When it comes down to staying anywhere in London, places don't get more central than Charing Cross. Distances to and from the centre of London are measured from the statue of King Charles I in Trafalgar Square. This was the site of the original Charing Cross. The Charing Cross area is small but it is home to the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square.
The name comes from the old village of Charing. It was the twelfth and last place that the body of Eleanor of Castile rested on its way to London. Eleanor died in Harby, Nottinghamshire. However, her widower, King Edward I, wanted her body brought back to London for burial. The journey took 13 days and Edward had crosses built at each location the funeral cortege rested overnight. They were all large and ornate, but the tallest and most ornate was the cross built at Charing.
The Charing Cross was destroyed by Parliamentarians in 1647. After the restoration of the monarchy, the statue of King Charles I was placed on the site of the Charing Cross. When Trafalgar Square was built, the area became the meeting points of some of London's biggest roads of the time. Charing Cross Station opened in 1864 and during construction, a replica of the Charing Cross was built at the front the station.
Today, Charing Cross is a lively area, with theatres and restaurants. It is just a short walk from Covent Garden & Soho and there are great transport links, making it a great place to stay if you're planning a holiday in London.