The ultimate guide to Whiteleys in London


Whiteleys was London’s first ever department store and it still stands today in more glory than ever before. With an array of shops and restaurants, a cinema and a bowling alley, this is an excellent location for a day out in the capital.

Address: Queensway, London, W2 4YN

History of Whiteleys

In 1845, an ambitious 24-year-old Yorkshire man named William Whiteley moved from Leeds to London to follow his dream of creating a store in London that could offer the shopping public anything and everything that they could need.

By 1875 he had established himself as an entrepreneur – buying up other shops in the area, cutting prices, offering a vast range of goods and other services, from clothes and kitchenware to estate agency work. By 1890, more than 6,000 staff were employed within the business, with the majority of them living in Whiteley accommodation.

In 1899, the business obtained a listing on the London Stock Exchange and in 1912 the Lord Mayor of London opened the first Whiteleys department store.

Whiteleys saw a major revamp in 1925, re-opening to offer almost anything, including women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, gifts, books, beauty products, fashion accessories, a wide range of international restaurants, an eight-screen multiplex cinema, bowling alley and a car park.

Today the building is grade II-listed and features the original sweeping La Scala staircase, impressive tiered atrium, windows and marble floor.

Shops at Whiteleys

Whiteleys has shops to suit everyone’s needs, from clothes, to books, to antiques. Some of the many shops that you can find include:

  • Gap
  • Ernest Jones
  • AZ Art & Antiques
  • H&M
  • Holland Flower Market
  • Kurt Geiger
  • Marks and Spencer
  • The Body Shop
  • Victory Vintage

Food and Drink at Whiteleys

Starbucks Coffee
Not only can you spend a full day out at Whiteleys, but you can enjoy a fantastic meal or pick-me-up. For a light snack, lunch, dinner, or just a coffee, be sure to check out these amazing eateries. Some of these include:

  • Costa Coffee
  • Starbucks
  • Oddono’s
  • Pizza Express
  • Urban Social

Leisure at Whiteleys

Whiteleys isn’t just a shopping centre – it also offers some great leisure activities. If you and a group of mates fancy a game or two of bowling then head down to All Star Lanes. You can get some fantastic food here too, and we’ve heard amazing things about their milkshakes!

To see the latest blockbuster, Odeon’s eight-screen multiplex cinema is the place to go. Offering both 2D and 3D showings, you can make sure you never have to miss the new top movie.

If you’re a fitness fanatic, then a membership at Lux Fitness is a must. An exclusive and private personal training studio, it offers one-on-one training, small group training, nutritional consulting, a range of sports supplements and fitness accessories.

Travel to Whiteleys

Anyone visiting Whiteleys will find that the London Underground network is the most stress-free travel option.

Usually known as the Tube, there are several nearby stations that are ideal for this location:

  • Bayswater (Circle and District lines): 3 minutes walk
  • Queensway (Central line): 3 minutes walk

In addition, visitors can make use of London’s extensive bus services, with the 7, 12, 23, 27, 36, 70 and 98 buses stopping on Queensway or close by.

Meanwhile, full details of all local public transport options for visitors to Whiteleys and the surrounding area can be found at the official website of Transport for London.

It is advised to use public transport to travel around London with the most ease, but for anyone travelling by car, then Whiteleys car park offers 175 roof top spaces. This is outside of the congestion charge zone, which is an added bonus.

Visitors should remember that traffic volumes can be high during the busy morning and evening rush hours if travelling through London. It is therefore advisable for motorists to avoid travelling during rush hour.

Hotels near Whiteleys

Park Grand London Paddington Hotel
4 min (0.6 mi) via Inverness Terrace/B411

Park Grand Paddington Court London Hotel
3 min (0.6 mi) via Bishop’s Bridge Rd/A4206 and Gloucester Terrace

Park Grand London Hyde Park Hotel
3 min (0.6 mi) via Bishop’s Bridge Rd/A4206 and Gloucester Terrace

Park Grand London Lancaster Gate Hotel
5 min (0.7 mi) via Bishop’s Bridge Rd/A4206 and Gloucester Terrace

Nearby Whiteleys

To make your day out even better, then we suggest a short stroll over to Kensington Gardens.

One of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, Kensington Gardens is home to Kensington Palace, the Italian Gardens, the Albert Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue and the Serpentine Galleries. In addition, magnificent trees and ornamental flower beds line the popular Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

Every year, millions of people travel far and wide to visit Kensington Gardens. Enjoy refreshments at the variety of restaurants and cafes, or check out one of the latest events to be held here.

You can also find many sports and leisure activities, which are perfect to get involved with if you live nearby.

In the summer, the beauty of Kensington Gardens is even more prominent. The flowers blossom and it’s filled with people enjoying the sunshine. Deck chairs are also available to hire during the warm season which can really add to your picnic or family fun day.