Covent Garden is one of the liveliest and most interesting shopping districts in London. It’s also home to theatres, museums, and monuments, making it a great destination for visitors to London. Travelodge’s Covent Garden hotel puts you within easy reach of all that this colorful and exciting district has to offer.
Although Covent Garden is a thriving commercial district today, it hasn’t always been. Archaeologists have discovered evidence showing that Covent Garden was once the heart of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Lundenwic, or London Market, during the 8th and 9th centuries.
The main settlement area relocated in the late 9th century, however, possibly because of the threat of Viking attacks. Throughout the Middle Ages, Covent Garden was primarily fields and orchards owned by Westminster Abbey. This connection gave rise to the name “Covent Garden”, derived from “convent”. Urban development began in the 16th century, and today Covent Garden is at the heart of London.
Covent Garden’s landmarks include theatres such as the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the Royal Opera House. Over a dozen other major theatres can be found in and around Covent Garden. The area has played an important role in London’s theatrical history, and as show times approach, the streets fill with theatergoers on their way to performances either in Covent Garden or in nearby areas.
Other major landmarks include the London Transport Museum and the massive Covent Garden market. The market is home to stalls which sell clothes, gifts, and cosmetics. The piazza in front of the building is often crowded with sightseers and street performers. The famous Seven Dials is an intersection of seven streets marked with a monumental pillar. The narrow streets that lead off from Seven Dials are filled with small shops selling everything from musical instruments to books, clothes, art, and games. Some streets specialize in particular products; for instance, Neal Street is largely lined with shoe shops.
Covent Garden offers a wide variety of places to eat and drink, although restaurants and bars can be crowded, especially in the evening when theatre crowds fill the area. Bookings are essential at fashionable restaurants like Joe Allen or The Ivy. Bars range from large modern pubs to the beautifully preserved Victorian interior of The Salisbury or the rock-and-roll ambiance of The Intrepid Fox.
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