Audio guides for tourist attractions

 London Walks Covent Garden

English

Covent Garden fits snugly between the City of London on the east and the West End north of the Strand.

It is on the one hand a fashionable and vibrant quarter of London and on the other hand a busy tourist area centred on the piazza - a converted fruit and vegetable market dating back to the early part of the 19th Century and beyond.

The walk starts in Trafalgar Square beside Nelson's Column, an icon of London and a place of demonstrations and celebration. Trafagar Square can be reached from Charing Cross Underground (zone 1 - Bakerloo and Northern Line). There are many exits from this station, so follow any sign to Trafalgar Square and head for Nelson's Column.

From there, we pass beside the world famous church of St Martin in the Fields, known as much nowadays for its work with the dispossessed, addicted and homeless as for its music. We pass Charing Cross mainline station before descending towards the embankment where there is the only surviving Watergate.

After the Royal Society of Arts, we walk behind the old Shell-Mex building to the rear of the Savoy Hotel. Opposite the main entrance can be found some charming gardens full of interesting monuments, including Richard D'Oyly Carte and Sir Arthur Sullivan who, with librettist W S Gilbert collaborated on the Savoy operettas which were first performed in the Savoy Theatre beside the hotel.

After visiting the Savoy Chapel we cross the Strand and walk past theatres up Wellington Street to the Royal Opera House. Here I highly recommend visiting the superb Floral Hall - either for lunch, or even better buy an affordable ticket for the opera or ballet.

Sadly a few days after the recording was made, it was decided to close the Theatre Museum which belonged to the V&A, but the London Transport Museum has been completely refurbished and modernised. It is due to re-open shortly. This is in the Covent Garden piazza where you can also have a snack, look at craft shops, participate in street performance and arts, visit the church of St Paul, and walk around the wonderful variety of shops.

The walk ends at Covent Garden Underground (Piccadilly Line zone 1)

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