The first thing to point out about Covent Garden is that it isn’t a garden,
but a bustling, fashionable, must-see area near London’s West End. And it
boasts two of London’s most popular attractions, the ""London:[http://www.tripomatic.com/…gdom/London/]
Transport Museum and the Royal
The heart, and history, of Covent Garden is the market. Now filled with
quirky craft stalls and interesting boutiques, the area was once the kitchen
garden for Westminster Abbey, then called Convent Garden. In the 1630s, the area
was transformed into a grand piazza with fashionable houses, and, quickly, a
fruit and vegetable market sprung up. This did so well, that the gentry in the
fashionable houses moved somewhere quieter! Entertainment and drinking
establishments set up over the next 150 years which started to attract the rich
and famous. But its reputation was somewhat seedy. It wasn’t until the fruit
and vegetable market was moved away (in the 1900s) and extensive redevelopment
took place, that the area became the hotspot it is today.
The recently refurbished ""London:[http://www.tripomatic.com/…gdom/London/]
Transport Museum is popular with Londoners and explores the history and
people of London's public transport. The shop sells reproductions of vintage
transport posters and lots of iconic transport paraphernalia.
Sympathetic renovation in the protected area means that it retains its
historic charm. The plethora of cafés and restaurants supports the thriving
café culture and the streets are lined with outlandish street performers every
day. It is a favorite spot for artists and musicians.
There is so much shopping to be done in Covent Garden and the surrounding
streets, and the market area is sure to provide you with a fantastic and
original souvenir. With interesting fashion, quality health and beauty,
beautiful jewelry, and unusual toy gifts, you’ll find whatever you’re
looking for. It is also home to Apple’s largest store!
A visit to the Royal
Opera House can’t be missed and its public areas are open from about
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Home to the Royal Opera, Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera
House Orchestra, it is one of the world’s leading opera companies and is
known for its amazing performances of traditional as well as new works by
leading composers. They have their own exhibitions and offer backstage tours! It
has actually been built three times as it was twice damaged by fire.
Covent Garden is a popular tourist spot, but don’t get caught up in the
tube mayhem. It is just a short walk from Leicester Square and not far from
Charing Cross, Embankment and Holborn stations, so get off the tube early and be
well ahead of the crowds in enjoying your visit. (This also allows you to avoid
the ghost of actor William Terriss who apparently haunts the Covent Garden
Travel by car is not advised, as parking spaces are very limited. The bus RV1
will take you right into Covent Garden and number 24 will get you to Leicester
Square. Other lines such as 9, 13, 15, 23, 139 and 153 stop nearby.