St Ermin's Hotel

The St. Ermin's hotel is a converted grade-II listed Victorian mansion block and legendary landmark in British spy history in the city of Westminster.

Located strategically close to the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, the St. Ermin's Hotel is the only building that can be accessed by the general public closely associated with the history of British espionage. It was rumoured that a tunnel ran underneath the hotel connecting it directly with the Houses of Westminster.


Curious Fact: a collection of items used by spies during WWII can be found in the hotel lobby.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in London
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence for HM Queen Elizabeth II and it's one of London’s most popular attractions.
Westminster Abbey
One of London's oldest and most magnificent churches, with a long-standing connection to the royal family.
Changing of The King's Guard
The Changing of The King's Guard is one of London's most popular tourist attractions it takes place in front of Buckingham Palace at 10:45 am and it lasts about 45 minutes.
St James's Park
A green oasis in royal London that is host to numerous ceremonies - and has a lake complete with pelicans.
Churchill War Rooms
A fascinating underground museum preserving the bunker from which Churchill's government directed the war effort.
Caxton Bar
The Caxton Bar in the St. Ermine's Hotel has been the stage for some of the most significant acts of espionage to take place in London over the last 100 years. Also frequented by Ian Fleming who wrote Bond books while drinking here.

Related Tours

City of Spies: Espionage in London & Churchill War Rooms Private Tour
This exciting City of Spies private tour has been created exclusively to take you on a fascinating journey through London's espionage history during the Cold War, the origins of MI5 and MI6, and to learn about Churchill's role in bringing down the Nazi regime. 

On your private city of spies tour of London, you will: 

  • Learn London's rich history of espionage at St Ermin's Hotel, where Winston Churchill's meeting known as 'Setting Europe Ablaze’ occurred in 1940, and walk past the Caxton bar located inside this famous spy hotel used by intelligence service officials to meet up;
  • Discover the stories of double agents known as the Cambridge Five: Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, John Cairncross, and Sir Anthony Blunt;
  • Hear the plots to overthrow the government at some of the most powerful institutions in Westminster, including Downing StreetWhitehall, and Westminster Palace;
  • Learn about the extraordinary life of Sir Mansfield Cumming, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) first director, known as MI6; 
  • Explore the Churchill War Rooms with your private guide and get up close to the Cabinet Room;
  • See the Map Room, the beating heart of the war rooms;
  • And discover the Telephone Room that allowed direct communication between the US and the UK government.

Your tour guide will take you on a journey through the streets of London to uncover the main characters and buildings that shaped the history of the world while telling you stories that seem more like Le Carré novels than real life. 

After your walking tour, you will visit the Churchill War Rooms, located below the streets of Westminster. An underground network of bunkers that functioned as British wartime offices, planning, and map rooms.

It was here that much of Allied intelligence and strategy was discussed and planned in WWII, as well as serving as a place of refuge and shelter for the government during the blitz. Your guide will give a detailed and fascinating tour of this place that has been left exactly as it was since 1944. 
City of Spies: Discover London's Espionage History Private Tour

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s largest centres of international trade, finance, geopolitics, and espionage history. Journey through London's role in the Cold War, the origins of MI5, MI6 and Churchill's role in WWII bringing down the Nazi regime.

On your private City of Spies tour, you will:

  • Experience the worlds of fiction and reality, uncovering hidden places, bunkers, and luxury hotels.
  • Hear stories of double agents and plots to overthrow the government at some of the most powerful institutions in Westminster, including Downing Street, Whitehall, and Westminster Palace.
  • Follow in the footsteps of the key double agents in the Cold War, such as Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and Guy Burgess - and ask if there was an unidentified "Fifth Man".
  • Learn about the extraordinary life of Sir Mansfield Cumming, the first director of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6.
  • Finish your tour with a drink included at the Caxton Bar where, during WWII, MI5, SIS and Naval Intelligence Division officers such as 007 author Ian Fleming himself met their agents.


In this unique experience, you will walk by and learn about many of the protagonist buildings and sites where these world-changing events have taken place.

Your guide will mesmerise you with stories that seem more like Le Carré novels than real life. Of course, these stories are not confined to the Second World War and Cold War History, as foreign operatives in London continue to make splashes across global headlines.

Venture out onto the streets of Westminster and discover the area's colourful history of espionage, dirty politics and death. The toppling of regimes, battle against ideology and revolution have all been orchestrated and exercised along these streets. Revisit the setting of infamous covert operations, traitorous meetings involving double agents and murder plots.

Along your walking tour, you will retrace the steps of Britain's most famous spies, enjoy the remarkable tales that later inspired Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, and hear of the extraordinary success of the Cambridge Spy ring.

Come and enjoy this unique experience, but please be discreet, the information given on this tour is classified...


Build Your Own 7-hour Private London Tour in a Black Cab
At Black Cab Heritage Tours, we have a wide range of private tours and day trips from London, but our priority is to make sure you have a memorable experience, and that every detail of your tour is taken care of.

This “Build Your Own Tour” will allow you to work with one of our staff members to create the perfect customised tour according to your requests.

These tours have been designed to be delivered within the city of London. If you want to do a day trip out of town or to a different area, please reach out directly so we can reconfirm the duration and the itinerary for the day.
We look forward to welcoming you to London soon!

Please note
  • No entrance fees are included
  • Guides are not allowed to guide inside certain venues
  • Hotel Pick-Up & Drop-Off  is only included from Central London
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