A man bored of London is bored of Life



As an area of London, Bayswater is maybe one of the cities most cosmopolitan, it is certainly a real example of “modern” London. Not in the buildings, but in the people and characters of the area. On the negative side it could easily be described as central London’s chav central, a vast amount of young people roam the streets of Bayswater appearing bored and also very loud. This is something that you can either embrace or, it can be quite intimidating. However there are also a number of real positives from the wonderful mix.

London has just over 1000 hotels, and there are certain areas that have more than the average, there are some key areas of hotel density, Bayswater is one such area. The area carries a number of properties and most of them are very similar to each other. Bayswater is possibly the London home of three star hotels. Streets like Sussex Gardens, Inverness Terrace and Queensborough Terrace are covered in hotels. And most of them are very similar. This is the area of the solid hardworking basic hotel. Examples like The Bejaya Eden Park, Central Park hotel and the Hyde Park Towers really do typify the area.

Bayswater as an area is awash with places to eat, drink and be merry. It is home to some real traditional historical London pubs, and these sit naturally next to restaurants from a multitude of different national cuisines. Yes there is also a number of the new brand restaurants and a few oriental venues that I would seriously suggest you avoid, but all in all Bayswater is a place where finding something good to eat is fairly simple and easy.

One of my favorite aspects of this part of London is something that only happens once a week, on a Sunday, on the Bayswater Road, all the way along the railings of Hyde Park, there is the art gallery. Local artists snap up their pitch and hang their works on the railings, available for sale. As a healthy morning stroll there is possible no better way to spend a few hours in the centre of London, and its free if you avoid the temptation to buy a painting.

Of course another aspect of Bayswater is Hyde Park itself. One of London’s biggest parks and a huge open space right in the middle of London town. Hyde Park is home to some of London’s best one off events during the summer months, classical concerts, rock and pop concerts happen on a number of the summer months weekends with the only downside being that you have to book a long time in advance. But the park is also a great space on any day, play some football in the park, go horse riding or bike riding, maybe just a nice relaxed walk, Hyde Park is perfect for all of this. 

In the centre of London there are not a lot of areas that are lived in by a London community, real people living their own real lives, but Bayswater is one that does. That is just one of the reasons why this almost forgotten part of London is so low profile. However if that is something that appeals, and is something you like then Bayswater might be a really good, cheap(ish) place to stay. However if staying there is not your thing, then at least make time on Sunday to visit the world’s best outdoor gallery, you never know, one day even I may have my picture on display.


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© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.