Covent Garden

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The interior of the former vegetable market
Another view of the central market area
A view of the Royal Opera House

Covent Garden is a huge piazza or open area in London, between the West End and the City of London. It is north of The Strand and east of Trafalgar Square. Once it was a huge fruit, vegetable and flower market with many taverns, theatres, coffee-houses, prostitutes and brothels.

Now it is a huge commercial area and "tourist trap". The former market has been redeveloped, keeping its glass roof and cast iron spans. The area is hugely popular with visitors to London, and has a number of remarkable buildings nearby.

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, is the main theatre for ballet and opera in London. It has several rehearsal rooms with full-size stages, a large costume department and restaurants.

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is nearby. It has been purchased and restored by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Bow Street is also nearby; it is a boundary road to Covent Garden. This was the road where the original police force of London, the Bow Sreet Runners, was formed in the 1740s. The Bow Street Magistrate's Court was one of the most famous criminal courts in London until it was closed in 2006. It is going to be a boutique hotel.

A view from the Royal Opera House