Mayfair and Marylebone are districts of central London. Together they cover a large area of western central London, encompassing the whole of Mayfair and Piccadilly to the south and the area from Oxford Street through Marylebone to Regent's Park and the border with St John's Wood to the north.
Mayfair is named after a fortnight-long May Fair held from 1686 until banned from that location in 1764. (Previously, the May Fair was held in the Haymarket; after 1764, it moved to Fair Field in Bow). The area was owned by the Grosvenor family and much is still held by the Grosvenor Estate, having been originally developed for residences from the late 17th century. Mayfair is an extremely well-heeled district, as symbolised by its appearance as the most expensive property on the London Monopoly board, followed closely by one of its main thoroughfares, Park Lane. The district includes several major up-market shopping streets, including Bond Street, Regent Street, Jermyn Street.
Dividing the two districts is Oxford Street, considered by many to be the 'high street', (i.e. main shopping street) of London. Here are to be found a number of sizeable department stores, including the famous Selfridges, as well as shopfronts for all the major brands.
Marylebone, located to the north of Oxford Street, is larger and less grand than Mayfair but still home to some very desirable housing, as well major tourist attractions such as Madame Tussaud's Wax Works Museum, Baker Street and the fictional haunt of Sherlock Holmes, and—to the north—the wide open green spaces of Regent's Park (including London Zoo).
There are many Tube stations in the area, making these districts extremely easy to access, with all sites of interest a maximum of 10-15 minutes walk from any Tube station:
- Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines).
- Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines)
- Marble Arch (Central line)
- Baker Street (Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee and Bakerloo lines)
- Bond Street (Central and Jubilee lines).
- Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines).
- Edgware Road (Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines)
- Regent's Park (Bakerloo line)
- Marylebone (Bakerloo line)
- Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)
The Tube is the best way to reach Oxford Street; although there are plenty of buses serving the area, the traffic congestion is pretty bad, and the wait can be lengthy. The Central Line runs pretty much directly beneath Oxford Street at this point, with four stations along its length: Marble Arch, Bond Street (also served by the Jubilee Line), Oxford Circus (also served by the Bakerloo and Victoria lines), and Tottenham Court Road (also served by the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line). If you want to shop, go to either Marble Arch or Tottenham Court Road station and walk the length of Oxford Street to experience all it has to offer.
If possible, avoid Oxford Circus Tube Station, as its layout is confusing and it's also very busy; at times it can be difficult to get out of the station at all due to pedestrian congestion outside and access to the station is frequently closed on a temporary basis during the evening rush hour.
Marylebone Station is also a mainline rail station, the terminus for trains from Birmingham, Warwick, Banbury, Aylesbury and High Wycombe. It is one of the best preserved Victorian railway stations left in the capital. With Marylebone Road on the station's southern side, there is no shortage of buses.
- 23 & 7 travel up Edgware Rd and on towards Bayswater & Notting Hill.
- 1 Marble Arch (Where the north-eastern point of Hyde Park meets the south-western tip of Marylebone). This enormous arch was originally situated in front of Buckingham Palace. In 1851 the expansion of the palace meant the arch could no longer remain where it was, so it was moved to this point on Hyde Park. It now stands rather sadly on a large traffic island, but the subway beneath the roads mean you can stop off at the Marble Arch on your way from Oxford St to Hyde Park.
- 2 Regent's Park (tube: Baker St, Regent's Pk, or Camden Town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Large open space very popular with Londoners and less visited by tourists than the other great city parks. A number of lovely lakes, an open air theatre, regular puppet shows, various sporting activities and some splendid ancient trees. There is also a cafe and play area next to the boating pond.
- 3 ZSL London Zoo (London Zoo), Outer Circle, Regent's Pk, NW1 4RY (tube: Camden Town. Note that Regents Park station is a very long walk away.), ☎ . 10:00-16:00 daily, closed 25 Dec. London's main zoo located in the northern reaches of Regent's Park. Takes a very conservation-driven approach these days and always has great exhibits aimed at children. Opened in 1828 for scientific study, then to the public in 1847. Pre-booked: £24 adults, £17.50 under 15s, under 3 free. Gate prices slightly higher.
