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West End Mini Guide
I Know it’s London but Where Exactly is the West End?
It depends how you want to define it. Historically it was the area upwind of the smoke, pollution and sewage of the factories and poorer areas of London where the rich built their houses. Today it can mean the expensive houses of Mayfair, Park Lane, Fitzrovia and Marylebone whilst others think of it as the shopping area around Oxford Street or the entertainment area around Theatreland. Whichever measure you use it’s a great place to stay with smart hotels and entertainment on your doorstep.
How Easy is it to get to?
The closest and most convenient airports are probably Heathrow and City Airport, both of which will then need a tube journey into the West End. By rail, you can arrive at any of London’s main termini and use the underground to get there.
What is There to do in the West End?
There’s something to do in the West End at all times of day and to suit all tastes. Covent Garden is a good place to spend your morning, sipping coffee at one of the little cafes whilst watching street entertainers wow the crowds for free. There is some great boutique shopping there too and a range of small restaurants if you want lunch, some of whom have special offers if you’ve travelled in by train.
Leicester Square is a good place to get your theatre tickets, often at a much reduced price. Soho is less seedy than it used to be and Chinatown is an eye opener as well as a great place to eat. Finally, if shopping is your thing, the shopping utopia of Oxford Street is close by with probably the largest selection of goods of any UK high street.
- There are a number of new shows coming to the West End this year so don't miss the new production of The Sound of Music opening in July or the return of A Chorus Line. Hottest tickets are likely to be for the award-winning Once, a musical based on the hit Irish film.