Piccadilly Overview

Above: The area of study called (by the author) Piccadilly. As well as two large parks, the land covered by streets is called Soho, Mayfair and Knightsbridge.

There are few people who do not know the name in London of Piccadilly. The name refers to a busy thoroughfare (which is used without the addition of ‘Street’ at the end) and also to Piccadilly Circus, with the statue of Eros in the centre. The name of the street has been used by the author for the elongated area of study shown on the map.

The area of study called ‘Piccadilly’ is the largest of the five but, having said that, it will be noticed that a large amount of the land is public parks – including the whole of Hyde Park and a large part of Kensington Gardens. It may come as a surprise that most of Kensington Gardens are in the City of Westminster and not entirely in the adjacent London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

As well as the two parks, large parts of the area of study called ‘Piccadilly’ are laid out with streets. To the south of Hyde Park is a wedge-shaped piece of land known as Knightsbridge. To the west of Hyde Park are the famous areas of Soho and Mayfair. Soho and Mayfair are divided by Regent Street (with Soho to the east and Mayfair to the west). The northern boundary of the area of study is Oxford Street (which is also the northern boundary for Soho and Mayfair). Bayswater Road runs along the north side of Hyde Park.

Soho

An area of land approximately bounded by Charing Cross Road (on the west), Shaftesbury Street (on the south), Regent Street (on the west) and Oxford Street (on the north). It was open fields until the 17th century and streets were gradually laid out from that time, including Soho Square and Golden Square. One of its most well-known streets is Carnaby Street. Soho has been home to mainly French and Jewish communities although many other nationalities have (and still do) live in the area. It has a reputation for sex-shops and the seedy side of London life although this is (surprisingly) not as prevalent as it once was.

Mayfair

An area with some of the highest land prices in London. Until recent times, Grosvenor Square was home to the American Embassy. Claridge’s Hotel, one of the most prestigious hotels in London, stands in Brook Street. On the west side of Hyde Park is Park Lane, home to the Dorchester Hotel. Mayfair is filled with grand streets – like New Bond Street – and expensive shops. In addition, there are many up-market office blocks and apartment blocks.

Knightsbridge

The land is characterised by expensive shops and large posh apartment blocks. Knightsbridge is the name of a street which has given the area its name. The Royal Albert Hall occupies a position overlooking Hyde Park. In addition, there are several famous museums – the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The area of Knightsbridge extends further south and includes the famous store called Harrods, which stands on the south side of Brompton Road, which is just within the boundary of the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

-ENDS-

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