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Fascinating Finds That Remind Us Why We Love London's Boroughs

From secret places in London to the most visited attractions, we explore some of our boroughs' most fascinating places and biggest claims to fame. 

 

 

1. London's Oldest House

Where: Islington

 

41-42 Cloth Fair is a four-bedroom townhouse in Farringdon and London's oldest house. It was built more than 400 years ago, surviving the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. Although it has been refurbished several times, the house still retains most of its original fittings, including a window that some famous visitors, like J.B Priestley and Joyce Grenfell, have signed with a diamond-nibbed pen. 

 

2. Two of London's Four UNESCO Heritage Sites in One Place

Where: Westminster

 

Two of London's four World Heritage Sites can be found in Westminster. The Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey (including St Margaret's Church). The other two World Heritage Sites are the Tower of London and Maritime Greenwich in East London. 

 

3. Most Visited Attractions Outside of Central London

Where: Richmond Upon Thames 

 

Richmond boasts three of the most-visited attractions outside central London, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Botanic Gardens and WWT London Wetland Centre. Hampton Court Palace receives more than a million visitors every year. Kew Botanic Gardens received 2.24 million visitors in 2020, the highest in more than a century. And WWT London Wetland Centre has around 220,000 people visiting each year.    

 

4. London's Ancient Botanical Garden 

Where: Kensington & Chelsea

 

The oldest botanic garden in London, Chelsea Physic Garden, is almost 350 years old and boasts 5,000 edible or medicinal plant collections. It's also home to some rare and endangered species and Europe's oldest rock garden. While there, you can also take a walk down Chelsea Embankment and enjoy plenty of casual viewing of some of London's best Kensington and Chelsea properties.

 

5. Historic 'Temple of Power' 

Where: Wandsworth

 

History was made in Wandsworth when coal-fired Battersea Power Station started producing electricity in the 1940s. The immense, Art-Deco style building was the first of its kind, with design led by famous British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (who also designed our red telephone boxes). Since being decommissioned, the building has been awarded Grade II listed status as a place of particular interest. The station and area around it have since become one of London's premier lifestyle and cultural areas and is home to a thriving community of Battersea properties shops, restaurants and open space. 

 

6. Most Michelin Star Restaurants in One Area

Where: Westminster 

 

Fine dining is a dream in Westminster. The borough is home to the highest number of Michelin star restaurants in the city, most concentrated in Mayfair and Soho. As one of the world's culinary capitals, you can find some of the most lavish and elegant restaurants here. Due to the area's significance as a political and Royal epicentre, Westminster is also home to some highly sought after and high-end Victorian and period homes.  

 

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7. London's Largest Royal Park 

Where: Richmond Upon Thames 

 

Of the eight sprawling Royal parks in London, Richmond Park is by far the largest at 2,500 acres. Close to central London, the park enjoys protected status as a National Nature Reserve and is home to rare birds, beetles, bats and wildflowers. The park is also renowned for being home to hundreds of Red and Fallow deer, which have roamed freely for decades. You also might see the iconic Douglas & Gordon stag logo around the area on some of London's most desirable properties for sale.  

 

8. A Borough that Pre-Dates the City 

Where: Southwark

 

The original Borough of Southwark was founded in 880, pre-dating the city of London. The area's rich history is tied to the Romans, who built the first bridge across the Thames from the site. Today, the busy area is home to London's best attractions, like the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.    

 

9. A Historic House 

Where: Hackney

 

Sutton House is a red brick Tudor-style building that's around 500 years old. The house has gone through many transformations throughout the years, from a seat of power for King Henry VIII to a men's institute during World War I to a squat and music venue for radicals, anarchists, and punks in the 80s. 

 

10. The Second-Highest Number of Heritage Pubs in the City

Where: Camden

 

London is home to hundreds of pubs with significant historical value. Outside of Westminster, Camden is home to the highest number of heritage pubs in the city. Camden offers everything from old-school traditional taverns to modern live music venues, with around 26 venues boasting traditional interiors, original or refurbished fixtures and rooms of national importance.  

 

11. Birthplace of Accomplished People

Where: Waltham Forest 

 

This Borough outranks all others when it comes to famous connections. Waltham Forest lists an impressive 172 notable people connected to the area, followed by Croydon, Bexley, Merton and Lewisham. Some of the names on the list of notable people from Waltham Forest include David Beckham, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, and Iron Maiden and East 17. 

 

12. The Oldest Road 

Where: Camden 

 

Hampstead is home to one of the oldest streets in London, Fleet Street, which is the fictional home of Sweeney Todd and was established in the Middle Ages. 

 

13. London's Future Hollywood

Where: Barking & Dagenham

 

One of the city's largest film studios is set to be built in Dagenham in the next few years and will strengthen the area's already successful film industry connections. Features like Black Widow, Mobius, Dr Strange and Black Mirror have already been connected to the area.

 

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Douglas and Gordon operate in Chelsea and Kensington, Clapham, Notting Hill, Pimlico and Westminster, Queen's Park and more. Speak to an expert at one of our local offices to find your ideal home.