Burlington Arcade is a posh shopping mall off Piccadilly. It is one of the most famous arcades in London – run by ‘Beadles’ in top-hat and tails.
When it was built back in the 1820s, old members of the 10th Hussars were hired to keep the public under control as it used to back onto Burlington House (now the Royal Academy of Arts), so peace and quiet was preferred. These days the Hussars have gone, and have been replaced with the less scary ‘Beadles’.
The Beadles, or Burlington Berties, are kitted out in top hats and tails – long Edwardian frock coats that reach below their knees. They may look friendly, but beware of their draconian rules: they’ll have you for singing, whistling and chewing gum. (And for christ’s sake, please don’t run through with an open umbrella!)
- ronette – “Burlington arcade is great if you want to buy a hat, an umbrella, or a posh watch. Because that is the kind of shops that are there. They are all about the size of my bathroom and have no more than five items on display, and all the items cost ten times more than they should do. I can't afford to spend £80 on an umbrella, thank you very much!.”
- Craig – “[.londondrum.com/frm/blog.php?B=92.] It's a bit risky walking down burlington arcade when you look like a loser with no money like me, because the burlington berties might chuck you out. They are supposed to stalk the mall kicking out the louts, but if truth be told they are just a couple of old guys in top hat and tails. They are supposed to enforce a load of dopey rules like 'no whistling!', 'no singing!' and 'no holding an open umbrella!' but they are totally useless. If I was in charge I would sack them because when I was in there today a couple of kids Decided to tempt fate and whistle a few bars, but what did they do? Nothing. Nought. I was outraged! I thought they'd come charging down with machine guns blazing and blow the kids away, but they didn't even beat them up or nothing. I bet if I whistled a tune though, they'd lock me up for a week. That is the kind of luck I have. As for the shops, they are all posh and expensive. T”
If you enjoy this then try: Bond Street (you can walk it in 6 mins); London Silver Vaults (walk it in 28 mins or catch a train from Piccadilly Circus to London Silver Vaults); Piccadilly (you can walk it in less than 2 mins) and Royal Exchange (catch the tube from Piccadilly Circus to Royal Exchange).