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
Whilst hiring a car there will give you a convenient way around the West End, traffic congestion there may make travelling on foot less stressful. There is so much to see and do.
Start by visiting one of the cut price ticket booths in Leicester Square ready for your evening’s entertainment. Then walk to Covent Garden for the street entertainment and little boutiques. Take lunch there in one of the specialist restaurants around the Garden, then head for Soho and marvel at the bustling Chinese community before eating a delicious oriental meal ahead of your theatre night.