A blue plaque celebrates Dickens in London. Photo by WallyG
Blue plate specials
Since 1867, London has placed blue plaques on many of its most historic homes and buildings. Today, there are hundreds of little blue signs all over London. You can make full day trips just touring one neighborhood, like Bloomsbury, trying to locate all the plaques.
According to English Heritage, which sustains the signs and decides which buildings will get the plaque treatment, they serve to ”celebrate great figures and the buildings they inhabited.”
Who’s who in blue
Perhaps the city’s most famous (and photographed) plaques are those for the writers and scientists who made their mark on London. Virginia Woolf’s can be found in Bloomsbury while George Orwell’s blue ‘do resides near Hamstead Heath. J.M. Barrie is just off Kensington Gardens.
Other notables include William Pitt the Younger, Nancy Astor (the first woman to ever sit in Parliament), Evelyn Waugh, H.G. Wells, and Samuel Pepys, to name but a few. You can see the full list of plaques here.
May we suggest a blue plate walking tour? Here’s one option to get you hoofing. Or, create your own. Best of all, all field trips are free!