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View of Covent Garden main hall

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Guide to Covent Garden Market

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About

Covent Garden Market is a must see for any London visitor ready for some first-rate retail therapy in a traditional English setting. This bustling covered market and its neighbouring piazza are located near the very heart of London and offer a little something for everyone. A short walking distance from Covent Garden Station and Leicester Square, the market is exceptionally easy to reach from virtually any part of London, and as you'll see almost any day of the week (and especially on a Saturday afternoon), people from across London and the world keep this popular destination hopping throughout the year.

History

A fruit and vegetable market from the 1500's and a notorious red light district during the 18th Century, today Covent Garden Market features an impressive range of shopping opportunities from top of the line fashion outlets to souvenirs and antiques - all nestled within the arcades of its lovely Victorian-era structure. Covent Garden Market is an excellent spot to step back in time, pick up all sorts of souvenirs for the folks back home and treat yourself to something special as well.

Apple Market and Jubilee Market

Still linked closely with its past, two areas of Covent Garden Market, Apple Market and Jubilee Market give visitors an opportunity to shop as they might have in centuries past. Apple Market in the North Hall features antiques (jewellery, clothing, silverware and more) on Mondays and arts and crafts during the rest of the week. South of the piazza is Jubilee Market, with clothing, shoes and a selection of household goods for sale. Both areas are fun to visit, even if you're just browsing.

The Piazza

Should you require a break from the Covent Garden shopping experience, a step out to the large airy pedestrians-only piazza provides a wealth of entertainment from a number of London's best street performers and buskers, not to mention the photo opportunities accompanying such activity. From opera singers to jugglers, these performers put their hearts into making visitors feel welcome. There's also the London Transport Museum just outside the market, sharing London's fascinating transport history along with a nice little cafe and gift shop. Plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafes are located on the piazza as well as in the market itself. Of course, if you still haven't had your share of shopping, the nearby Seven Dials area presents even more chances to further explore one of London's most happening retail scenes.

Eating

If you need a pick-me-up to help stay alert or a caffeine boost before the next leg of your shopping expedition, consider popping into the tiny Monmouth Coffee Company just up the road on Monmouth Street. It's a quaint and rustic little gem serving arguably the best coffee in London. For a quick, tasty and healthy refuelling, try Just Falafs. Located on the piazza opposite the London Transport Museum, this friendly little eatery provides organic falafel wraps, salads and more at commendable prices.

Our Tip

Although the area around Covent Garden Market is safe, it attracts large crowds. Furthermore, with all the street performances and interesting sights to take in, it's simple enough to get distracted. Sadly, pickpockets taking advantage of the situation are not unknown (however they are extremely rare). Staying aware of your belongings and keeping an eye out for any suspicious behaviour is always a good idea.

Verdict

With its assortment of shopping and entertainment and its variety food and drink options, a visit to Covent Garden is a safe bet for a fun outing. The best to day to visit is Sunday when they have street performers


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5 star hotels

The Savoy Hotel

The Strand, London, WC2R 0EU GB
The Savoy Hotel has been accurately restored to its former glory, with modern facilities and new rooms to ensure your satisfaction. Covent Garden is a 5 minute walk.

One Aldwych

1 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4RH GB
Perfect location on the edge of Covent Garden in the West End, this boutique hotel is in an ideal area to access a multitude of restaurants and shops. Walk across Westminster Bridge and you are at the Southbank and the London Eye.
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Grange Holborn Hotel

50-60 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4AR
The Holborn Hotel is located in the heart of London's West End many well known attractions are a very short walk, these include Theatreland, the Strand, Covent Garden, the City, Soho, China Town, Leicester Square and Oxford Street. Holborn underground station is just 200 yards walk and offers a direct transfer to London Heathrow Airport Terminals. More like a good 4 star but even so great weekend deals here.
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4 star hotels

Radisson Kenilworth Hotel

Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LB GB
The Radisson Edwardian Kenilworth is situated in a prime location in Bloomsbury, in London's lively West End. Only 50 metres from the British Museum, this four-star hotel presents luxurious accommodation with a welcoming and calming atmosphere. This hotel is about a 15 minute easy walk to Covent Garden.
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3 star hotels

Strand Palace Hotel

372 Strand, London, WC2R OJJ GB
A superb location on The Strand and very close to Covent Garden. It is a little dated but this is reflected in the prices.
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3 star apartment

Citadines Apartments Trafalgar Square

18-21 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5EA
Just a few minutes stroll to Covent Garden from Citadines Apartments just off Trafalgar Square in the West End. From here you can also walk to the London Eye.
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St Giles Hotel

1 Bedford Avenue, London, WC1B 3AU, United Kingdom
Located on Tottenham Court Road near the Dominion Theatre, the St Giles is a large tourist class hotel offering value for money accommodation. Covent Garden is about a 15 minute easy walk.
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2 star hotels

Royal National

Bedford Way , London, WC1H 0DG GB
The Royal National Hotel is about a 15 minute walk to Covent Garden. This is the largest hotel in London. Rooms are adequate but a little dated. They do have family rooms and on site car parking.
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