Once dominated by a fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden lies on the edge of London’s West End. It’s home to the Royal Opera House (which is often referred to itself as “Covent Garden”), as well as outstanding museums that showcase the English capital’s transportation history and classic vehicles from the James Bond films.
Things to do in Covent Garden
Occupying a Victorian market building is the London Transport Museum, which exhibits a fascinating collection of vintage buses, trains and trams. Admire a late-19th-century electric train and beautifully preserved double-decker buses that are an icon of the city. In the museum store, you’ll find model vehicles and Underground posters.
Another museum not to miss in Covent Garden is the London Film Museum, where you can venture into the world of British cinema. In addition to original props, costumes and sets, it houses the largest collection of James Bond vehicles in the world. You can see the secret agent’s Aston Martin DB5 and Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III, as well as a submersible Lotus Esprit S1 from “The Spy Who Loved Me”.
Just down the road is the colonnaded Royal Opera House, a Grade I listed building home to The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. Dating back to the mid-19th century, it features an opulent, 2,256-seat auditorium, the intimate Linbury Studio Theatre and the glass-walled Paul Hamlyn Hall where the theatre’s restaurant and champagne bar are located. Outside stands the elegant “Young Dancer” sculpture by Enzo Plazzotta.
Getting around Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a 10-minute drive from the centre of London and around 40 minutes from Heathrow Airport. Regular subway services connect to the Covent Garden Underground station and buses travel throughout the district. Many of Covent Garden’s attractions can be easily accessed on foot.