The Bayswater area of London is a fabulous place to indulge in some retail therapy, as it is home to numerous key brands – perfect for anyone wanting to flex the credit card.
Although the majority of flagship stores are to be found in the busy areas of Oxford and Regent Street, there is no reason to miss the hidden gems that are located in popular Bayswater.
In fact, people can often forget that the lesser known shopping areas can actually offer more choice, good-priced bargains and something a little unusual.
Found on the northern edge of Hyde Park in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Bayswater boasts a number of top-quality hotels and is just three miles from Charing Cross. So it is really very handy for anyone staying in a central London hotel.
Bayswater has fashionista appeal
In terms of shopping, there is a real mix of big high street names and smaller fashionable boutiques. If you are on the hunt for souvenirs or gifts to take back home, then it is definitely the place to do some browsing – without the bustling crowds seen in the tourist areas of the capital.
One of the unique services on offer in Bayswater is the area’s street ambassadors who are available to help anyone not familiar with London or the UK. They are easily spotted – they are dressed in pink uniforms and wear bowler hats – and will be able to give lots of advice, as well as travel directions.
The historic Whiteleys
Bayswater is home to London’s first department store, which first opened in 1863. Although a blaze in 1887 destroyed most of the original building, Whiteleys remains a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
It is home to more than just basic shopping, with various food outlets, a cinema and bowling lanes. So there is something for everyone!
There are also some items on display that were rescued in the fire, including a rather grand staircase and a stunning marble floor – making Whiteleys much more than your average shopping centre and it certainly provides a nice atmosphere to do some browsing.
One of the key attractions of Whiteleys is its car park which offers 175 roof top spaces. It has also been officially recognised as a secure place to park your car and has recently gained a prestigious Secure Car Parks Award, which are given out by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the British Parking Association (BPA) – so you can feel happy leaving your vechicle there.
Fashionistas will be keen to check out the latest offerings from the big name brands and shoppers in Bayswater will be able to visit the majority of the big brands designers – including Karen Millen and Kurt Geiger.
For those looking for something a little more unusual, then they will want to browse the smaller stores that can be found in the region.
Victory Vintage is a must as it offers a real mix of pieces – perfect if you are looking for something with a bit of a history to it. They don’t just stock clothes from past eras, but also home décor items and accessories.
If you have time for pampering, then Beauty Base has been a presence in Bayswater since 1975 and is a top retailer of the latest and classic fragrances and cosmetics.
Something for fans of music
Music fans may want to head to Music and Video Exchange on Notting Hill Gate. This busy shop is the ideal place to pick up vinyl and cds for a bargain price – you may also be able to discover the vital album missing from your music collection.
Stock is often changing and they operate a part-exchange policy – so you can always return an item and pick something else up.
Take a break
All that shopping is bound to make you hungry and there are plenty of places in Bayswater to get a bite to eat and take some much needed rest.
One of the advantages is that there is a real mix of cuisine on offer. One of the highlights is Yashin Sushi, which is a great Japanese restaurant with some high-quality chefs who are experts in sushi.
If you are looking for something more traditional and British, then Clarke’s is a great place for some English fare. Menu items include classics such as steak and chips.
How to get to Bayswater
The best way to get to Bayswater is via the area’s London Underground station. Bayswater tube is on the Circle and District Lines and is between Notting Hill Gate and Paddington station. You will need a travel card or Oyster card that covers Zone 1.
Another approach is the Queensway station which is on the Central Line.