Covent Garden, London
As one of London’s leading areas for culture, shopping and entertainment, there is no shortage of things to do in Covent Garden. Browse artisan stalls at the famous Apple Market, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many stylish restaurants, pick up some bargains at the shops on the Piazza or see a show in the West End. You’ll never be stuck wondering what to do in Covent Garden.
What is Covent Garden?
Over the years, Covent Garden has evolved from a convent’s garden outside St Paul’s Church into one of London’s most famous locations. The pedestrianized area known as Covent Garden Piazza is based around a cobbled square where there is always something going on - you may even come across live performers, street food vendors and pop-up shops.
The area itself is one of the most sought after in the whole of London, and it’s easy to see why. It boasts countless fantastic local restaurants, a range of trendy bars offering delicious cocktails and live music, a bustling market and Piazza packed full of branded and independent retailers, a range of cultural activities, and excellent transport links.
Where is Covent Garden?
Covent Garden is a central area in London, located in the West End. It straddles the Borough of Camden and the City of Westminster and is bordered by Shaftesbury Avenue to the north and the River Thames to the south.
The History of Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s history spans over 400 years. It takes its name from the 13th century when it was a site that belonged to the Convent of St Peter at Westminster. This ‘convent garden’ became a prominent place to trade London’s fruit and vegetables. Today, Covent Garden Market is one of the largest produce markets in the world.
In 1540, King Henry VIII dissolved all of the country’s monastic properties and granted the land to the 1st Earl of Bedford. In 1627, the fourth Earl of Bedford commissioned architect Inigo Jones to build houses ‘fit for the habitations of Gentlemen.’
Influenced by classical Italian architecture, Jones built St Paul’s churchyard, located behind the cobbled Piazza, and three sides of terraced houses which looked out onto an open courtyard. Today, the churchyard and Piazza remain at the centre of Covent Garden life.
Things to do in Covent Garden
- Browse the many Covent Garden shops like Nicole Farhi, Aspinal of London, Chanel, Mulberry, Burberry and Apple. Whether you’re looking for designer shops or independent boutiques, Covent Garden shopping is second to none.
- See street entertainers from buskers to mime artists and magicians at the bustling Covent Garden Piazza.
- Enjoy a meal at a vibrant restaurant in Covent Garden. Head to the New York import, Balthazar for a foodie treat, or visit London’s oldest restaurant, Rules, on Maiden Lane. The options for places to eat in Covent Garden are endless.
- Experience a show at a renowned theatre on the West End. Perhaps The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre or the world’s longest running play; Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at St Martin’s Theatre?
- Visit one of the many Covent Garden museums, like the London Transport Museum, the Film Museum, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.
- Stop by a world-famous university like King’s College London.
- Browse Covent Garden’s Apple and East Colonnade markets to discover artisan food, crafts, gifts and more.
- Walk or take a bus along Strand - a ¾ mile-long thoroughfare in the heart of London where you can see the beautiful buildings and take in London’s lively atmosphere.
- Enjoy a drink at one of the many bars in Covent Garden such as the Punch and Judy or Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour.
- See a ballet or opera performance at the historic Royal Opera House.
- Admire the cobbles and architecture on Floral Street, Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials – definitely worth a look if you’re near Covent Garden.
- Stay over in luxury at The Savoy – a five-star hotel with incredible views over London’s most iconic landmarks.
Covent Garden has evolved into one of London’s most iconic locations; a vibrant hub for culture, entertainment and shopping. For more information on things to do in Covent Garden, read our development showcase on living in London.
Buying Property in Covent Garden
No one knows more about residential properties in Covent Garden than CBRE, having been experts in the area since 1899.
If you’re looking to buy property in Covent Garden, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the mixture of entertainment and architectural beauty. This collection of residences has appealed to the rich and famous for many years, with the Piazza being one of the most sought-after residential addresses in the capital.
Transport in Covent Garden
Situated in central London, Covent Garden is very well connected by the tube, train and bus, so getting to and from the area is easy. Use TFL’s Journey Planner to find your best journey.
- Covent Garden
- Charing Cross
- Charing Cross
- Waterloo East
- City Thameslink