Come and have a nosey around some famous homes. As well as admiring the architecture and ogling the interiors, it’s a great way to get to know more about history’s important figures.
Following his victory over Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington lived here at the rather grand address of ‘Number One London’. Its real name is Apsley House and it’s home to one of the finest art collections in London including paintings by Velazquez and Rubens. There’s also an unrivalled collection of porcelain, silver and Wellington memorabilia as well as a massive nude statue of Napoleon.
Benjamin Franklin House
For nearly 16 years, Dr Benjamin Franklin, the great scientist, inventor, writer, diplomat and US Founding Father, lived here at this central London house. Built in about 1730, the house is the only surviving home of Dr Franklin and today is a dynamic museum with audio visual storytelling and live performance.
Dr Johnson’s House
This charming 300-year-old townhouse, nestled among a maze of courtyards and alleys in the City of London, was the home of the great Dr Samuel Johnson. The writer lived and worked here in the 18th century, compiling the first Dictionary of the English Language. It’s a tranquil spot complete with research library, restored interiors and original features and gives a good insight into Johnson’s working life.
This picturesque historic house in Hampstead was the final home of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, who came here with his family in 1938 after fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna. The study has been preserved as it was during his lifetime - you can even see his original psychoanalytic couch. There is also Freud’s vast collection of more than 2,000 Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Oriental antiquities that cover almost every surface.
If you fancy going further afield, Down House in Orpington, Kent is the fascinating home of Charles Darwin. Just 30 minutes from London by train, the house is a must-see for anyone with an interest in science and evolution. See the study where Darwin wrote ‘On the Origin of Species’, still as it was when he worked here, and stroll through the extensive gardens that inspired him.