A must-do whilst staying at the Park Grand Paddington Court is to take a trip to Covent Garden.
Formerly the hub of London’s fruit and vegetable trading, the original market building is an architectural treasure and the cobbled streets surrounding the Piazza are a joy to explore on foot.
There is never a bad time to visit Covent Garden. In summer, you will be transported to continental Europe as you saunter around the Piazza surrounded by street performers and sip a cappuccino, tuck into tapas or nibble on French macarons. During winter, the square twinkles with Christmas decorations, festive cheer and the scent of gingerbread lattes.
Yes, Covent Garden may be on the crowded side. However, there’s no denying the charm of the area so allow yourself to be lured in by its charisma. Ask your hotel reception about Park Grand Paddington Court parking facilities, and travel by tube for a seamless journey. Select a deal from the London hotels special offers in the West End, such as booking an advance deal or package.
To get you started, here are 21 things to do in and around Covent Garden.
Potter around the Apple Market
A visit to Covent Garden could never be complete without taking an amble through the Piazza and into the beautiful Apple Market, an Aladdin’s Cave of stalls.
Clamber aboard a vintage tram at the London Transport Museum
Explore 200 years of London’s iconic transport history. Their collection includes vehicles, posters, maps and historic signs and they have a busy events schedule. Your ticket is valid for unlimited visits for one whole year, and children enter for free.
Pick up an antique bargain at Jubilee Market
The little brother of the Apple Market, this smaller market can be found on the south side of the Piazza. Jubilee Market has a very traditional sentiment; picture flower-filled hanging baskets and iron stalls. Definitely worth a visit, especially on the Monday antiques market.
Catch some sunshine at Somerset House
This huge Neoclassical building perches on the Thames and is a short walk from Covent Garden. Its courtyard hosts open-air events during the summer, and they have contemporary art exhibitions year-round.
Go window shopping
Covent Garden blends high street shops, designer boutiques and markets so if you came to London to shop – here’s your chance.
Applaud street performers
There is always someone entertaining walkers in the pedestrianised Piazza, including magicians, buskers and living statues.
Make a night of it at the Royal Opera House
If you are in London for a special occasion, treat yourself to a night at the opera or ballet at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House.
Get a hair cut
Escape the bustle and get a hair cut or massage at Hair By Fairy, a small beauty salon in the almost-secret Neal’s Yard. Appointments are required for beauty treatments, but hair cuts are available for walk-ins.
Find Seven Dials
So-called for being the place where seven streets collide, the heart of the Seven Dials intersection actually features a column bearing six sundials. The seventh road was added to the junction later in the planning process.
Roald Dahl’s classic children’s tale about a powerful little girl is magically brought to life for the stage, adapted by Dennis Kelly and originally staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Catch it at the Cambridge Theatre.
Go alternative at the Arts Theatre
An independent theatre which opened in 1927, this is the edgy and budget-friendly way to appreciate West End theatre.
Laugh your socks off at the Top Secret Comedy Club
Venture beneath the streets of Covent Garden and sample the Great British Sense of Humour. The Top Secret Comedy Club have quality stand-up comedy every night, mixing well-known comedians with newcomers.
Watch a film premiere
Covent Garden’s glitzy next door neighbour is Leicester Square, where Hollywood films premiere at the ODEON cinema. Check online for upcoming dates and turn up early to catch a glimpse of A-list celebrities.
Admire St Paul’s Church
Not to be confused with St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s in Covent Garden is a Grade I listed church. Besides Sunday services and daily morning prayers, it hosts theatrical performances and is affectionately known as The Actors’ Church for this reason.
Escape, if you can
Escape Rooms have boomed in London over recent years. Komnata are based on Drury Lane, and have two (soon to be three!) escape room challenges which put your puzzle-solving skills to the test.
Be shaken, not stirred at the London Film Museum
The museum dedicated to Bond, James Bond.
As the largest collection of official, original vehicles from the films, it is perfect for car enthusiasts – so leave your own in the Park Grand Paddington Court parking lot and daydream about driving one of Q’s inventions home.
Plan your next holiday at Stanford’s Bookshop
Stanford’s is the largest retailer of travel books and maps in the world, and you can see that for yourself on Mercer Walk. Browse guidebooks and travel writing to inspire your next holiday.
Share a moment with the resting dancer
Nestled on Broad Street, this delicate bronze statue crafted by Italian-British sculptor Enzo Plazotta shows a resting ballerina. An interlude of serenity in the busy part of town.
Eat, drink, and eat some more
Covent Garden is the home to both the most romantic and the oldest restaurant in London, as well as the largest bar in town. We challenge you to find and visit at least one!
Follow the White Rabbit
Alice Through the Looking Glass is a boutique shop featuring first edition and rare books and gift items based on Lewis Carroll’s children’s tale. A highlight of your souvenir shopping experience in Covent Garden.
Stretch it out
Open your heart, inhale, exhale and practice your Warrior pose at the newly-opened yoga studio Yogarise on Mercer Street. A range of different types of yoga are available including vinyasa, ashtanga and hot yoga. Namaste.