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Tottenham Court Road Hotels, History and Shopping Guide

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A vibrant and dazzling hub of activity, Tottenham Court Road is one of London’s most famous locations. This guide to the shops, bars restaurants and hotels of Tottenham Court Road – brought to you by staff from the Rathbone, an intimate boutique hotel near Tottenham Court Road – will help you find out more about this iconic London location.


A Vibrant Hub in the Heart of the Capital

Tottenham Court Road is a major thoroughfare, running from Warren Street station on Euston Road down to Tottenham Court Road station at the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, it spans a distance of about three-quarters of a mile.

This famous London street is regarded as the boundary separating Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury at the heart of central London. Hugely popular with tourists, there are any number of attractions, cafes and restaurants as well as dozens of hotels near Tottenham Court Road which give easy access into the heart of the capital.

Most famous for its collection of electrical goods shops, Tottenham Court Road is a focal point of commercial activity – from the world’s largest brands to tiny knick-knack stores, tourist traps and street sellers.


Tottenham Court Road Hotels

Tottenham Court Road can arguably be considered to be the perfect location for London. It’s under a mile from the beating heart of the West End; it’s surrounded by the academia of University College Hospital and University College London and it close to the British Museum and the literary and creative flair of Bloomsbury.

Given its ideal location, there are a number of accommodation options in the area – from hostels and apartments to luxury suites and everything in between. Among the best known of the hotels near Tottenham court road is the Rathbone, which is ideally situated just a stone’s throw from the action, yet quietly tucked-away in the peaceful surroundings of Charlotte Street – bringing you peace and quiet with just a two minute walk to the heart of London. Consistently voted one of the best hotels in Tottenham Court Road, the Rathbone brings an ideal blend of affordability, comfort and elegance.


The History of Tottenham Court Road

While the area is noted in the Domesday Book, around the time of Henry III (1216 – 1272) the manor house at (what is now) the Oxford Street end of Tottenham Court Road was owned by the nobleman William de Tottenhall. Over the next 300 years, the area was known by a number of names relating to de Tottenhall, including Totten, Totham and Totting Hall. It was eventually leased to Queen Elizabeth I and became known as Tottenham Court, by which name the thoroughfare is known as today.

The Elizabethan manor house of Tottenhall stood where the UCH admin building now stands and when the area was being excavated, archaeologists found excellent examples of early Saxon pottery, 13th/14th century yard surfaces as well as the remains of medieval and Tudor brickwork.

When the manor house was demolished, the name got corrupted to Tottenham Court due to the fact that the locals were familiar with the north London suburb of Tottenham, although the two areas share no connections.

Though hugely popular today, the real heyday of Tottenham Court Road was between the 1790s and all through the 19th century when it was known as ‘the furniture street’. Many of the furniture manufacturers specialised in cabinets and some morphed into making pianos. The natural progression of manufacturing is retail, and one of the grandest of all the retailers – just a minute’s walk from Tottenham Court Road – is Heal’s. The world-famous Pevsner Architectural Guides called it the ‘best commercial front of its date in London’.

Other historical landmarks in the area include the Dominion theatre, which was built in the late 1920s backing onto Meux’s Brewery. It was once the site of the London Beer Flood of October 1814 where a million litres (8,000 – 9,000 barrels) flooded the area in a 15ft high tidal wave of porter ale. A broken vat at the Horse Shoe Brewery killed eight people and demolished two houses. To recoup some of the money lost, watchmen charged visitors a penny to see the ruined vats and they came in their hundreds!

Under Tottenham Court Road’s junction with Chenies Street (now a document storage facility) is the wartime bunker from where General Eisenhower directed the Allies’ assault on Western Europe during WW2 and today the area has benefitted from a £26m upgrade ahead of the new Crossrail terminal – slated to open in 2018.


Tottenham Court Road – Eat, Drink…

Tottenham Court Road is blessed with a number of world-class dining options, including Michelin-starred Hakkasan on Hanway Street, Alyn Williams at the Westbury Hotel, Arbutus on Frith Street and Dabbous on Goodge Street. Of course there are dozens and dozens of fantastic restaurants, bars, cafés and delis to choose from – many located in the more famous luxury hotels of Tottenham Court Road – with options to suit all pockets. For guests staying at the Rathbone, our exclusive Dining Club offers excellent discounts on a number of these restaurants – just one of the many reasons why the Rathbone remains one of the most popular Tottenham Court Road hotels. If you are seeking to stay in the area and you need any help choosing where to eat or drink, or for bookings in advance of your arrival, our concierge will be only too glad to help you.


…and Shop!

We’ve already mentioned the range of shopping options along Tottenham Court Road, but at the end of the road you’ll also find Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping street with hundreds of shops including the best department stores in the world, John Lewis, Debenhams and the king of them all, Selfridges. Bond Street and South Moulton Street are designer heavens and along Regent Street you’ll find the Apple store, Hamley’s and the bastion of Britishness, Aquascutum.


Travelling To Tottenham Court Road

If you do wish to base yourself in the area during your trip to London, then you’ll find it’s easily accessible via public transport. Tottenham Court Road has three tube stations – Tottenham Court Road (Northern &Central Lines), Goodge Street (Northern Line) and Warren Street (Victoria and Northern Lines) as well as numerous bus routes that will get you to all parts of London. You’re also close to the mainline stations of Kings Cross St Pancras, Euston and Charing Cross where you can get to the rest of the UK and into Europe.


Hotel Options in Tottenham Court Road – Why Choose The Rathbone?

As a visitor to London, you have hundreds of hotels to choose from but if you want a Tottenham Court Road hotel with outstanding customer service, amenities and facilities in the perfect location, the Rathbone is your ideal choice.

Staying in a hotel near Tottenham Court Road means you’re in the very centre of London – just a couple of minutes’ walk from the amazing and varied choice of restaurants, bars, shops, entertainment and hotels in the area.

The Rathbone ranks among the best boutique hotels near Tottenham Court Road. Not only do you stay in an outstanding hotel, we have lots of offers to tempt you, including pre-pay and save 10% if you book direct through the website, free continental breakfast as well as free super-fast wi-fi. There’s also a 24h reception desk, a knowledgeable concierge service that can help you with booking tickets, dinner reservations and car hire and all the facilities and amenities you’d expect from a top quality establishment.

We have been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the consistency of our customer reviews, cementing our place as one of the top Tottenham Court Road hotels. We have earned our reputation as one of the very best options in the surrounding area due to our warm welcome, exceptional customer service and our excellent location.

Ultimately, we believe the Rathbone ranks among the top options for hotels near Tottenham Court Road, and we’d like to think that our guests would say the same!




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16 July 2024