One of London’s grandest railway hotels and the very first hotel in the capital to boast an elevator, The Grosvenor Hotel could be considered a historic tourist attraction in its own right.
However, historically-inclined visitors to the capital will find plenty of other attractions nearby too. Read on to find out which landmarks to look out for when you next stay at this luxury London hotel.
A historic neighbourhood
Facing onto Buckingham Palace Road, within easy reach of the Houses of Parliament, The Grosvenor Hotel has impeccable post-code credentials.
However, this grand railway hotel didn’t just share a neighbourhood with royalty (most notably, Queen Victoria) and well-known politicians. Its leafy avenues were also shared by many famous historical figures whose homes can still be viewed today.
Arctic explorer, Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) and his son, the respected naturalist Sir Peter Scott (1909-1989) both lived nearby at 174 Buckingham Palace Road. Sculptor, Henry Weekes (1807-1877) lived at Number 91, artist Aubrey Beardsley lived in nearby Cambridge Street, and composer Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan resided in Lupus Street.
One of London’s grandest districts, Westminster is full of attractions that are tied to history. And plenty of London’s most iconic attractions are within easy reach of The Grosvenor, including:
- Buckingham Palace
Originally a mulberry bush garden planted by King James 1, then a the site of a nobleman’s grand home, then later extended and refurbished by King George 1V to become a palace, Buckingham Palace has been the home of Britian’sBritain’s Kings and Queens since 1837. Some of the palace’s rooms are open to visitors, and special exhibits have been scheduled this year to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
- Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey has been the crowning place of Kings and Queens for more than a thousand years, and was the chosen wedding venue for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, as well as Prince William and Catherine Middleton. This historic cathedral also has its own museum (located in the abbey’s vaults), and exhibits include coronation regalia, funeral effigies and more. The bestselling novel ‘The Pillars of the Earth’, by Ken Follet, was inspired by the story of the abbey’s construction.
- Houses of Parliament
Also known as The Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament are the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. A Grade 1 listed building,building; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit attraction for history fans.
- Big Ben
Erected in 1853, this historic clock tower stands by the Houses of Parliament and is a comfortable walk away from The Grosvenor. This iconic clock has featured in many films, including The Thirty Nine Steps, James Bond: Thunderball, and V for Vendetta, and is one of London’s most famous landmarks.
- Little Ben
While Big Ben can be found by the Houses of Parliament, ‘Little Ben’ – a clock tower that was installed in 1892 – can be found outside of Victoria Station. A favourite meeting spot for French travellers arriving to the capital, this historic landmark was removed in 1963, but was reinstated in 1981 to mark the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
- Jermyn Street and Saville Row
A site of pilgrimage for the well-heeled and suited, nearby Jermyn Street is famous for its shirts, while Saville Row is known throughout the world for its bespoke tailoring. Here, visitors to London will find iconic retailers such as Henry Poole, Gieves & Hawkes, H. Hunstman & Sons, and Dege & Skinner – most of whom have dressed royalty, aristocrats and celebrities.
Which historical London attractions are your favourites? Which period of London’s history interests you most? Please let us know by leaving a comment below …