A 2½ mile walk from Piccadilly
Circus tube station to Tottenham Court Road tube station.
Note: This is rather a hazardous walk with narrow uneven pavements, delivery vehicles and other obstructions - PLEASE TAKE CARE
From the station exit into
Glasshouse Street and go along Sherwood Street
Number 3 was built as Snow's Chop House in 1906. On the left is the Regent Palace Hotel of 1912-5. A bridge across the street links it with a 1934 extension. The Piccadilly Theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe and E A Stone in 1927-8.
Right at Brewer Street.
This was laid out in 1664-70 and originally had two breweries. At the corner of Lower James Street is a house of 1780. Numbers 72-4 were built as offices for Burberrys in 1922.
Left along Great Pulteney
Numbers 35-40 are early 18th century houses. There are properties designed by AE Hughes at 32-4 (1904-6) and 28-31 (1911-2). The street has a number of late Victorian and Edwardian warehouses built for the wool trade including one with a green glazed exterior.
Left at Beak Street
The Old Coffee House pub was a temperance tavern (1894). There is a plaque to the artist Canaletto on number 41-3 (1687).
Go left at Upper James
Street into Golden Square.
This was begun in 1675, probably to the plans of Christopher Wren and completed in 1706. There were originally 39 houses some of which remain on the west side (refaced) otherwise there are a mixture of buildings. In the central garden is a statue of George II in Roman dress.
Exit via Upper John Street
A building has reliefs depicting film making.
Cross Beak Street into
Kingly Court. Walk through then exit to the left and go right
along Kingly Street.
This follows the line of a footpath between Piccadilly and Marylebone. The Blue Posts pub dates to 1892 and the Clachan to 1898.
Right at Great Marlborough
Libertys shop was designed by ET & ES Hall in 1922-3. The timber framed building utilised timbers from two warships. The roofing tiles are hand made and the windows leaded with stained glass panels. There is a clock depicting George and the Dragon, a carved coat of arms and a weathervane modelled on the Mayflower ship. Opposite is Ideal House designed for the National Radiator Company in 1927-9 by Raymond Hood and Gordon Jeeves. It has black granite facing and decorations in champleve enamels. The former magistrates' court and police station of 1913-6 by J Dixon Butler is now a hotel.
Just past Libertys go right,
through a triangular area.
The Shakespeare's Head pub of 1928 has the bard looking down from an upstairs window.
Left along Fouberts Place
This is named from Henry Foubert's riding school (1710-78). Numbers 33-9 are a warehouse building of 1890. There are former schools of 1873 (north side) and 1871 (south side).
Right at Marshall Street
This was laid out in 1733 on land used to bury victims of the plague. The City of Westminster dwellings were built in 1906. The baths were constructed on the site of St James's Workhouse in 1928-31 and included a laundry and maternity centre. The pool has been refurbished and can be viewed from the entrance foyer.
Right at Ganton Street
A large plug features on the corner building.
Right along Newburgh Street
Houses here were built in the 1820s (some restored). The White Horse pub has Art Deco styling.
First left along Marlborough
Lane then left at Carnaby Street.
Houses on the east side were built on the site of Carnaby Market in the 1820s.
Left at Broadwick Street
On the right is the Soho Mural of 1991 by Freeform Arts Trust. There is an explanatary panel on the opposite wall. Numbers 48-58 (1720s) were refurbished by Quinlan Terry with a 1980s development in Dufours Place. William Blake House was built as flats and offices in the 1960s on the site of Blake's birthplace. There is a sculpture in the building to mark this. Further along is the John Snow pub of 1870. The plaque on the replica pump in the road explains why he is commemorated.
Left along Poland Street.
Numbers 1 - 5 were built in 1902-3 for L'Acre who made motorised delivery trikes. There are houses of 1706 and the Star & Garter pub. The car park includes relics of the workhouse.
Right at D'Arblay Street.
A passage by number 21 leads to former stables and warehouses in Portland Mews.
Right along Wardour Street
then right at Peter Street.
The Intrepid Fox pub is named after James Fox.
Right at Berwick Street.
There is a street market here.
Left at Broadwick Street
There are offices designed by Richard Rogers in 1998-2000.
Left into Ingestre Place.
St James's Dwellings were built for single women in 1886-7 and artisan's lodgings at number 7 in the 1850s. Notice an old 'Garage' sign.
Right at Silver Street and
left along Lexington Street. Left at Brewer Street.
The Lex Garage was designed b y JJ Joass and Robert Sharp in 1928-9. It incorporated a chauffeur's clubroom and dressing rooms for their employers.
Right along Rupert Street
The Apollo Theatre (1901) is to the right and the Gielgud to the left. This was renamed from the Globe with the opening of the reconstructed Shakepeare's Globe.
Left at Shaftesbury Avenue.
Next to the Gielgud is the Queens Theatre. Both were built to the designs of WGR Sprague in 1907 but the Queens was rebuilt in 1959 following wartime bombing.
Left into Wardour Street
St Anne's Church was built in 1677-86 and the tower added in 1717. This was replaced in 1803 and survived an air raid in 1940 which destroyed the rest of the church. It was redeveloped in 1989-91 to provide a chapel, rectory, offices, premises for the Soho Society and 20 flats for the Soho Housing Association. The churchyard is six feet above the street as it had to accommodate 10,000 burials. It became a garden in 1891-2. A recent addition is a toilet especially for children.
Right at Meard Street
Houses here were constructed by John Meard in 1722-33.
Left along Dean Street
The Quo Vadis restaurant has a plaque to Karl Marx who had lodgings here at a time of great poverty. The Soho Theatre was converted in 2000 from the West End Synogogue.
Go right at Carlisle Street
into Soho Square.
This was developed in 1677-91 with 41 houses around a central garden. The timber framed building at the centre houses an electricity substation (1922-6) and there is a statue of Charles II in armour to the north. Numbers 20-21 were the premises of Crosse & Blackwell. The square was redeveloped for commerce and institutions in the 19th century. The French Protestant Church was designed by Aston Webb and St Patrick RC Church by John Kelly, both in 1891-3. At the corner with Greek Street is the House of St Barnabas (c 1744) which was the home of Richard Beckford. In 1811 it became the offices of the Metropolitan Board of Works and since 1846 has been used by charities helping the homeless. [website]
Exit via Frith Streeet.
This has older properties including a fine shopfront at number 15. The Dog & Duck pub was built in 1897.
Left at Old Compton Street.
The Prince Edward Theatre was built in 1929-30. On the corner with Moss Street is Ed's Diner.
Left along Greek Street
Number 48 has a snail motif. Wedgewood Mews was redeveloped in 1982-4 from former warehouses and recalls Josiah Wedgewood's nearby showroom.
Right at Manette Street
This is named after Dr Manette in Charles Dickens 'A Tale of Two Cities'. The goldbeater's arm decorates a building on the right. This is a replica as the original is in the Dickens Museum. Opposite is the rear of the chapel of the House of St Barnabas. This building of 1862-4 in the style of the Oxford Movement has stained glass of 1957-8 by John Hayward. Beyond is the former St Anne's parish workhouse of 1770-1 extended in 1804.
Go left at Charing Cross Road to Tottenham Court Road tube station.
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The Buildings of England London 6: Westminster by Bradley & Pevsner