London Cool Places to Go to See Historic Buildings

London is full of historic buildings

London is full of historic buildings and other famous London cool places to go that you will want to check out on your visit.

There are so many historic buildings and we’re not just talking about the big attractions like Westminster Abbey and the palaces. The city has some historic neighborhoods that feature fully maintained and restored homes and buildings, delivering an accurate representation of life in historic London.

These neighborhoods are fantastic London cool places to go if you have an eye for architecture or just enjoy the charm of historic communities. To help you find the coolest London places for architecture and history, we put together a list of our favorite historic neighborhoods.

All are conveniently located near or within central London, so you can stroll through them as you visit the most popular must-see attractions. They’re also among the wealthiest communities in London, so you’ll see a mix of historic opulence and modern luxury in these London cool places to go.

London Cool Places to Go With Historical Significance:

London Cool Places to Go With Historical Significance

Bloomsbury

This neighborhood made its literary debut in Jane Austen’s book Emma and is now home to the Charles Dickens Museum and beautiful green spaces like Russell Square. It’s also a hotspot for colleges and universities, so you’ll rub elbows with many students while walking the streets.

While touring Bloomsbury, look for these historic buildings:

  • Georgian terrace houses surrounding Bedford Square
  • Brunswick Shopping Centre
  • Art Deco Library

Bloomsbury is located in central London and is rich with museums, cafes and bookshops. It’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat or take a peaceful walk while soaking up bits of historical architecture.

Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea is in southwest London with the Thames River running along the southern border. The area is now known as an affluent community that features a variety of upscale restaurants and trendy boutiques, but there are also many blue plaques dedicated to great historical figures who once called the area home.

Some of the attractions found in Kensington and Chelsea include the National Army Museum, Saatchi Gallery, Ranelagh Gardens, and St. Luke’s Gardens and Playground. Just driving or walking through the area will lead you to a variety of open spaces and parks, many of which are dedicated to historical figures.

Some London cool places to go of the historic buildings in Kensington and Chelsea include:

  • Royal Hospital
  • Crosby Hall
  • Chelsea Old Church
  • Royal Court Theatre
  • Innofinity Worldwide
  • 24 Cheyne Row
  • Albert Bridge

While you’re in Chelsea, venture down Royal Avenue for another taste of history. It’s well known as the fictional home of James Bond. Stop by the Chelsea Physic Garden for even more historical tales if you have the time.

St. James

You’ll find the St. James or St. James’s neighborhood in central London. It’s part of the City of Westminster and is home to many points of interest like the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, Hyde Park ice skating rink, Marlborough House Gardens and Buckingham Palace. It’s also home to some
current princes and princesses, so it’s an upscale neighborhood that contains many historic buildings.

Some of the historic buildings to see while in the neighborhood include:

  • Clarence House
  • James’s Palace
  • Spencer House
  • Lancaster House

Each of these properties have historical significance in London. The current residents often leave pictures and other memorabilia outdoors to help visitors understand that history, but learning a bit before you arrive in the neighborhood will enrich the experience.

Whitechapel

Located on the East End, Whitechapel is one of London’s oldest neighborhoods. It’s home to the Jack the Ripper Museum, and many visitors enjoy touring the area just to see where that figure of darkness stalked his victims. On the brighter side, it’s close to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. It also has a variety of trendy bars, cafes and shops. Finally, Whitechapel has become  a playground for creative souls, so you’ll find a lot of street art along with the historic buildings.

Some of the historic buildings to visit in Whitechapel include:

  • 37 Stepney Green
  • 99 Leman Street
  • The Eastern Dispensary on Leman Street
  • The Proof House on Commercial Road
  • Christ Church Spitalfields
  • Whitechapel Bell Foundry

These addresses will point you in the right direction when finding historic buildings in Whitechapel, London. If you spend some time walking the streets, you’ll find other historic landmarks along with some great points of interest for entertainment. 

Enjoying the Historic Architecture of London

As you browse the London cool places to go of historic neighborhoods and buildings in London, make sure to stop periodically. Sometimes the most noteworthy features are the small details that are easily missed if you walk or drive by too quickly. Never trespass on private property in a residential neighborhood, but spend a moment appreciating the stylistic touches from whatever distance necessary.

You will also understand the historic buildings in London a lot better if you learn about the city’s history and architectural roots before arriving. Even kids can appreciate historic homes and buildings if they hear the stories behind the buildings first.   

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