England - Covent Gardens
Covent Garden is a district within the country’s capital city of London. Just on the borders of the West End, this was once the site for the fruit and vegetable market (i.e. in the central square), but is now a fabulous shopping Mecca for locals and tourists alike. In addition, this district is home to a gorgeous array of historical and culturally-relevant buildings, including theatres and museums.
Inside the old fruit market at Covent Garden. The area is now used for
shops and stalls and is a major tourist venue.
In 1540, Henry VIII took the land belonging to the Westminster Abbey for himself. This included Covent Garden. After leaving it to his son, Edward VI, it passed through a number of hands, each of which changed and developed it to some degree. Eventually, the houses in the gardens lost their aristocratic appeal and had begun to attract prostitutes and tavern-owners. In 1654, the first records appeared of the gardens being used as a market. The 1700’s saw Covent Garden a well-established “red light district”, an area devoted to the sex industry.
The retail industry and the entertainment facilities in and around Coven Garden is what sustain this area financially. Apple Market is one of the most frequented sections of Covent Garden. In generally, the area is popular for its street performances, clothing boutiques and novelty shops, guaranteed to keep visitors entranced by their sheer variety and abundance. Other trendy must-sees in the area include:
• Long Acre
• Neal Street (famous for its shoe shops)
• The London Transport Museum
• The Royal Opera House
• St. Paul’s Church
• The Seven Dials area
• The North Hall, West Piazza, and South Hall Courtyard (famed for magnificent street performances)
• The more than 60 pubs and bars in the Covent Garden area alone
• The Lamb & Flag in Rose Street (the area’s oldest pub)
For more information, please view: http://www.coventgardenlife.com/