Top 5 London Squares
Squares make for one of the most emblematic London features. The vast majority of them were designed to serve as communal gardens meant for the people of surrounding houses. Most such squares can be seen around central London, but there are also some in the suburbs. A number of these gardens are open for public visiting, while other are private and have fences around them. It is important to note that many squares have lost their shape and have been re-designed throughout the many transformations of London caused by events such as The Blitz and the Great Fire of London. Here are few of the most famous squares:
- Trafalgar Square - Trafalgar Square is among the main tourist attractions in central London. It is located in the City of Westminster, in an area previously known as Charing Cross. The square is a commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar that took place in the early 19th century. The Nelson Column is in the centre of the square, built in commemoration of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Trafalgar Square is surrounded by parts of what forms the A4 road. It is a beautiful place, with LED-lit fountains and is famous for its Christmas and New Year events.
- Leicester Square - Leicester Square is located in the City of Westminster. It is a pedestrianised area with a park in West End. The square bears the name of the 2nd Earl of Leicester Robert Sidney. In the centre of the small park that makes the square is a statue of William Shakespeare. Apart from this central piece, at each of the four gates to the park there is a bust of a famous person: Isaac Newton, John Hunter, William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds. The square is known for its relations to cinema and the fact it co-hosts the London Film Festival.
- Parliament Square - ten statues of notable individuals and statesmen can be seen around the large green area of Parliament Square near the Palace of Westminster. The square has a rich history of protests, as it has been stage for many campaigns. Parliament Square was initially laid out to ease the traffic flow in 1868. It featured the first traffic signals used in London. Because of the large number of statues situated in the square and its general location, it is one of London’s main tourist attractions.
- Piccadilly Circus - the square of Piccadilly Circus is round of shape, and makes a public open space and road junction in West End. It is located near some of the area’s major entertainment and shopping areas. A number of attractions are present nearby: Criterion Theatre, London Pavilion and the Shaftesbury Memorial. In the past illuminated signs on buildings surrounded the square, but nowadays only one building carries them. The square was created in 1819 and retained its circular shape till 1886, when Shaftesbury Avenue was constructed. Today it is a very busy place with great tourist activity.
- Sloane Square - the small space of Sloane Square is situated on the boundaries of Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. The area of the square the boundary between the largest aristocratic London estates - the Cadogan and Grosvenor. The name of the square was derived from the term Sloane Ranger - young underemployed member of the upper class. The square features the Cadogan Hall, which is used as a concert venue and Venus Fountain, which is a grade II listed building.
The squares of London hold unique charm with their busy crowds and notable features. One can certainly feel the pulse of the city in these busy places after visiting any of them.