Exploring the Streets of LondonPosted by Lisa Marie Mercer on 23rd, June 2012Exploring the Streets of LondonAs a major travel destination, London has its fair share of hotels. Unfortunately, many are overpriced,dull or a combination of both. To enjoy London like a Londoner, consider a vacation rental in one ofthese trendy neighborhoods.London 2012 | Oxford StreetBoasting more than 300 high-end shops, Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping districts in all ofEurope. This active street measures approximately a mile and a half long, and intersects with ParkLane, New Bond Street and Regent Street. Oxford Street also has a highly dramatic history. Beginningthe 12th Century and lasting through 1782, Oxford Street served as the road taken by prisoners toNewgate Prison. In modern times, it evolved into a street where British chain stores hold their celebritylaunches.This includes the century-old Selfridges, the second largest department store in the United Kingdom. In2005, the Oxford Street Selfridges hosted a group of Elvis Presley tribute artists, who set the worldrecord for the most Elvis impersonators in one location. The event is listed in the Guinness Book ofWorld Records.Jermyn StreetMention Jermyn Street in London, and the first words that come to mind are "gentlemens shirts."Jermyn Street is to mens shirts as Savile Row is to mens fine suits. In fact, the shirt makers at thefamous Turnbull & Asser store have produced shirts for esteemed gentlemen such as Prince Charlesand George W Bush. Jermyn Street takes its name from Henry Jermyn, who developed theneighborhood in 1667. Its residents of distinction include Sir Isaac Newton, Colonel Churchill Duke,and the Duchess of Richmond and Lennox. The street is also home to the 70-seat Jermyn StreetTheater.While fans of custom-made clothing enjoy Jermyn Street for its shirts, steak aficionados rave about thesteaks at Rowleys Restaurant. This restaurant is famous for its grilled steak, which is with a tasty herbbutter sauce and unlimited supply of chips.
London Travel Tips | Leicester SquareLeicester Square embodies the charm of all things British. Its named after Robert Sidney, who servedas the 2nd Earl of Leicester. In 1630, Sidney purchased four acres of land within the neighborhood, andbuilt an enormous house called Leicester House. Much to the local residents immense disapproval,Sidney enclosed part of the formerly public land around his ostentatious new mansion.As usual for London, arbitration ensued, and Lord Leicester was ordered to keep part of his landavailable to local parishioners. Today, a small park ornaments the center of the area. Its features a statueof Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins, as well as statues of other historic celebrities such as Sir IsaacNewton.The most humorous statue has Charlie Chaplin gaping at Sir William Shakespeare is probably thefunniest. The Bard would probably be quite amused, but were not sure how he would feel aboutsharing the glory with the modern screen actors, whose hand-prints appear on the mounted plaques thatalso ornament Leicester Square.
PiccadillyPiccadilly, a major road in the City of London, measures 1.25 miles. It traverses Piccadilly Circus andthe southeast corner of Hydes Park. The name comes from a tailor named Robert Baker. During the17th-century, Baker owned a shop that specialized in the piccalilli, a large stiff collar known for itsscalloped edges and a broad lace border. The money earned from these collars allowed him to build alarge mansion. He called it Piccadilly Hill.The attractions of Piccadilly include Burlington House, home to the Royal Academy of Arts, andFortnum and Mason, the department store associated with the British Royal family. The store boasts ahighly impressive food hall, whose stocks of specialty foods have been known to induce hunger pangs.The store also has a fashionable tea shop as well as a hair salon that specializes in cutting and stylinglong hair.London Travel Guide | Piccadilly CircusTheres no circus in Piccadilly Circus. Circus is the Latin word for circle, and Piccadilly Circus issimply a circular open space. Kitsch neon signs and flashy billboards characterize this funkyneighborhood but its Tube station is its claim to fame. It starred in a 1986 video for Press TV, whichfeatured Sir Paul McCartney catching a Tube train and chatting with fellow passengers.
European World Travel | Dean StreetAn intriguing history inspired tourists to visit and stay near Dean Street. In 1756 a young musiciannamed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed a recital at 21 Dean Street. Fast forward to World War II,and the French House, also located on Dean Street, served as the headquarters for Charles de Gaulleand the French Underground Resistance movement. Karl Marx inhabited Dean Street from 1851 to1856. His dwellings sat above what is now the upscale restaurant called Quo Vadis.Before he became an author, Charles Dickens was a regular on Dean Street. As an aspiring actor, heparticipated in amateur productions at Fanny Kellys Royalty Theatre, located at 73-74 Dean Street.London captivates her visitors with her rich and colorful history. Why not spend time vacationingwithin her residential areas, and get to know her better.