Strand is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster, Central London. It runs just over 3⁄4 mile (1,200 m) from Trafalgar Square eastwards to Temple Bar, where the road becomes Fleet Street inside the City of London, and is part of the A4, a main road running west from inner London.
The road's name comes from the Old English strand, meaning the edge of a river, as it historically ran alongside the north bank of the River Thames. The street was popular with the British upper classes between the 12th and 17th centuries, with many historically important mansions being built between the Strand and the river. These included Essex House, Arundel House, Somerset House, Savoy Palace, Durham House and Cecil House. The aristocracy moved to the West End over the 17th century, following which the Strand became well known for coffee shops, restaurants and taverns. The street was a centre point for theater and music hall during the 19th century, and several venues remain on the Strand. At the east end of the street are two historic churches: St Mary le Strand and St Clement Danes.
Several authors, poets and philosophers have lived on or near the Strand, including Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Virginia Woolf. The street has been commemorated in the song "Let's All Go Down the Strand", now recognized as a typical piece of Cockney music hall.