- 4 London Central Mosque (Regent's Park Mosque), 146 Park Rd NW1, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Islamic Cultural Centre and the main mosque in London. Visitors are welcome but must be suitably attired. The Mosque runs classes, prayers, talks and events.
- 5 Wellington Arch, Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7JZ (tube: Hyde Park Corner; in the centre of the Hyde Park Corner roundabout). Interior access daily: Apr–Sep 10:00–18:00; Oct 10:00–17:00; Nov–Mar 10:00–16:00. A grand neoclassical arch, designed by Decimus Burton and first erected in 1826 as a grand entrance to Buckingham Palace. From 1846 onwards, the arch was topped with a massive equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington - a major road widening of Piccadilly in 1882 was the opportunity to finally remove the over sized statue to Aldershot. The present magnificent statue Peace Descending on the Quadriga of War was placed on top of the Arch in 1912, and remains today the largest bronze sculpture in the United Kingdom, spectacularly lit at night. During the 1950s, the arch served as the smallest police station in the city, when it was occupied by ten constables, two sergeants and a cat! The arch was opened to the public for the first time in April 2001 after a £1.5 million restoration by English Heritage. (Wellington Arch is also available for corporate and private events - with dramatic views down Constitution Hill and across central London from the Arch's spacious balconies, Wellington Arch is a novel and unique place to impress your guests). £4.20 adult, £3.80 concessions, £2.50 child.
- 6 Grosvenor Square. Nicknamed Little America, it is the long time home of the American Embassy (soon to be moved to Nine Elms across the river) and a statue of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Museums and galleries
- 7 Apsley House (The Wellington Museum), 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London, W1J 7NT (tube: Hyde Park Corner), ☎ . Apr-Oct W-Su 11:00-17:00. The former home of the 1st Duke of Wellington, boasting an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture, medals and swords. Adults £6.70, children £4, concessions £6.
- 8 Handel & Hendrix in London (Handel House Museum), 25 Brook St W1K 4HB (tube: Bond Street), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Mon - Sat 11:00-18:00. Home to the baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. Some of the greatest classical music ever composed was done so at this address. The museum charts Handel's life and works and offers recitals of music in the magnificent setting of the period rooms. By contrast, next door was home to Jimi Hendrix when he lived in London in 1969, and entry to this top floor flat is included. £10.
- 9 Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Rd, NW1 5LR (tube: Baker St), ☎ . M-F 10:00-17:30, Sa Su 09:30-17:30. Madame Tussaud's is a world famous waxwork museum, best known for its Grand Hall, with a collection of international royalty, statesmen and world leaders. Visitors generally report that the entrance fee does not warrant the selection of waxworks on show, which rarely resemble the celebrities. Also, there is usually a long queue stretching down the road. £10-20 (*pricing depends on time of visit, price decreases as closing time approaches, and whether visitors wish to pass through the Chamber of Horrors').
- 10 The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly (tube: Piccadilly Circus), ☎ . Sa-Th 10:00-18:00, F 10:00-22:00. The Royal Academy no longer has a permanent exhibition space, instead hosting art exhibitions. Notable recent exhibitions have included the paintings of Monet, contemporary art associated with the theme of apocalypse, and Aztec art. Each Summer, the Royal Academy plays host to a Summer Exhibition, displaying 1,200 new works by established and new artists selected by the academy, most of which are available for visitors to buy. Each member has to donate a work of art, so over the years, the academy has built a sizable collection. Exhibitions are invariably excellent, and it is worth paying for audio guides, if they are not included. Visitors should book tickets in advance, as exhibitions are often very popular - particularly shortly after opening. £7-9 (admission price varies between exhibitions).
- 11 Sherlock Holmes Museum, 239 Baker St, NW1 6XE (Also known as 221B Baker St), ☎ . 09:30-18:00 daily. Discover mementos of this famous fictional detective. £15 adult, £10 child.
