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Covent Garden, London

Covent Garden is a large area located between St Martin's Lane and Drury Lane on the eastern edge of London’s West End. The main street of Long Acre divides the neighbourhood into the northern and southern sections. The heart of Covent Garden is the Covent Garden Piazza, a pedestrian only cobblestone square surrounded by centuries old buildings.

Closely packed buildings and narrow streets characterises this London neighbourhood. Covent Garden has a festive and colourful atmosphere that attracts Londoners as well as visitors especially during the weekends. For many, it’s another popular London destination for shopping, food and entertainment that include the varieties of street performances. The neighbourhood also offers its culture and history that includes the famous London Transport Museum.

Street performers at Covent Garden by Wtheelen

Covent Garden Piazza Area

A good starting point for visitors is the Covent Garden Piazza, which is a short walk from Covent Garden Station. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and enjoy the free street performance at the square. Then step inside into the Market Building where the Apple Market and East Colonnade Market are located. Here you’ll find shops and stalls filled with varieties of items including clothes, handbags, leather goods, jewellery, artwork, crafts, antiques, confectionery and the occasional curios. Another is the Jubilee Market selling arts and crafts on Saturday-Sunday, antiques on Mondays and a general market on Tuesday-Friday. For more shopping, head to Neal Street, Floral Street, Earlham Street and Long Acre.

Covent Garden Piazza by David Hawgood

Theatres

Covent Garden is home to 13 theatres presenting shows ranging from opera, modern theatrical performances to rock concerts. The Royal Opera House is a major arts venue in London and famous for internationally acclaimed shows performed by The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. Another theatre is the New London Theatre, which opened in 1973 and a venue for contemporary performance that include major plays and musicals.

Royal Opera House by Nolde16

Museums

The London Transport Museum near the Covent Garden Piazza explores the history of public transportation in London with exhibits that include the iconic red double-decker bus and the first underground steam train. The Benjamin Franklin House at Craven Street charts the life of one of the founding fathers of the United States, who once lived here during the middle of the 18th century. The London Film Museum is an interesting museum dedicated to the British film industry.

London Transport Museum by SolGrundy

Food Scene

There are plenty or cafes and restaurants especially in the area around the Covent Garden Market Piazza. Many of the cafes and restaurants have been here for generations including the Rules (1798) and the J. Sheekey oyster bar and fish restaurant (1893). Mon Plaisir is one of the oldest French restaurants in London (1943) and Gaby's Deli is one of the earliest Jewish establishments (1965) in Covent Garden. For theatregoers, many of the establishments open late into the evening after the performances.

Visiting Covent Garden

Take the London Underground train on the Piccadilly Line and get off at Covent Garden Station, which is located in the centre of Covent Garden. After exiting the station, turn right (southward) towards Covent Garden Piazza or left (northward) towards the main shopping areas of Long Acre, Neal Street and Seven Dials. Another station is Leicester Square (Underground) Station serving the Piccadilly and Northern Lines and about 300 metres (330 yards) from Covent Garden Station.

Covent Garden on the Map

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