Cambridge Circus, London


Cambridge Circus, London

Cambridge Circus is a London traffic intersection (not actually a roundabout) at the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. The Palace Theatre is located on the west side of the junction.

In several of the spy novels written by John le Carré and featuring the character George Smiley (for example, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"), the Secret Intelligence Service is referred to as "The Circus" because of its supposed location at Cambridge Circus. This name and location are a case of artistic licence on the part of John le Carré. At the time the novels in question were written, the actual SIS HQ was Century House, a modern office block in Lambeth.

The junction is situated about halfway between Tottenham Court Road tube station (at St Giles' Circus) and Leicester Square. The more famous Oxford Circus is much farther away.


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