Sunday, June 17, 2007

Covent Garden - Piazza & Central Market

A short walk from Somerset House and the Strand is Covent Garden. It is a fashionable and compact area of shops, eateries, museums and performance venues. All are found around London’s first formal square, Covent Garden Piazza, which contains the 19th century Central Market halls that is the heart of the buzzing area. Over one million people visit some part of Covent Garden each week.

The Covent Garden tube station in evenings is one the most congested and transit authorities highly recommended you find alternative routes of visiting the area. This small station is accessed only by elevators or by stairs. Also don’t come to Covent Garden if you’re in search of major chain stores or mainstream shops.

Covent Garden Piazza was London’s first residential square laid out in the 1630s and became the model for one of London’s distinctive features. It later became a fruit and vegetable market, renowned for its flower-sellers. When this trade moved to another part of London in the 1970s, the market was transformed into the piazza that exists to today. Pictured at top the top of this post is the piazza at both ends of the Central Market.

The area is one of my favorite stops when in London and well worth the visit just to soak up the lively atmosphere that’s in full swing throughout the day. The Central Market, pictured in the above two shots, hosts an antique and collectibles market on Mondays and an arts and crafts market selling jewelry, clothing, silverware and pottery the rest of the week. A variety of shops (many unusual); street entertainers of all kinds; and lots of affordable food choices in and around the market add to the attraction of visiting area.


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