This excursion will be back soon. In the meantime we’d be happy to organise a private tour for you. Please contact us on 020 7624 3978 | privatewalks@walks.com to make a booking.

In Focus – Covent Garden Piazza

Covent Garden underground station, London

Guided by Simon W.

Streets Ahead! More trail blazing by the best urban walking tour guides on the planet. In Focus walks are an extremely detailed look – "what I love about London Walks is the degree of granularity you get" (as that American visitor memorably put it) – at the most famous streets and squares of London. And their tributaries. Today's In Focus walk explores Covent Garden Piazza. Started something, the Piazza. 'Twas the first ever London Square. Inigo Jones, the architect, had been to Italy, was very influenced by the Italian style. It was said of the Piazza, "here he [Inigo Jones] brought italy to England." Started something. Because today London has over 700 squares. But this patch of London turf goes back much further than a mere 385 years. The Saxons were here. Lived here. This was Lundenwic. Established a mere 1400 years ago. We give ourselves an "out" on the In Focus walks – "tributaries" come into the action (if the guide sees fit to bring 'em in). Well, notice the disciplined grid of streets around the the Piazza. That was Inigo Jones. And Italy. And the riches just keep tumbling out of this cornucopia. Bedford's great house. Aristrocratic dwellers. T. E. Lawrence. There's Hitchcock. There's the most famous meeting in English Lit. There's Coffee houses, taverns, theatres, theatres, traders of all kinds, throngs of Londoners and visitors. To say nothing of flowers, fruit, vegetables, dubious characters and the vice trade. There's the reason this was the only place in London where Shaw could plausibly open Pygmalion (which of course became the musical My Fair Lady). To say nothing of the street name Full of Dung Heaps, pissing on the populace, England's greatest painter, London's oldest restaurant and the Royal Opera House. OMG. And as for "To say nothings" – the walk's been curated by (and is guided by) one of the brightest stars in the London Walks firmament, the dashing young actor and Royal Opera House guide and award-winning Blue Badge Guide, Simon W.