If you’re heading to London for the first time it is best to stay somewhere central, not only does this help you to travel around to local attractions but it also means you’re never too far from a great bar or restaurant. There are lots of hotels near Piccadilly Circus that are popular for tourists, such as The Piccadilly Hotel London, and it’s great place to stay if you want somewhere that allows you to immerse yourself in London’s history and culture. London has a vast and fascinating history and many of its key events have made the city what it is today. We’ve gathered together some of the important dates and events that have shaped London and made it the vibrant, modern and thriving destination it is today.


Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot

5th November 1605

The 5th November 1605 marks the night a group of English Catholic men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Guy Fawkes, now a household name in the UK, was part of this group. The plan centred around exploding large barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords in order to kill King James I. However, authorities were alerted of the plan before anything happened and Fawkes, who was guarding a large amount of gunpowder, was arrested and later executed.

The Gunpowder Plot was such an influential date in London’s history that it is still celebrated on the 5th of November every year. It is referred to as Guy Fawkes Night, Fireworks Night or Bonfire Night.

The Great Fire of London

2nd September 1666

The Great Fire of London is one of the most famous events in London’s history and it is still taught in schools today. On the night of 2nd September 1666 a fire swept through the city, damaging warehouses and completely destroying St. Paul’s Cathedral, Guildhall and The Royal Exchange, as well as over 13,000 houses and parish churches. This extreme level of destruction meant a lot of the city had to be rebuilt, deaths occurred and many people suffered financial losses.

As a result of The Great Fire of London, the first fire brigades were created to avoid such an event happening again. Before this, there were no fire brigades in the city at all.

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

2nd June 1953

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most important dates in the British Royal Family’s recent history and the event was watched by millions of people on television around the world, as well as thousands of fans and well-wishers gathered outside. Queen Elizabeth II was coroneted on 2nd June 1953 after the death of her father. She has since gone on to become the longest reigning monarch in British history.

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