Detailed review by loiserg
Riseley, United Kingdom
The call of Covent Garden may well be the My Fair Lady scenes, for me it was, but for whatever reason you visit there is lots to see and experience, day or night.
Senses are stimulated here, sight, sound, smell are all on high alert. It's all a bit of an experience getting there, via tube, bus or on foot.
When I first arrived in London I headed to Covent
Garden, one of the oldest parts of London, and since then I've been many times and take all my overseas visitors there.
Getting there by train is your first taste of something different. On arriving at the tube station there is a sign to tell you that you can walk up but the stairs, but upon reading the high number of stairs (I think it's in the hundreds!) you will most certainly decide to take one of the large lifts.
''Please have your ticket ready when getting out of the lift'' is good advice because when the door opens you are practically on the street. And what a street it is. Turn right and you are there, Covent Garden is just a short cobble-walk in front of you.
That walk is neat. Buskers, entertainers and of course the now expected living 'statue' - if you take a photo of them be prepared to pay or you'll receive some ridicule from the artists.
Covent Garden's history is old, enduring and so important to London. It's evolution has centred around the arts, theatre, hundreds of restaurants and of course the market stalls and entertainment.
Nowadays you can sit at the cafes, listen to truly professional entertainers in the 'pit' where you'll also find the most interesting ''cavern'' pub, under the building.
Back to the stalls. They are set out in rows in the first part of the market but as you move through there are shops and other traders. Then you come to the real market. This is fantastic, with stalls for tons and tons of shopping, including souviners. You're sure to love it as much as I do.
Covent Garden has it all; craft, clothes, ornaments, jewellery, candles, leather, toys, food, books, antiques, cards, bags, entertainment and tons more.
If nostalgia is your thing, Covent Garden has heaps of it. For me, it came in the form of a visit upstairs to a tiny toy shop; here they have the toy soldiers my brothers played with in the 1950s and to my huge surprise, I found some angel stickers I'd collected in the same decade. Lost years ago, I'm pleased to say I now have a set again! They've also got the paper ''theatres'', intriguing today as they were so many years ago.
Covent Garden is a must if you want to see one of London's best attractions and it's free - only be prepared to buy, buy, buy. Make sure you've got time to sit at one of the cafe/bars, order a drink and just sit there and soak up the Covent Garden atmosphere.
In the area is the London Transport Museum, The Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and many other theatres and galleries around about.
I did see a delightful flower cart, but the sweet flower seller didn't look like Eliza!! Never mind, there's heaps of history about, that makes up for Eliza having a day off!!!
You can walk to Covent Garden from many other London attractions, get a good map and be sure to include Liza Doolittle's home territory in your London experience.
Covent Garden Market