Self-catering holiday accommodation and country cottages in and close to London
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Covent Garden in London
Covent Garden is one of the liveliest areas of London, both during the day and evening. Pavement cafes, wine bars, cocktail bars, and restaurants built around Covent Garden Market attract both Londoners and tourists. The indoor market sells crafts, jewellery, souvenirs of London, and has a good range of specialist shops and fashion boutiques.
This is the place to come for street entertainment. A variety of acts; singers, jugglers, bands, acrobats, mime artistes, dancers and about every other type of act that you can imagine, perform for the crowds in Covent Garden. A hat is usually circulated to collect donations after a performance, but many of the entertainers come here to hopefully be noticed, and make a name for themselves. This could be the starting point of someone's future illustrious career - so take note whilst you're there and enjoy.
Traditional British Punch and Judy shows were first performed for the public in Covent Garden.
If you're interested in the history of London's transport, there's the London Transport Museum to one side of the market. It features early underground railway systems.
The Theatre Museum with a display of sets, costumes and old photographs portraying the history of theatre is next door to it. If you're an opera buff then you may wish to experience a performance at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, where it's possible to take a backstage tour. Telephone: 020 7 304 4000. Occasionally, there have been free outdoor opera performances, sponsored very kindly by large companies, which give people a taste of what they can expect at the Royal Opera House. Try to obtain some tourist information literature when you arrive in London so that you can make the most of what's on offer.
If you like culture, then you'll find much to do around Covent Garden. There are numerous theatres close by including The Lyceum, Strand Theatre, Theatre Royal, Duke of York, Savoy, Fortune and others.
From Covent Garden it's easy to get to other parts of London, either by underground or on foot. London's department stores are fairly close by for a spot of serious shopping.
If nature calls, do pay a visit to the award winning public toilets in Covent Garden. These used to be the best kept loos in the whole of London, deteriorated somewhat - but they're free.
The ladies and gents can be accessed via the staircase going down on either side of a central doorway, as shown in the picture on the left. Street performances are held in the piazza, an open paved area to the front of the loos.
It's called a piazza rather than a square because its architect was Inigo Jones, who so enamoured with architecture and styles he saw in Italy, returned to give us our very own piazza.
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