Piccadilly Circus in London - London visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Piccadilly Circus in London' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Greater London.
Piccadilly Circus is one of the most famous traffic junctions in London. It stands just south of Soho at the heart of London's West End, surrounded by top class hotels, major sights and attractions, historic buildings, theaters and shops. The junction was created by John Nash when he laid out Regents Street in 1819 and is named after the piccadill, a particular type of collar made locally. Today, it is recognized world wide due to the huge neon advertising billboard on the corner of Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.
In the middle of the pedestrianised area stands the Eros statue, built as a memorial to the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, who was a well known Christian with a keen concern for social justice. Among his achievements were the promotion of several Acts of Parliament forcing the improvement of working conditions, and the welfare and education of children (he formed the Ragged Schools which provided education for at least 300,000 children in London alone between 1840 and 1881).
Ironically Westminster decided to build, in honour of this Christian reformer, a statue to a Greek god Anteros, brother of Eros. It was renamed the Angel of Christian Charity after some comment, but the name never caught on, and then became known as Eros, thus seeming to celebrate the surrounding entertainment and red light areas of the West End and Soho. The statue is one of the icons of London, and used by the Evening Standard, London's daily newspaper.
Piccadilly Circus - Nearby Tourist Attractions
Close to Piccdilly Circus are a number of the top London attractions:
Shopping - many designer and luxury brands line Regents Street as it runs north from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus.
Trafalgar Square - Famous for Nelson's column, surrounded by bronze lions and fountains the the changing installation on the Fourth Plinth.
National Portrait Gallery - one of the oldest collections of portrait paintings in the world with both permanent and temporary exhibits and free entrance.
Leicester Square - heart of the cinemas in the West End and frequent host of red carpet film premier events
Horse Guards Parade - scene of the Changing of the Guard except during the 2012 London Olympics when it hosted the Beach Volleyball events.
Buckingham Palace - home of the Queen, and one of the most popular tourist attractions in London.
St James Park - beautiful park next to with large duck lake and a sordid past.