Winston Churchill is a well-known historical and political figure, beloved in England, as well as around the world. While he passed in 1965, his legacy still lives on and there’s no better place to capture his spirit than in London. The 9th April marks National Winston Churchill Day, the day that John F. Kennedy declared that Churchill would be an “honorary citizen of the US,” cementing his spot as a true global icon.
Whether you’re an admirer of the former Prime Minister, a keen history enthusiast or are simply hoping to see some legendary landmarks in British history, we’re recognising this icon’s special day by highlighting where to head in London to learn more about the life and legacy of Winston Churchill.
Begin your journey through Churchill’s life at the place where it all began, Blenheim Palace. Known as one of England’s largest country houses and filled with stunning art and Baroque architecture, its beauty and historical significance will leave you in awe. Churchill was born here on November 30, 1874 .
Although Churchill never lived here he visited often growing up, and it was an important place for him throughout his life. He spent much time here writing, painting and thinking. He loved it so much that this was where he asked his wife Clementine Hozier, to marry him.
Some can’t-miss sights during your visit? An exhibit featuring some preserved objects from his childhood, the garden where he proposed and the statues of him located around this destination’s vast grounds. Here, you’ll truly uncover a bit about Winston Churchill’s legacy.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”Winston Churchill
St. Margaret’s Church
Follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill at another iconic location in London, St. Margaret’s Church, known locally as the “church on parliament square.” Located next to the famous Westminster Abbey, this UNESCO World Heritage site is where Churchill and his love tied the knot in 1908.
Throughout his life, he would revisit this place frequently, as important events in Parliament were also held here. At the end of World War II, Churchill even brought the members of the House of Commons here for a special service.
Later, other members of his family, such as his daughter, would be married here as well.
The Churchill War Rooms
There is truly no better place to dive into history and get a glimpse of Churchill’s extraordinary life than at the Churchill War Rooms, a location loved by locals and travelers alike. This incredible destination is home to several underground dwellings below the Treasury where Churchill and his war cabinet planned, managed and dealt with the horror and complications of WWII from 1939 to 1945.
While it was built out of fear of air raids, this complex maze of rooms was where switchboard operators, typists and other staff spent their time. Here, you can see the famous Map Room and Transatlantic Call Room, the spots of critical strategizing and important phone calls.
During your visit, you can enjoy the large and beloved museum that was created here as well as visit the famous rooms and see some artifacts that were left behind. He is arguably most known for his involvement in WWII, making this the perfect place to get a special look inside the legacy of Winston Churchill and uncover some of his most tumultuous, yet important times.
GET INSPIRED BY: London Explorer
The Houses of Parliament
Serving as the Prime Minister for two terms from 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955 and as a member of parliament for over 50 years, the Houses of Parliament were like a second home for this very busy politician. Located in the Palace of Westminster and across from St. Margaret’s Church, this destination is one of the United Kingdom’s most famous government buildings and you may recognize it as the home of Big Ben.
The most important location here in Winston Churchill’s life is The Victorian House of Commons as it is where he spent a great deal of his time during his political career. Tragically, it was burned down and destroyed after an air raid during WWII. However, it was rebuilt and deemed “Churchill’s Arch,” in honor of him.
In fact, The Houses of Parliament were so important to Churchill that his body was even brought here for a public viewing that pulled in thousands of heartbroken admirers before he was eventually taken to the spot of his actual funeral. As a current operating location of government, the public is only free to visit on certain days. However, upon your visit, there are so many amazing sights to see, including his special statue near Churchill’s Arch, his memorial plaque in Westminster Hall and his iconic and recognizable statue in Parliament Square.
RELATED CONTENT: 8 Unusual Things to do in England
Interested in learning more about the illustrious Churchill? We’ve only highlighted a few landmarks in London, but there are so many more to uncover. From his former homes, to favorite hotels, eateries, art displays, museums and statues, have a look around on your journey through London and you might spot a few surprises that truly bring the legacy of Winston Churchill to life.
Have you visited any of Churchill’s legendary landmarks in London? Let us know in the comments below…