It may be difficult to picture now, but Leicester Square began life after a public revolt. Originally common ground, it was enclosed and privately owned by the 2nd Earl of Leicester. This act of personal greed sparked such unrest that the area was reopened to the public in 1640. No matter how avant garde and modern this city might appear, deep historical significance is never very far away. If you’re wondering what historical surprises might come from your city holiday rentals, London has them in spades. Just walk into Leicester Square, and you’re knee deep in history, despite the incandescent lights and cutting edge movie theatres.
The area quickly became a highly fashionable place to live after development began in 1670, with homes springing up rapidly all around the grand Leicester House (the home of the Prince of Wales briefly in the early 1700s). But by the late eighteenth century, the area had acquired its reputation as a centre for entertainment. This new characteristic developed during the next century, with the Empire Theatre appearing late in the 1800s, establishing Leicester Square as the beating heart of the West End entertainment district.
Today, the Square is completely pedestrianised and literally teems with life on weekend evenings especially. If you want to take in a great movie or two during your city break, remember that London rentals bring you to Leicester Square, famed throughout the world for its superb cinema theatres (its internationally known nickname is “Theatreland”).
Sometimes overlooked is the lovely garden in the centre of the square, which holds an exquisite marble fountain, adorned with a statue of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. You’ll also find statues of other famous Londoners in the Square, including Sir Isaac Newton, William Hogarth and even Charlie Chaplin. Before leaving, see if you can spot the floor plaques bearing the names of famous actors in the style of Hollywood’s ‘Walk of Fame’.
As you might anticipate, the nearest underground station is Leicester Square (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines run through here), although numerous buses pass through the area ceaselessly throughout the day.
London rentals come in all shapes and sizes, to suit every budget, from the opulent to the humble. But today, all London rentals come equipped with luxurious furnishing and home comforts and with attractions like Leicester square nearby, your stay in London is likely to be hugely enjoyable.
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