played host to The Royal Opera while their Covent Garden base was under refurbishment.

Tottenham Court Road

Photo: Garry Knight via Flickr Creative Commons

Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum Theatre

0

Between 1794 and 1809, the Lyceum's building was used as a circus, a chapel, a concert room, and the first London exhibition of waxworks displayed by Madame Tussaud in 1802.

Charing Cross, Temple, Embankment

Photo: The Walt Disney Company

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre

0

Despite running shows since the 1880s, the Place Theatre hasn't only been used for operas and musicals. In 1977 the theatre was used in Doctor Who and featured an evil villain performing magic and ventriloquism.

Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road

The Blackfriar

The Blackfriar

0

This Grade II* listed traditional British pub was built on a 13th century Dominican Priory, and has several features dedicated to its history. A statue of a laughing friar stands proudly above the main door. Inside, the walls are decorated in Art Nouveau style, with an abundance of monks.

Blackfriars, Mansion House

Credit: Mitchells and Butlers

Kings Cross N1

Kings Cross N1

0

It's now one of the busiest areas of London, but up until the 18th Century, King's Cross was a rural area known for its health spas and country inns; a place that Londoners escaped to for a break from busy city life.

Kings Cross St Pancras

Photo: Andy Hawkins via Flickr Creative Commons

TFL lost property

TFL lost property

0

Unusual lost property on the Tube has included a stuffed puffer fish, false teeth, human skulls, breast implants and a lawnmower. In one year, over 27,000 phones can be handed in.

Baker Street

Photo: Transport for London

Southbank Book Market

Southbank Book Market

0

The Southbank Centre's Book Market under Waterloo Bridge is believed to be the only permanent outdoor second-hand and antique book market in southern England. It's open seven days a week, no matter the weather.

Waterloo

Photo: © Sam Peach

Town Hall Hotel

Town Hall Hotel

0

This hotel has an unusual claim to TV fame. BBC's Silent Witness was regularly filmed here, and what is now the luxurious swimming pool once had a particularly bleak cameo: it was used as a morgue in the series.

Bethnal Green

Credit: Town Hall Hotel

Billingsgate Fish Market

Billingsgate Fish Market

0

When it first started, Billingsgate was the largest fish market in the world and to this day it continues to be the UK's largest inland fish market. Famous writer George Orwell worked there during the 1930s, but it also has another literary link: the word 'Billingsgate' was used by writers as a byword for vulgar language.

Canary Wharf

Photo: My Authentic London via Flickr Creative Commons

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

0

During the 18th century 'Old Tom' was a celebrated character in Leadenhall. He was a gander who managed to escape his fate of being slaughtered along with 34,000 other geese. He became a great favourite in the market, even being fed at the local inns. After his death in 1835 at the age of 38, he lay in state in the market and was buried on site.

Bank, Monument

Credit: Leadenhall Market

Handel and Hendrix on Brook Street

Handel and Hendrix on Brook Street

0

Two of the most influential musicians in history actually ended up living in neighbouring houses, albeit hundreds of years apart. Composer George Frideric Handel lived at 25 Brook Street (now the Handel House Museum) from 1723 to 1759, while American guitar legend Jimi Hendrix lived in the flat next door (no.23) with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham from 1968-69.

Bond Street, Oxford Circus

Credit: London Shh

The World Clock at Piccadilly Circus

The World Clock at Piccadilly Circus

0

There's a large linear world clock on the wall at Piccadilly Circus station, which was installed in the 1920s. A central strip rolls across the map at the same speed as the sun, so you can see what the time is in any country, at any time of day.

Piccadilly Circus

The British Library

The British Library

0

The British Library holds well over 150 million items, in most known languages, with three million new items being added every year. It's all housed on 625 km of shelves, which grows by 12 km every year. If you saw five items each day, it would take you over 80,000 years to see the whole collection.

