When you’ve escaped to London for a weekend break, you want to make the most of it. London has just so much to see and do, even in the smallest areas of the city. If you’re staying in the Bayswater neighbourhood, you’ll want to stop and see some of the most famous sights in the city without trekking all the way over to the other zones.
The Magic Hour
It might seem odd to experience a magic show as your first stop in London, but The Magic Hour, located close to the Shaftesbury Hotel, is no ordinary show. It takes its cues from the top class close up magicians of the Victorian era, the so-called ‘Golden Age of Magic’, where the upper classes would invite illusionists, mediums and more into their parlours.
The magicians here will make time stop, turn objects invisible and make them visible again, and commune with ‘the other side’ to have spirits deliver their messages to an unsuspected public.
The intimate theatrical setting only reinforces the strangeness of the evening, with just 50 seats available for couples and family groups with children who are ten or older.
Roll up to Merchant Square, which is at the centre of Bayswater and its regeneration. The Paddington Basin has been turned into a place where family outings, fun, sport, games, and even architecture all collide.
Maybe you’ll want to give paddleboarding a go first in the canal, balancing on a surfboard and using a paddle to get around? It doesn’t matter if you fall in; you can dry off in a GoBoat ride, or else relax in the sun of the floating garden.
Take part in mini-golf or table tennis, beat your companions in giant Jenga and chess, sit and admire the water maze, or relax in one of the cafes and restaurants around the water’s edge.
Continue the watery theme by talking a walk around the canals of Bayswater and Maida Vale that have led to the area being called ‘Little Venice’. Spot the world-famous Puppet Theatre Barge and even take a ride on a canal boat, which will ferry you as far as even Camden Lock.
After a full day of sightseeing, return to your accommodation near Hyde Park. You might feel sad at the prospect of leaving on Sunday, but you have half a day left to enjoy yourself.
Every Sunday, artists from around London gather for an open-air exhibition along Bayswater road. Attached to the railings of Kensington Gardens are works from over 150 artists and craftspeople, whose pieces range from oil paintings to pastels. All art is available for purchase directly after the show, and you can take it home with you rolled in a tube straight away.
The art show has been going on for over 50 years and is the largest regular open-air art show in the world. Every Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, some of the best art from around London can be found here.