Walking Tour Guide Around Marylebone London
Marylebone is a beautiful neighborhood in the central London, it’s popular for its high streets filled of trendy restaurants and world-famous stores and bordered by the one of the loveliest Royals parks, the Regent’s Park. The atmosphere around there is so diverse ranging from the opulent Georgian architecture of the housing on the wealthier areas to the floral feeling in the green gardens, and everything in the middle, including plenty of entertainment options such as museums, a bunch of shops and uncountable places to have a wide variety of salty and sweet dishes.
In this opportunity I come up with a full guide to explore this thriving neighborhood and you do not miss out the fashionable restaurants and cafeterias, homegrown markets, independent shops and of course the slender Georgian residential zones that this area is famous for. I highlighted a list of the best hidden and not so much spots to have Instagram worthy photo sessions.
How to get to Marylebone?
This neighborhood located in the West End of London is quite convenient having plenty of public transportation that will leave you or take out of Marylebone. For those wanting to use the Underground system the lines that serve this neighborhood are: Bakerloo and Circle having Baker Street, Bond Street, Marylebone and Oxford Circus Street as the nearest stations. On the other hand, for those that prefer the bus services, there are plenty of routes that will take you around this area. The bus line that will take you close there are: 18, N18, 27, N27, 205
A Little History Behind this Neighborhood
Marylebone is a neighborhood distinguished by impressive architecture and lovely open-air areas like parks and square gardens that together with trendy restaurants and fashionable stores make this area a popular spot to visit. The earliest register that has been found of this area dated almost a millennium ago when in the 1060’s it was just muddy fields with a few dozen of residents known with the name of Tyburn or Tybourne. No big changes happened in the areas until the 13th century with the construction of a church dedicated to St. Mary, on the banks of the Bourne which finally gives the current name of the area, as it was known as St Mary le Bourne that years later was contracted to Marylebone.
The construction of the houses with the impressive architecture that we can enjoy today, started in the earlies 1700’s with development plan of converting the rural land in a sumptuous area with elegant residences and arboreal streets around the Cavendish Square. The changes were slow, but the area become a fashionable place to live and have a great time after the green areas became famous venues where people enjoyed concerts, firework displays attracting famous musicians and composers to the area.
The neighborhood continued changing with new land leases and development plans to build among others the famous Baker Street and Harley Street designed by renowned architects of those time. However, not everything was wealth and stylish in this area, in the mid-19th century the Marylebone Gardens where the house of poor people and homeless attracting criminals and scroungers. All this motivate new reforms and the reconstruction of social housing and schools for those in need in order to tackle the crime was arising in the zone.
As many other parts of London, the bombing during the World War II harshly hit important parts of Marylebone causing destruction of many buildings that were demolished and rebuilt giving them a modernist style willing to attract residents and business to the area. But it wasn’t until the latest 1900’s when the Estate implemented changes to attract big retailers to the area that finally motivated the arrival of independent business to occupy the shops that remained empty after the war, giving a new vibe to area and becoming one of the favorite shopping destination for locals and tourist alike.
Today, it’s a popular spot that attracts floods of visitors that like to enjoy the gorgeous architecture and the elegant atmosphere due to the high fashion stores and lovely green open-air areas.
What Can I do there?
Marylebone has a special atmosphere that exudes sophistication and stylishness due on the one hand for its great collection of world-known stores mixed with lovely independent shops that make the area the perfect place for a shopping day or just window shop therapy, and on the other hand the magnificent architecture of the residential areas that evoke the Georgian and Victorian times and convert the walking around the area a unique experience.
Besides the classy vibes, you also can soak up the nature with plenty square gardens and parks being the Regent’s Park the most popular spot to do it, being the second largest Royal Park in London offer endless options to spend a great time that includes spectacular views of the city at the summit of grassy hill, the fragrance and beauty of the flowers displayed on its several gardens, the interaction with a varied wildlife and many other things that immerse you in a tranquility bubble in the middle of the city.
Despite of the area still maintains a low profile if we compare with other famous areas of London, it has a great selection of first-class restaurant, cafeterias and pubs that convert Marylebone in a very popular destination among Londoners eaters. Some of the places are recognized for their delicious dishes and their lovely decorations that been framed uncountable times on Instagram, it’s the case of Aubaine Selfridges located on the bustling Oxford Street.
Where to Eat in Maylebone?
