London/Mayfair-Marylebone

Mayfair and Marylebone are districts of central London.

Understand

Mayfair and Marylebone together 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.

Oxford 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, The Planetarium, 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).

Get in

By tube

There are a large number of 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:

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.

By train

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.

By bus

See

Landmarks

Regent's Park

Museums and Galleries

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Work

Do

Buy

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.

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay Safe

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.

Go next

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


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, November 15, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.