Central London areas

Central London is by far the most popular and interesting part of London.   Although actual definition of Central London may vary, it is usually delimited by Regent Park to the north,  the City and Tower Bridge to the East, Southwark to the South and Hyde Park to the West. Each one of Central London various neighbourhoods offers something special and exciting for the visitors.  London West End, including Soho and Covent Garden is  home to world class shows,  great galleries and prestigious Movies premieres.  Westminster is home to the Big Ben, the house of Parliament and the Westminster Abbey where Britain’s most grandiose ceremonies take place.  As for Saint-James and the royal parks it is the official home of the Queen and other member of the Royal Family.  South of the river is the South Bank where are located some of the greatest London attractions from the iconic London Eye to the wonderful Tower Bridge.  On the east side of the central area lies the City, where it all began some thousands years ago and today home to Britain’s most important financial centre.  Finally the West side of central London is home to the beautiful Hyde Park as well as some of the top museums the capital has to offer including the Natural History and Science Museum.


Topics

  1. Central London Introduction
  2. Central London Map
  3. Soho, London’s entertainment district and Theatreland
  4. Covent Garden, home to the Central Market
  5. Westminster, home to the Big Ben and government
  6. St-James, home to the Queen and Buckingham Palace
  7. South Bank, home to the London Eye and Tate Morden
  8. Bloomsbury,  home of the British Museum
  9. Marylebone, home to the Regent’s Park and Madame Tussauds
  10. City, London’s financial district
  11. Holborn, home to the inns of court
  12. South Kensington, home to London’s finest museums


Central London Map

Central London areas map

Soho

Soho is famous for being central London’s entertainment district and often dubbed as the Theatreland  because of the abundance of world class musicals and various plays in the area.  It is home to various theatres, galleries and Movies premieres, not to mention the abundance of locations to grab a pint or go for a nice meal.  Soho is part of the City of Westminster and include the famous Chinatown, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square further south.  It is bordered by Oxford Circus to the north, Charring Cross road to the east , The Mall and the Strand to the South and Regent’s Street to the West.  Soho is also home to the famous intersection, Piccadilly Circus,  the junction between central London most important artery of Piccadilly, Regent’s street and Shaftesbury Avenue.  Since the later part of the 20th century, Soho gained a bit of a naughty image, with its various sex shops as well as night life and sometimes considered London’s red light district.

The north part of Soho, starting at the Shaftesbury Avenue is where the majority of the exciting cafes, pubs and vibrant nightlife are located.  The area is especially vibrant at night when various pubs, bars and nightclubs are opened until late especially around the Old Campton Street and Wardour Road.

The western part of Soho is the ideal place to go shopping, being home to the famous Carnaby street with a wide selection of retro boutiques, as well as the world famous Liberty Store is located.

As for the Southern part of Soho, it is the place to be for film and art enthusiasts.  Indeed it is home to Leicester Square, a pedestrian square famous for being the location of both European and Hollywood productions movie premieres.  Further south is the location of Trafalgar Square perhaps one of the most famous squares in the world home to the National Gallery and its famous paintings.

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Soho
Soho

Top Soho

The top 10 attractions in Soho include:

  1. Trafalgar Square
  2. National Gallery
  3. National Portrait Gallery
  4. Piccadilly Circus
  5. Leicester Square
  6. Chinatown
  7. Carnaby Street
  8. Old Compton Street
  9. West end Musicals
  10. Liberty Store
Mamma Mia! West End Show

Covent Garden

Covent Garden, also referred to as London’s West End with neighbouring Soho is an exciting place to visit in the heart of the city.  It offers plenty of entertainment with various theatres,  free street performers, cafes and world known operas.  It is also a great shopping location with many pedestrian streets, hidden allies and indoor centres, perfect to find your ideal crafted gift or designer piece of clothing.  At its heart lies the Covent Garden Piazza, a lovely market  place built in the 17 century as London’s first planned square by Indigo Jones.  It is also home to the Royal Opera House to the East, The Somerset House and Art Gallery to the South and the bustling Seven Dials area to the West.

