Ever Seen London's Fake 10 Downing Street?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 22 months ago

Last Updated 07 July 2022

Ever Seen London's Fake 10 Downing Street?

You recognise this door, right?

Of course you do. It's 10 Downing Street, home to the prime minster, regularly appearing on the news as ministers, foreign diplomats and campaigners come and go.

Except it's not. This is 10 Downing Street:

Photo: Darrell Godliman

The door in the top photo is an imposter. You'll find it at 10 Adam Street, about 800 metres away, just off Strand. Its similarities to its more famous counterpart have made it a bit of a hotspot for tourists taking photos.

Time for a little game of spot the difference:

Left image (Downing Street): Darrell Godliman. Right image (Adam Street): Londonist

There are obvious differences between the doors once you see them side by side; the bog-standard gold knocker on Adam Street pales in comparison to the regal lion knocker at Downing Street. The font on the numbers is also different; note the slanted zero on Downing Street, adding a touch of je ne sais quoi (whoever was responsible for blinging up the PM's portal clearly didn't buy their numbers from the bargain bin at B&Q).

The sharp-eyed among you will have spotted another dead giveaway; the real Downing Street doesn't have a lock, as there's always someone around to open it (it's also made of reinforced steel, for security purposes). Whoever lives or works behind the Adam Street door wasn't in when we dropped by, and obviously doesn't have a large enough complement of staff to employ a full time door opener.

We could go on; the elaborate lantern arch over Downing Street, the unsightly bollard outside Adam Street... but that's not stopping those Instagrammers. It may seem like Adam Street is a copycat attempt, but the buildings are contemporaries, built around the same time in the late 18th century, according to Look Up London.

If that's not enough Downing Street for you, one of our team also spotted this mock 10 Downing Street back in 2015. It was erected at Elstree Studios for filming of The Crown:

Photo: Matt Brown

See also: 10 secrets of 10 Downing Street