Free Walking Tours of Pimlico Victoria Belgravia

I wouldn’t normally alert you about something so far in advance, but as these walking tours are free they are booking up very fast.

The garden squares are not open to the general public, so it really is a rare opportunity to explore and enjoy these hidden green spaces – so these garden walks are very highly recommended indeed.

Garden Walk: Chester Square

FULLY BOOKED – I only included this to ram home the point that if you would like to go on one of the other walks you need to book up well in advance.

Garden Walk: Eaton Square

The walk will be centred upon Eaton Square’s Fountain Garden. Managed by Grosvenor since its creation in the 1820’s a significant period for this particular garden is that of the Second World War. A cannon shell from a German aircraft was found embedded in tree limbs during pruning work as recently as the 1970s. Walkers will learn about Belgravia and this famous square’s history as well as the garden and the several species of trees that have been cultivated here.

Thursday 5 May (ONLY A  FEW PLACES LEFT) 12pm to 1pm

Garden Walk: Eccleston Square

This extended 75 minute walk will start with a brief history of Victoria whilst making your way to Eccleston Square. The tour will demonstrate how over the years more and more tender trees and shrubs have become viable in our changing environment within the City micro climate.

The garden now has the largest collection of Californian Lilacs (Ceanothus) in the world. There are also a substantial number of plants that originate from Australasia. The garden has won awards continuously over the last ten years and has the distinction of being the only garden square that has made it into the National Garden Scheme.

Wednesday 25 May & Thursday 26 May Extended walk 12.00pm to 1.15pm on both days

Victoria’s Hidden Past

Nothing is quite what it seems: the Bluecoat School was built in 1709 and was in use until 1926. The building of this charitable school was funded by a brewer, who also used the school as a storage place for beer. It is now a National Trust gift shop. Another seemingly contradictory story involves Caxton Hall, a meeting place for the suffragette movement, which became renowned for celebrity marriages. There is a burial ground where the first black man to get the vote in Westminster is buried.

You can also browse round the modern day store, which supplied the needs of the British Empire; find mansions that housed the mistresses of the military; imagine the Church turning a prison into a cathedral and up market accommodation and learn about a prisoner who was not actually kept locked up in a prison. You will also find out about current and future development opportunities for Victoria and much more.

Wednesday 1 June, 6 July, 3 August 12pm to 1pm

Belgravia & Victoria

Right in the heart of Victoria between the boundary wall of Buckingham Palace and Lower Grosvenor Gardens is the little known Victoria Square with a connection to Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond and a statue of the young Queen Victoria. As the walking route takes you into Belgravia you will be amongst larger squares with fine houses inhabited by the wealthy and well-heeled celebrities, past and present.

It is an area originally developed and built by the Grosvenor family and designed by architects like Thomas Cubitt. It is made up of elegant terraces divided by fine squares, many of them with private gardens at their centre. Many of the terraces have smaller mews houses behind them. The Grosvenor Estate is still very much involved in the area’s management and continual improvement today. It has become the location for many foreign embassies and consuls, encompassing some of the most desirable addresses in the UK, like Eaton Square and Belgrave Square.

Wednesday 8 June, 20 July, 10 August 12pm to 1pm


In one of the side streets adjacent to Westminster Cathedral lived Sir Winston Churchill and a Cardinal. Beneath the paving runs the hidden King’s Scholars’ Pond Sewer winding its way to the Thames. Close by on the west side of Vauxhall Bridge Road is the recently revived Tachbrook Street Market with its fresh produce and food stalls and Warwick Way with a traditional high street smattering of neighbourhood restaurants, cafés and charity shops.

Wednesday  15 June, 27 July, 17 August 12pm to 1pm

Palaces of Power

Victoria has an important role in the direction of national politics by virtue of its proximity to the Palace of Westminster and the seat of British government. It is also a place of entertainment. The walk will start with the first of our Palaces, the Victoria Palace where we will learn about its association with Ballerina, Anna Pavlova. We will also learn more about the architecture of Buckingham Palace and talk about the builder of one of the wings, whose present day ancestor is due to occupy the Palace. Emphasis will then swap as we stroll to the Palace of Westminster, looking as we go at the fascinating involvement of the suffragettes and how they shaped twentieth century politics.

