Bayswater was given its name because of the array of springs and streams in the area in the fourteenth century. At the time, it was supplying the whole of London with water. The first formal written use of the name 'Baywater', was in 1659, when it was recorded as a small hamlet. This all changed rapidly in the mid nineteenth century, as urbanisation occurred on a grand scale and the property developers arrived in W2.
This exclusive area almost immediately became a hit among the well-to-do literary and artistic sets and the rich merchant class rapidly followed. Wealth began to flow into Bayswater and the properties became ever grander, with smart Italianate terraced homes and ornate mansion buildings that are still visible today.
Bayswater has always boasted a number of famous residents, which have included Sir Winston Churchill, the scientist Alexander Fleming and the cricketer Mike Atherton. Sting was also rumoured to have occupied a flat there during his years with The Police, whilst his wife, Trudie Styler, lived just a few doors down.
One of the main attractions of this area is the excellent public transport, with Bayswater, Queensway and Lancaster Gate tube stations all located within the vicinity. The types of property are the other huge draw, with most buildings retaining their original Victorian structures and the area retaining a wonderful mix of period properties. Look in Prince's Square and Westbourne Terrace for stucco properties and Orme Square for three-storey townhouses. Many of these old buildings fall within the conservation area of central London and some are used as hotels today.
Other attractions include the excellent mix of local schools and the family friendly-nature of the area, with Kensington Gardens being so close. There are plenty of cosmopolitan roads with ethnic restaurants, cafes, shops and bars to enjoy. Whiteleys is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Bayswater and it offers a range of boutique and designer stores, as well as spas and salons. Alongside the shopping area there are lovely patisseries and chic cafes to enjoy. You will also find art galleries, cinemas, a casino, an ice-skating rink and more. In fact, rumour has it that when Princess Diana used to shop at Whiteleys, she'd make her two boys queue for the cinema with everyone else.
There are plenty of great properties to invest in, buy as a family home or rent and these range from smart serviced apartments with concierge facilities to large family homes with outdoor space. Look for the postcode W2 when searching in the area online.
Property For Sale
Porchester Gate, Bayswater Road, W2 Guide Price £ 5,250,000
Hampshire House, 12 Hyde Park Place, W2 Guide Price £ 1,150,000
Seymour Street, London, W2 Guide Price £ 2,000,000