Your Guide to London Covent Garden
Where is Covent Garden?
Come to Covent Garden and marvel at the street entertainers in Covent Garden Market! When you stay in Covent Garden you’ll have a bit of everything; plenty of fantastic shops, the Royal Opera House, Donmar Warehouse, London Transport Museum and a brilliantly bubbling atmosphere! This theatrical area is located in the borough of Westminster and is inside the congestion charging zone. There are so many benefits of staying in Covent Garden, including the number of things to see and do, and also the fact that it is surrounded by other famous districts that include Soho, Fitzrovia, Holborn and Bloomsbury. As well as all this, Covent Garden also sits in tube zone 1 with Covent Garden acting as the main tube station for the area, providing a swift route around the capital. With so much on offer, Covent Garden truly is one of the most exciting places to stay in London!
History of Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s history is as long as it is fascinating, stemming right back to Roman times as found in recent archaeological digs. The area was given the name Convent Garden in the 13th Century, due to its link with Convent of St Peter, and was used mainly to provide fruit and vegetables to all parts of London. Covent Garden was redeveloped and renamed in the early 17th Century by the 4th Earl of Bedford and was designed by Inigo Jones. The piazza was the main focal point of the district then, as it is today. St Paul’s Church stood to the Western Centre of the piazza and the famous market was housed slap bang in the middle.
As well as the market trade, Covent Garden has also always been synonymous with the theatre. Since the late 17th Century the theatre has played a prominent role in the popularity and development of the area, and still continues to do so today. As well as the theatre, opera and ballet have been mainstays of the area, both historically and in the modern day. The Royal Opera House was opened in the 19th Century and still continues to delight. Similarly, the English National Opera can also be traced back to the turn of the 20th Century and continues to be a popular attraction today. All in all, the history of Covent Garden has shaped not only its present but most likely its future too, and it really is one place in London you can’t afford to miss!
The Positives of Covent Garden
There are so many positive things about Covent Garden, all of which are just waiting for you to discover for yourself! The district is most famous for its market, shopping and entertainment, and you’ll always find yourself with something to do. In the evening you could head for the Royal Opera House or English National Opera, and in the daytime indulge your retail habits in the many shops in the area. Another great thing about the area are the street performers, who you’ll find entertaining the crowds on the West Piazza and in Covent Garden Market. The market itself is one of the great features of the area, and is somewhere you will definitely want to visit. Not only is there plenty to do and see in Covent Garden itself, you’ll be surrounded by Theatreland and you’ll also be conveniently close to the rest of the West End, including the bright lights of Leicester Square.
Need to Know Covent Garden
The positive aspects of Covent Garden far outweigh any negatives, but there are a few things you should know about. As the district is renowned for its many shops, a large number of designer stores have come into the area, meaning prices can be at a premium. However, this does guarantee that you’ll find the latest trends and fashions, and in contrast to the designer outlets there are plenty of unique and affordable shops and boutiques located all over Covent Garden. There is a lot of road traffic in the area, but not as much as some Central London districts. To be honest though, it’s a bit pointless driving around Covent Garden when you can walk, or hop on the tube, to numerous attractions and other London districts. The area is one of the most popular places in London and if you’re expecting a quiet, crowd free environment this is not the place to be. After all, it is the crowds and the hustle and bustle that truly make the area what it is; lively and entertaining!