Piccadilly Circus is a public area in London’s West End area where Regent Street and Piccadily street converge. Today, Piccadilly links to parts of Shaftesbury Ave and Glasshouse Street, as well as Coventry Street and Haymarket. Piccadilly Circus is located right in the heart of London, and there are quite a few different things people can see and do while there.
When Shaftesbury Ave became part of Piccadilly Circus back in 1885, the plaza became a very busy traffic junction. This attracted a lot of advertisers. By 1895 the city of London started to get illuminated billboards. Today, if you visit Piccadilly Circus, you will notice that one building has large electronic billboards. When one sees the displays it is said that they might be reminded of Times Square in New York City.
The Memorial Fountain
When you head into the center of Piccadilly Circus, you will notice that there is a memorial fountain. The official name for the fountain is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain. It was built was to remember Lord Shaftesbury, who was a philanthropist who supported the poor. This fountain is also very old, as it was built in 1893. Visitors who go to Piccadilly Circus should make time to go and view the memorial fountain, as it is one of the most amazing fountains in all of London. Visitors will notice that there is a statue, called the Eros Statue, that is located right at the top of the fountain. The statue was made from aluminum, while the actual fountain is made from bronze.
One of the reasons why people from all around the world visit Piccadilly Circus is because of the major shops that are located there. On the west side of Piccadilly is where The Sting is located, which is a clothing brand store. Shoppers can find Lillywhites, which is a very popular sporting goods retail store, on Lower Regent Street, right by the memorial fountain. When one is craving food they can go to a very popular food hall at Fortnum & Mason. These are just a handful of the shops that are located in Piccadilly Circus. People who come to Piccadilly will see that there are many different shops and restaurants to experience.
The London Pavilion
The London Pavilion is located between Shaftesbury Ave and Coventry Street. The first ever London Pavilion was first constructed back in 1859, and it served as a music hall. In 1885, a brand new London Pavilion was built, and that too functioned as a music hall. Electronic billboards were eventually installed on the side of the London Pavilion back in 1923. The building was again rebuilt back in 1986, but served as a shopping center. Visitors to the London Pavilion will be impressed with the interior and exterior architecture of the building.
The Criterion Theatre
This 600 seat theatre can be found on Piccadilly’s south side. What makes this theatre one of the most interesting in the world is that the entire theatre, with the exception of the box office area, is underground. In order to reach the theatre’s sitting area, one must go down a long stairway. This particular venue is also old, as it was originally built back in 1874.
Getting to Piccadilly is very easy to do, with the easiest way to get their being the Tube. There is a Tube station that is located right in Piccadilly. You can also drive there, but finding parking can sometimes be very difficult to do. If you want to avoid traffic, then take the Tube.