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Marylebone has changed over the years, ‘it’s always had a community feeling to it, but over the years it’s become more posh,’ says John who’s lived in the area for over twenty years. ‘But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a lovely area to be in,’ he continues.

Loved by many for its diverse atmosphere, Marylebone has quiet and peaceful Regent’s Park at one end and buzzing and busy Oxford Street at the other. In this brief guide, you’ll find out what this area really has to offer – and whether moving to Marylebone is for you.

Firstly let’s start with some first hand information from authentic Maryleboners:

“I like the village atmosphere that Marylebone always has had, even though it’s near Oxford Street, it’s still like a small village here.”

“It’s very chic, there’s a lot of fashionable people here and also a lot of French people living here which makes it feel kind of like a mini-Paris.”

“It’s quaint, it’s not too busy and it never gets crowded. It’s also great that it’s near the park and Oxford Street.”

“It feels safe, it’s a safe place to bring up a family. It just a very homey area.”

“The best thing is that it’s so central and yet doesn’t feel too busy but the worst thing is the high rent.”

Marylebone is located in the centre of London within the City of Westminster. The area reaches from Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east. It has seven different tube stations and even more bus routes, so if you’re moving to London for work, you shouldn’t have too hard a commute to most parts of the centre.

What’s the Culture Like in Marylebone?

What Marylebone lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in its ‘village atmosphere’ and cultural hotspots. For its residents, and frequent visitors, it is an area that boasts a community feeling difficult to find in other such central locations of our capital.

Walking through this area, you cannot help but encounter some huge juxtaposition between the old and new Marylebone. Tailored suits, chauffeured cars and designer handbags are all too familiar among the high-rise residential areas and High Street. But between this cosmopolitan scene, you get a sense of the old Marylebone: cobbled alleyways and quaint little sweet shops nestling between much larger establishments.

But this living juxtaposition is precisely what makes Marylebone one of the best places to live in London: it has been able to retain its quintessential community feel while adapting to the manic London lifestyle.

So, what are the best-known cultural spots in the area? The St. Marylebone Parish Church surrounded by the gardens offers a place for spirituality, in a tranquil setting that nicely offsets the hubbub of the main town. Or, if you’re after a brisk walk in winter or a jog to shed the Christmas weight, Regent’s Park is certainly the perfect setting. It hosts many sporting events in the summer in and around the main lake, has an open air cinema, world famous Victorian style gardens and – of course! – the London Zoo.

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St. Marylebone Parish Church Gardens

Aside from the main attractions, Marylebone also has some hidden gems which make the area a great place to visit for the day. Daunt Books, which was one of the world’s first custom-built bookshops, is a beautiful, traditional store that local residents hold in very high regard. Customers new and old are able to browse the books recent and classic, with an extensive travel book collection.

If you’re a musician, or even just interested in all things instrumental, the Royal Academy of Music Museum offers an in-depth display of musical item collections. Best of all, admission is free! (Weekly tours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are also free of charge)

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There are also a some great attractions for tourist and local alike, including Madame Tussauds, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and the Wallace Collection.

Shopping in Marylebone

Marylebone is one of the best places to live in London if you’re partial to the occasional shopping spree. Walking down Marylebone High Street, you quickly understand that this is an affluent area just from the shops and boutiques.

You’ll find exclusive clothing shops like Margaret Howell, the super chic KJ’s laundry, Sandro, Malene Birger and L.K Bennett (The Duchess’s favourite shoe brand), as well as elegant vintage and antique shops on Lisson grove – like Alfie’s Antique Market, Dream Retro Vintage, Gently Worn Vintage and lots of others (tip: look for the words “vintage” or “antique”, and you’ll be onto a winner).

Follow the street down to the bottom and you’ll end up on Oxford Street, which is pretty much any shopaholic’s heaven. You can indulge in Selfridge’s or simply pop to your favourite high-street brand. They’re all there just a stone throw away. On your doorstep.

Fancy a Drink or a Bite To Eat in Marylebone?

Marylebone is filled with both fancy restaurants and cafés, as well as exclusive food shops. Around Marylebone High Street you’ll find everything from classic French restaurants Orrey, Relais de Venise and L’Entrecôte to popular burger places like Tommi’s Burger Joint, Meat Liquor and Patty & Bun.

Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinian and Brazilian cuisines also get in on the action, with authentic spots such as Pachamama Bar. Or Mole Taco Bar, specialising in Mexican food from all over Mexico – with cheese that’s from Oaxaca, fish taco recipes from Baja California and Cochinita Pibil from Yucatan. And also Azolio is perfect if you have a big appetite for Argentinian steak.

For exclusive food shopping, you have both La Fromageri and The Ginger Pig located next to each other on Moxon Street, where you can get homemade charcuterie and farmhouse cheese, as well as fruits, vegetables and homemade bread.

The Natural Kitchen is another option if you want to grab a smoothie or a sandwich while you shop for your food. This is also a favourite place for many celebs. For example, the American 90210 star Jessica Lowndes (Adriana in the show) has been seen snacking there, and British model Lily Cole is known to have sipped on one of their renowned smoothies.

If you’re just passing through Marylebone for a bite but want to do it right, then the Chiltern Firehouse is renowned for blowing the socks off their diners.

Now let’s see where we can get a drink around here! Many locals as well as people working in the area seem to love The Marylebone, a modern-style pub packed most nights of the week. One selling point could be their amazing cocktails, which are priced at two-for-one during happy hour, which is from 8pm to 10 pm during the week and all day at the weekend! Another favourite is Coco Momo only a few minutes away, where many go when The Marylebone gets too crowded.

For a more sophisticated and chilled night try Artesian, the bar in the Langham hotel, or one of the cool bars in the Sanderson Hotel. Newcomers like Bar Termini Centrale are perfect spots for negroni fans. Also, don’t forget that both Oxford Street and Soho are no more than 10-15 minutes’ walk away (less than 5 minutes in a cab), and there you’ll find bars in every corner!

Schools in Marylebone

If you’re a family thinking of moving to Marylebone you’ll be glad to hear that you’re well catered for with schools. For the little ones, there is for example St Vincent’s RC Primary School, which is a mixed Catholic school. Meanwhile, older children schools like Portland Place School. There also two universities in the area, Regent’s University situated in beautiful Regent’s Park and the University of Westminster (with campuses both on Marylebone Road and upper Regent Street).

Moving to Marylebone

Much of the property in Marylebone is flats, and this is due both to the location and the costly price of housing.

The area has been long associated with celebrities. David Cameron, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Guy Ritchie and even Charles Dicken all lived in Marylebone once upon a time. This A-lisst status is one of the reasons why renting a flat on average will set you back a whopping £972/week. To buy your own place will cost you on average £1.6m …

Source: Foxtons

After reading this Marylebone guide, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the hefty pay check – or whether you’d like to keep exploring different parts of London. In which case, return to our central London Area Guide and see what takes your fancy.

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