Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
West End of London
- This article is about the West End of London. For other uses of the name West End, see West End (disambiguation).
The term West End is most commonly used to refer to the West End of London, England. The West End contains most of London's major theatres, and is therefore synonymous with London theatre, hence a major tourist attraction, (see West End Theatre).
Located to the west of the historic Roman and Mediaeval City of London, the West End was long favoured by the rich elite as a place of residence because it was more often upwind of the smoke drifting from the crowded city. It was also located close to the royal seat of power at Westminster, and is largely contained within the City of Westminster. Developed in the Seventeenth , Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries it was originally built as a series of palaces, expensive town houses , fashionable shops and places of entertainment. The areas closest to the City around Holborn Seven Dials and Covent Garden historically contained poorer communities that were cleared and redeveloped in the nineteenth century.
The West End is a flexible term with different meanings in different contexts. It may refer to the entertainment district around Leicester Square and Covent Garden; to the shopping district centred on Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Bond Street (but the geographically distinct shopping district around Knightsbridge would be counted as "West End Shopping" by some); or to the whole of that part of Central London (itself an area with no generally agreed boundaries) which lies to the west of the City of London.
Districts in London's West End include:
- Covent Garden
- Seven Dials
- St James's
Famous streets in the West End:
- Charing Cross Road
- Oxford Street
- Regent Street
- Bond Street
- Shaftesbury Avenue
- Tottenham Court Road
- The Strand
- Wardour Street
Famous squares and circuses in the West End:
- Leicester Square
- Trafalgar Square
- Berkeley Square
- Piccadilly Circus
- Oxford Circus
- Hyde Park Corner
- Marble Arch
- Soho Square
See also: List of London theatres
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