Kings Cross St Pancras, Euston

Credit: British Library, St Pancras, London

The Beadles at the Burlington Arcade

The Beadles at the Burlington Arcade

0

This is Mark Lord, Head Beadle at the Burlington Arcade in Mayfair. The Beadles are thought to be the world's smallest police force, and have guarded the Arcade since 1819. They enforce rules which prohibit the opening of umbrellas, riding bicycles and whistling. The only person who has been given permission to whistle in the Arcade is Sir Paul McCartney.

Piccadilly Circus, Green Park

Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick

0

Hackney Wick is often said to have the highest density of artists in Europe. Some say there are as many as 1,000 artist spaces inside Victorian factory buildings overlooking the Olympic Park and the city's newest neighbourhoods.

Hackney Wick, Stratford

The Bank of England

The Bank of England

0

In 1836 the Bank of England's directors received an anonymous letter, claiming that the author could get into their vaults. Not believing a word of it, they nevertheless agreed to meet him there at midnight on a specified day. At 12 o'clock exactly, a board in the floor lifted up and a head appeared. It belonged to a man who worked in the sewers - he had realised that one of them ran directly under the Bank. They rewarded his honesty with £800 - the equivalent today of £70,000. Not bad - but still not as much as he could have got by stealing all the gold.

Bank, Mansion House, Monument

Photo: Martin Pettitt via Flickr Creative Commons

Jellied eels and pie at M.Manze

Jellied eels and pie at M.Manze

0

Eating jellied eels or pie and mash is one of east London's oldest traditions - and M.Manze on Tower Bridge has been serving them up the longest. The shop opened in 1892, and it was awarded Blue Plaque status in 2006. But as the building itself is Grade II listed, the plaque can't actually be affixed to any part of it.

Borough

Photo: M@ via Flickr

Phoenix Cinema

Phoenix Cinema

0

The UK's oldest cinema was built in 1910, and opened as The East Finchley Picturedrome in May 1912. Now the Phoenix is London's oldest constantly running, single purpose cinema - although its own recent credits include being featured in the Scissor Sisters song 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin'.

East Finchely

Credit: Phoenix Cinema

The Walrus at the Horniman Museum

The Walrus at the Horniman Museum

0

The Horniman's walrus - famously overstuffed by his Victorian taxidermist and weighing around a ton - was probably a young male. It was bought by museum founder Frederick Horniman in the early 1890's and had moved no more than 25 feet since the Horniman opened in 1901, prior to his trip to Turner Contemporary at Margate in 2013.

Forest Hill

Credit: Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark

0

The Cutty Sark made her name as the fastest ship of her era, completing the voyage from Sydney to London in the record time of just 73 days under the command of Captain Richard Woodget. She was able to carry 600,000kg of tea in a single journey - that's enough to make more than 200 million cups.

Greenwich

Credit: ©National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Royal Observatory

Royal Observatory

0

At the Greenwich Royal Observatory, you can stand in both the eastern and western hemispheres simultaneously by placing your feet either side of the Prime Meridian - the centre of world time and space. The Royal Observatory is also the source of the Prime Meridian of the world, Longitude 0° 0' 0''. Every place on the Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line.

Greenwich

Credit: ©National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The Corinthia Hotel

The Corinthia Hotel

0

The scene at the end of the James Bond film Skyfall was filmed on the roof of the Corinthia Hotel. This brings the hotel's spy history full circle, as it was also a Ministry of Defence building for 70 years, and during the war, the building was used as the headquarters for MI9.

Embankment, Charing Cross

Credit: Corinthia Hotel London

The Tulip Staircase at the Queen's House

The Tulip Staircase at the Queen's House

0

A ghost was once caught on camera going up this staircase at the Queen's House in Greenwich. On Sunday 19 June 1966, a retired couple on holiday from Canada took a photo standing at the foot of the staircase looking upward. When it was developed, a shrouded figure could be seen moving up the staircase, behind a second and possibly a third figure.

Greenwich

Credit: ©National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Duke's Hotel

Duke's Hotel

0

Alessandro Palazzi is the head barman at Duke's Hotel's bar, which is renowned for making the best Martinis in town. The Martinis here are so good, they were said to have inspired James Bond author and hotel regular Ian Fleming when he came to describing 007's favourite drink as being "shaken not stirred".

