Many people accept the hustle and bustle of the capital, but there are pockets of tranquillity in London, too. It's almost like being in the countryside if you discover some of the capital’s hidden gems. Between the areas of feverish activity, there is peace and tranquillity. Here are ten of the best tranquil addresses to live in west London.
Gloucester Square, London W2
London is full of tucked-away gems and Gloucester Square is one of these. Close to Hyde Park and Paddington Station, this garden square is much sought after for the variety it offers. There is everything from town house to stucco-fronted mansions. The communal gardens are more secluded than most, because on two sides the terraces open directly onto them. Tall hedges shield the attractive gardens. This six-bedroom town house benefits from direct access to the gardens and is on the market for £6.25m.
Hyde Park Gardens Mews, London W2
This mews was originally the outbuildings to the grand London town houses. They were buildings at the end of the garden, with separate access, where the horses and carriages would be housed, while the coachmen and grooms would live above. Now they are narrow lanes with low-rise buildings, often with no through traffic in the very heart of the city. Their past-history means they often have integral garages. Mews houses rarely have gardens of their own, but Hyde Park Gardens Mews has the benefit of the park within a stone’s throw.
Montagu Mews West, London W1H
Another oasis of calm within easy walking distance of the buzzy Oxford Street and Selfridges. Who could believe that a few steps would bring you to this tranquil backwater? There is very little passing traffic, either on foot or by vehicle, adding to its overall appeal. Several of the properties retain their garages, a huge bonus for city car owners. Yet Marylebone High Street is just minutes away on foot, while public transport is easily accessible, too.
Bryanston Square, London W1H
This square is named after the village in Dorset where the landowner Henry Portman was born. It was built in the first half of the 19th century, along with neighbouring Montagu Square. The town houses are mainly built in brick over a stucco entrance and face onto the central, communal gardens. Its lawns and gardens can be enjoyed by residents all year round and by the public on the annual open day.
Montagu Square, London W1H
Neighbouring Montagu Square offers grand and ornate houses with vast bay windows overlooking an open garden. It has been home to Anthony Trollope, Ringo Starr and Jimmy Hendrix, as well as Paul McCartney and John Lennon. They found it peaceful enough for their world-famous creative activities. This three-bedroom apartment on the ground and lower ground floors of an elegant Georgian gem is on the market for £2.5m.
Hyde Park Square, London W2
Hyde Park is one of the largest Royal parks. For Londoners, it is the green lungs at the heart of the city, giving urban dwellers a chance to retreat to a leafy paradise away from the bustle of daily life. On the north side of the park is Hyde Park Square, a lovely garden square surrounded by beautiful stucco mansions. This apartment, on at £1.175m, has two bedrooms and magnificent views into the gardens.
Albion Mews and Close, London W2
These two little lanes are hidden away on either side of Albion Street. Gated no-through roads, they are as quiet as anybody could wish for, while being just moments from Hyde Park and the streets of central London. You might have to wait a while for a property to come up for sale in this sought-after area, but there’s a flat on the market in Albion Street nearby. It’s on the fourth floor of an Art Deco building and comes with its own roof terrace. It has three bedrooms and is on the market for £2.6m.
Bathurst Mews, London W2
This pretty mews still boasts its cobbled street, once you have entered through a narrow tunnel. Not only that, but horses are still kept here, as two riding stables in London operate from here. They offer riding lessons at all levels in Hyde Park. How much closer could that be to country living in town?
Devonshire Close, London W1G
This is a charming area of mews houses off Devonshire Street, runs between Portland Place and Harley Street. So, it’s convenient for the West End, yet secluded from the everyday hustle and bustle. The cottages have attractive period frontages, and many retain their garages.
Gosfield Street, London W1W
This little street of tall, yellow brick town houses is just around the corner from the BBC. It is equidistant from both Oxford Circus and Regents Park, making it a great central location, yet quiet because it is not on the main drag. This second-floor flat has two-double bedrooms and is on the market for £1.1m.
• Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Hyde Park, Fitzrovia, Regents Park and The West End (020 7262 2030; Kay & Co).