The Strand

The Strand

The West End

In the late 12th century, nobles built houses of stone with gardens along the 'shore' (ie strand) of the Thames. The Strand linked Westminster, the seat of political power, with the City, London's centre of trade. It became one of the most prestigious places to live in London and in the 19th century Disraeli pronounced it the finest street in Europe. Some of these buildings are now fine hotels and restaurants; modern times have added offices and souvenir shops.

Other Strand addresses include Twinings – a tea shop opened by Thomas Twining in 1706 and thought to be the oldest company in the capital still trading on the same site – and the stamp- and coin-collectors’ titan Stanley Gibbons.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The West End attractions

1. St Paul’s Church

0.14 MILES

When the Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones to design Covent Garden Piazza, he asked for a simple church 'not much better than a barn'; the…

2. Benjamin Franklin House

0.15 MILES

This modest house southeast of Trafalgar Sq is where American statesman Benjamin Franklin lived from 1757 to 1775 as he tried to broker peace with Britain…

3. St Martin-in-the-Fields

0.15 MILES

This parish church to the Royal Family is a delightful fusion of neoclassical and baroque styles. It was designed by architect James Gibbs, completed in…

4. London Transport Museum

0.18 MILES

Housed in Covent Garden's former flower-market building, this captivating museum looks at how London developed as a result of better transport. It's…

5. National Portrait Gallery

0.19 MILES

What makes the National Portrait Gallery so compelling is its familiarity; in many cases, you will have heard of the subject (royals, scientists,…

6. London Film Museum

0.22 MILES

Dedicated solely to the British film industry, the London Film Museum has a heavy focus on the James Bond franchise. You'll see 007 vehicles (more than…

7. National Gallery

0.22 MILES

With more than 2300 European masterpieces in its collection, this is one of the world's great galleries, with seminal works from the 13th to the mid-20th…

8. Trafalgar Square

0.22 MILES

Opened to the public in 1844, Trafalgar Sq is the true centre of London, where rallies and marches take place, tens of thousands of revellers usher in the…