Maida Vale is one of those places in London where most people have heard of, but few can pinpoint on a map. The district sits on the North West edge of Central London, nudging up to Notting Hill and St John’s Wood at the bottom of the A5 between the Edgware Road and Kilburn High Road. Don’t go too fast or you’ll miss Maida Vale – you know you are there because the main road is named after the area. The name comes from a well-known local hostelry The Hero of Maida, which referenced a British led victory at the Battle of Maida in Italy over Napoleon in 1806. The inn is no longer standing, but the name lives on. Maida Vale is a well-to-do neighbourhood bordering the Regent Canal north of the main A40 Westway route in and out of London. Away from the main A5, the area is a surprisingly quiet and leafy suburb only minutes from the heart of
the West End by tube or cab.
Maida Vale is a close-knit community covering an area of about one square kilometre.
Watch out for rock stars and celebrities pulling in and out of the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios in Delaware Road where just about every superstar has played over the years.
Welsh singer Duffy had a massive chart hit with Warwick Avenue – another main road through Maida Vale.
The famous Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles had that iconic photograph taken on a zebra crossing is also just a stone’s throw from central Maida Vale.
If you love cricket, then Maida Vale is the place for you – you are so close to the Lord’s Cricket Ground you can hear the ball cracking off the bat.
Clifton Road and the surrounding streets provide the main shopping parades where high street brands and independents jostle for business.
Another place for ardent shoppers is an open-air market at the junction of Harrow Road and Elgin Avenue.
Modern computing pioneer and Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing was born in the building that is now the Colonnade Hotel on Warrington Crescent.
Maida Vale is a home to renters as well as buyers. A familiar feature of Maida Vale are the charming London red brick mansion houses, which contrary to their name are apartment blocks. Developers have taken many and cleared the interiors back to brick and refurbished them to the highest contemporary standards and specification. Most are spacious and bright and offer the very best in city living close to transport links, shops, restaurants and bars. Families keenly seek out charming red brick villas. Detached Victorian and Edwardian terraced and detached town houses along the tree-lined avenues with hidden secret gardens are jewels much sought after by buyers and investors.
Living in Maida Vale is like living in a village on the outskirts of London, but is only a short trip to Heathrow, The City or Canary Wharf – about 40 minutes or so. Maida Vale and Warwick Avenue are on the Bakerloo Line north of the Regent Canal, while a short walk to the south of the canal is Royal Oak on the Hammersmith & City Line The area is also well-served by buses heading in and out of Kensington, Bayswater and the West End. Marylebone Station with over ground services to the Midlands is just three stops down the line from Maida Vale. Paddington Station is the London terminal for over ground trains to Bristol and South Wales, and has a tube station for the Circle, District, Bakerloo and Hammersmith and City Lines. Crossrail will also have a new station at Paddington.
Maida Vale, Warwick Avenue and Royal Oak are in Travel Zone 2.
Things to do
One place everyone must visit in Maida Vale is the Canal Café Theatre, which presents a news revue four times a week. Forget Newsnight and think more Have I Got News For You or Mock The Week without the quiz format as the revue is penned by writers with a biting tongue and satirical wit.
Another top place to call in for a pint and a buy to eat is The Prince Alfred and Formosa Dining Room. Resplendent in Victorian period design and decoration, the menu also picks up good reviews from foodies.
For sports and fitness enthusiasts, Paddington Recreation Ground caters for just about every activity.
A pleasant stroll of a mile or so along the Regent Canal towpath can take you to Regent’s Park and the zoo. The route is one of London’s hidden gems, with houseboats lining the canal sheltering under avenues of trees.
Visit Browning’s Pool a spend a while reading the words of namesake poet Robert Browning, who lived in Maida Vale.
Schools and colleges
Maida Vale has around 20 public and independent schools from nurseries to further education colleges. London’s wealth of universities and colleges are a short commute away by tube.
Maida Vale has a London W9 post code and the City of Westminster is the local authority.