The area between Edgware Road and Oxford Street is famous for serving kind of pricey food, and this is true up to a point, but this neighborhood gathers a wide collection of restaurants that surely, you’ll find one that will please your palate and won’t hurt your pocket. In Marylebone you can enjoy the whole range whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion in a luxurious restaurant, or just like to try delicious food in a more modest ambiance. There’s an option for you.
Some of those restaurants are famous for hosting very big-name chefs, offering an incredible experience of flavors and textures to your mouth. The range of food around there is so diverse, that can include succulent French cuisine to spicy Indian recipes, and even a fusion of style that create new form of tastiness. The most popular ones can be: Twist (at Crawford St), Orrery (at Marylebone High St), Roganic (Blandford St), Trishna (Blandford St), Delamina Marylebone (Marylebone Ln) among many others.
There are some restaurants that stands out among the others because not only offer tantalizing recipes beautifully served but have stunning floral displays and outstanding decoration that takes the dining experience to a different level. For this reason, they have been converted in the main attractions for many Instagram foodies always looking for the perfect spot and of course delicious food. Some of those restaurants are:
-Aubaine Selfridges (Oxford Street)
-Roux at the Landau (Portland Pl)
-Jikoni (Blandford St)
-A.O.K Kitchen and Bakery (Dorset St)
For those that want to skip the fanciness of the Marylebone restaurants, there are plenty of convenient stores, mini and supermarkets where to buy something quick and can be enjoy in the lovely green areas around the neighborhood. The main retailers have branches spread all over the neighborhood such as: Waitrose at Marylebone High Street, Tesco and Sainsbury both on Baker Street. If you are visiting the area on Sundays, you can enjoy the special vibe of the street markets in Farmers Market located at St. Vincent Street, there you’ll find great variety of organic veggies and fruits, cheese and other foodstuffs from local producers. Another popular street market is Cabbages & Frocks located at north Marylebone High Street opening on Saturdays and featuring fresh produce and artisan clothing.
Fancy a Cuppa?
After enjoying delicious food in one of the many restaurants, you can be delighted with a sweet treat and a well-crafted coffee in the cafeterias and bakeries around the area. Some of the most popular ones are: The Monocle Café London (at Chiltern St), The Marylebone Kitchen (at York St) and Daisy Green (Seymour St). There are some coffee shops that stand out among the others for having gorgeous decoration and being the background for amazing snaps. The Feya located at James Street with its large windows that reveals lovely floral displays, or the Dyce with its modern decoration full of pastel colors offering Insta-worthy spots in every corner.
Best Walk Tours in Marylebone
Marylebone is a quite small neighborhood part of the central London surrounded by other popular areas like Fitzrovia and Mayfair, also known for its high-end shops, elegant streets and luxurious surroundings. A walk around this area is a constant treat for your eyes while your soaking up the classy vibes created by worldwide famous stores, gorgeous buildings with Georgian inspiration and tranquil Royal park among many other things. In this walking tour guide I will show you great places you cannot miss in Marylebone and I put a spotlight on those hidden and no so much spots to take incredible shots.
Walk Along the Streets
Walking along Marylebone is a quite short tour however you should leave a good time to enjoy all the things that this neighborhood has to offer, ranges from antique architectures to trendy restaurants, including lovely parks and even museums. Everything you need to have an incredible urban exploration. In this walk I’ll start in the famous streets and make my way to the different spots until getting the peaceful parks areas covering a distance of 2.8 miles that it would take around two hours and half to accomplish.
Start the walk at Oxford Circus St Underground, as soon as you exit the station, you’ll see the wide variety of stores what this area is popular for. The world-famous brands have a branch around there such as Nike, Pandora, Zara and among many others, so feel free to pop into and do some shopping or just stare the store’s windows. Hitting the shops is one a must-do activity around this area.
After filling your spirit of joy while shopping, make your way back to the intersection of Oxford Street and Regent’s Street where you’ll probably recognize the very popular Instagram spot in the median street with the stunning architecture of the buildings behind, creating a unique mix of antique and modernity that worth to photograph uncountable times. These streets get a special vibe during the Christmas holidays when lighting and floral decoration hanging invade the streets.
