finding europe in london - leg 5
From: Denmark Street
To: Portugal Street
DISTANCE: 0.7 miles
TOTAL DISTANCE: 2.5 miles
Run all the way to the end of Denmark Street (away from the end you came in at) and take a right onto St Giles High Street. Stay on the road as it becomes High Holburn, and keep running along the road for 5 minutes or so.
Turn right onto Kingsway, run down it for a couple of minutes (making sure that you've crossed the road so you're able to make a left turn - there a barrier in the middle of the road) and then turn left onto Portugal Street.
Phew! You made it!
What's it got to do with Portugal?
The origins of this road are hard to come about. It used to be Portugal Row and it is possible that it was named after the wife of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza (pictured right) who was from Portugal. Ironically, Charles II's favourite mistress, Nell Gwynn lived just round the corner at Lincoln's Inn Fields. So much for grand street-naming love gestures!
Picadilly used to be called Portugal Street and was definitely named after Catherine of Braganza.
Portugal and the EU
Portugal joined the EU in January 1986 and adoped the Euro currency in January 1999.
The EU has supported Portugal with a new light-railway system in its second largest city, Porto. This has radicalised transport into and around the city.