The posh neighborhood of Marylebone has a local village feel, especially on its trendy High Street, which features boutique and chain shops, as well as restaurants and pubs. The photogenic area, just south of Regent's Park, is known as the home of popular tourist attractions like Madame Tussauds London and The Sherlock Holmes Museum, but there's a lot more to see and do nearby. Because of its central location near Bond Street and Oxford Circus, Marylebone is a great place to explore for a day during a visit to London, or even make your home base during a trip.
Dine at Chiltern Firehouse
Half-restaurant and half-boutique hotel, Chiltern Firehouse is the place to see and be seen in Marylebone. Built into a historic fire station, the chic spot is known as the haunt of celebrities like Kate Moss and Orlando Bloom. The restaurant, run by chef Nuno Mendes, serves three meals a day, plus a dynamite weekend brunch. Visitors who aren't movie stars can score a table, but it's best to book lunch or early dinner during the week well in advance if you want to indulge in signature dishes like black truffle steak tartare and rib-eye steak. The hotel features 26 rooms and suites with contemporary decor and high-end amenities (although the nightly rates are not for those on a budget).
Peruse Daunt Books
Located on Marylebone High Street, Daunt Books is an independent bookshop catering to travelers (as well as those just looking for a good read). It's open daily and sells books and maps, as well as children's books. There are several locations around London and many, including the Marylebone outpost, host author talks, and events regularly. It's especially great for travel guides and gifts to take back home after your visit to London.
Visit Madame Tussauds London
You may not be able to catch a glimpse of the Queen while in London. Still, you can see her wax figurine at Madame Tussauds London, a massive collection of more than 250 wax statues of celebrities and iconic figures, including the royal family. The museum is typically jam-packed, and it's known for having extremely long lines, particularly on the weekend, so be sure to book a ticket in advance. Consider buying a "Fast Track" ticket, which allows visitors to bypass the line through a dedicated entrance.
Line Up for The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Sherlock Holmes may be a fictional literary character, but the detective still has his own museum on Baker Street. In the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock lived at 221b Baker Street, which is where you'll find this collection of exhibits based on his life and work. It's a great spot for fans to immerse themselves in the character or purchase a few Sherlock-themed souvenirs. Arrive early or visit during the week since there is a continuous line outside (and tickets cannot be purchased in advance).
Grab a Pint at the Barley Mow
Marylebone features several classic pubs, but The Barley Mow, on Dorset Street, is known as the longest-standing pub in the neighborhood. Established in 1790, the pub has a local, historical feel and serves up an array of beer, wine, and spirits. The food menu is a selection of pies from the award-winning Pieminister Pies (which are worth a taste when visiting London), and the pub also puts on pub quizzes and a darts league. Note that children are allowed in pubs to dine only, and adults must accompany them.
Visit the Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is a free art museum located in Hertford House in Manchester Square, and it's a great way to experience London's art in a less crowded setting. The collection features paintings, sculptures, furniture and arms and armor, and new temporary exhibitions are showcased every few months. While the collection is smaller than other museums around the city, it still features famous works by artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto. The museum is open daily with free highlight tours in the afternoon. There are also frequently activities for families and children.
See a Concert at Wigmore Hall
Take in a chamber music concert at Wigmore Hall, a Victorian concert venue that is over 115 years old. The venue focuses on great musical works in general, presenting pieces that span from the Renaissance to today. Wigmore Hall, which seats an intimate audience of 552 guests, puts on over 460 concerts per year, so there's something on every day. If traveling with young ones, look for the Hall's family concerts and special family days, which cater specifically to kids interested in music. It's recommended to book online in advance, but you can also turn up at the box office on the day of an event.
Shop the Marylebone Farmers Market
London has a lot of outdoor markets, but Marylebone Farmers Market is one of the best. Located on Aybrook Street, the market runs every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It features around 40 stalls of produce, dairy, meat, and other delicious goods, as well as prepared food—the Potato Shop is the most popular of all the booths. It's nice for a stroll or to grab lunch on the go. If you're planning to shop, be sure to bring along a reusable bag or two.
Brunch at Caravan Fitzrovia
Nestled on Great Portland Street, a few blocks away from Marylebone High Street, visitors can find one of London's best brunch spots. Caravan Fitzrovia, a coffee roastery and restaurants that boasts several locations around town, is perfect for weekend brunch, a relaxed evening meal, or just a quick coffee and croissant. The creative menu is ever-evolving, but there's something for everyone, even picky eaters, and unlike some of the other locations, this one takes bookings all day. It's perfect for a pick-me-up after a morning of sight-seeing (or as a way to fuel up before heading out).
Relax at the Monocle Café London
This cozy coffee shop and cafe on Chiltern Street is a hidden gem, especially if you're the sort of traveler who prefers to find a local spot over a chain. They serve globally-inspired dishes like a chicken katsu sandwich and a Lingonberry chia pot, as well as cocktails, beer, wine, and coffee, and tea. Happy hour runs daily until 5:30 p.m., in case you need to kill some time in the afternoon, and the cafe is an excellent place to sit and read (including the latest issue of Monocle itself). Bear in mind that it's not particularly conducive to young kids or larger groups.