Just to the North of Europe’s busiest shopping street – AKA Oxford Street – lies Marylebone, a villagey-style borough which is characterised by chic restaurants, pretty side streets, indie boutique stores and cosy gastropubs. There’s plenty to see and do here, so without further ado, here’s our roundup of 12 of the best things to do in Marylebone:
1. Discover the eclectic art of The Wallace Collection
Kicking off this roundup of the best things to do in Marylebone is The Wallace Collection – a magnificent London house museum established back in 1897 which showcases exceptional 18th century paintings, sculptures, ceramics, furniture and exquisite suits of armour too.
Free to enter, a visit here is a great idea to while away the hours. Wander through 28 different exhibition rooms and stumble upon a whole host of opulent artworks. It’s also just a hop, skip and a jump from Oxford Street.
You’ll find The Wallace Collection at Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN.
2. Play a cracking game of golf at Swingers
This multi-million pound course is a real joy to take a putt on – sorry. Taking over a vast former department store, Swingers offers a luxurious nine-hole course along with street food from some of London’s best vendors, such as Patty & Bun and Breddos Tacos.
It’s very la-di-da for a golf course, although due to the free-flowing cocktails (which can be caddied directly to the hole you’re currently tackling), strictly for adults only. Sign us up!
You’ll find Swingers at 15 John Prince’s Street, London, W1G 0AB.
3. Delve into the intriguing world of Sherlock Holmes and Watson
Another solid addition to our roundup of the best things to do in Marylebone here – the world’s first museum dedicated to the legendary literary character Sherlock Holmes. Situated on 221b Baker Street, one of the world’s most famous addresses, you’ll be able to take a step back in time and enter into a world of Victorian curiosities as you unearth many of the objects, letters and characters right from the detective’s most famous cases.
From handcrafted hats to beautifully-bound books, you’ll discover a treasure trove of hidden gems here, so this Marylebone museum is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, if you’re looking for a bit of fun on an immersive experience, then don’t miss out on Sherlock: The Official Live Game.
You’ll find The Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE.
4. Find some hidden gems at Church Street Market
Looking for some antiques but not sure where to head? Well, you could do worse than making your way to Church Street Market. Packed full of produce – from clothing, to accessories and household goods to vintage jewellery – it’s also home to some quite frankly excellent antique stores where you’ll be able to find all manner of trinkets.
If you’re feeling peckish, you could also make your way to Marylebone Farmers Market. One of the capital’s flagship farmer’s markets, there’s always something new to find as the seasons change here, from the freshest asparagus in April to strawberries in May. Look out for excellent meat and poultry, game in season and free range sausages from local butchers and producers. It opens only on Sundays from 10am-2pm.
You’ll find Church Street Market at NW8 8DT and Marylebone Farmers Market at W1U 4DF.
5. Shop ‘til you drop in the area’s designer stores
Keeping on the shopping theme here, Marylebone is also a great neighbourhood to head to if you’ve got a bit of the old cash to splash. Celebrated for its elegant stores, designer fashion brands, art galleries, fine jewellery shops and antique stores, Bond Street is the destination for luxury shopping.
It marks the Southern border of Marylebone and is full to the brim with designer boutiques and stores, including Asprey, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Asprey and Tiffany & Co. Oh we say!
6. Tuck into plates of pasta and more at Lina Stores
The latest instalment of Lina Stores swung open its doors earlier this year in the fashionable area of Marylebone Village, and it features a spacious all-day restaurant, a fully-stocked delicatessen and a cosy, downstairs bar.
Standouts on the menu include the ‘stracciatella ravioli’ – with datterini tomatoes, pine nuts and basil – and the ‘tagliolini al tartufo’ – a heavenly mix of 30-egg yolk tagliolini, black truffle, creamy butter and rich parmigiano reggiano. Finish up with a salted caramel chocolate mousse and a glass of dessert vino and you’ve got yourself a real winner here.
You’ll find Lina Stores at 13-15 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2NE.
