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.
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.
Regent Street, like Oxford Street, is one of London’s many, many shopping districts. Much like English society, the streets all have their particular class, and Regent may fall somewhere in the upper bourgeoisie of London shopping districts: a cut above the Zara and H&M leanings of Oxford Street, but definitely below the bespoke elegance of Saville Row or the new-money opulence of Bond Street. Nevertheless, Regent Street is a fun place to go for an evening stroll, even if you’re not one for window shopping. It can get busy, but not as busy as Oxford Street, and the crowds provide a health mix of people, owing to the Street’s proximity to Piccadilly Circus, Soho and Oxford Street itself.
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.
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 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.
I am afraid that when i went to visit Eros at Picadilly Circus it was all boarded up and i could only see the top few feet above the boards. I was unable to discover the reason for its closure but i know it was damaged to the tune of £6000 when a Barcelona football fan celebrated his teams victory by climbing on the monument.
It is also known as Shaftesbury monument as the statue was erected to honour Lord Shaftesbury. The fountain is made of bronze but Eros was actually made from Aluminium, a new material back in 1893. Many people don't know that there is a duplicate statue in Sefton Park, Liverpool, but it is in a sate of disrepair.
When I was in London in 1950, I was told that the statue in the middle of Piccadilly Circus was a statue of Cupid or Eros. I now know that isn't completely accurate.
I thought that Piccadilly was a very large place (and very scary to cross on foot). Now it seems much smaller and not nearly as impressive.
Although I was interested to see it again, we didn't actually spend any time here. I took the second photo from the bus.
From 1950, I remember being told this was the crossroads of the world. So if you waited here for an hour, you'd see someone you knew. And when we were here, my dad met an old college friend. In the third picture, my mom and sister and I are posing at the base of the statue
The website below gives a 360 degree panorama of the circle.
Guinness World Records at the Trocadero is a great place to take kids, there are many exhibitions and displays, good value aswell only £15 for 2 adults and 2 children
The Trocadero used to be both a music hall then a hotel; it's made a bit of a transformation.
There is no actual circus here - a circus is a London word for a circle in a road I guess. This is the Times Square of London and the Circus was built in 1819.
A general meeting place and a little tardy really - the statue of Eros (see photo) was Englands first bronze statue - but the area is busy with people and buses and apart from a quick look to say you have been there is no reason to go although of course because several streets meet here you may well pass through occasionally.
More impressive at night when the neon advertising signs are illuminated.
The Montague On The Gardens London
5 Reviews and 1448 Opinions The concierge was fabulous, the hotel very grand, and despite the rooms being small they were...
41 Hotel London
2 Reviews and 1027 Opinions Hotel Ibis London Euston St Pancras Recommended by being the best location, nice rooms, modern and...
Milestone Hotel Kensington London
1 Review and 687 Opinions This 5 star hotel is probably my favorite in London because of it's location (across from Kensington...
see all London member meetings