The ordinary seven dials is a historic area located in the heart of London, England. It is home to a number of notable attractions and landmarks, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The area gets its name from the seven streets that converge in the center, each of which is labeled with a sundial.
The History of Seven Dials
The seven dials area was originally developed in the late 17th century by Thomas Neale, who was responsible for laying out the streets and creating the famous sundials. Over time, the area became a hub for artisans and tradespeople, with many shops and workshops setting up in the streets around the dials.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the area saw significant redevelopment and gentrification, with many of the original buildings being replaced by grander, more fashionable ones. This continued into the 20th century, with a number of notable buildings and public spaces being added to the area, including the Cambridge Theatre and the iconic Seven Dials monument.
What to See and Do in Seven Dials
- Neal’s Yard: This colorful alleyway is a must-visit for anyone looking for healthy food and beauty products. It’s home to a number of organic cafes, a yoga studio, and the original Neal’s Yard Remedies store.
- Stanfords: This famous travel bookstore has been at the heart of the Seven Dials community for over 160 years. It’s a great place to pick up maps, guidebooks, and travel literature.
- Happy Socks: As the name suggests, this is the place to go for fun and colorful socks. They also sell underwear and accessories.
Food and Drink
- Pizza Pilgrims: This popular chain of pizzerias began life as a food truck in Seven Dials. They specialize in Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in wood-fired ovens.
- The Barbary: This award-winning restaurant serves up delicious North African and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes. It’s perfect for a special occasion.
- London Gin Club: This cozy bar is a gin-lover’s paradise, with over 200 different gins to choose from.
Art and Culture
- The Donmar Warehouse: This intimate, 250-seat theater is one of London’s most respected cultural institutions. It’s known for producing bold, innovative productions of classic plays and new works.
- The House of Illustration: This small museum celebrates the art of illustration in all its forms. It hosts a range of exhibitions and workshops throughout the year.
Getting to Seven Dials
Seven Dials is located in the heart of London’s West End, making it easily accessible by public transport. The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line) and Leicester Square (Piccadilly and Northern Lines), both of which are a short walk away. There are also a number of bus routes that pass through the area.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to London or a seasoned local, Seven Dials is definitely worth a visit. With its historic architecture, vibrant shopping and dining scene, and rich cultural offerings, it’s a true gem in the heart of the city.
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