London is infamous for its busy roads and lengthy traffic queues which is why many locals and tourists choose to get around on two wheels instead of four. Although it may be slower, there is much more to see when riding a bike through the streets of London.
Piccadilly is a great place to travel on foot or via bicycle. The vibrant streets near our boutique hotels in West End London are full of hidden gems to discover. Here are our top picks of things to see and do when taking the grand tour of Piccadilly.
Browse the West End
Piccadilly is a luxurious area, filled with stunning architecture which typifies the UK’s illustrious past. The glitz and glamour of the stage are all very much on display in Piccadilly and all in close range of the Piccadilly London West End hotels. Fans of the arts will enjoy checking out the daring heritage buildings in this area such as the Criterion Restaurant, which dates to the 1870s and is a study in decadent art nouveau style. There is an angel statue in the centre of the junction, largely regarded as Piccadilly’s most famous monument, named the Statue of Eros and dedicated to Victorian philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury.
Stop at a Piccadilly Bookstore
Piccadilly is home to the largest bookshop in Europe, in the form of Waterstones Piccadilly branch. While reading may not be on your agenda while staying at one of the top boutique hotels in West End London, it’s definitely worth checking out some of the wonderful bookshops that can be found dotted around the area. From new releases and celebrity biographies to classic titles and vintage prints, the bookshops in Piccadilly are full of literary treasures waiting to be discovered.
Check out the Famous Piccadilly Lights
Piccadilly has long been a site filled with illuminated images, most prominently advertisements for upcoming shows and big-name companies. The Coca-Cola sign has been in place since 1954 – but there are only six illuminated screens left in Piccadilly Circus, and on rare occasions and for special events, these are turned off completely, creating quite a contrast for a location to well-known for its light!
The light-up screens at Piccadilly also provide a helpful public function, displaying information about London Underground closures and delays. The adverts have been located here for over a century, and don’t show any signs of going away for good now – be sure to stop and take a few snapshots while travelling through.
Enjoy a Local Park
Take a break from cycling and enjoy St James Square, with a long history dating back to 1662. There are plenty of stunning buildings to observe along the way, each with their own stories to tell. A little further along, you’ll find the heritage brand Fortnum & Mason’s headquarters, perfect for topping up on some luxury food to make for a cycling picnic.