- 12 Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN (tube: Bond St), ☎ . 10:00-17:00 daily. The Wallace Collection is one of the world's finest private art collections, the best known of which is Frans Hals's work The Laughing Cavalier. Other artists on display include Rembrandt, Titian, Poussin, and Reynolds. Well worth escaping to after the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Free.
- Haunch of Venison Gallery is one of several commercial, boutique art-galleries scattered around the area.
- Mayfair Point, 34 South Molton St, ☎ . Located just above Bond Street tube station, Mayfair Point provides office services, from single desk hire through to contracted large office space ideal for small businesses wanting to work in a prestigious location in London. From £60pm.
- Curzon Mayfair, 38 Curzon St, ☎ . Retro 70s decor, a relaxing bar area and comfortable seating combine with a great art-house billing, easily one of the best cinemas in London.
- London Friday Night Skate (Hyde Park Corner). F 20:00. Group street skate every Friday night.
- Sunday Stroll (Serpentine Rd). Su 14:00. Group street skate.
- Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (Regent's Park). During the summer, a perfect afternoon can be had by taking a picnic in Regent's Park followed by seeing a production at the Theatre.
Oxford Street, which has been a shopping mecca and London's primary shopping street since 1908, will max out your credit card and will provide you with a store for anything you need. Virtually all of the major British retail chains have their flagship branches along Oxford Street. Selfridges is worth a visit for its food hall; it also has a great selection of bottled beers. John Lewis is good for fabrics, knitting supplies, other crafts, furniture, and home wares in general. Intersecting Oxford St proper is Regent St, which houses the famous Liberty department store, again worth a visit for fabrics and home furnishings. Also interesting is the Dickens and Jones department store.
The eastern boundary of the area is marked by Tottenham Court Road, which is London's famous area for specialist electronics, hi-fi and computer equipment shops - most of these are concentrated near the southern half of the road, whilst the northern half is famous for its furnishing stores.
If your taste is for mainstream designer label goods, try Bond Street. Synonymous with international designers and luxury goods, it is a great way to experience London's finest at its best. The street is recognized as the premier location for shopping in London, and perhaps the world, featuring brands and designer labels recognized the world over.
Savile Row is synonymous with perhaps the highest quality men's suits in the world. There are many bespoke tailors to chose from, most of whom are behind quite discreet shop fronts. If you feel like really treating yourself, nothing could be more London than a suit from Savile Row and a shirt from Jermyn St.
Marylebone High Street and the side streets running off it have a range of upmarket specialised shops, in particular for food.
- Aspreys, 167 New Bond St, W1S 4AY (tube: Bond St), ☎ . One of the most famous luxury jewellers anywhere in the world. At least have a look in the window
- Burberry, 21-23 New Bond St, W1S 2RE. Visit the flagship store on Bond St and look at the famous check.
- Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER, ☎ . World famous as grocers to the British Royal Family, Fortnum's original store has been here in Piccadilly since 1707.
- Grays Antique Markets, 58 Davies St & 1-7 Davies Mews, W1K 5AB (tube: Bond St), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 11:00-17:00. A remarkably diverse collection of antique and collectibles dealers all under one roof adjoining Bond St station. Certainly the best option in central London for visitors interested in collectibles in particular.
- Hamley's, 188-196 Regent St, W1B 5BT (tube: Oxford Circus), toll-free: . Unleash your inner child, and your children at Hamleys, the largest toy store in England. With over seven floors, you could spend hours here.
- Liberty, Great Marlborough St, W1B 5AH (tube: Oxford Circus, the main frontage is on Regent St despite the address), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The flagship, original store of the world famous British brand. Lovely old building and great fun to browse in Liberty even if you are not going to buy something!
- Cad & the Dandy (Men's Suits Tailors & Shirtmakers), 12 Savile Row, W1S 3PR, ☎ . Remarkable bespoke & made to measure suit tailors for men. Fine English fabrics, affordable. Also offer men's wedding suit tailoring. Design your suit using their online designing tool. £450.
- Maroush, Edgware Rd. A chain of Middle Eastern food including; belly dancing at night.
- Migen. Pan-asian food at budget prices. The owner has his supplies shipped in specifically from the far east, and declares his secret is always using chillies from the country of the dish. If you are stuck for choice, try the agedashi-dofu (deep-fried tofu with dipping sauce).
