Bayswater is one of London’s most cosmopolitan areas, home to a very
eclectic and diverse population. The area is lined with Victorian
stucco terraces, attractive streets and garden squares. Aside from
easy access to Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Notting Hill and Westfield
Shopping Centre, Bayswater’s biggest advantage is its convenient
location for travel links in and out of London and in particular,
Heathrow Airport. The Heathrow Express runs from Paddington
(mainline) Station every 15 minutes (see below for more
Places of Interest
Marble Arch – Built in the 19th Century, the Marble Arch was founded
as the state entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace.
Originally only members of the Royal Family and the King’s Troop
were permitted to pass through, which today still happens on
ceremonial occasions. However, for visitors, it’s a popular landmark
located at the top of Oxford Street (and a good meeting point if
St Sophia’s Cathedral (Moscow Road, Bayswater) – St Sophia’s
Cathedral was the first Orthodox Church in London, built in the
seventeenth century to serve the first Greek community in the area.
Designed by architect, John Oldrid Scott, the church was consecrated
on February 5, 1882, by the Archbishop of Corfu.
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising – if packaging, logos
and advertising is your thing or you’re studying marketing, this
museum is worth a visit. Around the corner from Portobello Market
the collection holds over 12,000 items and displays the history of
consumer culture from the Victorian era up to the present day.
Bayswater is perfectly situated for shopping and there’s plenty of
choice close by, but for the more committed a short bus or tube
journey will satisfy every shopping wish.
Porchester Spa – Dating back to 1929 The Porchester Spa is an oasis
of calm and historic interest. With its Art Deco green and white
tiles, high ceilings and original features still intact. The
building houses three Turkish hot rooms, two Russian steam rooms, a
cold plunge pool, sauna, swimming pool and a relaxation lounge.
Certain days are either men or women only, so it’s best to check
opening times, and there are also great packages and treatments
available. The building is owned by Westminster Council and over the
years it’s been threatened with closure but a well-deserved makeover
has revived its fortunes – it might seem a bit old fashioned but it
doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
Whiteley’s Shopping Centre- the site of London’s first ever
department store that started out as a drapery in 1867. Today,
Whiteley’s is home to over 50 stores, including women’s, men’s and
children’s fashions. Gifts, books, beauty products, fashion
accessories, a wide range of international restaurants, an 8 screen
multiplex cinema, bowling diner and car park.
American Food Store– Starting out as a Newsagents and Post Office in
Notting Hill, the American Food Store stocks over 1,000 truly
American imported foods, and the real taste of the USA.
Portobello Road Market – the famous Portobello Road market offers a
variety of antiquities, vintage clothing, street food, music,
jewellery and much more. There’s always a buzz and it’s a great
market to absorb the culture and current fashion trends.
Odabash – renowned for her swimwear, designer Melissa Odabash, has
been described by Vogue as the ‘Ferrari of swimwear. If you’re
looking for a swimwear solution or high-end beach fashion, the shop
is definitely worth a visit.
Oxford Street - Known to be Europe’s busiest shopping street, Oxford
Street is home to over 300 stores and runs from Marble Arch right
through to Tottenham Court Road. Many flagship stores can be found
here, offering plenty of show and excitement, for the big chains
such as Debenhams, John Lewis, and Selfridges. It is also a joyous
place to be at Christmas, renowned for its Christmas light displays
which are lit by a different celebrity each year.
Westfield Shopping Centre (Shepherd’s Bush) - If you are looking for
a large shopping mall, then Westfield is the place to go. Located
right next to Shepherd’s Bush station, the mall spans as much floor
space as 30 football pitches. It contains over 225 stores, for all
ages and styles, as well as The Village: the high-end retail area
including the likes of Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and many more. If
you fancy taking a break, there’s also a cinema with the latest
blockbusters on show throughout the day.
Bayswater offers plenty of choice, from high street chains to
diverse cuisines, below are some suggestions:
Maroush – Lebanese cuisine with music and belly dancing
45–49 Edgware Road
Santorini Restaurant – Authentic Contemporary Greek Food
10 Moscow Road
Masala Zone – Indian Street Food
75 Bishops Bridge Road
The Swan – popular for authentic Fish & Chips
66 Bayswater Road
Four Seasons – Original Branch, known for their Duck recipes
A Short History:
Previously belonging to the Abbey of Westminster, the name
‘Bayswater’ is believed to have originated from Bainiardus, an
associate of William the Conqueror (who was crowned the first King
of England in 1066) who also gave his name to Baynard’s Castle. The
area became known as ‘Baynard’s Watering’ and later become
abbreviated to Bayswater, was a remarkable source of spring water,
supplying Baynard’s household and cattle.
Many famous residents have lived within this area through the
decades, including Alexander Fleming (the inventor of penicillin),
Winston Churchill, Tony Blair, Keira Knightley, Sting and the artist
Sir John Tenniel (Alice in Wonderland sketches).