If you are staying in one of our hotels near Piccadilly Circus London, here are some great attractions located just within walking distance of Piccadilly Circus.
White Cube Mason’s Yard: The spiritual home of many Young British Artists (YBA) and internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, The White Cube Mason’s Yard gallery is considered to be among the world’s most influential exhibition spaces for contemporary art. Originally opened in 1993 by art dealer Jay Jopling, the son of a Conservative MP, on Duke’s Street; however, it was then closed down and re-opened up next to Green Park. It is now located on St. James street, becoming the White Cube Mason’s Yard in 2006. Designed by MRJ Rundell & Associates, it became the first free-standing building in to be built in St. James’ area in more than 30 years. Mason’s Yard was launched with an inaugural exhibition by Gabriel Orozco.
The White Cube Mason’s Yard is located off Duke’s Street in St. James and includes specialist installation spaces, a main, basement level galleries, a bookshop, and a 60-seat auditorium. The White Cube has exhibited the works of internationally acclaimed contemporary artists such as: Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Tracey Emin, and Gilbert and George.
The National Gallery – Situated in Trafalgar Square, this art museum is in the heart of London. Housing over 2300 paintings from the 13th Century to the 20th Century, including the works by world famous artists such as: Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Renoir, Turner, and Van Gogh. Best of all, admission to the gallery is free!
National Portrait Gallery– Also located in Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery holds the world’s largest collection of personalities and portraits. From kings and queens, to film starts and musicians, the gallery allows visitors to come face to face with some of Britain’s prestigious figures. These figures include William Shakespeare, Henry the Eighth, and other self-portraits by famous artists. Admission to this gallery is also free.
The West End– Similar to Broadway in New York City, London West End is the pinnacle of theatre land. The West End is home to 40 of London’s longest standing theatres and is where every playwright dreams of staging their show. With long running hits such as Mama Mia, Les Miserables, Wicked, Jersey Boys, and The Lion King there is something for everyone at the West End. Besides the neon lights of the West End, there is a cluster of cafes, bars, restaurants, designer label shops, and even bargains shops towards Oxford Street. The buzzing city centre caters to over 15 million tourists every day and this part of the city truly never sleeps.
Leicester Square– Right in the thicket of The West End, Leicester Square is connected to numerous attractions such as Trafalgar Square, China Town, and Covent Gardens. Leicester Square is the heart beat of British cinema where many of London movie opening nights take place. Usually the streets are flooded with fans eagerly anticipating the arrival of their favourite stars outside of the state of the art cinemas in Leicester Square. There are Bronze casts of handprints lined around the square of some of the most famous film stars, including Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Sir Ian McKellen. There is also a beautiful garden area lined with benches which is overlooked by statues of some great talents such as Shakespeare, Charlie Chaplin, and the founder of scientific surgery, John Hunter. This is perfect place to take a break from wandering around the capital and enjoy a sweet picnic.
The British Museum– The world’s oldest museum, The British Museum was found in 1753. The collection was first started by Hans Sloane which soon expanded in 1847, when Robert Smirke designed the neo-classical building that became the site of the museum. The interior spans two and a half miles and feature ninety galleries. The museum has exhibits which span the last two mission years of history, the major exhibits include treasure from Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Some of the museums most precious exhibits include the Rosetta stone, Egyptian mummies, and Mildenhall treasures. In 1997, the British Library moved to its on building outside of the museum and the space was transformed into London’s first glass covered square. The space was designed by Sir Norman Foster and named the “Great Court.” Karl Marx and George Bernhard Shaw have studied in the core of this “Great Court,” and the museum is worth visiting for these two design masterpieces alone. The British Museum is the most visited attraction in London due to its superlative exhibits and its free admission.
London Transport Museum– In what used to be a flower market, the London Transport Museum opened in 1980 by Princess Anne. Designed by William Rogers, the museum tells the history of London Transport since the 19th century. Permanent exhibitions include “The Birth of London Transport,” which explores London’s first public transport system introduced in 1829. The “Trams and Trolleybuses” exhibit shows the shift towards electric transport which allowed for the first real mass transport system through the city streets. The earliest motor bus is also available to view along with private vehicles dating back through the last 150 years. There is a small fee to enter the museum which can easily be assessed via Holborn.