Edith Cavell

Cavell was shot in 1915 by the German army during World War I for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from Occupied Belgium, where she had been running a pioneering training hospital. Every October 12, nurses from The Royal London Hospital lay a wreath to mark the day of her execution.

St Martins Place WC2
Tube: Charing Cross

In the 1630s, the Earl of Bedford redeveloped some land that had formerly been a Convent Garden for Westminster Abbey. Architect Inigo Jones was employed and created England’s first public piazza.

Tube: Covent Garden

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Covent Garden 1 2 3

The Young Dancer

Enzo Plazzotta’s bronze sits opposite the Royal Opera House, home of the Royal Ballet. Plazzotta also sculpted a male dancer, Jeté. He first came to live in London after WWII, when he was active in the Resistance in his native Italy, and only started serious sculpture when he was already in his 40s.

Broad Street WC2
Tube: Covent Garden

Goodwin's Court

The buildings in this lovely tiny alley hidden off St Martin's Lane date to 1690 and a walk down it makes the centuries fade away. Still lit by gasllights, the Georgian bow-fronted former shops, black doors, brass door knobs and knockers evoke a lost age. All it needs is fog.

Goodwin's Court WC2

Tube: Leicester Square

Yorke Street 1636

This is London’s oldest street sign although the three houses it is affixed to (34-38) date only to 1733. Note the blue plaque at No.36: In 1821, Thomas de Quincy(1785-1859) wrote 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' here when it was still No.4 York Street. It brought him overnight fame.

34-36 Tavistock Street SW1
Tube: Covent Garden

Henrietta Street

First laid out in 1631, and rebuilt through the centuries, moving more and more up-market in the process, this street now typifies late Georgian/early Victorian style. Jane Austen's brother Henry (a banker) lived at No.10 and she stayed here in 1813 and 1814 when visiting her London publishers.

Henrietta Street WC2
Tube: Covent Garden

Oscar Wilde

Called ‘A Conversation With Oscar WIlde’ this bronze memorial is designed as a seat, so you can enjoy his company and his quote: ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’  Sculptor Maggie Hambling’s work was unveiled in 1998. Oscar is smoking – but his cigarette is regularly stolen.

Adelaide Street WC2
Tube: Charing Cross

Freemason’s Hall

Opened in 1933 and called the Masonic Peace Memorial in tribute to 3,225 masons who died in WWI, the name was changed to Freemasons' Hall at the outbreak of WWII. The Masonic Order offers free tours of this magnificent Art Deco building to help dispel some of the mystery that has long surrounded it.

Great Queen Street WC2
Tube: Charing Cross

Policeman’s Hook

This hook near the Verve Bar was put here in the 1930s. Prior to that, a simple nail was used for hanging coats by police directing traffic at this busy junction. During redecoration works, the importance of the nail was pointed out by a passing policeman to a surveyor and this elegant hook appeared

Great Newport Street WC2
Tube: Leicester Square