Bounded by Regent Street to the west, Oxford Street to the north and Charing Cross Road to the east, Soho is very much the heart of the West End. It’s been the city’s premier red-light district for centuries and retains an unorthodox and slightly raffish air that’s unique for central London. It has an immigrant history as rich as that of the East End and a louche nightlife that has attracted writers and revellers of every sexual persuasion since the eighteenth century. Today it’s a very upfront gay enclave, especially around Old Compton Street. Conventional sights in Soho are few, yet there’s probably more street life here than anywhere in the city centre, whatever the hour. Most folk head to Soho to go the cinema or theatre, and to have a drink or a bite to eat in the innumerable bars, cafés and restaurants that pepper the area, which includes Chinatown in the south.

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