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Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
This street runs for ¾ mile between The City and Westminster. Originally it was a bridle path along the banks of the river, but there is no trace of this rural origin today.
Since the 12th century there have been houses built along this road, home to noblemen, bishops and other wealthy London residents. Nevertheless the Strand remained rural in aspect until the late 16th and early 17th century.
Around this time the large, spaced out mansions began to be replaced by smaller houses and shops. It was still the residence of wealthy Londoner's, but the transformation of the Strand into the bustling thoroughfare of today had begun.
The road began to be increasingly well known for its shops and so the private houses gradually gave way to shops, coffee houses and restaurants. In the late 19th century the Strand was also well known for its theatres, and at one time boasted more than any other road in London.
Some of the 19th century theatres still survive to today, for example the Adelphi and the Savoy theatres. However, during the 19th and 20th centuries the Strand underwent some refurbishment, and so many of today's buildings date from more recently.
As a result there is now little of the road's past elegance in evidence. Nevertheless, the Strand is one of the main thoroughfares of London and so will inevitably be on most tourists' itinerary. Attractions in the area include the Strand's theatres and the nearby Courtald Institute Gallery.
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