Green Park

Credit: Duke's Hotel

Criterion Theatre

Criterion Theatre

0

The Grade II* listed Criterion Theatre, built in 1874, was the first completely subterranean theatre in London, with the auditorium being entirely below the level of the Piccadilly Circus.

Temple, Embankment, Charing Cross

Credit: Theatres Trust

Dennis Severs' House

Dennis Severs' House

0

18 Folgate Street is the home of the late artist Dennis Severs, and walking around it is like being transported back to the 18th Century. On the wall is this "in memoriam" card for his beloved cat, Madge Whitechapel, who legend has it was a house warming gift to him from Her Majesty The Queen.

Shoreditch High Street, Old Street, Liverpool Street

Credit: David Milne at Dennis Severs' House

St John's Gate, Clerkenwell

St John's Gate, Clerkenwell

0

St John's Gate in Clerkenwell is a remarkable survivor of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th Century. For many years, it was the UK HQ of the knights of St John of Malta and is today a museum of that and the St John Ambulance.

Farringdon

Photo: Terence Chisholm via Wikimedia Commons

Allen Ginsberg at the Royal Albert Hall

Allen Ginsberg at the Royal Albert Hall

0

In 1965, the Royal Albert Hall hosted Allen Ginsberg's groundbreaking International Poetry Incarnation, an event where beatniks met the emerging hippie culture. It was organised and booked at the last moment, and saw ticket-holders given flowers as they entered, before 17 poets took to the world's most famous stage.

South Kensington

BT Tower

BT Tower

0

Despite the BT Tower being one of most recognisable and conspicuous buildings in London, it was classed as an official secret until fairly recently. Taking or possessing photos of the BT Tower was technically an offence under the Official Secrets Act, and in line with its "secret" status, the 189 metre London landmark was also omitted from all Ordnance Survey maps until the mid-1990s.

Goodge Street, Great Portland Street, Regent's Park

Courtesy of BT Heritage and Archives

All Hallows by the Tower

All Hallows by the Tower

0

The oldest church in the city of London, All Hallows survived both the Blitz and the Great Fire of London, which Samuel Pepys watched from the bell tower.

Tower Hill

Guy the Gorilla at ZSL London Zoo

Guy the Gorilla at ZSL London Zoo

0

Guy was one of London Zoo's best loved and remembered characters. He arrived on Guy Fawkes day in 1947; a small gorilla clutching a tin hot-water bottle. When sparrows entered his enclosure, he would scoop them up gently and peer at them before letting them go. There's now a statue in his honour.

Regent's Park, Great Portland Street

Photo: ZSL London Zoo

Otters at the London Wetlands Centre

Otters at the London Wetlands Centre

0

As well as birds, bats, frogs and water voles, the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes is also home to two Asian Short Clawed otters. They aren't wild (or native) to the centre, but they're here as an indication of a healthy wetland.

Hammersmith, Barnes

Photo: ©Stephen Iles

Camden Stables Market

Camden Stables Market

0

The Stables Market used to be a Victorian horse hospital, which treated horses that had been injured while pulling barges along the canal towpath. The horses and pit ponies that worked there were stabled in a network of tunnels, or catacombs, under this whole area.

Camden Town, Chalk Farm

Photo: Roberto Zampino

Abney Park Cemetery

Abney Park Cemetery

0

Hackney has been home to reformers and radicals since at least the 1600s. Many of them are buried in Abney Park: an unconsecrated cemetery in Stoke Newington which is also a nature reserve of London-wide importance.

Dalston Kingsland

St George's Garden

St George's Garden

0

From a memorial obelisk to exposed gravestones, St George's Gardens is a merger of two formal burial grounds. It was also was once the hunting ground of the notorious body snatchers.

Russell Square, Kings Cross St Pancras

Mosaics at the National Gallery

Mosaics at the National Gallery

0

The National Gallery is famous for its Old Masters, but look closer and you'll see Boris Anrep's mosaics inside the Portico Entrance. Laid out between 1928 and 1933, one of the Russian-born artist's allegorical designs represents 'The Awakening of the Muses', and you can spot the figures of Greta Garbo, Virginia Woolf, Diana Mitford and more.

