Fleet Street has been a feature of London since Roman times. It connects the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus, where it connected with the River Fleet for which it is named. The thoroughfare first became associated with the print industry in the 16th century, when a number of publishing houses opened. By the 20th century most major national newspapers were found along the street; although many have since moved on, “Fleet Street” is still used as a way to refer to the press throughout Britain.
Street highlights include the Royal Courts of Justice (at the point where Fleet Street meets the Strand), Temple Church, and Prince Henry’s Room, a former tavern that was one of the only buildings in the area to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666. Guided bus and walking tours of the area visit Fleet Street, and hop-on hop-off bus tours stop nearby.
Things to Know Before You Go
Fleet Street is ideal for journalism and history buffs.
The great diarist Samuel Pepys was born on Fleet Street in 1633.
The fictional murderer Sweeney Todd lived (and had his barber shop) on the street.
There are many pubs, restaurants, and cafés along the route.
Fleet Street is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Fleet Street is located in central London, a 15-minute walk from both the British Museum and Trafalgar Square. The closest Underground stations are Temple and Blackfriars, both served by the District Line. Numerous city buses travel along Fleet Street as well.
When to Get There
Fleet Street is open 24 hours a day. It’s busiest during the work week, especially at rush hours, and during lunch breaks when nearby office workers emerge to find a meal. Weekend mornings are usually the quietest time to visit. London in general is busiest in late spring and summer, so consider visiting in early spring or fall for a relatively less crowded experience.
Visit the Royal Courts of Justice
Built in the 1870s, at the height of the Victorian era, the neo-Gothic Royal Courts of Justice make an impressive sight. Walk along the imposing Great Hall, see the Painted Room with its ornate decor, and even sit in on live court proceedings. The courts are occasionally closed to the public so check before visiting.
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