Today packed with tourists and the spectacle of boutiques and pop-up performances, Covent Garden was London’s original and varied West End. Developed in the 17th century as an exercise in refined neoclassical town planning, it evolved to become one of the city’s most celebrated markets, a rough and tumble place where mountains of fruit and veg' were traded everyday to feed London's insatiable appetite as well as that of the UK in cities as far away as Glasgow and Belfast. For hundreds of years, from midnight to midday, traders and porters rubbed-up alongside ballet dancers, hoteliers and office workers, creating one of the city's most intense urban districts that changed forever after the market closed and headed to Nine Elms in 1974.
In this walk, The London Ambler partners with former Covent Garden market trader and importer Tony Ganio to tell the unique of story of market life and dramatic urban change through the centuries via the area’s best buildings and most compelling streetscapes.
An ONstreet walk by The London Ambler