Your Guide to London Maida Vale
Where is Maida Vale?
As Maida Vale has a feeling of luxury, a homely village atmosphere and a unique Italian vibe that sets it apart from the nearby hustle and bustle, you’ll be amazed just how centrally located you are in the City of Westminster when you stay here. Smart shops and gorgeous restaurants line the side streets, and Little Venice surrounds the Grand Union Canal with cobbled, tree-lined streets and beautiful Italianate architecture. You’ll be moments away from Central London, thanks to Maida Vale Tube Station in Tube Zone 2. You also won’t have to worry about the congestion charging zone, as it doesn’t apply here! Districts like St John’s Wood (where you will find Lord’s Cricket ground), Westbourne Green, Kilburn and Paddington will surround you – so you’ll even find it easy to get to Paddington Station from here.
History of Maida Vale
The name Maida Vale can be traced back to a military victory against the French army in Sicily in 1806. In recognition of his role in the attack, General John Stuart, commander of the British forces, was made Count of Maida. Three years later, a tavern on Edgware Road was named the Hero of Maida Tavern and by 1810 maps designated the area surrounding the tavern as Maida. The canal system linking Maida Vale to the Thames was completed in the early 19th century and in 1827 the layout of roads now recognised as Maida Vale were designed. Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield Road, the streets in the south of Maida Vale overlooking Browning's Pool, are known as Little Venice. The name is believed to have been coined by the English poet Robert Browning who lived here from 1862 to 1887.
As the centre of London became overcrowded with an ever-increasing population and new roadways developed, improvements to public transport enabled the middle classes to move outwards to new suburbs. This dramatically sped up the pace of building in the district. The trend towards mansion blocks began in the 1870’s, when white collar workers were looking for reasonably priced housing near central London. Maida Vale is still one of London's prime residential areas, and is also a hotspot for anyone visiting the capital. There’s so much to see and do in this unique part of London that you just can’t afford to miss it!
The Positives of Maida Vale
Perhaps the best thing about Maida Vale is the uniqueness of this mainly residential area. It has a real Italian influence that you wouldn’t expect to find (thanks to the amazing architecture), an exclusive atmosphere that offers you the chance to escape from the humdrum of the city centre, and a fantastic village-like feel. You can take canal tours from stunning Little Venice eastwards around Regent's Park, past London Zoo and on towards Camden Town. The fact that you can be in the centre of London in about 15 minutes is a real bonus too. The close proximity to Paddington Station is also another positive if you’re planning to stay here and explore further a-field. Another great thing about Maida Vale is the fantastic choice of shops and restaurants you’ll find here. As Maida Vale also boasts its own tube station you’ll be amazed just how close you are to the West End and Oxford Street too!
Need to Know Maida Vale
If you’re looking for a lively stay then Maida Vale is fairly quiet compared to mother parts of the city, but it has some gorgeous local cafes, shops, restaurants and pubs - and it's only about a 15-20 minute walk to Notting Hill if you’re looking for a livelier scene at night. The Harrow Road end of Maida Vale can be hectic traffic-wise, but there are some lovely pubs and ethnic restaurants, so you should definitely make the most of this area. The Little Venice end is definitely the nicest part, but it's also the most expensive! But it’s so close to Edgware Road, Oxford Street and West London in general that you’ve got a world of choice on your doorstep - so you’ll always find something to suit your budget.