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Top 5: Fake London Landmarks

Where to find some of the most unusual (and fake!) London landmarks

Looking for something unusual to do with the family in London this weekend? We reckon you can have some real fun with our offbeat guide to these fake London landmarks 

The Fake Fancy Houses

Image © Instagram via @gronnff

Two of London’s oddest buildings can be found at 23-24 Leinster Gardens. At first glance they  seem perfectly normal, before a closer look reveals one of London’s best-kept secrets. The neoclassical facades you see from the road were built in the 1860s to hide an open-air section of the Underground where locomotives would vent off steam. Bayswater being a posh area, the railway did their best to hide the offending jets of filthy steam. The result is this charming oddity - now even more useless since the invention of electricity. 

These Fake Fancy Houses are found at 23-24 Leinster Gardens, W2 3BH 


The Fake Front Door

Image © ianvisits.co.uk

You can’t stroll up to 10 Downing Street, for obvious reasons, but if you really want a selfie outside the Prime Minister’s humble abode, pop over to 10 Adam Street. Located just off The Strand, its front door is a dead ringer for that famous London landmark. Both doors are from the same period: the one in Downing Street was put in during renovations (all above board this time) between 1766 and 1772, while work on the Adelphi complex on Adam Street began in 1768, so it’s hard to tell which came first. 

The Fake Front Door can be found at 10 Adam Street, WC2N 6AA 


The Fake House of a fictional detective

Image © Facebook via @thesherlockholmesmuseum

A visit to the real 221B Baker Street might end up more challenging than you thought. The obvious first stop is the Sherlock Holmes Museum but, although Westminster Council gave permission to use 221B Baker Street as their address, the building is actually located between numbers 237 and 241 (though the museum is still a great place to take the family during the holidays). If you’re still looking for Sherlock’s home head over to the corner of North Gower Street and Tolmer’s Square where the BBC Sherlock was based. 

The Fake House of a fictional detective can’t actually be found… but the Sherlock Holmes Museum is located at 221b Baker St, NW1 6XE 


The Fake Roman Bathhouse 

Image © nationaltrust.org.uk/features/strand-lane-roman-baths

The Roman Baths on Strand Lane are unusual London landmarks with a less-than-honest history; not in the least because they aren't at all Roman. Built in the early 17th century, the Baths were part of a fountain in the garden of Somerset House. In the 1830s, while under ownership of the business-savvy Mr Charles Scott, the baths were suddenly marketed as Old Roman Spring Baths. His business had soon firmly established itself as a relic from the Roman days. While bathing is no longer an option, you can still peer down at this marvel of false advertising through a window on Surrey Street. 

The Fake Roman Baths are located at 5 Strand Lane, WC2R 2NA 


The Fake Head

Image © Twitter via @ucl

The head of philosopher Jeremy Bentham can be seen at UCL, where his preserved skeleton sits in a wooden cabinet, padded out with hay and costume. While most of this unusual London spectacle is completely real, the head is a wax replica; the experimental mummification process used to preserve the real head made it look nightmarish. The wax head is kitted out with some of Bentham’s real hair, however, so we can’t discredit it entirely. The real head is now safely stored away, having been stolen in one too many student pranks. 

The Fake Head can be found at University College London’s Student Centre, 27-28 Gordon Square, WC1H 0AW 


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