What makes the area of Bayswater in London so special
Bayswater is one of the most cosmopolitan neighbourhoods in London, where a diverse local population mixes with international tourists, charming garden squares are surrounded with Victorian stucco terraces and the main streets are lined with ethnic restaurants and eclectic clubs. Located just outside of Charing Cross to the south of Hyde Park, the neighbourhood is ideally located for travellers who want to explore the city while experiencing authentic London culture.
The Marble Arch is one of Bayswater’s biggest draws. The white monument sits at the junction of Park Lane, Edgware Road and Oxford Street but was originally placed at Buckingham Palace. Historically, only members of the Royal Horse Artillery, King’s Troop and royal family could pass through the marble arches, but today anyone is welcome to take a stroll through the stunning monument and observe its massive relief of the Battle of Waterloo.
Hyde Park, central London’s largest outdoor space, is just a short walk from Bayswater. The park’s Grand Entrance consists of towering Iconic columns and three entrance archways that lead visitors to wide paths that wind throughout the 142 hectare park. Visitors with something to say are encouraged to let it all out at Speakers’ Corner, where public speaking is encouraged and the discussions are lively. Nearby is the site of the Tyburn gallows, where London criminals and traitors were executed for hundreds of years.
The park is also home to a memorial that celebrates the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. The people’s princess is commemorated with a fountain designed to evoke Diana’s giving spirit and love of children.
The nearby Kensington Gardens are regarded as a more formal complement to Hyde Park. The famous statue of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan resides there, drawing thousands of tourists each year. Near the park’s playground is the 900-year old Elgin oak tree, now carved with fanciful creations like fairies and elves.
The romantic Italian Gardens are worth a stroll, comprising of numerous fountains and ornamental ponds. Model-boat enthusiasts gather by the Round Pound during the afternoons to race their crafts, and the nearby Albert Memorial to Queen Victoria’s husband features heroic figures carved from marble. The Serpentine Gallery is just a short walk from the gardens and features sometimes controversial exhibitions of modern works.
Saint Sophia’s Cathedral is another impressive Bayswater attraction and a stunning example of Byzantine architecture. Although the cathedral’s exterior is relatively modest, the interior is elaborately designed with polychromatic marble.