A green paradise near London’s most popular shopping streets, Soho Square offers both a city sanctuary and a slice of London history. The square was originally created in the 1670s and was known as King’s Square during this time, named after King Charles II. A gorgeous mock Tudor building dating back to the 1890s still stands in the square to this day. It was originally built to hide an electrical substation and is now used by the square’s gardeners. Fans of Charles Dickens should pay a visit to the square as this is where Lucie and Doctor Manette reside in A Tale of Two Cities.
This bronze sculpture is found in Marble Arch, on the north-eastern corner of Hyde Park next to Park Lane. Creating a spectacular illusion, the sculpture is of a horse’s head – but no body to be seen – bending down to drink some water. The artwork was created by British sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green who specialises in sculpting horse heads. Soak up the spectacle of the sculpture before wandering around the surrounding greenery for a new perspective on this London locality.
This traditional Victorian pub is found in Shepherd Market – a Mayfair locality which makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time. Ye Grapes itself dates back to 1882 and retains its charm from former eras, with both a cosy and quirky feeling. Visit during the afternoon for a quiet drink and a true feeling of London from a different day and age.
This vaulted Gothic Revival-style Catholic church is a place of true respite from London, right in the heart of the city. Dating back to the 1800s, the craftsmanship that went into creating the church is astounding, with everything from gargoyles carved into pillar-tops to incredible mosaics. For religious visitors, several services take place each week – including one in Latin. Even simply viewing the church from the outside is an immersive experience for those who love architecture and history.
This Mayfair square was originally the grounds of Berkeley House, built in the 1660s. After the house was sold, it was stipulated the grounds must be preserved, which was how the square came into being. The square was laid out in the 18th century by the landscape architect William Kent. Part of his design included the planting of London Plane trees, which are now some of the oldest trees in the whole of central London. The surrounding buildings are as famous as the square itself, with one former resident being the legendary former Prime Minister – Winston Churchill – who lived at 48 Berkeley Square as a child.