Filled with delightful restaurants, quaint art galleries, eccentric street performances and just the right combination of high street and one-off boutiques, Covent Garden is a buzzing tourist haven which has nonetheless maintained a distinctly charming character.
The area has its roots in the early 17th century where the land it now stands was redeveloped to house the arcaded piazza as its centrepiece. Today, this tourist-thronged plaza, the former site of the famous flower, fruit and vegetable market, stands proudly at its heart. One of London’s most popular spots for shopping, dining and entertainment, it is also the only part of London now licensed for street entertainment, attracting throngs of curious spectators daily.
Away from the busy hustle and bustle of this central hub are an array of picturesque streets and squares - the gas-lit Goodwin’s Court contains historic 17th century housing; Brydges Place boasts one of London’s smallest alleyways; and the quaint little square of Neal’s Yard offers a host of specialist wholefood cafes, alternative therapy rooms and herbalists.
Despite its constant buzz, Covent Garden remains relatively traffic-free and easy to navigate. Surrounded by the bright lights of ‘Theatreland’, it lays claim to the famous Royal Opera House and historic St. Paul’s Church, as well as being just a short rickshaw-ride away from the neon and buzz of Leicester Square.
Despite an obvious amount of tourist-orientated eateries, a number of quality restaurants can also be found hidden away from the central Piazza such as the elegant Christopher’s and one of London’s oldest British restaurants, Rules.
Unsurprisingly, property is in constant demand, sought-after by anyone who wants to live in the thriving hub of the capital. Some of the most desirable residential pockets include Ching Court, just off Shelton Street and the flats opposite Pheonix Garden.
The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Leicester Square.