Piccadilly, London

4 out of 5 stars 191 Reviews

Piccadilly, SW1

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  • Picadilly Circus, London
    Picadilly Circus, London
    by spidermiss
  • Alfred Gilbert’s Eros
    Alfred Gilbert’s Eros
    by mindcrime
  • Piccadilly Circus
    Piccadilly Circus
    by mindcrime
  • RavensWing's Profile Photo

    ~ What? No Lions and Tigers? ~

    by RavensWing Written Sep 22, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We headed off to Piccadilly Circus. I was so looking forward to the carnival rides, the animals! Oh what a fool I am There is no lions and tigers, not even a carnival ride at the Piccadilly Circus. How very silly of me to think it was an actual circus

    All it is is a busy meeting place and a resting spot for tourists, It also has the huge illuminated sign with various advertisements

    I must say now that I've been there, been disappointed that it wasn't what I thought it was going to be - I won't need to see this tourist attraction again.

    Fountain with Anteros
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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Piccadilly Circus

    by spidermiss Updated Jul 13, 2014

    I often travel through Piccadilly Circus during my London trips. The round open space connects with Piccadilly and Regent Street, two busy shopping streets, an also the entertainment streets of Haymarket, Coventry Street and Shaftesbury Avenue. It synonymous for its illuminated signs and billboard and its Eros fountain and statue and draws many tourists.

    It goes back as far as the 15th Century where Piccadilly linked to a house belonging to Robert Baker, a tailor specialising in collars (piccadills). Piccadilly was formerly called Portugual Street, named in honour of Charles It's queen consort, Catherine of Braganza. It was at the beginning of the 19th Century where Piccadilly Circus was created and it has always been a very busy traffic interchange.

    Picadilly Circus, London
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    Piccadilly Circus

    by mindcrime Written May 29, 2014

    Always crowded with people this is probably one of the worst landmarks in London, a round open space at the junction of five busy streets where neon lights reminds you of Time Square in New York. Most people gather under the Shaftesbury memorial bronze fountain which is topped by Alfred Gilbert’s winged nude statue which is the figure of Eros, the famous winged archer but I guess he must be depressed in this dirty noisy corner of London that leaves no space for romance… The memorial fountain was erected in 1893 in the beginning of Shaftesbury to commemorate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury but was removed to its present position in late 1980s.

    Picaddilly Circus was built in 1819 to connect Regent and Piccadilly streets which were always major shopping streets, as it is still today the general area including the famous theatres on Shaftesbury avenue but also nightclubs, huge retail stores, dining choices, dozens of souvenir stores to satisfy the hordes of tourists etc. It’s a place you will pass by if you are interested to visit one of the theatres like we did but also if you like shopping (we didn’t) but I wouldn’t bother to visit it unless you are desperate to have some photo shots here (the truth is there are always double decker buses passing by, some people may also like the big neon boards as they attract many people but also beware of pickpockets.

    It was interesting to know that Picadilly street was named after Piccadilly Hall, house of Robert Baker, a tailor during 17th century that was selling piccadills (large broad collars of cut-wok lace, very fashionable in late 16th, early 17th century). Circus in latin means circle but the square lost its circular form in 1886 when Shaftesbury Avenue was constructed. Piccadilly Circus tube station lies underneath the square and serves Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines since 1906!

    Alfred Gilbert���s Eros Alfred Gilbert���s Eros Piccadilly Circus traffic at Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus tube station
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    Another Icon

    by cleocat Written Feb 5, 2014

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    Picadilly Circus is one of the busiest tube stations in London and nobody leaves without having at least one photo taken her. Closeby is the Ripley, Believe it or Not exhibition as well as Europe's first M&M store. It is also a good place to buy your fridge magnets and keyholders with typical red phone booths and London buses.

    Picadilly Tube Station Picadilly Circus Ripley's at Picadilly Circus
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    Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 26, 2013

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    Piccadilly is a famous road, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east.
    The area of St. James's lies to the south of the eastern section of the street, while the western section is built up only on the northern side and overlooks Green Park. The area to the north is Mayfair.
    Piccadilly is one of the widest and straightest streets in central London. It is the location of several notable London landmarks and buildings.
    Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of West End, build in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning "circle", is a round open space at a street junction.

