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16 Incredible Vintage Photos of London

By Diana Smith and Sarah Purkrabek

Jul 9, 2015

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Known for intelligent-sounding accents, an adorable royal family (we’re looking at you, George and Charlotte), fish and chips, Harry Potter, and a culture that’s stood the test of time, London is a rightfully proud city. It goes without saying that it’s cool to be British. The only thing cooler? The nostalgia of 20th-century London. Here, 20 vintage London photos that capture those special moments from the past.

Header photo of the remodeled Parliament Square, mid 1950s, courtesy Leonard Bentley/FlickrAll other photos also from Flickr courtesy Leonard Bentley unless otherwise noted.

Vintage photo of London: Kew GardensTea and hats in the garden. Kew Gardens Pavilion, circa 1929. Photo courtesy James Morley/Flickr.

Vintage photo of London: Trafalgar Square

Feeding the birds in Trafalgar Square, circa 1950.

Vintage photo of London: River ThamesWorking hard or hardly working in the River Thames near Lambeth Bridge, circa 1930.

Vintage photo of London: Police constable“Step lively!” A London police constable directs traffic in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, circa late 1960s.

Vintage photo of London: London Six cycle race Ride on! The 1967 London Six, a six-day cycle race at Earl’s Court. Photo courtesy Brian Townsley/Flickr.

Vintage photo of London: Officers of Marlborough Rd Before the Beatles, there were the officers of Marlborough Road. Photo circa 1935.

Vintage photo of London: St. Thomas Hospital patientsSome fresh air for tuberculosis patients at St. Thomas’ Hospital, circa 1935.

Vintage photo of London: Woman flirting with policemanThe art of flirting. June 1929, Charing Cross Post Office.

Vintage photo of London: Ludgate Circus Ludgate Circus, circa 1928. Notice the police constable operating the traffic lights.

Vintage photo of London: Trams on Westminster Bridge Trams on Westminster Bridge and St. Thomas’ Hospital in the background, circa 1950.

Vintage photo of London: Hyde ParkInto Hyde Park on horseback, circa mid 1950s.

Vintage photo of London: Tower BridgeBoat tour on the Thames, 1938, and Tower Bridge looking good in black and white. Photo courtesy Richard/Flickr.

Vintage photo of London: Trafalgar Square lionsTrafalgar Square, 1950. The lion’s front paws were removed for repair after being damaged in 1941 by a bomb.

Vintage photo of London: Tulse Hill Hotel and tram“All aboard!”—horse-drawn tram and the Tulse Hill Hotel.

Vintage photo of London: Parliament SquareParliament Square circa 1926. So much space to walk around!

For more vintage photo swoon see 13 Stunning Vintage Photos of Paris and 15 Gorgeous Old Photos of Archaeological Sites

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