- Paul, Marylebone High St. French patisserie and bakery with some seating available.
- 1 Sea Shell of Lisson Grove, 49-51 Lisson Grove, NW1 6UH (tube: Marylebone), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 12:00-22:30. A premium fish and chip shop that has some seating as well as dishing up hundreds of take-away packages every day. Londoners travel miles to order here. The effort is well and truly worth it.
- 2 Carluccio's, St. Christopher’s Place, ☎ . M-F 08:00-23:00, Sa 09:00-23:00, Su 10:00-22:00. Creative Italian cuisine, enjoy a bottle of pinot grigio at the bar while waiting for a table to free. Main £6-15.
- 5 MEATliquor, 74 Welbeck St, W1G 0BA (tube: Oxford Circus), ☎ . American dive bar offering great burgers. No reservations. £20 per head.
- Chez Gerard, 31 Dover St, W1S 4ND (at the northern end of Dover St, tube: Green Pk), ☎ . French brasserie of some repute. Two storey restaurant.
- Le Gavroche, 43 Upper Brook St, W1K 7QR, ☎ . World famous, multiple-Michelin-starred, restaurant run by Michel Roux Jr. £100+ per head.
- Coco Momo, 70 Marylebone High. Trendy and upbeat atmosphere with an extensive cocktail list.
- Jetlag, Under the iconic BT Tower, ☎ . M-Th 10:00-23:00, F Sa 10:00-midnight. International cocktail bar delivering cocktails from around the world with Japanese and global inspired food menu. Also a cinema screen showing high definition sport and can be hired out for special functions. Affordable luxury.
- Low Life, Marylebone. Basement bar with DJs.
- The Volunteer, 247 Baker St. A great pub for a relaxed evening. Great atmosphere and a minute walk from Baker Street Tube.
- Windsor Castle. A local pub popular with the London Business School crowd.
- Sam Smith Pubs. Sam Smith's pubs are some of the cheaper places to drink in Marylebone as they mostly sell their own beers brewed in Yorkshire. £2-£4 per pint.
- Oxford Street Youth Hostel, 14 Noel St. A busy, vibrant hostel, not a place for a quiet break. Self-catering kitchen. 2-4 bed rooms. Adults from £24.50.
- 20 Hertford Street Apartments, 20 Hertford St, W1J 7RX, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. From £69-400.
- Holiday Inn Oxford Circus, 57-59 Welbeck St. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A clean hotel.
- Holiday Inn London Regents Park, Carburton St, W1W 5EE, ☎ . The hotel is near attractions including Madame Tussauds and has a restaurant and bar. It is also close to Tube and railway stations.
- 1 The Leonard Hotel, 15 Seymour St, W1H 7JW (tube: Marble Arch), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers central London accommodation from grand suites to individually decorated bedrooms near the shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street and local attractions.
- Lincoln House Hotel, 33 Gloucester Pl (Marble Arch). A three star accommodation a few minutes from Madame Tussauds, Sherlock Holmes museum, Hyde Park corner. On average £79.
- Langham London, 1C Portland Pl, Regent St. Opened in 1865 as Europe's grand hotel, the Langham still retains its elegance and charm with luxuriously furnished rooms and spectacular views.
- The Montcalm Hotel, Great Cumberland Pl, Marble Arch. 120 bedrooms and suites with all marble bathrooms, a minute's walk from Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Oxford Street shopping.
- Holiday Inn London - Mayfair, 3 Berkeley St, W1J 8NE, ☎ . Check-in : 2PM, Check-out : 12PM
- Claridge's, 49 Brook St, ☎ . A London institution for those in the know. On the corner of Brook street and Davies street. Famous for serving traditional afternoon tea and hosts the Fera restaurant.
- The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Pl, ☎ . Individually designed suites and rooms by Guy Oliver. Recently opened Hélène Darroze's restaurant, a Michelin-starred French chef.
- Dorchester Hotel, Park Ln. One of the most prestigious five-star luxury hotels anywhere in the world owned by the Brunei royal family. If you have to ask the rates, you probably can not afford to stay here.
