Victoria's Secrets

Look for the clues

For many years Victoria has been at least in the eyes of the overseas visitor, a bit of a known commodity. Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Victoria Station are all destinations that many tourists know only too well – the latter representing an escape to less hectic parts of Britain. It also seems to be in a constant state of flux where an ever-changing skyline masks much of what is happening just below the service.

However our recommendation to new visitors and those starting to plan a visit is to spend a little time looking at what else is available in the area of London named after arguably our most powerful monarch (remember -5/8 ths of the world was Queen Victoria’s Empire!)

I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous.
- Queen Victoria

Methodist Central Hall

Starting at say Westminster Abbey, just take a look at what else is available.

Just across from the Abbey is the Methodist Central Hall where the visitor can enjoy a self-guided tour of all its Viennese Baroque splendour. You might not be able to see all the interior as this is still an active place of worship for many and services could be in progress. The Historic Roll Room, the Great Hall housing the impressive organ and the Chapel are well worth a visit.

We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.
- John Wesley, the father of Methodism

Caxton Street

On your way down Victoria Street, a right hand turn will take you into Caxton Street and past the mighty Caxton Hall. Be sure you look out for the ‘blue plaques’ adorning some the building walls as they tell their own story. You will also be very close to Westminster School, which is definitely worth a stop even if only to lookup it’s past alumni. At the bottom of Caxton Street lies the The Blewcoat, which was built in 1709 as a school for the poor until 1926. In 2013 iconic fashion designer Ian Stuart was granted permission to refurbish the interior to house his bridal gowns beloved by brides and mothers-of-brides alike!

People trust us and build and emotional attachment - we have customers all over the world.
- Sohn Aursudkij, Manager, Stuart Bridal

The Campanile Tower & St. James Theatre

As you continue down Victoria Street take advantage of the spectacular views afforded from the 'tower' in Westminster Cathedral.To access the 'tower', visitors should go to the Cathedral shop and ask to go up in the lift. Once they reach the top, there are some fantastic sights to behold of Victoria and beyond.

Whilst Victoria is blessed with a number of famous playhouses, one of the area’s crown jewels is the smaller, but no less significant and perfectly formed St.James Theatre just beyond the Phoenix pub. The Theatre comprises an unique award winning arts complex with a 312 seat main house presenting plays, musicals and revues, and a 120 capacity Studio in cabaret style offering over 250 shows a year. It provides an intimate compelling venue for some very innovative productions and has a fine bar and bistro. Prices are not ‘West End’ and the Theatre should be the ‘go to place’ for visitors seeking great drama and intimacy within the same arena.

John Francis Bentley provides for two campanili (bell towers) in his first plan for the Cathedral, but, at the request of Cardinal Vaughan, one larger campanile was built instead
- Hannah Woolley, Westminster Cathedral

Elizabeth Street

Not a venue but a street that can be pleasantly strolled - weather permitting - Elizabeth Street in the heart of Belgravia is definitely worth a visit. With a multiplicity of coffee shops, restaurants for most budgets and some serious fashion outlets, Belgravia hosts this thriving 500 yards of London pavement providing a memorable retail experience for the visitor. Sporting a village ambience that belies its central London location, the community present a warm welcome and a special atmosphere to international visitors.
Most visitors to Central London are bound to have Victoria somewhere on their visit schedule, but if like me, you want something different, its worth planning just a little longer.


If you are fortunate enough to be staying in Victoria at one of the many boutique accommodation providers, then there is a plethora of choice. Not everyone is keen on staying in big brand hotels and areas like Pimlico offer plenty of choice. If you are after an intimate, family run and personal experience with lashings of good service, look no further than the wonderful variety of friendly accommodation providers in Victoria like The Windermere Hotel (uniquely beautiful rooms and great tea) or the hi-tech Eccleston Square Hotel (every guest gets use of a complementary iPad2 and smart phone with unlimited data and free international calls to selected countries included during their stay).