Saturday, 23 July 2011

Haymarket: The Saturday Street


The Saturday Street is our weekly series in which we unlock the stories behind the names of London's famous thoroughfares. It's compiled by London Walks guide Karen – listed by Travel + Leisure magazine as The World's Greatest Tour Guide. You can find Karen on Saturdays guiding her Old Westminster and British Museum walks. If you've got a London street query or suggestion, email Karen at the usual address


Haymarket SW1

Location: The City of Westminster

All over town, the green shoots of rural history try to push up through the urban modernity – and nowhere in the West End is this clearer than in the name of the Haymarket. At the time of Queen Elizabeth I, this rural spot near the village of Charing (more of that another day) was the location of a market for the sale of fodder.

By the 19th century, Haymarket had become a notorious haunt of prostitutes and their clients – more a kind of Roll-in-the-Haymarket, if you like. Today it is home to one of London’s most glamorous theatres – the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Across the road is Her Majesty’s Theatre, home to the long-running musical Phantom of the Opera at

See Haymarket on this Sunday’s Theatreland walk at 10.45a.m meeting at Piccadilly Circus tube by the statue of Eros.


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