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The City of London is known across the world as being the financial hub of the British capital but there is much more to the area than meets the eye.
While many people will have the perception of high-flying bankers strutting around these streets creating a hugely corporate feel, it could not be further from the truth. The City is a hive of quirky bars, top class restaurants and plenty of art and culture. One place where people can indulge in this is Silk Street.
Despite being only relatively short, connecting Beech Street, Chiswell Street and Whitecross Street, it is home to a leading arts venue – the Barbican Centre. This is Europe’s largest performing arts venue and hosts some of the world’s finest actors, dancers and classical composers.
The Barbican Centre features a number of different performance spaces. The most prominent is Barbican Hall which is home to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, it has a capacity of 1,943. The slightly smaller Barbican Theatre, capacity of 1,156, is designed exclusively by and for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Elsewhere in the centre is the 200-seater The Pit theatre, Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Film which has three cinema screens, Barbican Library, trade exhibition halls, conference halls and three restaurants.
If you are heading to Silk Street on your visit to London then here are a few things you need to know about the area.
Parking near Silk Street
If you are driving to Silk Street, you have a number of options when it comes to parking. Within a short walk of the area, and the Barbican Centre, there are various car parks. However, be aware that parking is not cheap in London so keep an eye on the tariff they are charging and what time they stay open until.
Here are the nearest car parks to Silk Street:
Barbican Centre Car Park – situated on Silk Street itself
NCP Aldersgate and Aldersgate Street Car Park – take a left onto Aldersgate Street then turn right at Beech Street and you will see the Barbican Centre and Silk Street on the right.
London Wall Car Park – follow the London Wall onto Aldersgate Street then right onto Beech Street before reaching Silk Street.
Public transport for Silk Street
Silk Street is served by trains, Underground services and bus routes making it an absolute breeze to reach at any time of day or night.
Here are the nearest stations to Silk Street:
Moorgate railway station – served by Great Northern heading towards Welwyn Garden City and Hertfordshire. Turn left out of the station and follow Moorfields until you reach Ropemaker Street keep on this road until you hit Moor Lane and turn left. Silk Street is just on the right.
Liverpool Street Underground Station – served by the Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. Come out of the station onto Blomfield Street and carry on Eldon Street until it becomes Ropemaker Street, Silk Street is not far from here.
What to do around Silk Street
Aside from the obvious Barbican Centre, there is plenty to see and do around Silk Street. Here are just a few attractions around the area.
Bishopsgate Institute (13 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – another absolute must if you are a lover of performing arts.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (16 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – a reincarnation of the original Globe Theatre and features regular Shakespearean performances.
Aubin Cinema (17 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – an intimate cinema showing a wide range of arthouse films.
The Old Red Lion Theatre (18 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – one of the most famous fringe pub theatres in London, originally founded in 1979.
Pubs and nightlife Silk Street
Due to its close proximity to Shoreditch, you will not be stuck for somewhere to enjoy a drink and a dance on an evening. Just within a couple minutes’ walk from Silk Street you will find an abundance of quirky little establishments where you can while away the evening.
Here is a selection of the pubs and clubs near Silk Street:
The Old Red Cow (7 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – one of the oldest pubs in the Smithfield area.
Fox & Anchor (8 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – renovated pub in the heart of Clerkenwell and popular with traders from Smithfields Market.
Vinoteca (9 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – a trendy wine bar originally formed in the 1980s at the heart of the City’s boom.
The Queen of Hoxton (9 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – great Shoreditch bar to gig or club night.
Jerusalem Tavern (10 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – intimate pub complete with a selection of finest ales
The Bricklayers Arms (12 minutes’ walk from Silk Street) – another of Shoreditch’s finest and has become one of the trendiest nightspots in London
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