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Covent Garden - Best Central London areas
Covent Garden - Best Central London areas

Top  Covent Garden

The top 10 attractions in Covent Garden include:

  1. Covent Garden Piazza and Central Market
  2. Royal Opera House
  3. London’s Transport Museum
  4. Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
  5. Somerset House
  6. Savoy Hotel
  7. Victoria Embankment Gardens
  8. Neal Street
  9. Neal’s Yards
  10. Seven Dials
Billy Elliot West End Show

Westminster

Westminster is famous for having one of the highest concentration of London’s historic and prestigious landmarks including the world famous Big Ben part of the house of Parliament, the Westminster Abbey the place of coronation of British monarchs and Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister.  Westminster  is the centre of the British politics with the siege of the government and other important political buildings such as the treasury and the Scottish Office.  Since the rule of King Canute who first build his palace on this swampy location to the fight of Winston Churchill during Second World War, Westminster was always identified as a place of politics and power.

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Westminster - Best Central London areas
Westminster - Best Central London areas

Top  Westminster

The top 10 attractions in Westminster include:

  1. Big Ben
  2. House of Parliament
  3. Westminster Abbey
  4. Downing Street
  5. Horse Guard
  6. Cabinet War Rooms
  7. Parliament Square
  8. Horse Guard Parade
  9. Banqueting House
  10. Jewel Tower
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St James

The St James area is mostly famous for being home to the Buckingham Palace, the residence of the British monarch.  It has some beautiful royal parks surrounding the palace including St-James and Green Park, which are often at the centre of various events, especially during the summer days. 

St James is part of the City of Westminster Borough and is bounded by the prestigious Piccadilly and neighbouring Mayfair to the north,  horse guards road to the east, Westminster to the South and  birdcage walk, Hyde Park and the Hyde Park corner, home to the Wellington Arch to the West.  At its heart is the famous The Mall road, created by Aston Webb with the Admiralty Arch at one end and the Queen’s palace at the other.

As for the Piccadilly street which is part of the A4 road, it is St James and London major artery, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to the famous Piccadilly  Circus at the other extremity.  It is where various chic boutiques are located as well as The Ritz one of the world’s most prestigious hotels.

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St-James - Best Central London areas
St-James - Best Central London areas

Top  St-James

The top 10 attractions in St-James include:

  1. Buckingham Palace
  2. Piccadilly Street
  3. Saint-James Park
  4. Green Park
  5. The Mall
  6. Saint-James Square
  7. Royal Academy of Arts
  8. Wellington Arch
  9. Ritz Hotel
  10. Spencer House
Free attractions with the London Pass

South Bank

The South Bank is the increasingly popular area south of the river Thames.  It is the ideal place for long walks with amazing views, starting from the London Eye, one of the most iconic sites of central London and moving east to the Tower Bridge another landmark of the capital.  In between are all sorts of attractions to be discovered including the London Aquarium, the Tate Modern and the Shakespeare’s Globe.

The South Bank area covers the South London Boroughs of Lambeth as well as Southwark.  This vast central region is bordered by the Thames River to the North and West side, Tower Bridge and Bridge Road to the East and Elephant and Castle as well as Bermondsey to the South.

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South Bank - Best Central London areas
South Bank - Best Central London areas

Top  South Bank

The top 10 attractions in the South Bank include:

  1. London Eye
  2. Tate Modern
  3. Tower  Bridge
  4. London Dungeon
  5. London Aquarium
  6. Shakespeare’s Globe
  7. HMS Belfast
  8. Imperial War Museum
  9. Royal National Theatre
  10. Clink Prison Museum
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Bloomsbury

The Bloomsbury area in central London is perhaps mostly famous for being home to one of the world’s most popular and biggest museum, the British Museum.  Indeed it has more than 5 million visitors a year and no less than 6 millions artefacts to be discovered.   Bloomsbury  is also home to various garden squares such as the Russell square surrounded with plenty of 17th and 18th century buildings.  The area is often the starting point to many visitors from continental Europe, with the Eurostar and the international St-Pancras station on the north east corner.

