The West End
London West End is an undefined area that takes up much, if not all, of the Borough of Westminster. While it would be incorrect to call the West End a London Attraction in itself, it is an exciting area that contains many leading UK attractions and top London attractions in the form of palaces, abbeys, theatres, shops, nightclubs, cinemas, bridges and museums.
Located to the west of the City of London, the area was the choice of many of London’s moneyed classes, due to its close proximity to Westminster, and also because it is upwind of the smoke that emitted from the overcrowded City of London. The buildings in traditionally poor areas of Holborn, Seven Dials and Covent Garden were cleared and replaced with palaces, expensive houses, fashionable shops and places of entertainment.
Today the term West End applies both to the areas around Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, with their lavish shopping facilities, and to the entertainment zones around Leicester Square and Covent Garden, with their wealth of theatres, cinemas and nightclubs.
The areas of the West End include:
Bloomsbury – home to the British Museum and University College London.
Covent Garden – famous for shopping, eating and street theatre.
Holborn – the centre of the UK’s legal profession.
Marylebone – includes Baker Street, the home of Sherlock Holmes.
Mayfair – playground of the rich, with many top hotels and restaurants.
Seven Dials – shop till you drop in this ultra-trendy area.
Soho – home to London’s theatreland, bars, and with a vibrant gay community.
St James’s – abbeys, palaces and government buildings. Westminster – centre of government and politics.
Fitzrovia – with a high concentration of embassies, this is the diplomatic heart of London
With over 20 tube stations, numerous bus services and two mainland railway stations getting to the West End couldn’t be easier. For travel details from your area go to www.tfl.gov.uk