Trafalgar Square, London is at the heart of the West End of the city. It combines both history and culture, as it commemorates one of Britains most glorious and important sea battles, and also gives you access to the National Gallery, to Theatreland, and to Soho. It should be visited by any guest in London who wants to see the most famous things the city has to offer.
Just across the road from Charing Cross mainline rail station and Charing Cross tube station, Trafalgar Square could not be easier to get to. If you come out of the station and look to your left outside the main entrance, you will see Nelsons Column, standing at the heart of Trafalgar Square, and dominating everything beneath it. From the tube station there is even an exit onto Trafalgar Square which takes you under the road and out onto the street. The Square is also just a short walk from Embankment, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Many of Londons buses run to and from Trafalgar Square as it one of the capitals most popular bus destinations.
Although you can no longer feed the pigeons at Trafalgar Square, many of its traditional attractions still remain, and now it has been pedestrianised it is much easier and safer for tourists and sightseers to find their way around. There is Nelsons Column rising from the centre of the square, surrounded by the four famous lions who guard him at the base of the column. There is the fountain, which was originally installed in order to cut down on the amount of free space there was in the square, but has since become an attractive feature. There are also a number of smaller plinths around the square, which have a variety of statuary upon them.
The two plinths at the northern end of the square were intended for equestrian statues, and are this larger than the plinths closer to the river. There is the famous Fourth Plinth, which was originally intended to have a statue of William IV on it, but the funds could not be raised and it stood empty for many, many years. Since 1998 it has housed installations on it which have included model of the plinth itself, and human beings performing.
The issue of the pigeons is a contentious one, as feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square had been a traditional attraction when coming to London. However, by the turn of the millennium the flock had grown to be 35,000 pigeons large, and their excrement was destroying the historic fabric of the square. There was some illicit bird-feeding after the moves to get rid of the pigeons were announced, but it has been an offence to feed pigeons in Trafalgar Square since 2005.
A short walk north of Trafalgar Square takes you into the late-night eateries and drinkeries of Soho. You are also next to the Charing Cross Road with its unmatchable collection of second-hand bookshops, and all of the theatres of the West End are within easy walking distance. In all, Nelsons Column, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery make Trafalgar Square unmissable on a visit to London.