Shaftesbury Avenue is an important road in West London, partially in the London Borough of Camden and the City of Westminster.
A Little History On Shaftesbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue was created to have a north-south traffic lane across the crowded districts of Soho and St. Giles. From 1877 to 1886, an engineer, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, and an architect, George Vulliamy, constructed this road.
Another motive for constructing this road was slum clearance, which included driving impoverished workers away from the city’s center. This road starts from Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford Street, and on the way, it crosses Charing Cross Road at Cambridge Circus.
On the west side of this road, you can view the Sondheim, Gielgud, Apollo, and Lyric theaters between Charing Cross Road and Piccadilly Circus. This avenue is the heart of London’s West End theater district. You can also visit the huge Palace Theater at Charing Cross Road and Shaftsbury Avenue meeting point. The end point of this road in the North-East has a large Shaftsbury Theater.
Shaftsbury Avenue is the location of the Saville Theater. In 1970, this theater became a cinema house. In the early days, it was known as ABC1 and ABC2. From 2001 onwards, it is called Odeon Covent Garden.
About halfway along this road is the Soho Curzon, another cinema. From 1899 to 1902, Shaftsbury Avenue no. 67 was occupied by the Bartitsu School of Arms and Physical Culture. This was the first commercial training school for martial arts in the Western world.
On this street, the count of Chinese businesses is always rising. In August 2007, on the ground level, you could locate three Chinese banks, a Chinese bureau de change, a Chinese newsagent, a Chinese fishmonger, two Chinese hair salons, a Chinese cake shop, two Chinese mobile phone outlets, three Chinese travel agents, three Chinese supermarkets, five Chinese restaurants, and two traditional Chinese medicine practices.
This avenue at the Piccadilly Circus end is where you can find the ICE – International Currency Exchange and Raphaels Bank headquarters. Previously, this location was the home of NatWest. During the evenings, on the pavement in front of these headquarters, you can see a gathering of street artists who create portraits for tourists.
Presently, Shaftsbury Avenue is a periphery to three regions in the West End. A brief part of the street from Greek Street to Wardour Street is an interface between the Chinatown of London and Soho’s gay entertainment and clubs.
Things To Do Near Shaftesbury Avenue
- Theater Show: The Shaftesbury Theater was opened in 1911, known as the New Prince’s Theater. The Melville Brothers did the design this theatre. There are plenty more theatre shows in London’s Westend that are very much worth buying tickets to see.
- Seven Dials Market: The market was created by KERB. An organization of the most-promising street food traders in London. All these believe their food must have an amazing flavor and be diverse and unbelievable.
- The Crystal Maze Live Experience: Jacques Antoine has devised the British game show, The Crystal Maze. In 2016, The Crystal Maze Live Experience opened, using which the public could purchase tickets and compete in the game show replica’s challenges and zones.
- The National Gallery: This is an art museum in Trafalgar Square. It was established in 1824 and consisted of more than 2,300 paintings. They run daily tours, entry to the gallery is free.
- Trafalgar Square: It is a public square in Central London in the City of Westminster. Its center has a high column that holds the statue of Admiral Nelson. There is plenty to do around Trafalgar Square. Be sure not to miss out on the tourist gems around here.
- Leicester Square: The West End of London has this pedestrianized square. It has a fountain of William Shakespeare and four statues. This is among London’s most famous squares.
- Covent Garden: You cannot visit the area and not explore Covent Garden. You have everything from markets to shopping high street, amazing restaurants, burger places, dessert spots not to miss, cool bars and pubs. Covent Garden also has a bustling nightlife with everything from the Royal Opera House (ROH) to bars and nightclubs.
Getting To Shaftesbury Avenue
There are several stations within walking distance from Shaftsbury Avenue in addition to many bus routes passing by. This makes getting to the avenue that must easier.
The nearest stations include Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road. Below is a map to aid in directions to get to Shaftsbury Avenue.