Your Guide to London Marble Arch
Where is Marble Arch?
Marble Arch is so surrounded by tourist attractions that this is the place you have to stay if you want easy access to wonderful sights like Hyde Park, Oxford Street, the West End and Buckingham Palace. It’s actually an incredibly small area of central London that surrounds the vast Marble Arch monument near Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. It’s situated in the heart of the City of Westminster, bordered by highly important central London districts like Marylebone, Mayfair, Paddington and Bayswater. It even boasts it’s own tube station (Marble Arch) in Tube Zone 1 that enables you to zip across London with ease; so much so that you won’t need your car so it doesn’t matter that it’s situated inside the congestion charging zone! You can also walk to Paddington Station to catch the Heathrow Express from here.
History of Marble Arch
The most intriguing history of Marble Arch is the history of the area that surrounds the location of gargantuan Marble Arch itself. It was here that London's old Tyburn Gallows once stood. With a history dating back to the 12th century, Tyburn was a hanging gallery for the city's most notorious criminals, right up until 1783. The removal of the Tyburn Gallows increased respectability for the area, especially as the City and the West End were so filthy. Samuel Pepys Cockrell began building the grand squares and terraces of Tyburnia (also known as Hyde Park Estate) here between 1807 and 1815. The arrival of the Great Western Railway at Paddington in 1838 also attracted further development, and Marble Arch grew from here on in.
As for Marble Arch itself, this was designed by John Nash and built in white Carrara marble in 1828. The design was taken from the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome. It was originally located in front of Buckingham Palace and was intended to be the palace’s main entrance. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert decided to enlarge the palace in 1851 it made Marble Arch a redundant ‘white elephant’, so room was made for the extension by removing it. It was moved to its current site as an entrance to Hyde Park and now continues to act as a gateway between Bayswater and Marylebone.
The Positives of Marble Arch
The most obvious positive to staying in Marble Arch is it’s proximity to many of London’s most famous tourist attractions. Book yourself a room in a hotel here and you’ll find yourself on the verge of beautiful Hyde Park and right at the Western End of Oxford Street! There are also countless other attractions just a short walk away, including the West End and Buckingham Palace. You’ll be surrounded by bars, restaurants and nightlife too! It’s also extremely accessible to other parts of the city thanks to Marble Arch Tube Station. Paddington Station (with its fast link to Heathrow Airport) is only a short tube or taxi ride away as well.
Need to Know Marble Arch
Although Marble Arch itself now stands rather unceremoniously on a traffic island in one of the busiest parts of town, it’s still an impressive sight for you to behold. The area is busy and chaotic but an absolutely unmissable part of any visit to London. It’s a hive of activity and there are endless things to see and do. You’ll find that the hustle and bustle actually adds to the charm of the area, that you’ll quickly come to know and love.