If you want to get a natural capital city buzz hit the most famous road junction in the world in London’s Piccadilly Circus. The modern electronic billboards may be reminiscent of New York’s Times Square but Piccadilly Circus has buckets of charm with its old, beautiful and character-filled buildings that surround the area.
Its mid-day liveliness may be too much for some with bustling tourists and racing traffic but it’s an amazing attraction for visitors to the capital who want to catch a slice of the city’s vibrancy.
Piccadilly Circus has arguably a more interesting history than Times Square having been designed by architect John Nash in 1819 and named after the street Piccadilly, which it connects to today.
The name Piccadilly first appeared in 1626 named after a house belonging to a tailor called Robert Baker who was famous for selling piccadills or collars.
Piccadilly Circus competes very healthily in providing all forms of entertainment for tourists and has an enviable position lying at the heart of London’s Theatreland.
It leads directly on to the theatres in Shaftesbury Avenue and is surrounded by several major tourist attractions including the historic Shaftesbury Monument memorial fountain. The fountain is topped by an iconic winged nude statue of the Greek god Anteros, which was the first statue in the world to be cast in aluminium.
The Criterion Theatre, a Grade II listed building, stands on the south side of Piccadilly Circus. Opened in 1874 the entire theatre, apart from the box office, is located underground and is a major hit with theatre fans.
The nightlife in the area is also a plus point with a huge number of popular bars and clubs in nearby Soho and Piccadilly Circus caters also for those with a penchant for shopping with several major retail stores in the area.
Visiting Piccadilly Circus in the evening is an extraordinary thing to witness especially in its fully illuminated state and is a picture postcard image that will remain with you forever.