Named after the River Fleet, which is London’s largest underground river, Fleet Street has long been associated with the British newspaper industry.
The first printer to set up shop in the street was Wynkyn de Worde back in the 15th century. After developing a reputation as an area for printers, the first paper to base itself here was the Daily Courant in 1702. By the midpoint of the 20th century, almost every major British newspaper had its headquarters at the site.
The majority of papers left during the 1980s as the technology of the buildings became outdated. The Sun and the Times went to Wapping, the Guardian to the Isle of Dogs and others chose to locate at London’s Docklands area. Reuters was the last major British news office to leave in 2005.
This has led to a shift in the types of workers you will see while walking around Fleet Street today, as it is now dominated by the investment banking, legal and accountancy professions. For example, the old offices of the Daily Telegraph and the Liverpool Echo have been taken over by Goldman Sachs.
Fleet Street has featured in a number of fictionalised dramas, with Sweeney Todd often said to have lived and worked in the area. Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers is also set in the area.
There are also a series of monuments and statues worth looking at, including the bust of Edgar Wallace at the north-east corner of the street, a full-length representation of Mary, Queen of Scots and a statue of Queen Elizabeth I taken from the old Ludgate.
Nearby tube stations
- Temple (0.4 miles away) – Head east on Temple Place towards Arundel Street, before turning left on to Arundel Street. Take a slight right to make sure you stay on Arundel Street, turn left on to Strand and then take a slight left on to Fleet Street. This walk will take about eight minutes.
- Chancery Lane (0.4 miles away) – Head east on High Holborn Street towards Gray’s Inn. Next, turn right on to Fetter Lane and then turn left on to Fleet Street. This walk will take about eight minutes.
- St Paul’s (0.6 miles away) – Head northwest on Cheapside towards Panyer Alley and the take a sharp left on Panyer Alley. Next, turn right on to Paternoster Row, turn right on to Ludgate Hill, take a slight right to stay on the street and then continue on to Fleet Street. This walk will take about 12 minutes.
- Holborn (0.7 miles away) – Head south on Kingsway toward Parker Street and then take the crosswalk. Next, turn left on Aldwych, take a slight left to stay on the street and then another slight left on to Fleet Street. This walk will take about 14 minutes.
- Loafers Sandwich Bar (Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, the City, London EC4A 3BY)
- Garfunkel’s Ludgate Hill (34 Ludgate Hill, the City, London EC4M 7DE)
- Fleet Street Press Tearooms (3 Fleet Street, the City, London EC4Y 1AU)
- Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub (145 Fleet Street, the City, London EC4A 2BU)
- Chambers Restaurant (1-2 Serjeant’s Inn, Fleet Street, the City, London EC4Y 1LL)
- Fuzzy’s Grub (62 Fleet Street, the City, London EC4Y 1JU)
- Leonidas Chocolate (110 Fleet Street, the City, London, EC4A 2AF)
- Snowhill NCP (West Smithfield, the City, London EC1A 9DE)
- Smithfield Central Market NCP (West Smithfield, the City, London EC1A 9DS)
- Cardinal House NCP (12 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 6DR)
- Caxton House NCP (Cowcross Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 6DW)
- Saffron Hill NCP (St Cross Street, Clerkenwell, Farringdon Road, London EC1N 8XA)
Nearby places to visit
- St Bride’s Church (Fleet Street, the City, London EC4Y 8AU)
- St Dunstan-in-the-west (186a Fleet Street, The City, London EC4A 2HR)
- Temple Church (Fleet Street, the City, London EC4Y 8AU)
- Middle Temple Hall (Middle Temple Lane, Holborn, London EC4Y 9AT)
- Somerset House (Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R 1LA)
- Sir John Soane’s Museum (13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A 3BP)
- Gabriel’s Wharf (Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PP)
- London Transport Museum (Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB)
- St Paul’s Cathedral (St Paul’s Churchyard, the City, London EC4M 8AD)
- The Hayward Gallery (Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XZ)
- The Wapping Project Bankside (65a Hopton Street, Bankside, London SE1 9LR)