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Famous British Figures and Related Landmarks

March 24, 2017

London has carved world legends from the creators of the enchanting world of Harry Potter and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to global leaders like Winston Churchill and the Queen of England. Visit the destinations and landmarks, where prominent British figures grew up, worked, entertained, and changed the world.

1. Buckingham Palace Notable British figures: Queen Victoria, King George VI, home of the Queen If a fan of the Royals and history of the British monarchy, a visit to the Buckingham Palace is a must. Buckingham Palace is currently home to the Queen and is the location of most ceremonies and royal affairs. Take a tour of the palace, built in the 1700s, and step into the opulence, power, and rich history of the British Empire and the lifestyle of the Royal Family. Tours take you around palace grounds and rooms, showcasing the extravagant art, gathering rooms, and a peek at the royal treatment. Be sure to arrive early in the summer to see the famous change of the guards before being blown away by the palace grounds. 1. Buckingham Palace Notable British figures: Queen Victoria, King George VI, home of the Queen If a fan of the Royals and history of the British monarchy, a visit to the Buckingham Palace is a must. Buckingham Palace is currently home to the Queen and is the location of most ceremonies and royal affairs. Take a tour of the palace, built in the 1700s, and step into the opulence, power, and rich history of the British Empire and the lifestyle of the Royal Family. Tours take you around palace grounds and rooms, showcasing the extravagant art, gathering rooms, and a peek at the royal treatment. Be sure to arrive early in the summer to see the famous change of the guards before being blown away by the palace grounds.
2. M16 Headquarters

Notable British figure: James Bond

James Bond’s agility, smarts, and charm have made him the world’s favorite British hero and the longest running franchise in cinema history. The M16 Headquarters is the building of British Secret Intelligence and is the building used in the latest film, Skyfall. After admiring the looming, ziggurat like building, take a 15-minute drive to the London Film Museum and see the Bond in Motion exhibit, which holds the largest collection of vehicles used in the James Bond films. Peruse the exhibitions, gawk at the refurbished vehicles, watch video clips of the vehicles in action in the past Bond films, and relax in the Covent Garden.

3. Westminster Abbey Notable British figures: Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin Hauntingly beautiful with intricate turrets and spires, this 925-year-old abbey is a looming, magnificent, Gothic church. Even more haunting are the graves and tombstones that line the floors of the church and graveyard. You will be astounded to discover that the great names etched into the stone are also influential names etched into human history. Historical and literary figures can be found buried in Westminster Abbey; one part of the graveyard is dedicated to the Royals that rest there including Queen Elizabeth I. The grand church is known as the coronation site of the Royals and a worship place.
4. Leadenhall Market

Notable British figure: J. K. Rowling

When in London, if one has a keen eye, the traces of the magical world of Harry Potter can be revealed. J. K. Rowling’s world-famous book series was inspired and filmed in many spots in London. Leadenhall Market is the beautiful and charming covered market that was used as Diagon Alley in the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The market is a wondrous place to spend an afternoon shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, and spotting stores used in the film like the bright blue paint of an optician office which was used as the Leaky Cauldron. If seeking more magical adventures one can hop over to Kings Cross Station and visit Platform 9¾ and see a trolley disappearing through the wall.

4. Leadenhall Market Notable British figure: J. K. Rowling When in London, if one has a keen eye, the traces of the magical world of Harry Potter can be revealed. J. K. Rowling’s world-famous book series was inspired and filmed in many spots in London. Leadenhall Market is the beautiful and charming covered market that was used as Diagon Alley in the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The market is a wondrous place to spend an afternoon shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, and spotting stores used in the film like the bright blue paint of an optician office which was used as the Leaky Cauldron. If seeking more magical adventures one can hop over to Kings Cross Station and visit Platform 9¾ and see a trolley disappearing through the wall.
5. Churchill War Rooms

Notable British figure: Winston Churchill

One of the most respected, notable, and influential men in British history is undoubtedly Winston Churchill, Britain’s former prime minister who led the country during World War II. During his time as prime minister, a secret complex of underground rooms was built in England, just below the Treasury building in London, as a clandestine command center. Named the Churchill War Rooms, the rooms were preserved and converted into a museum showing the life of Winston Churchill and the hidden, high-tension life of tracking Nazi movements and planning British advances. The underground complex is truly a time capsule, where visitors can see the modest beds, cramped meeting rooms, and switchboard rooms where commanders and political figures lived, breathed, and slept.

