Lying on the eastern side of the West End, Covent Garden is a popular destination for tourists and includes the former fruit and vegetable Market, the Opera House, and the area around Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard.
There are no official boundaries to Covent Garden but a map I picked up at the market shows it covering an area from Charing Cross Rd in the west to Kingsway in the east, and from The Strand/Aldwych in the south to Shaftesbury Avenue/High Holborn in the north.
Running straight through the middle from St. Martin’s Lane to Drury Lane is Long Acre which separates the Market and Opera House to the south from the Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard area to the north.
Shelton St which runs parallel with Long Acre south of the Seven Dials is the boundary line between Westminster and Camden.
Originally open fields and then at the centre of Anglo Saxon Lundenwic, the area became the garden of Westminster Abbey and co(n)vent by the beginning of the 13th century.
Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries led to the estate being handed to the Earls of Bedford and a change in the layout to include a fashionable square with a small fruit and vegetable market.
By the 18th century the area had become unfashionable with a more undesirable element frequenting the taverns and brothels that had sprung up, but by 1830 things started to improve again with the market being covered over and then expanding.
The market became a victim of its own success as it outgrew its location and in 1974 was transferred to the south bank of the Thames at Nine Elms.
The area around the old market was earmarked for redevelopment but campaigners successfully fought to stop it, and after it was granted protected status the main market building was opened up as a shopping centre in 1980. Since then, the area has had a new lease of life and has become an area where visitors can come to enjoy the shops, bars, restaurants, street entertainment and the interesting character of this part of Central London.
Places to visit include the Royal Opera House, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, St. Paul’s Church and the London Transport Museum.
The West End is London’s entertainment district, and with over sixty pubs and any number of theatres this area is an integral part of it, and if it’s entertainment that you’re looking for then you shouldn’t leave for home without paying a visit to the Convent’s Garden.
The area around Covent Garden is one of my favourite parts of London. I just love hanging out in this area people watching and checking out all the fun shops around the Apple Market and Piazza. Its a very lively area at night time with all the West End theatres and cinemas close by and the pubs of SoHo not far away. During the day there are the shops, restaurants and various street entertainers performing in Covent Garden. Formerly a fruit and veg market that was particularly well known for its flower sellers, there is still a market with a variety of different stalls each day but more focussed on crafts, clothing and jewellery.
The name Covent Garen derives from the fact that it was originally a convent kitchen garden (convent in Middle English was "covent")
Covent Garden is a famous market and shopping area in London. It was once a fruit and vegetable market dating back to the 1600's. The produce market was moved and it was converted into a mall for tourists in 1974.
The area itself is absolutely charming, a little bit touristy, but it is unavoidable. That is why maybe it is not a good idea to buy something in the shops, but walking around and watching performances can make you feel a vibe of living and breathing Covent Garden`s heart.
The former Covent Garden vegetable market, built in 1830, has been restored and is now a retail market with popular shops and restaurants.
Second photo: Musicians and street performers are common at Covent Garden, and they tend to be quite good, since they have to audition and get a permit before they are allowed to perform. So it’s not as spontaneous as it might first appear, but still informal and unpretentious.
Third photo: This is Covent Garden as seen from the upper balcony of the Royal Opera House.
Directions: Nearest cycle stations.
Next: Bridge of Aspiration
Covent Garden Market it has been there and traded as a market from the Saxon times, but the market we see today it was built by Charles Fowler and opened to the public in 1830 and up to 1974 it was trading in a wholesale fruit, vegetables and flowers.
The market is in three sections The Apple Market in the North Hall selling British made crafts, jewellery and leather goods. The East Colonnade Market you can find handmade soaps, clothes, sweets and much more and in the Jubilee Market in the South Hall it sells different items on different days with Monday's being an antique day. The weekend the market sells arts and crafts.
A lot of the what it used to shops and storage areas for the traders years ago now they have become cafes, restaurants and shops. Is always something to do or see there from street performers in the Piazza or the surrounding streets and at Christmas and Easter they do make a lot of effort decorating the whole place beautifully.
Monday to Friday 10.00am to 9.00pm
Saturday 9.00am to 8.00pm
Sunday 11.30am to 6.00pm
Nearest Station is Covent Garden but Leicester Square and Embankment are only five to ten minutes away.
Everybody loves Covent Garden. I can sit for hours at one of the restaurants at the market and listen to the music and watch the people. The Covent Garden and Soho areas, which are right next to each other, are my all time favourite spaces in London. Walking along Charing Cross Road makes me happy. I've done it tons of times, but I am still excited to go there.
The market is busy and interesting. The restaurants are great.
The Christmas lights are already up and everywhere in London including Covent Garden.
The decorations in the market are simple but effective with a giant 22 feet silver reindeer on one side of the Piazza by the London Transport museum and a handpicked Christmas tree on the other side with 150, 000 sparkling pea sized lights onthe Piazza by Punch & Judy pub.
The decorations in the rest of the market it’s large red and silver hanging balls.
The main attraction and especially for the children it will be the live reindeers which you can pet them and hand feed them. The reindeers will be at Covent Garden every Saturday from 12.00 pm until 4.00pm until Christmas. The largest reindeer has got the largest antlers I have ever seen.
On Saturday the 6th of December at the West Piazza the 34th Great Christmas Pudding race will take place in aid of Cancer Research UK. The entertainment will take place at 11.15 and the first race will start at 12.10.
There are also a lot of stalls selling mulled wine and mince pies and handmade gifts.
Most of the times I've been to London I paid a visit to Govent Garden. (only exception waslast year)...
I absolutely love to be there - the little charming cafès, reatsurants little shops and the market itself.
Tourists from all over the world and Londoners or British people love to come here and enjoy there time.
Street artist are very special herte and I love to watch them.
You have so many opportunities to spend your time there and everyone will find something great to to.
I always choose to go there by food - I enjoy walking there from Leicester Square, over Charing Cross Road and I especially love to walk along Shaftesbury Avenue...
There are may ways to get there.
I would say AVOID GOING BY TUBE there.
Just stroll around and enjoy the atmoshere...
You won't regret it...
If you love Covent Garden and visit it regularly you have noticed them already.
Who will be there for the first time - youl sure will love to watch them.
If you are standing in the front row you might get involved - what can turn out a funny experience.
There are so many kinds of artists - you will find one where stop and watch them for a while.
A visit to Covent Garden is a bit like stepping back in time. For those that have seen the theatre production, My Fair Lady, you'll recognize some of the area.
Formerly the fruit market, today it is a bit of everything for the tourist trade. Antiques, souvenir shops, pubs, even street actors passing the hat after their acts.
It is a fun place to pass the time people watching as well as shopping.
In 2012 when I was in London with Evan (Evenith666) we met up with Fen by a spitfire in Covent Garden and I did not really have a look around, It was straight off to a fantastic pub nearby for a good chat!
When I visited London for my Birthday in 2013 with Vicki (Myfanwe) we had a walk around Covent Garden, There are some very nice shops and stalls as well as some great places to eat and drink. I was very impressed with the street entertainment as well, especially from a Lady that was singing, she was very good, When we visit again this year (2014) I would like to call there earlier in the day as a lot of the stalls had closed (or were just closing) and have a really good look around.