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One of London’s most popular and iconic gathering spots, and known as the Times Square of London, Piccadilly Circus is on the west side, in the City of Westminster. It was originally built to connect Regent Street to the major shopping street, Piccadilly, and is called a “circus” from the Latin word for “circle.” When you visit the area, you'll see that the circus is round and open, in order to accommodate all the foot and vehicle traffic.
Today, Piccadilly Circus sits at the intersection of five main roads – Regent Street, Covent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Haymarket and Piccadilly Street. Its position as a major traffic junction has made it popular with advertisers. Brightly illuminated billboards, video displays and neon signs can be seen from almost every angle.
Piccadilly Circus Attractions
Shaftesbury Memorial and Eros:
Located on the southwest side of the circus, the Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain commemorates the philanthropy of Victorian era politician Lord Shaftesbury. The fountain is topped by a statue known as Eros – a widely popular London public icon used as the symbol of the Evening Standard newspaper. The fountain’s wide steps are one of the city’s most prominent meeting spots.
London Pavilion: The northeastern edge of the circus holds the London Pavilion – the legendary former music hall which now houses Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and a shopping arcade.
Shopping is plentiful in and around Piccadilly Circus and includes Lillywhites and the Virgin Megastore among its well known retail destinations.
Piccadilly Circus is accessible via London’s Underground. The Piccadilly Circus station sits directly below the open plaza.
While Piccadilly Circus’s location is convenient to shopping and entertainment areas in London’s west end, it is also a destination point in it’s own right with an eclectic mix of street performances, shops, and landmarks. Other nearby attractions within easy walking distance include Soho, Chinatown, Leicester Square, and Trafalgar Square.
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