Charing Cross, Leicester Square

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection

0

If you take the grand staircase at the Wallace Collection and find your way to the study, you'll find furniture once belonging to Queen Marie-Antoinette. Hiding in the corner and often missed, you'll see a copy of the actual bill of sale from the Petit Trianon.

Bond Street

The Curious Plaques of Bloomsbury

The Curious Plaques of Bloomsbury

0

Among the normal Blue Plaques in Bloomsbury is this rather curious example. On Old Gloucester Street, a sombre plaque ironically proclaims, 'On this site, Sept 5, 1782 Nothing Happened'. And on the Brunei Gallery, just off Russell Square, another panel actually apologises for the building being there at all.

Russell Square

Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Art Gallery

0

The remains of a 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre were found under the Guildhall Art Gallery in 1988. A circle in the courtyard marks out the arena where wild animal fights, gladiatorial combats and executions would once have taken place. You can see what's left of the amphitheatre in the gallery's underground exhibition.

St Paul's, Moorgate

Photo: Jeremy Richards

Sewing Machine Museum

Sewing Machine Museum

0

London has an entire museum devoted to sewing. The London Sewing Machine Museum in Tooting Bec is where volunteers will answer all the questions you never knew you had about Singer & Co. It's only open on the first Saturday of every month though, from 2pm-5pm.

Tooting Bec

Pudding Lane

Pudding Lane

0

The Great Fire might have started in a bakery on Pudding Lane, but the street name itself has nothing to do with cake. It's so-called because Medieval butchers on Eastcheap used to send carts piled with offal - which back then was called 'pudding' - down this street, to rubbish barges on the River Thames.

Monument

Photo: Ben Sutherland via Flickr Creative Commons

Pearly Kings and Queens of London

Pearly Kings and Queens of London

0

Every London Borough, including the City of London and the City of Westminster, has its own Pearly King and Queen. The tradition was started in 1875 by an orphan called Henry Croft, and now there are around 30 Pearly Families around London who dedicate their lives to raising money for various charities.

Covent Garden

Credit: Clive, Pearly King of Greenwich

Betty the Olympic Cauldron

Betty the Olympic Cauldron

0

One of the stars of the London Olympic and Paralympic games was this giant cauldron, otherwise known as Betty. But according to its designer Thomas Heatherwick, it never worked fully until the actual opening ceremony. Betty has now retired to a new gallery at the Museum of London.

Barbican

Photo: Museum of London

Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park

Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park

0

These life size Victorian models of dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park predate Darwin's "Origin of Species" by six years. They were built by sculptor and fossil expert Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Richard Owen, the founder of the Natural History Museum. In 1855, Hawkins even held a dinner party in the mould of an Iguanodon, complete with waiters, to celebrate their arrival.

Crystal Palace, Penge West

The Normansfield Theatre

The Normansfield Theatre

0

The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability in Hampton Wick is home to a beautiful Victorian theatre, which was built to keep the patients and staff at the old Normansfield Hospital entertained. The museum also houses a collection of extraordinary ship models made by a Victorian patient, James Pullen, who became a celebrity as a result.

Photo: © Copyright Mark Percy via Creative Commons

Deptford Creek

Deptford Creek

0

The name Deptford comes from its tidal creek - Deep Ford - and you can stroll along the riverbed at lowtide. The Creekside Centre provides the waders and tours, so you can get a completely different view of the area's ship and fishing history.

Greenwich, Deptford Bridge

Creekside Education Trust

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

0

Highgate Cemetery might have Karl Marx in residence, but Brompton Cemetery is the final resting place of John Nevil Maskelyne, the man who invented the coin operated toilet door lock. Beatrix Potter also lived round the corner and named some of her famous characters from names on the gravestones here.

West Brompton, Earl's Court

Artwork at Edgware Road Station

Artwork at Edgware Road Station

0

London has one of the world's most interesting electricity substations at Edgware Road on the Circle Line. The art work, called "Wrapper", was designed by Belgian born British artist Jacqueline Poncelet, and each pattern relates to a feature of the local area.