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Bloomsbury - Best Central London areas
Bloomsbury - Best Central London areas

Top  Bloomsbury

The top 10 attractions in Bloomsbury include:

  1. British Museum
  2. British Library
  3. Russell Square
  4. University College London
  5. St-Pancras station
  6. Charles Dickens Museum
  7. St-Pancras Parish Church
  8. Tavistock Square
  9. Tottenham Court Road
  10. Pied a Terre Restaurant
Free attractions with the London Pass

Marylebone

Marylebone is the Northern western part of Central London and is mostly known to be home to the beautiful Regent Park and exciting London Zoo as well as the location of one of London’s most popular attraction Madame Tussaud’s.  The area which is mostly residential has become a sought-after area in Central London.  It has wide array of hotels, from the well known 5 stars selections such as the Langham London to some more affordable accommodations.

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Test - Best Central London areas
Madame Tussaud's - Best Central London areas

Top  Marylebone

The top 10 attractions in Marylebone include:

  1. Madame Tussauds
  2. Regent’s Park
  3. London Zoo
  4. British Telecom Tower
  5. Harley Street
  6. Sherlock Holmes Museum
  7. Wallace Collection Museum
  8. Langham London Hotel
  9. Landmark London Hotel
  10. Cumberland Hotel
Madame Tussauds

City

The City is London’s main financial district and remains until this day a driving force in the British economy.  It is considered the historic core of London as it was built on the site of the original Roman settlement.  It is also referred as the Square Mile as its area is just over one square mile.  It is mainly a business district as few residents have lived there since the 19th century.  It’s most famous attraction is the Tower of London one of the most remarkable historic sites in the capital as well as the St Paul Cathedral one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.  More recent building such as the Swiss Re Tower often referred to as the Gherkin are becoming the new symbol of this finance capital.

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The City - Best Central London areas
The City - Best Central London areas

Top  City

The top 10 attractions in the City include:

  1. Tower of London
  2. Tower Bridge
  3. St Paul Cathedrals
  4. Museum of London
  5. Bank of England Museum
  6. Guildhall
  7. St-Katharine’s Dock
  8. All Hallows by the Tower
  9. St Dunstan’s Hill
  10. Re Tower
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Holborn

Holborn is a Central London area famous for its law inns.  It is situated between Covent Garden on the west and the City in the East and is named after Holborn street one of the area’s principal east-west artery, running from St Giles’s High Street to Gray’s Inn Road to Holborn Viaduct. Holborn was once famous for its journalistic profession as the first press to be setup in London was on Fleet Street, but is now mostly famous for legal professions.

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Holborn - Best Central London areas
Holborn - Best Central London areas

Top  Holborn

The top 10 attractions in Holborn  include:

  1. Lincoln’s Inn
  2. Lincoln’s Inn Fields
  3. Sir John Soane’s Museum
  4. London Silver Vaults
  5. Staple Inn
  6. High Holborn and Holborn Circus
  7. St Etheldreda’s Chapel
  8. Holborn Viaduct
  9. Fleet Street
  10. Temple bar memorial
Free attractions with the London Pass

South Kensington

South Kensington is perhaps best known to be the western part of central home to some of the world’s best museums.  Indeed its Exhibition road is the location of the National History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.  South Kensington is also the place for long walks bordered by Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is one of the largest and most famous parks in central London part of the Royal Parks. It is divided in two by the Serpentine and the western extension of the Kensington Gardens is often considered part of the park, although technically separate since 1728.

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Top  South Kensington

The top 10 attractions in South Kensington include:

  1. National History Museum
  2. Science Museum
  3. Victoria and Albert Museum
  4. Hyde Park
  5. Kensington Garden
  6. Royal College of Music
  7. Kensington Palace
  8. Brompton Oratory
  9. Marble Arch
  10. Royal Albert Hall
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