London, United Kingdom

Places to visit

10 Downing Street

Number 10 Downing Street has been the official residence of the British Prime Minister since King George II presented it to the First Lord of the Treasury, Sir Robert Walpole, and he took up residence there on 22 September 1735. The brass sign on the door still says, "First Lord of the Treasury."

The world's most famous street, Downing Street, is named after Sir George Downing who was born in Dublin, Ireland, but spent his early days in Massachussets, New England - now the United States. He was one of the nine graduates of the first graduating class of Harvard College in 1642. A few years later he came to England and in 1657 became the British Ambassador to The Hague. In 1682, he built 15 to 20 townhouses in a cul-de-sac that is now called Downing Street.  The houses he built were cheap and poorly built. The current number 10 was actually No.5 and was renumbered in 1779.

Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister from 1940-45, wrote about Number 10: "Shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear."

The prime minister’s home is on the third floor, with offices occupying the other two floors.  Number 10 Downing Street has become a symbol of England on par with Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.  There’s not much for tourists at 10 Downing Street – it’s gated off and there are no tours.  It is an interesting photo op, and just a couple of blocks from Westminster Palace, so it wouldn’t hurt to pop over while in the neighborhood.

Closest tube station: Westminster

More Places to visit
Bank of England Museum
BBC Broadcasting House
Brick Lane
British Library
British Museum
Buckingham Palace
Charles Dickens House and Museum
Churchill War Rooms
Clarence House
Covent Garden
Emirates Air Line
Fleet Street
Florence Nightingale Museum
Globe Theater
Grant Museum of Zoology
Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾
Harry Potter: Warner Brother's Studio Tour
HMS Belfast
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Keats House
Kew Gardens
King’s Cross Station
London Eye
London Zoo
Lord's - Home of Cricket
Madam Tussauds
Millennium Bridge
National Gallery
Natural History Museum London
O2 Arena
River Thames Boat Rides
Saint James's Park
Sherlock Holmes Museum
South Kensington Museums
St Paul's Cathedral
Tate Modern
The London Dungeon
The Royal Opera House
Tower Bridge
Tower of London
Trafalgar Square
Victoria and Albert Museum
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Palace (Houses of Parliament)
What to do with kids in tow
Whitechapel Road
Windsor Castle