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Secret Sightseeing in London: Search for the Seven Noses of Soho

Updated on December 30, 2013
Noses of Soho
Noses of Soho

The search for seven noses of Soho is as intriguing as the title sounds. Set up in 1996-97 by artist Rick Buckley, these sporadic noses are scattered across the narrow alleys of Soho, better known as the LGBT hub of London. These seven noses are actually seven sculpted noses on Soho buildings. Most of them are Plaster of Paris (POP) reproductions of an artist’s nose. Initially, around 35 noses were attached to iconic London buildings like the National Gallery and the Tate Britain. Now, only 10 of them are believed to be surviving and seven of them are in Soho itself (except for the Pancras Station one).

However, no one has been able to find all the seven noses of Soho as some of the locations were not publicised at that time. In fact, there is the myth that if someone finds all the seven noses, he/she will be showered with unending bounty of happiness and prosperity. If you have plans to go on a pursuit of intrigue and extraordinariness, visit London. Additionally, make sure that you book a hotel in Soho London so that you remain as close to this alluring hunt as possible. Who knows, you might be the first one to smell all the seven noses and acquire fortuitous wealth?

Nose at Admiralty Arch
Nose at Admiralty Arch

The First Nose-Admiralty Arch

This is the first stop for you while you are on a trail for seven noses. Admiralty arch is one of the best-known historic buildings of London. One of the most alluring attractions of this building is the quintuple arched ceremonial gateway (i.e. five arches that served as a gateway in the past). Though the Arch was designed to provide a ceremonial passage from the Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace, the central Arch passage is reserved for State occasions only.

The nose at the Admiralty Arch is located on the inside wall of the northernmost arch. A slight protrusion, almost the shape and size of a human nose, this nose was designed by Rick Buckley. This protrusion is at the height of seven feet from the ground level.

Great Windmill Street Nose
Great Windmill Street Nose

The Second Nose – Windmill Street

Great Windmill Street is the second place where you can hope to find one of the seven elusive noses. The street runs from north to south in Soho and is a popular place to hangout. Some of the major attractions of London like Piccadilly Circus and the West End are just minutes away from this street.

Searching for the nose is an arduous task here. You will find lot of protruding bumps in the wall here. However, one enlarged bump on the wall of the former Windmill Theatre is considered as one of the seven noses. This unusual distension is in the shape of an elongated nose. The appearance, though, is vague and very faintly resembles a nose in structure. You can visit the Windmill Street and see for yourself whether it is a nose or not.

Nose at the Meard Street
Nose at the Meard Street

The Third Nose – Meard Street

You will find one of the most easily recognisable noses of your pursuit at the Meard Street. Named after John Meard, (carpenter and esquire who developed this street), the Meard Street is between Wardour Street to the West and Dean Street to the East. The road is in two sections with a bend in the middle.

As far as the nose of this street is concerned, it is reasonably large and flesh coloured. The location of the nose is high above on the street wall, though. Unless you are in the hunt for seven noses, you might even skip this protruding structure.

Bateman Street Nose
Bateman Street Nose

Trivia about Soho Noses

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The Fourth Nose – Bateman Street

The fourth nose awaits you in the Bateman Street. Closest to Soho (only a minute’s walk), this street is surrounded by a plethora of bars, restaurants and attractions.

You will have to amplify the attention level when you reach this place, as the nose here is of same colour as the walls of the street themselves. At the second section of the street, is the Dog and Duck Pub. Just few steps away from this bar, will you find a small projection in the form of a human nose and there is your fourth nose!

Dean Street Nose
Dean Street Nose

The Fifth Nose – Dean Street

Running between Oxford Street to the North and Shaftesbury Avenue to the South, Dean Street is your next destination for the “great nose-hunting” search. It is literally surrounded by some of the busiest lanes of the London city.

The nose at this street is located on the walls of Leonis Quo Vadis, a delightful dining room in Soho. This perfectly sculpted structure is one of the noses, which is in a good condition.

The Sixth Nose – D’arbly Street

Rumours have it that D’arbly Street is home to the sixth nose. The truth, however, is something else. You will find a skull hanging at the walls of Sir Tom Baker, one of the best tailoring shops in London. But, if you are looking for a nose, then it will be disappointing as there are no remarkable nose-shaped structures here. You can, for your own satisfaction, add the pinched nose of the skull to your list to make it six!

Nose at St Pancras Station
Nose at St Pancras Station

The Seventh Nose - St Pancras Station

The search for the seven noses formally ends at the St Pancras Station. This Grade I listed building boasts a Victorian architecture and is one of the most aesthetically designed railway stations in London. The railway station is a tourist attraction in itself with flattering architecture, facilities of a restaurant and one of the biggest champagne bars in London.

The nose at this building is a small cream coloured structure with the pink walls adding to the background. Though not as popular as other noses of Soho, this nose is still worth a visit for you to add on to your nosy list!

The hunt for the seven noses of Soho would be one of the most captivating and exhilarating experience for you. Keep the “nose-hunting” on the top of your itinerary and plunge into this enchanting chase.

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    • profile image

      Earl and Martine 

      4 years ago

      You might also like to try Endell street to find the seventh nose as myself and my good lady did last week. Found all seven had a few turns of fortune that I like to put down to the noses too :)

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thx innerspin for the comment. Many noses have disappeared or rather they have been deteriorated with the onslaught of time. Hope these noses remain intact1

    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 

      5 years ago from uk

      What a shame so many noses have disappeared. I wonder if they crumbled or were stolen. Really interesting to read this, thanks!

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Flourishanyway, do not feel disappointed as they are missed by a large number of tourists. Actually, these hubs were set up by Rick Buckley as a form of protest against government who had decided to install CCTVs throughout London. I am glad that you liked it and I do hope that you will visit London soon to scour out these noses!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 years ago from USA

      Very unusual artsy idea -- noses on walls. Who would think to do that? I've been to London but never heard of this. The noses might have been staring me right in the face and I did not know what they were all about. What a neat hub! Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thx Kriya for your support

    • profile image

      Kriya 

      5 years ago

      Amazing work ameliam, your hub was simply enthralling on this topic, would love to visit london and search these noses

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thx for appreciating the hub and reading my work Mylie, these seven noses are indeed very enigmatic. Hope you will enjoy my hubs in the future too and have a beautiful time in India.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thx a lot Iammattdoran, I did not know that Manchester had such eerie structures like these noses. Would love to visit them. Once again thanks for enjoying this hub.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Many people visiting London often miss these noses as they are quite hard to find. Do make sure that you see these noses the next time you are in London.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Big Brains, Do visit these seven noses, they are worth travelling!

    • profile image

      Mylie 

      5 years ago

      Sharing the same sentiments, m from london, travelling india right now, and must tell you these seven noses are one of the best kept secrets of London, must admit, the best article ever on seven noses, i haave found only four till now, amazing work ameliam, keep it up, i have been following your hubs and you really are coming up with some great ideas, keep up the tempo

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 

      5 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Nice Hub, Ameliammichelle1. I'd not heard of this either but it reminds me of something from my home City, Manchester, where there are several small mosaic space invaders hidden all over the city that an underground artist left years ago. I love stuff like this. thanks for sharing

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 

      5 years ago

      I had never heard of the seven noses of Soho. I sure would like to see them the next time I visit there. Interesting.

    • BigBrains profile image

      Paul Goodman 

      5 years ago from Florida, USA

      Fascinating article, I will have to look when I next visit Soho/London!

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