London walks: Bayswater saunter

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A Middle Eastern adventure, via coaching taverns and Peter Pan from Edgware Road to Notting Hill Gate

© Belinda Lawley

By Hannah Nepil

Duration: 3 hours

Start at Edgware Road tube (S). The streets around Edgware Road and Queensway may appear to be in London, but in fact, they are two far-flung suburbs of Beirut and Cairo respectively. Off to the left of the junction with George Street is the Abu Ali Café (1); to the right are Cafe du Liban, Al-Dar and Al Shishaw. They are as authentically and unexpectedly Middle Eastern as it gets. A zebra-crossing allows you to ford the traffic of Bayswater Road and enter the park.


View Bayswater saunter in a larger map

Peter Pan

Cross through the park, leaving by Marlborough Gate (2), and visit one of the area’s oldest buildings, The Swan (3), originally an eighteenth-century coaching tavern that stood beside a bridge over the now-buried Westbourne river. A short distance west is the Lancaster Gate (4). On the corner with Leinster Terrace, No 100 is where Sir James Barrie wrote ‘Peter Pan’.

Queensway

Carry on up Leinster Gardens, take a left at Leinster Place, cross Porchester and Queensborough Terraces, then take the second left into Inverness Terrace. This brings you out on to Queensway. It’s vibrantly cosmopolitan with a heavy Arab presence. You’ll see Queensway’s finest landmark, Whiteleys shopping centre (5), founded as a department store in 1851 by William Whiteley. In ‘Pygmalion’, Eliza Doolittle is sent to Whiteleys ‘to be attired’.

Westbourne Grove

The northern end of Whiteleys backs on to Westbourne Grove. A country lane flanked by trees and fields before the 1850s, then a shopping area to rival Oxford Street through until the 1930s, Westbourne Grove is again in the process of transformation. At No 26 is the bookshop Al Saqi Books (E), Middle Eastern specialists.

You could carry on along the Grove to W11 proper with its ultra-chic fashion outlets. Otherwise swing left down Pembridge Villas for the tube station at Notting Hill Gate.

Users say

10 comments
Clay
Clay

Very interesting place--It will be fun to explore--I appreciate that one needs to research it a bit--keeps me from demanding spoonfeeding in everything I read about.

3stripe
3stripe

Aye, cmon Time Out, get hooked up to Google Maps and the new Streeview feature... it can actually takes you along a route with directions and photographs...

savannah
savannah

anna the point of these time out stories is to help you discover something off the beaten path. so portobello market, whilst great, is pretty much already well known judging by the amount of tourists i have to side step every saturday morning!

stella
stella

I know this area well enough to say the same every time I am in London it is the first place I go. If Time Out wants me to write an article and post a map I would be more than happy. Perhaps all us fans can band together and come up with something better. But I do love all the articles I get from this mag it makes me wish I could afford to hop on a plane and just be the happiest person ever.

gary
gary

stop moaning and enjoy the walk

Little
Little

'Photography' by Belinda Lawley? As in, that one photograph? Could've given us a few more so we could check out whether the sights are worth seeing! The biggest feature of the piece is the advert stuck slap bang in the middle! What was the point?

Adam
Adam

This is such a lazy feature. A real shame, as it could have been very enjoyable and worthwhile had a little more effort been put in. I agree with previous comments, that five paragraphs and no map, plus totally missing some of the key attractions of the area, make this essentially worthless.

Anne
Anne

Unbelievable that you haven't mentioned Portobella Market and some of the wonderful shops there and all along the route. Did the person who did this article research the area properly or actually walk the route?

Plushka
Plushka

3 hour walk. 5 small paragraphs. No map. Worthless.

John
John

This feature is useless without a map / route.