The place we know as “Covent Garden” was detained by Henry VIII, which he then granted to the Earls of Bedford. The 4th Earl appointed architect Inigo Jones to build classy residences, so that wealthy gentry would be attracted. Italianate arcaded squares were designed by Jones along the lines of St Paul’s church. Subsequentlya small daily produce market was opened on the south end of the fashionable district. Soon, taverns, coffee-houses, theatres and infamous brothels surrounded the area, the aristocrats moved out, and the rakes and playwrights flourished. Under the Act of the Parliament, control was restored by 1830, the markets became dominant again and its tag as a “pleasure-ground” vanished. After a series of renovations, the central building was re-opened in 1980 as a shopping centre, and has now became a tourist attraction, with an array of elegant pubs, cafes, bistros, quaint shops, and a craft market – Apple Market, alongside Jubilee Hall Market.
What You Can Do
With this rich history infused, it is a destination that you cannot miss on your visit to London. Here are a few things to do while you are there…
Start at the Piazza
This gives you the first taste of the Covent Garden, the paved square of Piazza offers a chance to catch the street performers, a free entertainment that you are sure to be awestruck with. Just outside the Market Building, it a sight to behold before you go on to enjoy the craft and food stalls, amongst bigger brands.
The Royal Opera House
London’s famous Royal Opera House is located towards the corner of the Piazza, however the main entrance opens at Bow Street. Be sure to check the many brilliant performances, like the Royal Ballet or Royal Opera companies. You can easily get here from your hotel near Victoria Station; you can choose to take a cabby if you wish or a tube.
A Bit more Shopping
Besides the Market building, there are lines of stores in the perimeter of the piazza such as Apple, Fred Perry; and towards the north there is the Floral Street, which has flagship stores like Paul Smith.
St Martin’s Courtyard
St Martin’s Courtyard is meant for indulgence, this clam small oasis offers a tab bit of everything. You can choose to shop at Barbour, Cos or Jack Wills; do not miss a chance to for a relaxed evening at luxury spa – Relax; you can then catch a delicious bite at Jamie’s Italian, before you head back to your budget & cheap hotels in London Victoria.
Stop at Seven Dials
This is a historic juncture of seven streets, which looks like a wheel spokes in aerial view. Each of these “spokes” offers a delightful choice of retailers and gourmet luxuries. Right from quirky jewelry and unusual shoes to tantalizing sweet treats and sci-fi collectibles, the choices are endless. Be sure to spend a few hours exploring before you head back to your hotel in Victoria.
Guttman Pleasure Garden
This is one of the most exciting attractions in Covent Garden, with its stunning streets and vibrant art installations. It consists of a series of gardens, each devoted to a different theme such as wildlife conservation or artificial intelligence. You can find interesting sculptures and interactive exhibits here, perfect for some truly unique opportunities.
Covent Garden Market Building
This is the heart of the Covent Garden district, with several floors dedicated to traditional shops and quaint boutiques. You can find everything from antiques to fashion items on sale here; there are also lots of great restaurants that you can try out while taking a break from shopping. Be sure to grab some souvenirs before heading back to your hotel for the evening.
The Covent Garden Opera House
Last but not least, the opera house is a must-see for any visitor to this area. Its magnificent architecture and interiors have charmed visitors from all over the world since it was built in 1732. You can catch classic performances by the Royal Ballet or Royal Opera companies here, as well as modern shows like West End musicals. The theater also houses an art gallery and interactive exhibits that you can explore when taking a break from your opera show. Be sure to snap some pictures of the place!
These are just a few of the many things to enjoy in Covent Garden. From the vibrant street life and historical sites, it’s easy to see why this area is one of London’s most beloved attractions. Whether you’re shopping for unique souvenirs or taking part in exciting performances, there’s something for everyone here! So, be sure to explore all that Covent Garden has to offer during your next visit to London. Enjoy!