London’s party village has a hedonistic mix of eclectic architecture to reflect the decadence and permissiveness of the capital’s pulsating night-time heart
Few areas of London combine history and modernity with the cosmopolitan energy and dynamism of Soho. With its hundreds of restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs it is renowned as London’s entertainment capital. Combined with its staunch tradition of alternative culture and edgy, artistic creativity, particularly on the music, fashion and burlesque scenes, Soho offers an appropriately eclectic, style-driven and at times enticingly seedy urban fabric. This is particularly the case in the maze of smouldering alleyways and narrow, neon-infused lanes that predicate in the timidly salacious red-light district in its southern reaches. So it is all the more surprising that these saucy sub-cultures exist in a proud residential neighbourhood composed on a formal grid of historic streets and terraces that survive virtually intact from as far back as the mid-17th century. This vibrant urban template has been further enriched by successive waves of immigration, each of which has left its own mark on Soho whether it be in the form of Chinatown or the French street names found across the district. The result is an intoxicating mix of old and new, traditional and progressive, British and exotic - all of which is both driven and reflected by Soho’s remarkable architecture.
Central St. Giles
WALK START LOCATION: Tottenham Court Road tube station / Map
WALK ENDS: Near Oxford Circus