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View across Bayswater, looking south towards Kensington Gardens, from the roof of a block on the Hallfield Estate
Population 10,300 (2011 Census. Westminster Ward)
OS grid reference TQ255805
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Cities of London and Westminster
  • Westminster North
List of places
LondonCoordinates: 51°30′34″N 0°11′34″W / 51.5095°N 0.1929°W / 51.5095; -0.1929

Bayswater is an area within the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London. It is a built-up district located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west-north-west of Charing Cross, bordering the north of Kensington Gardens and having a population density of 17,500 per square kilometre.

Bayswater is one of London's most cosmopolitan areas: a diverse local population is augmented by a high concentration of hotels. In addition to the English, there are many other nationalities; in particular there is a large Greek community around St Sophia's Cathedral, Moscow Road – London's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a sizeable French community, Americans and London's largest Brazilian community. There is also a significant Arab community present here. The area has attractive streets and garden squares lined with Victorian stucco terraces, mostly now subdivided into flats and boarding houses. The property ranges from very expensive apartments to small studio flats. There are also purpose-built apartment blocks dating from the inter-war period as well as more recent developments, and a large council estate, the 650-flat Hallfield Estate, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and now largely sold off.

Queensway and Westbourne Grove are its busiest main streets, both having many ethnic-cuisine restaurants.


The land now called Bayswater belonged to the Abbey of Westminster when the Domesday Book was compiled; the most considerable tenant under the abbot was Bainiardus, probably the same Norman associate of the Conqueror who gave his name to Baynard's Castle. The descent of the land held by him cannot be clearly traced: but his name long remained attached to part of it; and, as late as the year 1653, a parliamentary grant of the Abbey or Chapter lands describes "the common field at Paddington" as being "near a place commonly called Baynard's Watering." It may therefore fairly be concluded that this portion of ground, always remarkable for its springs of excellent water, once supplied water to Baynard, his household, or his cattle; that the memory of his name was preserved in the neighbourhood for six centuries; and that his watering-place now takes the abbreviated name Bayswater.

Nearest places

Nearest tube stations

Bayswater Tube Station London
Bayswater station

The nearest London Underground stations are Bayswater, Queensway, Paddington, Royal Oak and Lancaster Gate.

Places of interest

  • In John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Liz is a member of the Bayswater South Branch of the Communist Party.
  • In le Carré's Smiley's People, the retired Russian major lives in a dingy flat on Westbourne Grove.
  • Many of the characters in Samuel Selvon's novel The Lonely Londoners live in Bayswater.
  • The Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy was filmed in the area.
  • In Martin Amis's Success, the two main characters live together in a flat in Bayswater, which he calls 'the district of transients.'
  • In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell indicates that the perambulator (carrying Jack, as a baby) was found "standing by itself in a remote corner of Bayswater".
  • In Saki's short story "Cross Currents" (1909), Vanessa Pennington lives on a "Bayswater back street" but would have preferred "smarter surroundings."
  • In Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder's father lives in Bayswater.
  • Whiteleys is frequently seen in film, e.g. Love Actually, Closer, and was referred to in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle is sent "to Whiteleys to be attired" in Pygmalion. It also has Princess Productions' studios on the top floor.
  • Scenes in Alfie (1966) were filmed around Chepstow Road.
  • The main character in Iris Murdoch's novel A Word Child, Hilary Burde, has a "flatlet" near Bayswater Tube Station.
  • Scenes in The Black Windmill refer to, and were filmed around, the area.
  • In the Italian comics series Dylan Dog the main character lives in Craven Road.
  • Nick Jenkins meets Uncle Giles for tea at the Ufford Hotel, "riding at anchor on the sluggish Bayswater tide", in The Acceptance World (1955), volume three of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.
  • The Poisonous Seed a novel by Linda Stratmann is set almost entirely in Victorian Bayswater.
  • In Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation Series, her character Eloise Kelly lives in Bayswater while writing her doctoral thesis.
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