Edgware Road

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum

0

The founder of London's Natural History Museum was also the first person to use the word "dinosaur". Richard Owen was a scientist who campaigned the government to build a 'cathedral to nature', where the natural history specimens that were being kept at the British Museum could be exhibited. Luckily for us he was successful, and it opened in 1881.

South Kensington

Photo: neiljs via Flickr Creative Commons

Geffrye Museum of the Home

Geffrye Museum of the Home

0

This photo is from the Geffrye Museum, which has an archive of over 4,500 images of people's homes, dating from the 1880s to the present day. They reveal some of the things people have got up to at home over the years, like dressing a cat in a bib and feeding it at the kitchen table.

Hoxton

Photo: Geffrye Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

0

Sir John Soane left his museum of art and architecture to the public, as none of his family were architects and he was worried it would be stripped apart when he died. Inside is the famous Hogarth series of works, A Rakes Progress. However in one room you can see 118 paintings through a series of walls that open up to reveal more paintings.

Holborn

Photo: ©Derry Moore

The Charterhouse

The Charterhouse

0

Tucked away in Barbican is a former Carthusian Monastery, which was built on the site of a burial ground for Black Death plague victims in 1371. It has since been a school and hospital before reverting to being an almshouse. It's rumoured that Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII's Chancellor, spent time there. They even managed to put up Elizabeth I on her way to her coronation at Westminster Abbey.

Barbican

Photo: The Charterhouse

7 Hammersmith Terrace

7 Hammersmith Terrace

0

7 Hammersmith Terrace is the former home of the printer Emery Walker, a good friend and mentor of the textile designer William Morris. The interior of the house is preserved exactly as it was in his lifetime, complete with Morris' pale blue wallpaper in the Drawing Room (pictured). You'll also find letters from Walker's friend Rudyard Kipling used as bookmarks, and his wallet, complete with his National Trust membership card for 1933, the year he died.

Ravenscourt Park

Photo: Emery Walker Trust

Southside House

Southside House

0

Possibly the most secretive house in London, Southside was the home of Major Malcolm Munthe, a spy who was one of the first members of the Special Operations Executive. The house's secrets are still being uncovered now. In 2010, a cache of weapons and explosives was discovered in an unknown, sealed-off Jacobean wine cellar.

Wimbledon

Photo: ©Richard Surman.

The Bethnal Green Gasholders

The Bethnal Green Gasholders

0

This is the view from Oval Space in east London, which was once a disused medical supplies factory and now hosts creative arts events. Its terrace overlooks the old Bethnal Green gasholders, which are an iconic part of the landscape along the Regent's Canal.

Bethnal Green

Photo: Oval Space

Battle of Britain Bunker

Battle of Britain Bunker

0

Sir Winston Churchill's famous words, "Never before in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few" were first said by the great man, not in that renowned speech in Parliament on 20th August 1940, but four days earlier when he visited the Operations Rooms here at RAF Uxbridge on 16th August.

Uxbridge

Credit: Bob Jeffries / Battle of Britain Bunker

Piccadilly Lights

Piccadilly Lights

0

Every year, more than 71 million people walk past the advertising screens at Piccadilly Circus. The illuminated signs have been there since 1908, dimming only to celebrate Earth Hour and to mark the deaths of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. More than 50 brands have advertised there in the last 100 years, but Coca-Cola has been the longest continuous presence since 1955. According to Sightsmap, this is London's most photographed location.

Piccadilly Circus

Photo: Roberto Zampino

Umbrellas at London Bridge

Umbrellas at London Bridge

0

This umbrella art installation at Vinopolis Piazza arrived for the London 2012 Olympic Games when Vinopolis, next to Borough Market, became the hub for Procter and Gamble's "athlete's mum" campaign. They have remained there ever since.

London Bridge

Credit: Vinapolis

The Chelsea Pensioners

The Chelsea Pensioners

0

The Royal Hospital Chelsea has been a home for retired soldiers, more famously known as the Chelsea Pensioners, since 1692. Up until the 19th Century impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner was a hanging offence, as it was essentially defrauding the army, however sentences would often be mitigated. Every weekday, Chelsea Pensioners provide walking tours in their scarlet uniform and take great pride in showing people around their home.

