Guide To Central London
|| Central London
is, without a doubt, one of the cultural capitals of the
world, standing right up there with Paris, Berlin, Moscow
and the like.
If you’re a culture vulture there’s the strong
possibility that the choice
you will be spoilt with may be just too overwhelming.
Culture is, literally, everywhere, from the Southbank to Covent Garden [map], from the National to the Barbican [map] , from the London Aquarium [map] to the Serpentine Gallery [map].
Where to start? Quite possibly, depending on your taste,
the Royal Opera House [map],
Covent Garden - the home of the awe-inspiring moves of
the Royal Ballet and world class Royal Opera,
two prestigious groups that were granted their Royal Charters
in 1956 and 1968 respectively.
Two studio spaces at the same venue ensure that the feast
of fun is as diverse as you’d expect from a building
that dates back to 1728.
One of the more unusual homes of performance in the capital
is the Bridewell Theatre [map].
The former Victorian swimming pool and laundry now delivers
a thrilling menu of music, theatre, drama and lunchtime shows and workshops.
Lovers of visuals must visit the National Gallery [map],
which contains the largest portrait collection in the
world, dating back to the Tudor period. Recent redevelopment
has seen the addition of the Ondaatje wing while
the National’s restaurant offers a perfect viewpoint
Slap bang in the middle of Kensington Gardens, The
Serpentine Gallery [map] is
a surprising alternative to the high-octane lifestyle
of the city.
The former tea pavilion was turned into a home
for contemporary art by the Arts Council in 1970.
Opened after a long wait in 1982 on a site that was Blitz
damaged during the World War II, the Barbican offers
an imaginative, diverse and stimulating programme to anyone
heading down Silk Street. The venue is Europe’s
largest multi arts and conference venue.
Something even more diverse can tickle the palate of those
keen to savour all aspects of culture at The Africa
Covent Garden. Here you’ll find African art, literature,
politics, food and some of the biggest names in African
music. The calibre of guest speakers is high, with Maya
Angelou and Alice Walker amongst them.
You don’t actually need a specific arts centre or
purpose built venue to
taste culture, of course. Simply walking through Central
London will bring you into contact with a host of recognisable
landmarks, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, St
Martins In The Field on Trafalgar Square [map] and
the fortified building and former royal refuge that is
the Tower of London.
And that’s just scratching at the surface. Once
you start circling, culture
vultures will have no problem coming into contact with
everything they need.
If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere,
why not use our What
You Recommend form to let us know.