Thursday 7 July and 4 August 5.30pm to 7.00pm

Rich and Poor

The walk will follow a route through the centre of Victoria to the far side of Pimlico, via Belgravia. We will look at the homes of the rich and famous in Eaton and Chester Square. We will visit where Mozart lived for a short period, where Chopin gave a famous recital. We will be visiting a house that featured in Upstairs, Downstairs, the classic TV series. Towards the end of the walk by contrast, we will see housing for the industrious poor and the delights of Orange Square. The walk will finish near to Sloane Square tube station.

Thursday 21 July and 11 August 5.30pm to 7.00pm

To book a free walking tour call inSW1 on 020 3004 0786 or email NICKI PALMER

For full details of these tours and to enlarge the map please click on it (takes you to the inSW1 website).

Pimlico Victoria & Belgravia Walking Tours

Pimlico Victoria & Belgravia Walking Tours

London Studio Flats for Rent – Building Work Progress

London Flats Bradley Construction Mansard Project Bradley Construction’s Contract had started it’s 17th week when we finally received a decision from the Planning Inspectorate to overturn Westminster City Council’s refusal of Planning Permission for the roof terraces. The demolition at the back has been completed this week finishing all the dirty and noisy work, and next week the Scaffolding can finally start to be removed, in stages as the terraces are made watertight.

As the scaffolding is being removed Bradley Construction will finish the decorating at the rear, and at the front on the upper levels so that when the scaffold starts to come down you will all see the new addition at the top of these properties.

George is welcomed back after his knee replacement and is looking forward to using the putting green that we are planning for on top of the Mansard roof (subject to Planning Permission). We will also be making Planning Applications for a new entrance to the property, security surveillance, and solar panels to reduce the property’s carbon footprint.

Two new Studio Flats on the second floor have already been completed, passed over, and successfully rented out. The final 7 flats are hoped to be completed by October.

New London Flats – Affordable Housing Approved

London Flats Mansard Project

London Flats Mansard Project

In 2005 Pimlico Flats sought Planning Permission to build affordable housing in Westminster, SW1. The Planning Permission was a hard fought battle requiring the employment of a Planning Consultant to challenge Westminster City Council’s refusal and finally gain an approval on appeal. In spite of London’s dire need of more affordable housing, the planning process seems to expect the need to be met in the neighbouring boroughs, and the convoluted approval added costs to what was supposed to be cheap affordable renting stock. Nevertheless an approval was gained and work began.

By skillful reduction in the circulation space the architects were able to redesign the proposal, and make internal layout changes which greatly enhanced the quality of the accommodation. Unfortunately the Planning Department wouldn’t allow internal layout changes without a new submission to Planning and so at their request we prepared and submitted a completely new scheme, including roof terraces for 5 of the properties.

Ex Minister and Conservative Party leader Michael Howard led the objections of neighbours, with the argument that the roof terraces represented an unacceptable increase in overlooking and noise and disturbance of the existing roof terraces of the neighbouring owner-occupiers. The key issue is whether tenants represent a greater threat to peace and quiet than owners, and thus whether they should be deprived of the use of outdoor amenities that their richer neighbours are allowed.

Unfortunately Westminster City Council agreed with the objections, however on appeal to the Inspectorate we were able to gain permission and win the argument against discrimination. We are proceeding with our development and hope to be finished in October.

Affordable Flats in Central London Conservation Area for £100/week

We are delighted that we are able to provide the most affordable quality accommodation in Central London. From our current vacancies we are able to offer 2 properties which offer excellent value for money which certainly can’t be equalled in Pimlico. The cost of renting these properties works out from £100/person per week – and these are modernised flats with central heating, free broadband internet, door entry, fitted kitchens …… go to our website to see the photos and plans of these flats.

