The Cenotaph

Designed by Edwin Lutyens at the end of World War I, this simple block of Portland stone follows classical Greek proportions, each straight-seeming side actually being part of an imaginary 300m sphere. Lutyens produced the original dummy in 14 days for the victory parade of 1919 and took no fee for the work. It has no religious emblems.

Horse Guards

The official entrance to Buckingham Palace has had a mounted guard for the past 200 years. Anyone can walk and you can  also drive through - provided you have a special ivory token from the Queen. The clock has a black numeral 2 - this is the hour at which King Charles was beheaded in the Banqueting House opposite.

Duke of Cambridge

George, grandson of King George III, was sculpted in 1907 by Adrian Jones. As commander-in-chief of the British Army for a notable 39 years (1856-1895), he did little to modernise it, saying:  ‘The time for change is when you can no longer help it.’ Famed for a racy private life,  many pubs - usually set up by ex-soldiers - are named after him.

Whitehall is the name given to government in the UK, as most official buildings are around this street, off which is the Prime Minister’s house at 10 Downing Street. It was the name of a vast palace - named Whitehall by King Henry VIII - of more than 1,500 rooms (the largest building in the world at the time) which burnt down in 1698.

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The Clarence

Popular with both tourists and civil servants, this pub has had a recent refurbishment but retains a lot of character. Some good ales, decent food, some fine wines and a fairly quiet atmosphere make this a pleasant old-style pub. In such a touristy area, that is a pleasant surprise.

53 Whitehall SW1
Tel: +44 (0)20) 7930 4808
Tube: Charing cross

Old War Office

Since 1906, this has been home to the War Office, renamed the Ministry of Defence in 1964. The building has about 1,000 rooms, with 4km of corridors, and took five years and more than £1.2 million (at 1906 prices) to build. The fine carvings on it are by Albert Drury - who also sculpted Joshua Reynolds at the Royal Academy.

Banqueting House

The only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall was designed by Inigo Jones in Palladian style. Finished in 1622, its ceiling was painted by Rubens in 1635. Built for King James I, his son King Charles I was executed here in 1649. The effigy above the entrance marks where he was beheaded on a scaffold.

Duke of Devonshire

Spencer Compton Cavendish (1833-1908) turned down the office of prime minister three times but headed three different political parties and several other important posts. His brother Lord Frederick Cavendish was murdered by the IRA in Dublin in 1882. A popular politician of his times, this statue by H Hampton dates to 1911.

Douglas, 1st Earl Haig

His horse’s pose slightly odd, this statue by AF Hardiman of the man who commanded the British Army during World War I was erected in 1937. The bloody battles of 1915 earned Haig - son of the Haig & Haig whisky family - the nickname ‘Butcher of the Somme’, with 400,000 British casualties at the Somme and 230,000 at Passchendale.

Field Marshal Alanbrooke

Alan Brooke was Chief of the Imperial General Staff during World War II, the chief adviser to Winston Churchill. he served with the artillery during WWI, introducing the creeping barrage system. He strongly influenced most of the major strategic decisions of WWII, from the campaign  in North Africa to the Normandy Invasion in 1944.

Women of World War II

Showing the clothes worn by working and serving women during the war, this memorial by sculptor John Mills cost £1m and was unveiled by the Queen in 2005. Former Speaker of the House of Commons Baroness Betty Boothroyd raised £800,000 of the cost by appearing on the quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2002.