To continue your journey turning into the pedestrian lane to reach the beginning of Marylebone Lane located between Stratford Pl and Vere St, in this narrow lane you’ll find the entrance to a lovely mews, Aldburgh Mews in which you can take great pictures in front of the beautiful brick facades with tiny stairs in the main door and the potted flower hanging on the windows. When you reach the other end continue your walk until you get Wigmore St and keep on your left side and you’ll find a narrow-pedestrianized stretch on the St. Christopher’s Lane where you’ll find a great mixture of restaurants, stores and coffee shops where you can sit and enjoy the thriving atmosphere with bunch of people passing by.
In the middle of this boulevard you can veer right into pedestrianized part of Barnett Street and take of the two road of this walking tour, one of them walking east through Barnett Street until you see the main entrance of the Selfrigdes London, a massive department stores with plenty of shops and varied food halls. It’s a paradise in earth for the fans of buying and window-shopping. If you had enough of big stores, you can just turn right at James St, a narrow lane with lively shops and cafeterias at both sides with their street’s tents and lovely decorated facades creating an adorable colorful path. There you’ll find The Feya in which you can enjoy delicious desserts and hot coffee while you’re taking amazing shots in one of the most charming entrance around. It can be ornaments or balloons, no matter what, their displays always worth a stop.
When the street finishes, you’ll be entering on Wigmore Street again, cross the street and get into Duck Street where you’ll find lovely terraced houses beautifully decorated with potted flowers. If you are one of those that enjoy the architecture, you’ll love this area with elegant structures around the square garden. On the other side of the Manchester Square is The Wallace Collection, a free-admission entrance museum that display an impressive collection of works of arts collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that belonged to Sir Richard Wallace that finally were donated to create the museum. The collection is amazing, and also the mansion is worthwhile visiting.
Next to the museum is Spanish Pl, a charming street with similar aesthetics, take it in order to find your next stop in this walk, when you get the end of it you’ll see the stunning gothic architecture of a church have been sitting there for more than 100 years. Walking to the St James’s Church direction, on the right side you’ll see the entrance to a lovely street with tight houses, the Jacob’s Wells Mews, where you can take some snaps with black and white two-story buildings. Then turn around and go back to George St and walk west until you Thayer St.
This street as is common in the area is full of shops at both sides. On one corner at the left side you’ll see the iconic black façade of the bar The Marylebone, nice spot to take a quick shot with its outdoor hanging plants. As you continue walking, you’ll find the famous bookstore Daunt Books, a stunning building with long oak galleries and impressive skylights that gathers a great collection of books specializing in travel theme. If travelling and admiring beautiful architecture is your thing, this bookshop will be a paradise for you.
After soak up literacy, continue walking north along Marylebone High St and when you get the last stretch of street turn left into a pedestrianized path at Marylebone Gardens, if you’re visiting on a Saturday you’ll see the Cabbages & Frocks Market, take a look around the many stalls who knows if you discover a precious antique there. Continue your journey along the gardens parks that guide to Marylebone Road, a massive two-way avenue that gathers impressive at both sides including the Royal Academy of Music Museum, churches, universities.
Cross the avenue and veer left to find the Madame Tussauds London Museum where you can take nice pictures with the waxy version of your favorite celebrities. The fee admission is not cheap, but you can spend a great time around the wax figures. As you keep walking, you’ll reach another famous street in the area, the Baker Street that also gathers a wide selection of shops, restaurants and supermarkets. In the last part of this street you’ll find another Museum, that is very popular among those who love the detective history and crime solving, The Sherlock Holmes Museum. It’s quite small but you’ll have a great time exploring the investigation gadgets and reading the letters to his dear Watson. So, pop in and get a souvenir of the most famous detective in the world.
At this point, you continue walking until you get Outer Circle where you’ll find an entrance to the second largest Royal Park in London, the Regent’s Park. This massive park has a lot offer to the visitors, beautiful tree-lined pathways and extended green area to walk, charming gardens and floral displays, large lake with a boating area among many other things. The walk finishes here, after wandering the park you can walk to the south and find Regent’s Park Station or Baker Street Station.
Marylebone with its fancy buildings, luxurious restaurants and many world-famous stores radiates a classy vibe that you immediately feel when you get there. However, this neighborhood is not only for a shopping day, but it’s an area with a wide variety of options including massive parks, lovely gardens, interesting museums and antiques bookshops, superb cafeterias and even weekend’s street markets. With all of this, it’s hard to understand why this neighborhood is not more popular among the wanderers. Although is getting more fame in the last years.
To make your walking tour easier, I’ll give you the link to access the route through Google Maps.