Your Guide to London Pimlico
Where is Pimlico?
Pimlico may be a somewhat small district of the City of Westminster in Central London, but it’s perfectly placed for walking to some of London’s most famous attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey! This is because Westminster and Victoria border Pimlico. You will also find exclusive Chelsea nearby, and Vauxhall just across the River Thames. Most importantly, largely residential Pimlico is home to the fantastic Tate Britain art gallery, as well as historic sites such as St George’s Square and Ebury Street. As Pimlico is situated in zone 1 of the London Underground network, you’ll have easy access to the rest of London from Pimlico Tube Station; so much so that it doesn’t matter that this district is situated inside the congestion charging zone!
History of Pimlico
The land that encompassed the district of Pimlico was known as the Manor of Ebury or Five Fields. It was split in the 16th and 17th centuries and leased by the Crown to favourites or servants. In 1623 James I sold the freehold of Ebury and it was then sold again to the heiress Mary Davies in 1666. The heiress was very much sought after and she eventually married Sir Thomas Grosvenor in the latter part of the 17th Century. The Grosvenor family developed the area and throughout the next century, they established a large amount of wealth through its development and good management. At the end of the 17th and the start of the 18th Century, the area ceased to be known as Ebury and the name Pimlico was established.
Pimlico underwent a lot of change in the 19th century, when property in West London became popular again (it certainly wasn’t after the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague of London). Lord Grosvenor contracted Thomas Cubitt to redevelop the entire area. Cubitt designed a grid style and developed some stunning white stucco terraced buildings, still evident in today’s Pimlico. In the latter part of the 19th Century, a number of charitable estates were developed to provide affordable housing, and post World War II a large number of council housing estates were built on land cleared by German bombings. At the same time, many of Cubitt’s original buildings were converted into hotels. This mix of architecture, building use and social class gives Pimlico a real sense of history that you can’t afford to miss. It’s fashionable amongst Londoners, so come and see Pimlico for yourself!
The Positives of Pimlico
As Pimlico is situated in a prime spot in central London, you’ll be surrounded by excusive areas like Chelsea and Kensington, and within walking distance of some of the finest sites in London including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral and the Tate Britain. Whilst staying here, you can wander the streets of Pimlico and admire the Regency architecture that make parts of the district so exclusive, or relax in quaint garden squares like St George’s Square and Eccleston Square. When you’ve exhausted nearby attractions you can make the most of Pimlico Tube Station to get around the rest of London. Victoria’s transport links are well within reach too, so catching the Gatwick Express train is easy! Another huge plus point is that there are plenty of affordable hotels in the district for you to choose from.
Need to Know Pimlico
As with all areas of Central London, a huge number of tourists pass through the area on a daily basis and this can sometimes lead to crowding. However, the area is highly residential so you may find that it is less populated by tourists than some other Central London districts. If all else fails you’ll always have your hotel room to escape to, to get some peace and quiet! As is the norm, traffic congestion is an issue in Pimlico. To be totally honest though, you don’t need a car! Loads of tourist attractions are within walking distance, and you’ll also have Pimlico Tube Station and Victoria tube, coach and train station to get you to where you want to go.