Piccadilly: The Story of the World's Most Famous Thoroughfare

By Barry Turner

A mile long thoroughfare from the Circus to Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly is a microcosm of 400 years of British history. With an incredible roster of past residents, ranging from bizarre aristocrats and larger than life politicians to celebrated writers and artists, Piccadilly is rich in tales of the weird and wonderful. The backdrop is an ever-evolving street life centred on iconic shops and galleries, hotels and restaurants, a pageant of London and Londoners through the ages.

Piccadilly teems with famous names: the Ritz, Fortnum & Mason, Hatchards, the Wolseley, the Royal Academy and Cordings. You can have your shoes shined, buy the most luxurious cashmeres and expensive jewellery or indulge in macaroons all undercover in the elegant arcades running off the thoroughfare. Deemed “the magic mile”, it takes a gentle half-hour stroll, up one side and back the other, to revel in a most fascinating story.

Whether you love history or are just curious to know more about this famous thoroughfare, join Barry Turner as he brings alive the people and places that make Piccadilly so special.

About Barry Turner

Barry Turner is an author, editor and reviewer. He has written thirty books including biographies and social history. As founding editor of The Writer’s Handbook he took this annual reference title through to its twenty-fourth edition. He was editor of The Statesman’s Yearbook from 1997 to 2014. He was a founder member and former chairman of the National Academy of Writing. He reviews classic crime for the Daily Mail. Barry lives in London and South West France.

News & Reviews


‘Is Piccadilly ‘the world’s msot famous thoroughfare?’ New Yorkers might argue for Broadway, Parisians for Champs-Elysées. It’s certainly true that it has been at the heart of English history for more than 400 years, and Barry Turner brings it to life in this thoroughly enjoyable book.’ Mail on Sunday