The Bayswater area of London has developed a great reputation in recent years, especially as a place to indulge in a little retail therapy, as well as take in the local sights.
Located on the northern edge of Hyde Park in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Bayswater boasts a number of top-quality hotels and is just three miles from Charing Cross.
Shopping in Bayswater
Although many of the leading flagship stores tend to be located in Oxford and Regent Street, Bayswater is also home to many key shopping brands. In fact, being located slightly off the major shopping areas, means there is more chance of discovering bargains and more unusual items.
One of the unique services on offer in Bayswater is the area’s street ambassadors whose role is to help anyone not familiar with London or the UK. They are dressed in pink uniforms and wear bowler hats so easily spotted and they can give plenty of advice, such as pointing out the nearest tube station etc.
Bayswater is also home to the capital’s first department store. Opened in 1863, Whitleys is a must even though a blaze in 1887 destroyed most of the original building. In fact, some of the items rescued following the fire are on display in the centre.
As well as the standard shopping options, Whitleys also houses plenty of food outlets, a bowling alley and a cinema.
Another popular destination for anyone visiting the Bayswater area is Victory Vintage. This retro fashion outlet offers various clothes, homeware and accessories from many past eras – perfect for finding that unusual gift.
Meanwhile, music fans may want to head to Music and Video Exchange on Notting Hill Gate. This busy shop is the ideal place to pick up vinyl and cds for a bargain price – you may also be able to discover the vital album missing from your music collection.
Grab something to eat
There are plenty of places in Bayswater to get a bite to eat and spend some time people watching.
One of the great advantages of Bayswater is that there is a real mix of cuisine on offer. One of the highlights is Yashin Sushi, which is a great Japanese restaurant which speciialises in serving the very best sushi.
If you prefer something a little more traditional, then head to Clarke’s – this restaurant offers a whole menu of great British classics including as steak and chips.
Attractions close to Bayswater
One of the greatest parts about staying at one of the wonderful hotels near Bayswater is the fact that you are only a short distance from some of the best loved parts of London, including Notting Hill.
Famed for its wonderful market and carnival, Notting Hill is one of the most desired locations in London and after spending an afternoon there, it will be easy to see why. The Portobello Market is world-famous, not only for its appearances in the appropriately named Notting Hill film featuring A-listers Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, but also because of the wonderful treasures you can find there. The main market takes places on Fridays and Saturdays, while a smaller market offering fruit and vegetables is open every week day.
Notting Hill is also home to one of the more unique, yet extremely fascinating museums in London, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. With over 12,000 items on show, it is very hard not to marvel at how much some of the most famous brands have evolved, from Cadbury’s to Oxo. If you are looking for quirky then this museum is a must!
Kensington is also just a short walk away from centre of Bayswater and showcases the rich history of London. There is plenty of to do including explore the attractive Kensington Gardens. If you are real lucky you may even be able to spot the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge if you take a tour of Kensington Palace.
If you fancy catching a world-class show, then why not see what is playing at the Royal Albert Hall which is again only a short walk from Bayswater. There are also plenty of tours on offer during the day if you want to get a glimpse of the world’s most famous stage. Just a little further down from the Royal Albert Hall you will find some of the capital’s most famous museums, from the V&A to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
How to get to Bayswater
The best way to get to Bayswater is via the area’s London Underground station. Bayswater tube is on the Circle and District Lines and is between Notting Hill Gate and Paddington station. You will need a travel card or Oyster card that covers Zone 1.
Another approach is the Queensway station which is on the Central Line.