7. Grab a pint or two in a traditional boozer
Us Londoners love ourselves a good old boozer, and luckily for you dear reader, there are more than enough to whet your whistle in this neck of the woods. If you’re looking for a traditional Victorian watering hole, make your way to the Golden Eagle or The Carpenters Arms – which is tucked just behind Marble Arch and is home to the London branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
For something a bit more bougie, head to ‘The Marylebone’ (prizes for imaginative names there), The Grazing Goat or The Harcourt. And if it’s history you’re after, then pull up a pew in The Barley Mow which has been open since 1791.
8. Amble through leafy Regent’s Park
Named after the Prince Regent (AKA King George IV) – whose nickname was *ahem* ‘the playboy prince’ – Regent’s Park is a lovely, Grade I-listed Royal Park which is home to Central London’s largest outdoor sports area, a boating lake, an outdoor theatre and leafy gardens with over 12,000 roses to boot.
It’s also home to the ZSL London Zoo – the world’s oldest scientific zoo – so you can see if you can spot the resident lions, painted dogs, giraffes, camels and penguins as you go for a wander. If you fancy a nice view, make your way to the summit of Primrose Hill – which holds the title of being the most scenic view in London.
9. Dine among magnificent palm trees at The Landmark London
If Kew Gardens and Buckingham Palace had a love child together, it might look a little something like the Winter Garden restaurant at The Landmark London Hotel. Boasting a towering glass dome roof that dwarfs even the majestic palm trees here, the dining area of this five-star Marylebone hotel will quite literally stop you in your tracks.
You can opt to dine on a three-course or a la carte menu, with options including roasted rack of Cumbrian lamb, seared potato terrine and native lobster thermidor – oh darling! As you’d expect in this glamorous spot, the wine and cocktail list are pretty damn extensive, and there’s even a live pianist soundtracking your evening. Date night perhaps?!
You’ll find The Landmark London at 222 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 6JQ.
10. Catch a classical gig at Wigmore Hall
Considered to have one of the best acoustics for classical music in the whole of Europe, Wigmore Hall is quite possibly the place to go in town if you’re looking to catch a classical gig.
With a capacity of around 550, it’s a spacious place whose focus is on great musical works – from the Renaissance to contemporary jazz and new commissions from today’s most exciting composers. Check out their listings page for further information – it’ll be a magical night that you won’t likely forget in a hurry.
You’ll find Wigmore Hall at 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP.
11. Savour the flavours of Peru at Pachamama Bar & Kitchen
Taking its name from an ‘earth mother’ goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes, Pachamama Bar & Kitchen is all about fab Peruvian food using the best of British ingredients.
Standouts on the menu include the seafood platter – which incorporates grilled prawns, octopus, squid, scallops, sea bass fillet, roasted lemon, sourdough and Mediterranean butter – the Peruvian fried chicken and the charred sweet potato with flavoursome ají panca butter. Wash it down with a pisco sour and gorge on some churros and you’ll practically find yourself in heaven on ‘earth’. Sorry…
You’ll find Pachamama Bar & Kitchen at 18 Thayer Street, London, W1U 3JY.
12. While away the hours reading at Daunt Books
Rounding off this list of the best things to do in Marylebone is Daunt Books – a picture-perfect bookshop that’s designed for those with a real case of the travel bug. Housed in a former Edwardian bookshop built in 1910—which is believed to be the world’s first custom-built bookshop—the building flaunts some bloody gorgeous skylights and long oak galleries.
It was bought by James Daunt in 1990 and specialises in travel books and literature. All books are arranged by destination, so be prepared to feel some wanderlust! They also regularly have talks and lectures here too – Tracy Chevalier and Mick Herron are just two of the authors who have recently spoken.
You’ll find Daunt Books at 84 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QW.
So there you have it – 12 of the best things to do in Marylebone. From shopping in designer stores to watching some classical music in one of the country’s most esteemed venues, there’s something for everyone here. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself there and see for yourself!