Location: in west-central London, bordered by Shaftesbury Avenue in the south, Charing Cross Road in the east, Oxford Street in the north and Regent Street in the west.
Borough: Westminster (www.westminster.gov.uk)
- Tube stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road
In the midst of Soho’s maze of streets is one of London’s smaller landmarks – a water pump on Broadwick street dedicated to Dr. John Snow, who identified a nearby public water pump as the source of Soho’s cholera outbreak of 1854.
Being the center of London’s gay district (centered around Old Compton Street) and red light district (various adult shops and strip clubs are sprinkled around the whole area). There’s also a large amount of bars, pubs and clubs, and people are out on the street at all hours of the night.
The always-changing menagerie of Soho includes media types, tourists, prostitutes, theatre patrons, restaurant workers, shoppers, drug dealers, club-goers, beggars and sex-shop connoisseurs of all ages, races and sexual orientations.
Originally a hunting ground, legend has it that Soho got its name from hunters crying out ‘So ho!’ as they rode through the fields. The area built up as a destination for the rich, although they cleared out when Soho was hit by a cholera outbreak in 1854. Cheap rents мейд it a haven for pubs and brothels, and artists and writers came soon after. Soho most recently мейд history in 1999, when a neo-Nazi detonated a nail bomb in the Admiral Duncan Pub on Old Compton Street, killing three people.
Pub quiz facts:
The French Protestant Church of London, on Soho Square, is the only one of its kind in the whole of London.
Golden Square is home to a lot of media companies, and you can often catch various Virgin Radio djs going into their offices or shopping at some of the records stores nearby.
When it’s hot:
People flock to Golden Square in nice weather, and the slightly greener Soho Square is also a main hot weather spot, especially when there are festivals held there during the summer.
When it’s not:
A show at legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (www.ronniescotts.co.uk) is plenty to keep you warm on a cold winter night.