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Soho, London

Soho is a small area of Central London located in the West End bordered by Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Charing Cross Road and Regent Street. The neighbourhood was once as a sleazy area of London famous for its strip clubs, sex shops, crime and the beatnik lifestyle. The location was also the headquarters for many leading British film companies.

Soho went through considerable gentrification beginning in the 1980s and today a fashionable and upmarket area of London. Though tame after gentrification, it’s still a colourful part of London and gets even livelier during the weekends. Soho is fun loving and a must visit destination for any visitor in London. Soho has lost its sleazy image and though the sex industry is still visible, though on a much smaller scale and not as seedy as it once was.

London's Soho by Rudolph A. Furtado

Exploring Soho

Soho has rebranded itself as a trendy and upmarket neighbourhood of London. It’s an eclectic mix of residences, cafes, restaurants, late night coffee shops, shops, nightclubs, bars and theatres. Accommodations here range from the upscale hotels to more affordable options. The neighbourhood is full of energy, fun loving, never quiet and never empty. At night, coloured neon lights turn many parts of the neighbourhood into a colourful spectacle. It gets even livelier with an open all night feel during the weekends.

Entertainment & Shopping

There are several venues for live performances in Soho with the Soho Theatre popular for its new plays, stand-up comedy and cabaret shows. Some of the best restaurants in London are in this neighbourhood and you can find many of them clustered along Greek, Berwick, Old Crompton and Dean Streets. Soho is a treasure trove of shops and a major shopping spot here is the famous Carnaby Street, a pedestrianised street occupying three blocks.

Carnaby Street by Jim Linwood

Food Scene

The food scene in Soho has evolved tremendously in the last three decades to spoil you with endless choices. Today, Soho has become another popular dining destination in London with over 60 mainly independent restaurants, cafes, late night coffee shops and pubs packed into a small neighbourhood. Besides the British fare, there’s also a mix of good food from various corners of the globe including Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Chinese and Indian to name a few.

Restaurant in Soho by Jim Linwood

Safety

Despite its past reputation, Soho today is a safe place to visit and enjoy yourself though use common sense regarding your safety as you would anywhere. At most are the rowdy drunks especially on Friday and Saturday nights but there’s usually a strong police presence to contain the nuisance and defuse the situation before any problem occurs.

Visiting Soho

Four London Underground stations serve the corners of Soho. Tottenham Court Road Station is located in the northeastern corner of Soho and served by the Central and Northern Lines. Oxford Circus is located in the northwestern corner and served by the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines. Leicester Square is in the southeast and served by the Northern and Piccadilly Lines. Piccadilly Circus is in the southwest and served by the Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines.

Soho on the Map

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