While Hyde Park and the nearby national museums top the lists of things to do in West London there are plenty of other hidden and lesser known benefits to your London stay in West London. Here are a few to whet your appetite.
You have access to three different tube stations all within easy walk of the hotels in this area. Using either Queensway, Bayswater you get access too Central, and the District and Circle lines which can get you around to all of the major tourist attractions with very few connections.
Queensway Tourist Street and Shopping
Given the high density of Hotels near Bayswater station that punctuate the Bayswater thoroughfare and its adjoining streets its not surprising to find many of the shops in this area will cater to tourists, You will be able to find a decent restaurant whatever world cuisine you want to satisfy your cravings around Queensway. You will also have no trouble finding your favourite tourist trinket or souvenir at one of the many market stalls or shops catering for the visitors. A red phone box, facsimile of Tower bridge and a tea towel adorned with a beefeater can be yours for just a few quid.
If you get the shopping bug in a big way Whitelys department store is just around the corner where you can shop, go ten pin bowling or watch the latest blockbuster in its multi screen cinema. If this doesn’t satisfy your spending urge venture further to Bond Street and Oxford Street and do some serious damage to your credit card balance.
If modern designer gear is not your thing then head on to Portobello Road Market and pick up an antique or curio to take back home with you. The market is open every day but you will only find the antiques for sale on a Saturday.
Market opening times
09:00 – 18:00 Monday To Wednesday
09:00 – 13:00 Thursday
09:00 – 19:00 Friday and Saturday.
The antiques and bric-a-brac stalls are open only on Saturdays and trading may start a little earlier.
While you are in the area have a wander down Lenister Gardens and see if you can find the house that isn’t a house. When the tube line was being built, rather than demolish the beautiful façades of the surrounding buildings a dummy house front was retained which from the front looks like its neighbours. But from behind you can see it is all an illusion.
Hyde Park Pet Cemetery
Have a look behind the railings of Hyde Park at the corner of Bayswater Rd and Victoria Gate and you will be greeted with the rather morbid site of hundreds of little gravestones. This is London’s secret pet cemetery that opened its doors to the departed (dogs cats, birds and even a monkey) in 1880 by George, Duke of Cambridge. After his wife lost her dog in an argument with the wheel of a carriage she was distraught and he asked the park gatekeeper to bury the unfortunate soul in his garden so his wife could grieve and visit his resting pace. Many more pets followed over the next 35 years until in 1915 the cemetery was closed as it was too full of the loving pets of London’s aristocracy.