Sloane Square

Credit: Chelsea Pensioners

The Painted Houses in Kelly Street

The Painted Houses in Kelly Street

0

London is home to several colour splashed streets, such as Kelly Street in Kentish Town. Other brightly painted areas include Portobello Road and Lancaster Road in Notting Hill, as well as Camden High Street. Unless you live in a conservation area, there are no hard and fast rules to painting the outside of your house.

Kentish Town, Notting Hill Gate

Photo: ©Copyright Robin Sones via Creative Commons

Sight Lines of London

Sight Lines of London

0

There are laws in place to preserve the views of monuments like St Paul's Cathedral. The longest sight line of St Paul's is from Richmond Park, which has held a protected 10 mile view of the cathedral from King Henry's Mound since 1710. You can see the cathedral through a gap in the holly hedging.

Richmond

Photo: © Giles Barnard c/o Royal Parks

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club

0

The world's greatest tennis tournament all started because some gardening equipment broke. In 1877, repairs to the Wimbledon club's large garden roller used to keep the tennis courts flat was billed to cost £10. They decided to hold a small tennis tournament for gentlemen in July of that year to pay for it, and tickets were sold to the public at one shilling (five pence) each. They raised over £17, meaning the roller got fixed and they had a bit of a profit - so they decided to do it again the following year. And so the Championships began.

Wimbledon Park, Southfields

Photo: © Wimbledon Museum

Metropolitan Police Horses and Helicopters

Metropolitan Police Horses and Helicopters

0

The Metropolitan Police have several specialist units fighting crime in the city, and here are two of them together. The mounted police were established in 1760 to capture highwaymen on the ground, but these days you're more likely to see the police helicopter doing that from the sky. The crew of three deal with around 25 tasks a day, and they can remain airborne for around two hours.

St James's Park

Photo: Courtersy of the Metropolitan Police @MPSinthesky

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

0

Buckingham Palace has its own chapel, post office, swimming pool, staff cafeteria, doctor's surgery and cinema. It's also the only building with the postcode SW1A 1AA.

St James's Park

Eric Atkins via Flickr creative commons

Canary Wharf and Docklands

Canary Wharf and Docklands

0

Canary Wharf is constructed over what was the famous West India Docks. Once filled with water and ships, the area is now bursting with steel, glass, stone and marble buildings, and surrounded by landscaped parks and gardens. Art projects are dotted around too, such as Ron Arad's sculpture The Big Blue, which you can see clearly from above.

Canary Wharf

© Philip Vile c/o Canary Wharf

Water Voles

Water Voles

0

Crossness Nature Reserve and Southern Marshes are a London stronghold for water voles. Often confused with rats, here the water voles flourish in their specially created 1.2 hectare reedbed and reed-fringed ditches.

Woolwich Arsenal

Credit: Thames Water

Crossness Pumping Station

Crossness Pumping Station

0

The interior of this sewage pumping station is an example of some of the best ornamental Victorian cast ironwork to be found anywhere today. The site was opened by the Prince of Wales in April 1865 after seven years of construction, and remained working until 1956.

Plumstead

Andrea Vail via Flickr

Dominion Theatre

Dominion Theatre

0

London's Grade II listed Dominion Theatre was built in 1928/29 on the site of a beer factory. During its last 98 day refurbishment, over 2719m2 of surface area in the auditorium was washed, sanded and refreshed using a total of 400 gallons of paint.

Tottenham Court Road

Photo: Mario Sánchez Prada via Flickr Creative Commons

Bob Dylan at The Savoy

Bob Dylan at The Savoy

0

Folk music legend Bob Dylan put his time as a guest at The Savoy to good use by filming the famous Subterranean Homesick Blues video in a nearby alley.

Charing Cross, Embankment, Temple

Credit: The Savoy archives

London Coliseum

London Coliseum

0

The Grade II* listed London Coliseum, designed by Frank Matcham, was the first theatre in the country to have a stage revolve. Unfortunately the pioneering triple revolve was removed in 1976-77, the year the Theatres Trust was set up by Act of Parliament.