6. Tower of London Notable British figure: Anne Boleyn This mighty medieval castle is renowned as the key to controlling the British Empire, an old prison, and home to the famed Grey Lady ghosts that roam the halls. The castle welcomes more than a million visitors annually with tours that trace the history and great events that passed through the castle, which was built in 1078. Climb the towers and bask in the beautiful cityscape views. Admire the Crown Jewels. Experience live historical reenactments. Unlock the torture and prison chambers. Learn about the old architecture, the history of besiege and war, the exotic beasts that lived in the castle, and of course the famous ghosts stories.
7. Oxford University

Notable British figures: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Locke, Margaret Thatcher

The world esteemed university, which actually has no known date of foundation but has classes recorded back in 1096, is the cultivator of the world’s greatest leaders, writers, artists, and Nobel Prize winners. Tour the university and simply be awed by the magnificence and great impact of the world’s second oldest university. The campus is stunning with turrets, spires, and grand domes that truly make you feel like you are stepping back in time. Visit the spots like the library and churches that inspired writers and scientists. Stop by the Ashmolean museum, the oldest museum in the United Kingdom, or the other four museums which hold relics of history, science, and music. Just 45 minutes by train from central London, Oxford is a must stop to experience old England and the world's most impressive and influential university.

7. Oxford University Notable British figures: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Locke, Margaret Thatcher The world esteemed university, which actually has no known date of foundation but has classes recorded back in 1096, is the cultivator of the world’s greatest leaders, writers, artists, and Nobel Prize winners. Tour the university and simply be awed by the magnificence and great impact of the world’s second oldest university. The campus is stunning with turrets, spires, and grand domes that truly make you feel like you are stepping back in time. Visit the spots like the library and churches that inspired writers and scientists. Stop by the Ashmolean museum, the oldest museum in the United Kingdom, or the other four museums which hold relics of history, science, and music. Just 45 minutes by train from central London, Oxford is a must stop to experience old England and the world's most impressive and influential university.
8. Abbey Road

Notable British figures: The Beatles

London is a hub of music stars and talent, with the most influential and legendary being The Beatles. The four band members have roots in Liverpool and London, where they wrote music and performed in now-famous pubs and clubs before they skyrocketed to global fame. When in London and seeking an authentic Beatles experience, pop by the Beatles Coffee Café and enjoy some coffee sips while admiring the band memorabilia and souvenirs for purchase. Afterwards, trek down the road and have a glimpse of the Beatles' glory at the Abbey Road Studios and the famous historic landmark Abbey Road, perfect for reenacting the Abbey Road album cover.

9. Baker Street Notable British figure: Sherlock Holmes In 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s pen brought Sherlock Holmes to life. Holmes quickly became a beloved character and still captivates readers and viewers today with millions of printed story copies and over 200 film and television adaptations. The famous apartment and workspace of Holmes resides at 221b Baker Street and is now a modern day Sherlock Homes Museum, where you are greeted by a man with a cape and a deerstalker cap, in true Holmes fashion. After exploring the museum, purchase tickets to visit the interior of the house where Dr. Watson's bedroom and Sherlock's study have been recreated.
10. Shakespeare Globe Theater

Notable British figure: William Shakespeare

A poet, actor, and dramatist, William Shakespeare is arguably the most influential writer of English literature. Enter the world of this impactful literary figure at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, a round amphitheater built as a replica to the original location of Shakespeare play performances. The theater is dedicated to educating on Shakespeare’s life and literary works, while providing the stage for his art to take life. Peruse the exhibits and experience the old world of plays and performances, watch a play in the fashion that they would have been performed centuries ago, and be entranced by the mystery of Shakespeare and his art. You will never experience Shakespeare in the same way.

10. Shakespeare Globe Theater Notable British figure: William Shakespeare A poet, actor, and dramatist, William Shakespeare is arguably the most influential writer of English literature. Enter the world of this impactful literary figure at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, a round amphitheater built as a replica to the original location of Shakespeare play performances. The theater is dedicated to educating on Shakespeare’s life and literary works, while providing the stage for his art to take life. Peruse the exhibits and experience the old world of plays and performances, watch a play in the fashion that they would have been performed centuries ago, and be entranced by the mystery of Shakespeare and his art. You will never experience Shakespeare in the same way.
11. Big Ben

Notable British figure: Queen Elizabeth

The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, AKA Big Ben, is one of London’s most iconic landmarks sitting in Central London along the river Thames. Big Ben is an all-encompassing name, but is technically the name given to the colossal bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons. The Elizabeth Tower (named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee) stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament and dates back to 1859. Those with special permission can climb the 399 steps to the Ayrton Light at the very top, while the rest of us can stay ground-level and stick around after the sun sets to see the four clock faces beautifully illuminated.

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