In the heart of the West End, this fashionable district with many fine Regency-style houses from the 18th and 19th century passes a selection of squares, shopping in Oxford Street, Harley Street, Marylebone itself and Madame Tussauds to finish. Discover it all on this Marylebone walk.
Travel Essentials – Marylebone walk
Directions | Duration | Distance | Difficulty
Start point: Edgware Road underground station – Zone 1. CDH line.
Finish point: Baker Street underground station – Zone 1. Jubilee line.
Map: TfL Tube Map.
Duration: 2 hours.
Distance: 4.5km (2.80 mile).
Notes: Good for shopping.
Quick facts about Marylebone
- Named after the medieval church of St Mary’s and the Tyburn River.
- 221B Baker Street is the home of Sherlock Holmes.
- Henry VIII used it as his hunting ground in the 16th century.
- The UK’s first-ever heart transplant took place here in 1968.
- Jimi Hendrix lived on Upper Berkeley Street and Montagu Square.
Marylebone walk – Points of Interest
- En route to St. Mary’s Church.
- Bryanston Square and Portman Square.
- Marylebone Lane.
- Wimpole Street and Wigmore Street.
- Madonna and Child sculpture.
- Chandos Street and Harley Street.
- Marylebone High Street.
- Madame Tussauds.
Route Map of Marylebone walk
1. En route to St. Mary’s Church
Leave Edgware Road underground station, along Chapel Street, cross Old Marylebone Road into Homer Street. The playwright, T.S. Eliot, lived at Crawford Mansions on the left-hand side of the street from 1916 until 1920.
At the end of Homer Street, turn left into Crawford Street. On the corner is L’Angolo Bianco, serving traditional Italian food and a nice place to enjoy coffee sitting outside.
On the left is St. Mary’s Church. Over the centuries, it consisted of two churches next to one another. The church is unusual in having a round apse. Sadly, the church suffered extensive damage during the Second World War.
Opposite the church, turn right into Wyndham Place. At number 2 lived the novelist and playwright William Somerset Maugham from 1919 until 1923.
2. Bryanston Square and Portman Square
At the end of Wyndham Place is Bryanston Square. The square’s properties are fine examples of neatly packed, expensive Georgian houses. Walk along the right-hand side of the square until the end, joining George Street.
Turning left into George Street, immediately on the left-hand side is the 1862 memorial of William Pitt Byrne, the owner of the Morning Post newspaper. In 1937, The Daily Telegraph acquired The Morning Post.
Turn right into Montague Street and then left into Upper Berkeley Street at Montague Square. On either side are small streets with mews properties. These peaceful, quiet streets are a world away from the busy London thoroughfares. A two bedroomed mews house of 200 square metres costs in the region of £4 million ($5.5 million).
The restaurant Nobu is on Upper Berkeley Street and Gloucester Place. The restaurant and hotel chain is part-owned by Robert De Niro, the eight-time Academy Award nominee.
Cross over the road into Portman Square. The Portman Estate owns this garden square. The estate covers 110 acres of Marylebone, 68 streets, 650 buildings and four garden squares. Opposite Portman Square is the 13-floor building block, Fifteen Portman Square.
Continue along Fitzhardinge Street, across Baker Street and into Manchester Square, the second square build after Portman Square. Facing the square is the Wallace Collection, the former townhouse of The Marquesses of Hertford. It is a free museum with a collection of paintings, furniture and sculptures.
Further along Hinde Street, on the left is the Hinde Street Methodist Church, a Grade II listed building completed in 1810.
3. Marylebone Lane
At the church, turn right into Marylebone Lane. One of the original Marylebone streets runs from Marylebone High Street at the north end to Oxford Street at the southern end.
The River Tyburn ran along the lane, explaining the twists and turns. Nowadays, the route is lined with boutique-style shops, cafés and restaurants.
Veer to the right into Jason Court and cross Wigmore Street before reaching St. Christopher Place. Initially a slum in the 18th and early 19th century, the last public hanging occurred in 1783. It underwent redevelopment in the 1960s. This pedestrianised street is now a vibrant part of Marylebone.
St. Christopher Place becomes Gees Court, leading to London’s busiest shopping area, Oxford Street. Take a left into Vere Street and turn right at St. Peter’s Church, leading to Henrietta Place, finally taking a left into Wimpole Street
4. Wimpole Street and Wigmore Street
At number 1 Wimpole Street is The Royal Society of Medicine, or RSM, established in 1805. It houses the most important medical library in Europe with books, journals and extensive databases. Famous fellows include Charles Darwin, Edward Jenner, Sigmund Freud and Sir Alexander Fleming.
Then take the first turning on the right, into Wigmore Street. The large, Renaissance-styled building is Wigmore Hall, famous for concerts with over 550 per year and a weekly BBC Radio 3 broadcast. It has one of the best acoustics for classical music in Europe. Next, walk across Harley Street into Cavendish Square. Descendants of the original landowners still own it.
5. Madonna and Child sculpture
Above the arch to Dean’s Mews, on the left, opposite the square, is Jacob Epstein’s often unobserved, levitating Madonna and Child sculpture from May 1953. The sculpture stirred up controversy, with protestors objecting to it on moral grounds.
6. Chandos Street and Harley Street
After Dean’s Mews, take the next left into Chandos Street. Number 11 is the original premises of the Medical Society of London, founded in 1773. At the end of Chandos Street is a silver-grey house built for the Duke of Chandos in 1770.
Turn left into Queen Anne Street and then immediately right into Mansfield Street. Then turn left into Mansfield Place and right into Harley Street.
Harley Street is known worldwide for its private specialists in medicine and surgery. The name comes from Thomas Harley, Lord Mayor of London, in 1767. With its notable list of former occupants, Harley Street is part of the Howard de Walden Estate. The Howard de Walden family own the freehold of over 800 properties and is reputed to be worth around £4.7 billion.
7. Marylebone High Street
Along Harley Street, turn tight into New Cavendish Street. At the end, turn right into Marylebone High Street. In 2002, the high street won the most votes as the best street in London. Although many of the buildings are from the early 1900s, it is home to chic and elegant boutiques and upmarket shopping.
Towards the north of the street is the garden of rest, perfect for a break from the crowds. Still on the left, further along, is Marylebone Pleasure Gardens. Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman, visited the gardens in 1720. At the end of the high street, turn left onto the busy Marylebone Road.
8. Marylebone Road
9. Madame Tussauds
Continue walking along Marylebone Road, and the Madame Tussauds Waxworks Museum is on the left. She brought the waxworks from France to England in 1802, after which she set up the museum near Baker Street in 1836. Today, it is a major London tourist attraction that displays historical figures, file stars, sports stars and famous murderers. In addition, there are museum locations around the world.
The oldest figure is Sleeping Beauty, over 200 years old and represents Louis XV’s sleeping mistress, Madame du Barry. A mechanism simulates her breathing pattern, which still works perfectly. Next door is Baker Street underground station, where the walk finishes.
The verdict – Marylebone walk
A walk through some of the more refined parts of London, exploring the arterial streets of Marylebone, combining the busyness of Oxford Street with the peacefulness of Bryanston Square and Portman Square. There is plenty of Regency style architecture on show, a splattering of blue plaques for historical places of interest, and great places to eat, making this an enjoyable walk.
It is possible to extend this Marylebone walk into Mayfair and Belgravia, but this meander strikes a nice balance between walking and retail therapy.
Cabin Bags Only rating: 7.5/10
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