    You can watch my 2 min 21 sec Video London Walk along Piccadilly out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus
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    HORSES of HELIOS

    by davidjo Written Dec 21, 2012

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    Sculptor Rudy Weller's 4 Horses of Helios can be seen standing in a foumtain on the corner of Piccadilly and the Haymarket since 1992. The Greek god of the Sun would ride his gold chariot pulled by 4 horses east to west across the sky each day. At night he would rest his horses (Pyrios, Eos, Aethon, and Phleyon) for the next day's journey.

    golden horses
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    Burlington Arcade

    by mikey_e Written Dec 17, 2012

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    Burlington Arcade, named after next-door Burlington House (which houses the Royal Academy of Arts), was allegedly created by Lord Cavendish in the 1810s in order to protect the cleanliness and order of Burlington House. It was one of the first European shopping arcades, and remains one to this day. The Arcade is an elegantly decorated passageway that caters to those with luxury tastes – undoubtedly the same people who will continue on with their shopping up Old and New Bond Streets. The Arcade specializes in high-end goods, particularly jewelry, footwear, perfumes and antiques. Even if you are not interested in high-end goods, there are still a few attractions for those with an eye to industrial design, such as the store that specializes in antique Rolex watches, with displays of watches from nearly every year of the past century.

    Burlington Arcade Entrance off of Piccadilly Inside the Arcade
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    Piccadilly Street

    by mikey_e Written Dec 17, 2012

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    As kitschy and gawdy as Piccadilly Circus might be, Piccadilly Street is remarkably reserved and upscale. The thoroughfare, which connects The Mall to the Circus of the same name, houses a number of establishments that certainly contrast with the shrill hawkers of British paraphernalia and mass-market gadgetry. Here you will find Fortnum and Mason’s, various four- and five-star hotels, expensive restaurants (including Caviar House Prunier, my favourite) and the Royal Academy of Arts. Piccadilly Street also benefits from the fact that it is never as busy as nearby Regent Street or the farther afield Oxford Street.

    Piccadilly Street More of Piccadilly Street Fortnum and Masons on Piccadilly Double Deckers on Piccadilly Caviar House on Piccadilly
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    Memorial Fountain

    by mikey_e Written Dec 15, 2012

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    The Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus was erected in the 1890s in the centre of the Circus, but moved to its current location following the Second World War. The fountain is dedicated to Lord Shaftesbury, who was a Victorian philanthropist and politician. While it is believed that the winged nude on top of the fountain represents Eros, it is actually a representation of Anteros, the brother of Eros, a symbol of selfless love (a far better allegory for philanthropy than Eros). Despite initial doubts about the statue (particularly, its depiction of a nude male), Londoners have come to adopt it as an iconic part of their city’s landscape.

    Memorial Fountain The fountain and tourists
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    Commercialism galore

    by mikey_e Written Dec 15, 2012

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    Piccadilly Circus is undoubtedly world-renown, although it probably doesn’t do much justice to London. The Circus, which serves as a sort of hub for a variety of different arteries, is a focal point for vehicular and pedestrian traffic coming from both shopping centres and the theatre district, as well as Soho’s restaurants and nightclubs. The Circus was created in 1819, although roads and attractions here were known as Piccadilly even in the 18th century. At in the 1880s, the Circus lost its roundness with the connection of Shaftesbury Avenue, although this new outlet of traffic and pedestrians only served to increase the importance and density of the area. The Circus can appear a bit like Times Square in New York, owing to its many illuminated signs, generally devoted to major international brands, and also to its various tourist hucksters selling British paraphernalia and tickets to the theatrical shows at nearby venues. It is also a connection point for various tube lines, which makes it the ideal spot for people to meet, and thus a reason for additional crowding on the sidewalks.

    Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly's signs More of the Circus

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    Piccadilly Circus and the Eros statue!

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 13, 2012

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    Piccadilly Circus in West-End is the very heart of the center of London. I love sitting there and watching the myriad of people walking by. When staying in London I used to stay at Regent Palace Hotel which is right by Piccadilly Circus, but it has unfortunately been closed due to them finding asbestos while repairing the hotel. What a shame, even though the hotel was a bit run down then you could get the best value and location for money while staying there.

