Finding London’s Famous Faces

Coming from a very young country, visiting London is a journey back in history.  One of the most exciting things about a trip to London is discovering the famous people who have been there before you. Dotted throughout the historic cities of Europe are these round or oval blue colored plaques.

The London blue plaques are a great way of exploring the city’s rich scientific, political, and literary heritage. They allow the lives, births, deaths and achievements of the great and influential to be mapped out across the entire cityscape.  It is a great way to spend a day, or better yet, map out the locations between stops during your exploration of London!

It’s easy to underestimate just how many famous people have graced London’s historic roads and buildings. Here is a look at some of the iconic destinations in the London city center and a guide to the famous faces who have helped make them so recognizable.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls

St Pauls (Photo credit: dicktay2000)

The iconic dome and spires of St Paul’s Cathedral are some of the most recognizable architectural delights of the entire city. With its origins dating back to 604 AD, this important Church of England cathedral has had its fair share of powerful and important people grace its halls. Stand where the powerful and influential stood!

Some of the important services that have taken place in St Paul’s include the funerals for the politician Sir Winston Churchill and the battle leaders Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. The wedding of Charles and Lady Diana Spencer also took place in St Paul’s, as did the 80th Birthday and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Lloyds of London

Lloyds of LondonFor any self-respecting insurance practitioner, a visit to London would not be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal of assurance: Lloyds.  What originally started in the humble beginnings of Lloyds coffee house, has become the leading insurance marketplace in the world.  Today you can stand in the lobby where just above you nearly $50 Billion worth of insurance will be traded.  Look for your blue plaque on Lombard street highlighting the once located coffee house.

While you may not recognize many of the names that acted as brokers or traders on the floor of Lloyd’s. You will certainly appreciate some of the names that have been insured here.  Let’s start with legs and move up.  Betty Grables, Brooke Shields, and of course Tina Turner’s legs were all insured here.    The bosoms of both Tempest Storm and Holly Madison were well endowed with coverage.  Jimmy Durante’s nose was covered for $1 million.  And to top it off, NFL star Troy Polamalu’s thick mane of hair is insured for $1 million.

 

Westminster Abbey

Westminster AbbyWestminster is on the top of every visitor’s must-see list. However, it’s easy to underestimate just how many famous people have graced its magnificent halls.

The Gothic style church has had its fair share of history, from the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 through to the royal wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William in 2011.  Walk down the aisle with your own Prince Charming!

Finally, famous burials in the Abbey have included Isaac Newton, William Wilberforce and Charles Darwin.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the history of our capital then why not spend some time staying within the city limits? If you’re looking for affordable accommodation when visiting these iconic spots, Tower Bridge Hotel is just one of many affordable, comfortable and stylish options which are available.

Enjoy your tour of London!  Please send up you pics with your favorite blue plaque!

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