A brief guide to Charing Cross station


Charing Cross station is one of the busiest railway and Underground stations in central London.

Situated close to Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and The Strand, it is an intersection of the Bakerloo and the Northern (Underground) lines and of various train lines from mostly the south of the country – operated by Southern Trains and Southeastern trains. Numerous buses also stop at the station.

Exploring Covent Garden in London

Charing Cross lies within walking distance of many cultural attractions, including the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden with its many theatres.

Major Shops near Charing Cross Railway Station

The station is ideally positioned for a spot of shopping. Most of the UK’s chain stores are represented within half a mile of Charing Cross, and there are many more specialised shops of high quality in the area too.

Tie Rack (Kiosk 1, Covent Garden, Charing Cross train station) sells fabulous ties, scarves, socks, underwear, cufflinks, handkerchiefs and tie pins. This branch caters especially to travellers, and could prove to be essential for those items you forgot to pack.

Waterstone’s (Trafalgar Square) is one of the UK’s main high street booksellers. It is housed in what was previously Simpson’s of Piccadilly – the famous menswear department store. The shop is great for holiday reads, academic books, biographies and general inspirational works. Even though this particular branch is small, it is very comfortable and conveniently located.

Jigsaw (The Strand, Covent Garden) is a fashion chain for ladies. It offers affordable but upmarket-looking fashion for ladies and children.

Paperchase (The Strand, Covent Garden)  is a great shop for all things stationery. You can find great gifts here, as well as greeting cards, wrapping paper and a wide selection of stylish writing utensils.

The Stamp Centre (Strand, Covent Garden) sells stamps and autographs. Browsing only allowed!

Parking near Charing Cross Railway Station

  • Tolpuddle Street Car Park (0.1 miles)
  • Savoy Adelphi Car Park (0.2 miles)
  • Coleshill Parkway, Kingsway (0.6 miles)

Things to see and do at/near Charing Cross Railway Station

The station and its immediate surroundings might be London’s quintessential tourist hub, mostly because everyone seems to have arrived at the very same instant, but the lively hustle and bustle conceals a few real gems. There is something for everyone here, including:

The National Gallery

The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square houses over 2,300 paintings from Western European artists that lived from the middle ages to the 20th century, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir and Van Gogh.

The collection is very well laid out to guide visitors through the centuries. Rooms are organised along similar themes or artists and a free audio tour provides information on personally selected items, which means you do not have to listen to a pre-programmed story.

The collection is not as large as many other major European art museums, but it is encyclopaedic in scope; virtually all major developments in Western painting are represented with important works.

Trafalgar Square

This is one of London’s most attractive cultural open spaces. It hosts many events and activities throughout the year, including cultural celebrations, commercial happenings, rallies and demonstrations, filming and photographic shoots. It connects to many museums and historic buildings.

Historic spots

Nelson’s Column towers over Trafalgar Square at a height of more than 50 meters. It commemorates Admiral Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The four lions surrounding the monument  are believed to protect Nelson’s Column.

Directly outside of Charing Cross Station you can find the Eleanor cross, dating back to 1290. Originally it was put up just south of Trafalgar Square, but in 1863 a beautiful replica was created. It then made space for the Charles I monument, which is still around today and is well-documented.

Charing Cross Theatre

Charing Cross Theatre can be found under the arches midway on Villiers Street. A hotbed for today’s avant garde, the theatre is known for its daring and frequently well received plays. Its bar attracts the bohemian type with live piano music on most evenings. Do not expect high culture, but also do not expect a nightclub; Charing Cross Theatre sits nicely in the middle.

The Strand

Technically not Charing Cross, but in practice, it very much is. This legendary stretch of pavement epitomises London and is lined with a number of famous hotels, including The Savoy, as well as world-renowned theatres like the Vaudeville. Its corpusculent gate leads to Whitehall Place. Most tourists know The Strand for the Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Avenue.

Nearby hotels for visitors to the area.

Here are just some of the many fine establishments that visitors might like to stay in during their time in the area:

  • The Montcalm London Marble Arch  – 1.60 miles
  • The Montcalm at The Brewery London City – 1.68 miles
  • The Marble Arch By Montcalm London  –  1.59 miles
  • London City Suites By Montcalm – 1.64 miles
  • M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City – 2.04 miles
  • Shaftesbury Hyde Park International – 2.69 miles
  • London Premier Notting Hill  – 2.96 miles