London

Central London

Introducing Central London

To comprehend the scope of London, a good place to start is at the city’s navel, anchoring it to its place in history and geography – the middle of Waterloo Bridge. Here, the full meaning of what makes this city so special spreads along the vista, outlining the two power bases; the financial City in the east, and the secular and religious might of Westminster in the west.

The City is and always was the financial heart of London, though it’s a strange paradox that the ancient birthplace of the capital lies deserted after 8pm on Fridays, with a few stalwart inhabitants keeping certain pubs and restaurants alive. Wandering around the quiet alleys and back passages on a weekend can be a magical experience, as layers of history are stripped back and wisps of bygone eras waft by.

What many visitors mean when they say they are going to London is the West End. From the neon lights in Soho, to the extravagant gentlemen’s clubs in Mayfair, this is the megapolis that has something for everyone – afternoon tea is taken at its place of inception, The Langham, illicit cocktails are sampled at the ECC in Chinatown and post-dancing espressos knocked back at the 24/7 Bar Italia on Frith Street.

Shopping reaches retail nirvana on Sloane Street, New Bond Street and the King’s Road, while intrepid swimmers head for the Serpentine and spoilt-for-choice art lovers dip in and out of the National Gallery and Royal Academy.

As to old Sam Johnson’s statement that being tired of London means you’re tired of life? The thought had never even occurred to us.

Take a walk around with us

  • Bayswater

    A vibrant, cosmopolitan area on the doorstep of Hyde Park, Bayswater is one of the city’s great melting pots. With well-established Greek, Middle-Eastern and Brazilian ...

  • Belgravia

    Bordered to the east by Buckingham Palace, Belgravia’s sweeping colonnades and grand Victorian terraces have made it one of the capital’s most exclusive areas. The ...

  • Bloomsbury

    A district of Georgian garden squares ringed by elegant townhouses, Bloomsbury has a smart, cerebral air – there aren’t many other places where you can ...

  • Chelsea

    Where the go-getters go to have a good time, Chelsea has it all. At its heart is the King’s Road – playground of the rich ...

  • City of London

    Westminster’s smarter, besuited cousin, this square mile is the oldest part of London. Walk its maze of streets and you’ll find names that attest to ...

  • Clerkenwell

    Just down the road from Shoreditch, Clerkenwell is one of the capital’s new cultural hubs. To the north is Sadler’s Wells theatre, where you’ll find ...

  • Covent Garden

    Once a quiet convent, today Covent Garden is the fashionable centre of London’s shopping and theatre districts. Along with neighbouring Leicester Square, the area is ...

  • Holborn

    The capital’s legal quarter since the 14th century, the cloistered establishments where bright young sparks would lodge and study for the bar still remain. As ...

  • Kensington

    Wrapped around the south-western corner of Hyde Park, stay in Kensington and you’ll count the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among your neighbours. Just behind ...

  • Knightsbridge

    Knightsbridge has become synonymous with luxury shopping and high-end homes – both Harvey Nichols and Harrods call this smart stretch of road home. Amidst the ...

  • Marylebone

    Marylebone is a smart neighbourhood of redbrick townhouses, bordered to the south by Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping thoroughfare. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once lived ...

  • Mayfair

    With its world-class restaurants and international galleries, Mayfair is – in many ways – the jewel in London’s crown. Bond Street is here, an array ...

  • Notting Hill

    From its pastel townhouses to the Caribbean carnival, Notting Hill is one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods. Wander down picturesque Portobello Road to browse its ...

  • Pimlico

    Located southwest of Victoria and a short walk from Sloane Square, Pimlico is the ideal place to dip into a novel over a pint, or ...

  • Soho

    You’re in London’s glittering West End, a hive of activity, with world-famous theatres, fine dining and smart shopping in every direction. Soho is also the ...

  • South Kensington

    South Kensington – or ‘South Ken’ – is London’s museum quarter. You’ll find moon rocks at the Science Museum and rock oysters at the Bibendum ...

  • Waterloo

    Home to the Southbank Centre, the Tate Modern and the Young and Old Vic theatres, Waterloo is London’s cultural powerhouse (the Tate Modern was actually ...

  • Westminster

    The residents of Westminster share their neighbourhood with Big Ben, tolling out the time with pomp and circumstance. From Buckingham Palace to Downing Street, this ...

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