image: Balthazar Nebot

Covent Garden

Life in the piazza

Covent Garden is a shopping and tourist site in the west end of London.

The area is bounded by Drury Lane and St Martins Lane to the east and west and Seven Dials and the Strand to the north and south, although most people refer to the open piazza at the centre of this area as Covent Garden.

The northern part of the area is largely made up of shops and offices. The area around the piazza is home to a large number of restaurants and bars and a thriving covered market. The open areas of the piazza are the haunt of street performers.

It gets its name from being the 13th century walled garden of Westminster Abbey, and was originally known as the garden of the Abbey and Convent.

Until 1974, the area was used as the main fruit and vegetable market for the capital. When the market was moved to the docklands area in east London, the area was redeveloped as a leisure and tourist attraction.

Notable buildings in the area include the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the Royal Opera House and the London Transport Museum.

The image above shows the area around the piazza in 1830, before the market hall was built.


Official website
The Market
London WC2E 8RF
Official website
1 hour
Opening hours
Open every day
00:00 - 23:59
Free entry
Accessibility   No information available
Last update - 20 May 2016
Costs checked - May 2016
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