    The giant ads with amazing neon Coke ads and more is the "trade-mark" of Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly Circus is amongst the most famous meeting places in the world. And I believe that almost every tourist has his photo taken here.

    Piccadilly Circus was created in 1819 to link Regent Street and Piccadilly. Connected to Piccadilly Circus is the famous Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue with all its teatres. Coventry Street connects Piccadilly Circus with the famous Leicesters Square and its cinemas. It also connects to Glasshouse Street where the closed down Regent Palace hotel is situated.

    There is a statue of Eros on the fountain on Piccadilly Circus. It is said that if you kiss by the statue your love will last forever. Strangely enough the statue is made of aluminium. The statue was meant to represent the Angel of Christian Charity, but it didn´t look like an angel (I would say that it is too masculine and sexy looking for that) - obviously more people thought the same so he was dubbed Eros ;)

    The statue was made by Alfred Gilbert and is a memorial to Lord Shaftesbury, after which Shaftesbury avenue is named. He also made the very beautiful memorial to Queen Alexandria next to St. James´s Palace (I am going to add a tip on that later on).

    An absolutely faboulous part of London and I always look forward to going there.

    Piccadilly Circus in 2006. Piccadilly Circus in 2010. In 2012. Piccadilly Circus in 2012. The Coca Cola ad - it changes every year.

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    RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT

    by davidjo Written Nov 26, 2012

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    One of the things that is amazing here that the price of admission here is £30 for adults and £25 for children, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. This seems a crazy amount of money if you are a family of four, but as i mingled in the entrance hall there were a few folks purchasing tickets.. I am not interested in seeing freak animals, Longneck women from the Padon tribe who are forced to wear rings around their necks and are displayed like animals in Northern Thailand and Myanmar, but i guess people are free to do what they want. Anyway for those who are interested there are 700 exhibits on 5 floors.
    By the way there is a 15% discount if you book online.

    cow with a hoof in his back RIPLEY's BELIEVE IT OR NOT the tallest man ??? the Karen Longneck on the right
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    Check out PRINCES ARCADE

    by davidjo Written Nov 26, 2012

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    Princes Arcade is not as famous as Burlington or Piccadilly Aracdes but if you are in the area why don't you stop and take a quick look. This is east of Piccadilly and runs through to Jermyn Street.
    The arcade was open in 1909 and has some very small shops with glass frontage. Many clothes outlets are to be found here but the days have changed since the early years of the last century when folk would come from all over the country just to walk through them.

    colourful arcade at Xmas time

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    QUALITY ARCADE with outstanding architecture

    by davidjo Written Nov 26, 2012

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    In 1819 the Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, opened its doors (so to speak) as one of the first arcades in Britain offering goods of quality and excellent craftsmanship. The arcade was the longest covered shopping streets in Britain and remains a luxury landmark to this day. Browse in the windows of the famous shops that sell jewellery, watches, antiques, writing instruments and footwear as well as expensive furs. There is no finer place to shop in the whole world if you are after luxury. There are 63 shops in the arcade that demand a huge rent or lease.

    the famous sign at the entrance the arcade magnificent jewellery Xmas time luxury
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    TREAT YOURSELF

    by davidjo Written Nov 26, 2012

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    The Ritz is worth passing by just to stare in amazement at the magnificent building where the rich rub shoulders with rooms ranging from £440 to £4500, but it is not the most expensive hotel in the city. (several hotels offer higher prices but the Lanesborough has suites for £14,000 a night). A Frenchman and Englishman designed the hotel together and is based on the Hotel Ritz in Paris, hence the French Chateau influence. Construction began in 1905 and it opened for business the next year. Since then kings and Queens, presidents and prime minsters have checked in from all corners of the globe, and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Aga Khan, Paul Getty too. In 1995 the hotel was restored costing £50 and taking 10 tears to complete.
    Afternoon tea will set you back £42 or £54 with a glass of champagne, or pop in to the Rivoli Bar for a very expensive drink. The main door is not in Piccadilly but round the corner in St. James's St where the smartly dressed doorman will be waiting to greet you. There is also the Ritz fine jewellery shop that has equally expensive gifts.

    the famous sign French chateau style fine jewellery gifts the doorman awaits you, don't forget the tip main entrance

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