Discover - London’s musical heritage
Explore London’s rich musical heritage and discover buzzing live venues, popular record stores and famous musical houses. The capital is brimming with music history, from venues that have staged legendary names, to past homes of luminaries. Look for blue plaques hanging on walls and street corners, with many dedicated to some of the world’s greatest musicians. There are plaques dedicated to John Lennon and George Harrison at 94 Baker Street, and one for Keith Moon on the site of the legendary Marquee Club at 90 Wardour Street in Soho.
Walk the streets of Soho and experience where some of the most famous bands and artists in the world have performed. Check out Ronnie Scott’s iconic jazz club, request tunes at Studio 88 or try Borderline for live blues, rock and indie. Stroll down legendary Denmark Street, once known as Tin Pan Alley, which houses London’s best collection of musical instrument shops. A few blocks away, you’ll find Berwick Street, the location for the cover of the (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? album by Oasis. It’s now home to top independent record stores.
Oxford Street and Covent Garden
One of the city’s best- known music venues, the 100 Club, has hosted the Sex Pistols, Oasis and The Clash. Just around the corner Handel & Hendrix in London was once home to George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix. Explore Hendrix’s home, restored to the state it was in when he lived there in 1969, and walk through Handel’s rehearsal and performance rooms. A tour of London’s musical heritage wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House.
Chelsea and Kensington
This area is full of iconic spots that marked the history of one of the world’s greatest bands, The Rolling Stones. Start on King’s Road, one of their hangouts, then stroll towards the river and along Cheyne Walk: at number 48 you’ll find Mick Jagger’s former home. Drop by the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted performances by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen and more. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at The Stones bassist Bill Wyman’s American diner Sticky Fingers, near High Street Kensington.
Head to St John’s Wood to re-enact The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover at the world’s most famous zebra crossing. Fans should head to Baker Street and browse the London Beatles Store for memorabilia. Explore Camden Town with its vibrant music venues: visit The Jazz Cafe, The Underworld and the Roundhouse, where Pink Floyd and The Doors performed. The Dublin Castle has seen Travis, Blur and the Arctic Monkeys pass through its doors, while KOKO London hosted Madonna’s first-ever UK performance. Camden was also where Amy Winehouse called home: find her statue in the Stables Market.
Discover grime, a London-born music genre, in the area where it first took form: the East End. With roots in Jamaican reggae and influences from rap, garage and hip-hop, grime music is fast, disruptive and raw. Former pirate radio station Rinse FM was one of the first to give voice to artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Skepta and Wiley. You can find it at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, a few steps away from one of London’s most famous record stores, Rough Trade East. If you want to listen to some top grime music, we recommend visiting venues like Visions Video Bar and Oslo in Hackney.
Explore the birthplace of David Bowie in Brixton: a mural on Tunstall Road marks his incredible legacy, and became a makeshift shrine after he died. Visit the independent cinema Olympic Studios in Barnes, which once housed a recording studio and welcomed the likes of Led Zeppelin, Prince and Duran Duran.