1. Sherlock Holmes

    The famous but fictitious detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle first appeared in 1891. He still gets regular fan mail sent to his equally fictitious address of 221b Baker Street .

    Sherlock Holmes, London’s famous detective
  2. Charles Dickens

    The great Victorian novelist and social campaigner (1812–70) lived in Doughty Street for two years from 1837. The house is his only surviving London home, and he thought it “a frightfully first-class family mansion, involving awful responsibilities” .

    Dickens’ house
  3. Dr Johnson

    “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” said Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–84). He lived in the City from 1748 to 1759 and much of his famous dictionary was compiled here, with six copyists working in the garrett. His companion James Boswell reported on the social comings and goings in the house.

    • Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square EC4

    • Open 11am–5:30pm Mon–Sat

    • Admission charge

  4. John Keats

    The London-born Romantic poet (1795–1821) lived in Hampstead from 1818 to 1820 before leaving for Italy to try to cure his fatal tuberculosis. After falling in love with his neighbour’s daughter, Fanny Brawne, he wrote his famous and beautiful Ode to a Nightingale in the garden .

  5. Sigmund Freud

    The Viennese founder of psychoanalysis (1856–1939) spent the last year of his life in a north London house. A Jew, he had fled the Nazis, bringing his celebrated couch with him .

  6. Lord Leighton

    Yorkshire-born Frederick Leighton (1830–96) was the most successful painter in Victorian London and president of the Royal Academy. He had this exotic house built for him in 1866 .

  7. Thomas Carlyle

    The Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle, famous for his history of the French Revolution, lived in London from 1834.

    • Carlyle’s House, 24 Cheyne Row SW3

    • Open Apr–Oct: 2pm–5pm Wed–Fri, 11am–5pm Sat, Sun & public hols

    • Admission charge

    Thomas Carlyle
  8. The Duke of Wellington

    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), lived at Apsley House, which has the unique address of No. 1 London, following his victories in the Napoleonic Wars .

  9. Georg Friedrich Handel

    The great German-born composer first visited London in 1710 and settled here permanently in 1712.

    • Handel House Museum, 25 Brook Street W1

    • Open 10am–6pm Tue–Sat (10am–8pm Thu), noon–6pm Sun

    • Admission charge

  10. William Hogarth

    The great painter of London life (1697–1764) was used to the gritty life of the city and called his house near Chiswick “a little country box by the Thames”.

    • Hogarth’s House, Hogarth Lane W4

    • Open Apr–Oct: 1–4pm Tue–Fri, 1–6pm Sat & Sun; Nov–Mar: 1–4pm Tue–Fri, 1–5pm Sat & Sun

    • Closed Jan

    • Free

Top 10 Blue Plaques

Circular blue plaques on the walls of some London buildings recall famous residents.

  1. Wolfgang A Mozart

    The German composer (1756–91) wrote his first symphony, aged eight, while at No. 180 Ebury Street.

  2. Benjamin Franklin

    The US statesman and scientist (1706–90) lived for a time at No. 38 Craven Street.

  3. Charlie Chaplin

    The much-loved movie actor (1889–1977) was born at No. 287 Kennington Road.

  4. Charles de Gaulle

    The exiled general (1890–1970) organized the Free French Forces from No. 6 Carlton Terrace during World War II.

  5. Dwight Eisenhower

    During World War II the Allied Commander (1880–1969) lived at No. 20 Grosvenor Square, near the US embassy.

  6. Mark Twain

    The American humorist (1835–1910) lived for a year at No. 23 Tedworth Square.

  7. Mahatma Gandhi

    The “father” of India’s independence movement (1869–1948) studied law in the Inner Temple in 1889.

  8. Jimi Hendrix

    The American guitarist (1942–1970) stayed in central London at No. 23 Brook Street.

  9. Henry James

    The American writer (1843–1916) lived in Bolton Street, de Vere Gardens, and in Cheyne Walk, where he died.

  10. Giuseppe Mazzini

    From 1837 to 1849 the Italian revolutionary and patriot (1805–72) lived at No. 183 Gower Street.

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