Trafalgar Area Guide
The Whitcomb Street branch of Pall Mall Barbers, just off Trafalgar Square, has been going strong for over 120 years. Fashions may have changed, but the candy-stripe barber pole above our door and retro shop fittings will take you straight back to the traditional British barbershop era. Our talented barbers have over 350 years of experience between them and are expertly trained in all aspects of both modern and traditional male grooming. The streets surrounding the barbershop are rich in British history as well, so there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Here’s our guide to the best of Piccadilly, Charing Cross, Aldwych, Embankment, The Strand. Waterloo and Whitehall.
Barbers Near Aldwych
Aldwych might just be the spot where East London and West London converge. What was once the home of not one but two now defunct railway stations is now the gateway to Covent Garden and the theatres of Drury Lane. A reminder of its previous life remains on Wellington Street at the London Transport, right on the edge of Covent Garden Piazza. The museum holds nearly half a million objects weaving the story of the transport network through the development of London over the past two centuries. Cross over the Strand and you’ll find yourself at Somerset House, which began its life in 1547 as a crash pad for the 1st Duke of Somerset. Fortunately for us, it’s now an exhibition space for an eclectic mix of artists, designers and speakers. Somerset House is also home to the Courtauld Institute and its first-class collection of impressionist art.
You could jump on pretty much any bus outside to get to our Trafalgar barbershop, but it’s just as fast to walk. You’ll find our talented team of barbers at 27 Whitcomb Street, just behind the National Gallery. You can book here, or download our app on iOs or Android.
Barbers Near Charing Cross
Right outside of Charing Cross Station, Trafalgar Square buzzes with visitors year-round – and for a very good reason. Walk in any direction and you’ll soon come across a gallery, monument or lane worthy of an entry in any guidebook. The entire north side is occupied by the National Gallery and its second-to-none collection of master works by Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh – to name but a few. Slightly smaller but no less intriguing is the National Portrait Gallery, just off St. Martins Place. You might say it’s inclusive – you’re just as likely to spot the face of a table tennis champion or gunpowder manufacturer as you are a king or courtier. If you need a break from the crowds, head for the crypt at the church of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields. The café beneath the 18th century vaults serves up home-cooked comfort food at surprisingly reasonable prices.
Charing Cross is just a five-minute walk from our Trafalgar Square barbershop on Whitcomb Street. This is the site of the original Pall Mall Barbers, where our story began over 120 years ago. You can book here, or download our app on iOs or Android.
Barbers Near Embankment
To get from Charing Cross to Embankment, turn down Villiers Street and just keep walking. It doesn’t look like much, but it does have at least one thing to recommend it. Gordon’s, the oldest wine bar in London, sits behind an unassuming façade next to the Victoria Embankment Gardens. The candlelit basement bar hasn’t changed much since 1890, but the newspaper covered walls bear witness to the passage of time. A diverse wine list is especially noteworthy for its extensive selection of port, sherry and Madeira served straight from casks behind the bar.
A ten-minute walk takes you back past the National Dining Rooms (which has a pretty decent wine list itself) and on to our Trafalgar Square barbershop on Whitcomb Street.
Barbers Near the Strand
You might not guess it now, but The Strand used to be the most fashionable spot in London for 19th century intellectuals. Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Virginia Woolf regularly travelled down this old Roman thoroughfare in their day. There’s still plenty of history and culture to be found between the hotels and souvenir shops – if you know where to look, that is. For starters, there’s the American Bar in The Savoy hotel. It was here that world-famous bartender Harry Craddock wrote the world-famous Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. He got all the glory, but it was his predecessor Ada Craddock who put the bar on the map in the 1920s as the place to be seen. You can still find her signature Hanky Panky cocktail on the menu nearly a century later. Legend has that she created it for actor and prodigious drinker Sir Charles Hawtrey who, upon tasting it, exclaimed, “By Jove! This is the real hanky-panky!” Back out on the Strand, it’s an easy walk to find another bit of London history at our Trafalgar Square barbershop on Whitcomb Street. A right turn onto Duncannon Street takes you past St-Martin-in-the-Fields and the National Gallery, then into the hands of our expert team of barbers. You can book here, or download our app on iOs or Android.
Barbers Near Whitehall
Though officially the name of the street running between Charing Cross and Westminster stations, Whitehall is probably better known as the heart of the UK’s civil service. The surrounding streets contain buildings and monuments enough to satisfy even the most hardcore history buffs. There is of course Downing Street at the south end near the Cenotaph, but afternoon visitors will want to stop by the Household Cavalry Museum in the Horse Guards building. Livid one afternoon after finding her guards drinking and gambling on the job in 1894, Queen Victoria sentenced them to a 4pm inspection every day for 100 years. The tradition lives on to this day.
Barbers Near Piccadilly
From our Trafalgar Square barbershop on Whitcomb Street, it’s a brisk five-minute walk past Dover Street Market and up Haymarket to Piccadilly Circus – the crossroads of the West End. Weave through the souvenir stands and selfie-taking tourists towards Piccadilly and some of the most delightfully British shops in London. Just a few doors down from the art deco Waterstone’s building sits the rather statelier Hatchards – otherwise known as the oldest bookshop in London. At 181 you’ll find another 18th century landmark at Fortnum and Mason. The ornate blue and white façade looks old-fashioned, but the shop floors are brimming with everything you never knew you wanted from leather bound atlases to Vivienne Westwood jewellery and towering ice cream sundaes that you probably should share but won’t want to. If you still want more, simply cross the road and pass through the gates of the Royal Academy of Arts. There’s a year-round line-up of blockbuster exhibitions, but the biggest event by far is the open-entry Summer Exhibition. Over 250,000 visitors come each year to see the finalist works on display.
Barbers Near Waterloo
The statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square traditionally marks the spot of London’s exact centre, but Waterloo Station is the unlikely centre of a thriving cultural scene. Down by the river, the iconic London Eye dominates the skyline. The Eye is something every Londoner should experience at least once, if only to see what the fuss is about.
A bit further up is the prodigious Southbank Centre where you can pass the entire day quite happily. Film fans will want to investigate the British Film Institute’s listings of cinema classics, cult favourites and a few blockbusters thrown in for good measure. Art lovers should seek out the Hayward Gallery or try the National Theatre if the stage is more your thing. The indecisive can browse the second-hand book tables on the river front, or check out the street food stalls on Belvedere Road, just behind the Royal Festival Hall.
Hop on the Bakerloo Line back at the station and take the Shaftesbury Avenue exit from Piccadilly Circus where you’ll find Pall Mall Barbers at 27 Whitcomb Street. It’s easy to book an appointment with our skilled team of barbers. Just go here, or download our app on iOs or Android.
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