This page is about the districts around the famous long and busy shopping
street Oxford Street in central London: Marylebone, Mayfair and Bloomsbury .Parts
of these districts belong to the borough of Camden.
Marylebone is the name of the
district just north of Oxford Street. Madame Tussaud's, Baker Street, Selfridges
department store and the southern edge of Regents Park are in this area.
Selfridge´s. A famous department store with a facade with classical columns
that is almost as luxorious as Harrods.
We just went through the ground floor.
Madame Tussauds's. This is the original of the famous wax cabinett with many
wax dolls of celebrities as Tony Blair, George W Bush, Kofi Annan, Madonna,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, queen Elizabeth and The Beatles. The interior is very
luxorious with gold frames and huge crystal chandeliers and there is a ride
in fictive London taxis through a landscape of wax dolls like Shakespeare. Even
if it is rumoured to has painfullys long queues, we just had to wait for just
about 20 minutes because we had already bought our tickets from the sightseeing
bus, a tip from the Brazilian girl.
William Shakespeare seen from one of the fictive taxi cars. However, everyone agreed that Madame Tussaud's was a bit of a dissapointment.
It was not so large as we thought, and the wax dolls didn't look so real.
The coolest part of the wax
cabinnet, however, was the Chamber of Horrors (above), the dark place in the
basement where we could see the serial killers and real actors where chasing
the visitors and trying to scare them!
We also visited Baker Street, trying
to find the house that the fictive detective Sherlock Holmes used to live in
at 22 Baker Street. But an old man tried to explain to us that the have removed
his house to Paddington and that they torn the house down to build Mark &
Spencer, that later moved to another location on Oxford Street. And there was
no sign on today's 22 Baker Street, probably to avoid tourists. But we found
a Sherlock Holmes souvenirs shop and even a Beatles store. Bakers Street is
a nice old fashioned street, that goes from Regents Park (that we visited for
the first time earlier this day, see the park section) to Oxford Street.
Bloomsbury is the name of the
district just north of New Oxford Street. British Museum and British Telecom
Tower are located here.
Centre Point. The only skyscraper in this area. Just 117m tall and 35 floors,
but looks much taller because of its location. It is built in 1967, but it also
looks much newer than it is in my opinion. It could be seen from our hostel
Oxford Street. Unfortunately I don't think I have any picture that do Oxford
Street justice. It is probably the most famous and busy street in the whole
London. This is a street where you come to, sooner or later. One evening on
Oxford Street, we where caught in a traffic jam with at least 30 buses in a
line, that wasn't even moving. So the bus driver let the passengers get off
the bus, so we could walk the rest. Oxford Street has more than 300 shops, among
them HMV, the oldest record store in the world, Selfridges, JH Lewis, Debenham
and Mark & Spencer's flagship stores.
Oxford Circus is not only the busy
intersection of Oxford Street, it is also the border of Marylebone, Mayfair,
Bloomsbury and Soho.
Euston Tower. On our way to find BT Tower, surprisingly enough we found this
skyscraper from 1970 instead first, that is 124m tall and has 36 floors. It
is the borough of Camden's tallest office building.
Tottenham Court Road is the name of the road that leads to BT Tower and Euston
Before we managed to find BT tower, we just saw the reflections of the tower
in this glass buildings, but couldn't see the tower in reality!
British Telecom Tower. At
191m, this famous telecom tower from 1964 is London's 4th tallest structure.
There used to be a revolving restaurant
on the top that was open to public until 1980, 5 years after it was bombed by
Standing in the middle in
a lowrise residential district, I tried to find the base of the floor to see
how tall it is, but it turned out that was impossible, because it stands in
the middle of the courtyard of British Telecom's locked headquarters.
That also explains why the tower was so hard to find.
On the way home we found the house of the rising sun.
British Museum. Considering that the entrance is free, and that everything comes
from the real world, this
museum is by far more worth to visit than Madame Tussauds. The museum is
very large and has departments from different parts of the world. It is London's
2nd most visited attraction. The first part of the museum, Montagu House, was
completed in 1676.
The classical architecture of the museum is also very interesting. The cool
thing is that for the millennium (year 2000) they built an enormous glass roof
designed by Norman Foster over the old buildings, creating a huge courtyard,
called the Great Court.
The library inside the dome, in the middle of the courtyard below the huge glass
The Greek/Roman division.
The Egyptian division.
The Rosetta Stone, the key to the understanding of the hieroglyphs.
The Asian divison with Buddha statues and carpets.
This tall totem pole stands in the middle of this stairway hall.
Mayfair is the name of the district
just south of the west part of Oxford Street.
Marble Arch. Originally built as the grand entrance of Buckingham Palace, it
has been removed to the northeastern entrance of Hyde Park in a very trafficated
intersection. This is also the beginning of the Mayfair district.