- Grand Residences by Marriott, 47 Park St.
- Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, 30 Portman Sq, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Five star hotel with 444 rooms and suites. The hotel is host to Locanda Locatelli Michelin star Italian restaurant.
- London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch. Less expensive than some of the other hotels in the area. It is on a side street, so it is a little quieter. The rooms are reasonably sized, the beds have been upgraded. The hotel is in a district that has a lot of Middle Eastern shops and restaurants. People can be seen smoking hookahs in the cafes in the neighborhood. Very close to the shopping on Oxford St. Rooms have high speed internet at £15 per day.
- London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. In the heart of Mayfair, adjacent to Hyde Park and a stroll from Oxford St and Bond St. Originally built as a large townhouse, the hotel has been newly refurbished.
- Park Lane Mews Hotel, Park Ln. A luxury four star hotel. Minutes walk to Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Regents Street and Hyde Park. Combines the charm of a traditional boutique hotel with modern facilities.
- The Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Pl, ☎ . Modern amenities including LCD flat-screen TV, iPod docking stations, and WiFi access. £90-185.
- The Ritz Hotel London, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR, ☎ . One of the London's great hotels for more than a century. Located on Piccadilly over-looking Green Park. If you cannot afford to stay here (likely), then a splurge on afternoon tea is recommended. Dress appropriately though otherwise you will not get past the door.
Whilst Oxford Street is one of the most safe streets in central London, there are, however, a few things to be aware of:
Crowds Oxford Street is very busy most days of the week, and can be unbearably so during the weekends - the areas around the junction with Tottenham Court Road, Marble Arch and Oxford Circus in particular. If you are in a hurry, be a Londoner and avoid the crowds by diverting via the back streets which run parallel to Oxford Street - plus you have the advantages of stumbling upon little gems such as restaurants, cafes and bars that are off the beaten track! You should be careful though, as pickpockets do sometimes lurk in these streets.
Begging and "The Clipboard People" Most homeless people asking for money won't and don't usually physically accost you, however, you will see them selling the "Big Issue", which is a magazine published by a homeless charity. "The Clipboard People" are usually students who have been recruited by a charity to waylay passersby and ask if they want to sign up to their charity. Please remember that you are not obliged to purchase either product although "The Clipbard People" are usually far more persistent and will try and attract you in a more aggressive manner. To get rid of these people just say "No" firmly or ignore them.
Targeting If you are a young woman on her own you may become targeted by young men working in the t-shirt shops who wish to invite you for a meal and become quite persistent or young men saying that they have "seen you around" and want to know your name. Firmly tell them "No" and walk away, they should leave you alone. If you do have to pass by one of the shops where you have been targeted, usually expect nothing more than a cat-call. Remember if you do feel harassed, please call the Police.
Buses at night It is safer for the lone traveller to sit downstairs and towards the front. It is inadvisable to sit at either the back, (as these seats are monopolised by youths), or upstairs. If you must sit upstairs it is not recommended that you sit at the back.
|Routes through Mayfair-Marylebone|
|North London ← Paddington-Maida Vale ←||W E||→ Bloomsbury → Leicester Square|
|West London ← Paddington-Maida Vale ←||W E||→ Bloomsbury-Soho → The City|
|Notting Hill-North Kensington ← Paddington-Maida Vale ← main loop ←||W E||→ main loop → Service ends, transfer to eastbound trains from Hammersmith branch|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← Paddington-Maida Vale ← Hammersmith branch ←||W E||→ Hammersmith branch (joins main loop) → Bloomsbury-Camden → The City|
|Wimbledon ← Paddington-Maida Vale ←||W E||→ END|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← Paddington-Maida Vale ←||W E||→ Bloomsbury-Camden → The City|
|North London ← Paddington-Maida Vale ←||W E||→ Westminster → East London|
|North London ← Hampstead ←||W E||→ Bloomsbury-Camden → The City|
|West London ← South Kensington-Chelsea ←||W E||→ Leicester Square → Bloomsbury|
|Lambeth ← Westminster ←||S N||→ Soho → Bloomsbury|