Leicester Square

Credit: Theatres Trust

SS Robin

SS Robin

0

The SS Robin is the world's oldest complete steamship and the last of her type. Built in 1890 at the Thames Ironworks shipyard on the River Lea, she's now moored at Millennium Mills Pier in London's Royal Victoria Dock for a refit, before she'll return to the Royal Victoria Dock.

Royal Victoria

Credit: SS Robin Trust

Tom Jones and a Leopard on Carnaby Street

Tom Jones and a Leopard on Carnaby Street

0

Tom Jones brought a whole new meaning to his song "What's New Pussycat?" when he took a Cheetah for a stroll down Carnaby Street. Here he is in the 60s with actress Christine Spooner, on his way to open a shop.

Oxford Circus

Credit: Lucy Harrison / Sisteris PR Company

Brunswick House

Brunswick House

0

Now surrounded by tower blocks and five lanes of traffic, this mansion is still a magnificent reminder of eighteenth century Vauxhall and its Pleasure Gardens. Grade II* listed in 1973, apparently MI5 and MI6 staff used to meet here as they were worried their own buildings were bugged.

Vauxhall

Credit: Lassco

Steam Trains in the Underground

Steam Trains in the Underground

0

Metropolitan Locomotive No. 1 is a steam train built in 1898, and it's been running special journeys along the Metropolitan line since the 150th anniversary of the tube in 2013/14. The commemorative journeys travel at a stately maximum speed of 25mph.

Moorgate

Photos: Transport for London

The Boat on the Queen Elizabeth Hall

The Boat on the Queen Elizabeth Hall

0

Staying the night on a boat "perched" on the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank is half hotel escape, half being part of a living art experience. You can go through a ballot for the chance to stay there.

Waterloo

Credit: Living Architecture / Photo: © William Eckersley

Posters on the London Underground

Posters on the London Underground

0

The London Transport Museum has a collection of more than 100 years of poster art originally showcased on London Underground's trains, tube stations and buses. Not only were they used for traditional marketing purposes, but during the both World Wars they were used to encourage people to enlist and to advise Londoners on air raid procedures.

Covent Garden

Photo: © TfL from London Transport Museum collection

Masonic Lodge at the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool St

Masonic Lodge at the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool St

0

When the Five Star Andaz Liverpool Street was renovated in the 1990s, the builders found a secret Freemasons' meeting lodge hidden behind the walls. It's now London's only original lodge and Grade I listed temple.

Liverpool Street

Photo: Andaz Hotel (Hyatt Group)

The Royal Courts of Justice

The Royal Courts of Justice

0

This imposing Gothic building was designed by the architect George Edmund Street, who sadly died before it was completed. It's composed of 35 million bricks faced with Portland stone, and inside, there are over 1,000 rooms and 3.5 miles of corridors.

Temple

Photo: Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr Creative Commons

Freud's couch

Freud's couch

0

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his family lived at 20 Maresfield Gardens in north west London from 1938 until 1982. The study contains his couch where his patients would lie as they recounted their free flowing thoughts. Unlike contemporary therapists' rooms, Freud sat out of sight behind the patient. He once exclaimed to a friend, "I cannot let myself be stared at for eight hours a day!"

Finchely Road

Credit: London Small Historic Houses

Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House

0

Benjamin Franklin's home in London, where he lived from 1757 to 1775, is now his only remaining house in the world. During his sixteen years in London he invented the Glass Harmonica which gained him the title of being the first American to have invented an instrument.

Charing Cross, Embankment

Credit: London Small Historic Houses

The o2

The o2

0

The o2 centre in Greenwich was built on the Prime Meridian line, and this is reflected in its design: it's 365 meters in diameter, signifying every day of the year, and is suspended from 12 masts (for every month of the year). On an unrelated note, if you turned it upside down it could hold the equivalent of 3.8billion pints of beer.

North Greenwich

Credit: The o2

Coming to visit? Search for a hotel room in London at

Top image: Map data ©2014 Google