Soho London

Soho London

  • Tube stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road
  • Location: in west-central London, bordered by Shaftesbury Avenue in the south, Charing Cross Road in the east, Oxford Street in the north and Regent Street in the west.
  • Borough: Westminster (www.westminster.gov.uk)
  • Postcode: W1
Landmarks:
In the midst of Soho’s maze of streets is one of London’s smaller landmarks – a water pump on Broadwick street dedicated to Dr. John Snow, who identified a nearby public water pump as the source of Soho’s cholera outbreak of 1854.

Known for:
Being the center of London’s gay district (centered around Old Compton Street) and red light district (various adult shops and strip clubs are sprinkled around the whole area). There’s also a large amount of bars, pubs and clubs, and people are out on the street at all hours of the night.

Who’s there?
The always-changing menagerie of Soho includes media types, tourists, prostitutes, theatre patrons, restaurant workers, shoppers, drug dealers, club-goers, beggars and sex-shop connoisseurs of all ages, races and sexual orientations.

Making history:
Originally a hunting ground, legend has it that Soho got its name from hunters crying out ‘So ho!’ as they rode through the fields. The area built up as a destination for the rich, although they cleared out when Soho was hit by a cholera outbreak in 1854. Cheap rents made it a haven for pubs and brothels, and artists and writers came soon after. Soho most recently made history in 1999, when a neo-Nazi detonated a nail bomb in the Admiral Duncan Pub on Old Compton Street, killing three people.

Pub quiz facts:
The French Protestant Church of London, on Soho Square, is the only one of its kind in the whole of London.

Famous faces:
Golden Square is home to a lot of media companies, and you can often catch various Virgin Radio djs going into their offices or shopping at some of the records stores nearby.

When it’s hot:
People flock to Golden Square in nice weather, and the slightly greener Soho Square is also a main hot weather spot, especially when there are festivals held there during the summer.

When it’s not:
A show at legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (www.ronniescotts.co.uk) is plenty to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

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