Famous People who Lived in Pimlico, London SW1

Residents of Pimlico sufficiently famous as to have a Blue Plaque mounted in their memory:

AVEBURY, Baron: Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913),
Scientist, born here.
29 Eaton Place, SW1

ARNOLD, Matthew (1822-1888),
Poet and Critic.
2 Chester Square, SW1

BAGEHOT, Walter (1826-1877),
Writer, Banker and Economist.
12 Upper Belgrave Street, SW1

BALDWIN, Stanley (1867-1947),
Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, Prime Minister.
93 Eaton Square, SW1

BEARDSLEY, Aubrey (1872-1898),
114 Cambridge Street, SW1

BENTHAM, George (1800-1884),
25 Wilton Place, Belgravia, SW1

CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, Sir Henry (1836-1908),
Prime Minister.
6 Grosvenor Place, SW1

CECIL, Viscount, of Chelwood (1864-1958),
Creator of the League of Nations.
16 South Eaton Place, SW1

CHAMBERLAIN, Neville (1869-1940),
Prime Minister, lived here 1923-1935.
37 Eaton Square, SW1

Sir Winston Churchill, politician – lived at 33 Eccleston Square

CONRAD, Joseph (1857-1924),
17 Gillingham Street, SW1

Sir Michael Costa, conductor and orchestra reformer – lived at 59 Eccleston Square

CUBITT, Thomas (1788-1855),
Master Builder.
3 Lyall Street, SW1

EVANS, Dame Edith (1888-1976),
109 Ebury Street, Victoria, SW1

EWART, William (1798-1869),
16 Eaton Place, SW1

FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964),
Creator of James Bond.
22 Ebury Street, SW1

HORE-BELISHA, Lord (1893-1957),
16 Stafford Place, SW1

William Morris ‘Billy’ Hughes, 7th Prime Minister of Australia – born at 7 Moreton Place

KELVIN, Lord (1824-1907),
Physicist and Inventor.
15 Eaton Place, SW1

Jomo Kenyatta, first president of Kenya – lived at 95 Cambridge Street

LEIGH, Vivien (1913-1967),
54 Eaton Square, SW1

MACMILLAN, Douglas (1884-1969),

Founder of Macmillan Cancer Relief.
15 Ranelagh Road, Pimlico, SW1

MANNING, Cardinal Henry Edward (1808-1892)
22 Carlisle Place, SW1

Opened in 1816 and closed in 1890. Until 1867, prisoners sentenced to transportation embarked on their journey to Australia from Pimlico.
Millbank, SW1

MOORE, George (1852-1933),
Author, lived and died here.
121 Ebury Street, SW1

MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791),
composed his first symphony here in 1764.
180 Ebury Street, SW1

NICOLSON, Harold (1886-1968)
SACKVLLE-WEST, Vita (1892-1962),
Writers and Gardeners.
182 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1

NOEL-BAKER, Philip (1889-1982),
Olympic Sportsman, Campaigner for Peace and Disarmament.
16 South Eaton Place, Belgravia, SW1

PEABODY, George (1795-1869),
Philanthropist, died here.
80 Eaton Square, SW1

PITT-RIVERS, Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Lane Fox (1827-1900),
Anthropologist and Archaeologist.
4 Grosvenor Gardens, SW1

SMITH, F.E., Earl of Birkenhead (1872-1930),
Lawyer and Statesman.
32 Grosvenor Gardens, SW1

TENNYSON, Alfred Lord (1809-1892),
Poet, lived here in 1880 and 1881
9 Upper Belgrave Street, SW1

VIVEKANANDA, Swami (1863-1902)
Hindu Philosopher, lived here in 1896
63 St George’s Drive, SW1

WINGFIELD, Major Walter Clopton (1833-1912),
Father of lawn tennis.
33 St George’s Square, SW1

WOOD, Edward, 1st Earl of Halifax (1881-1959),
Statesman, Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary.
86 Eaton Square, SW1

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Budget Eating in Victoria, London, SW1

As a local I know all the best places to eat in the local area of Pimlico, Victoria, SW1 and we are richly blessed with a wide range of places to eat which are either take out, or eat in at take out prices.


Restaurant in Victoria

City Harvest Restaurant in Victoria, Buckingham Palace Road view

If you are near Victoria Station at lunchtime then City HarvestRestaurant in Victoria

 is a must. With a wide range of take out food, rolls sandwiches, and several freshly cooked meals every day this is the areas best stop for food. Further – if you mention “Pimlico Flats” you will be able to get a second helping for free!

Victoria Restaurant

City Harvest Restaurant in Victoria, Buckingham Palace Road, Internal view



At the junction where Wilton Rd. meets Warwick Way is Spicy Food Plus – here you can eat a fabulous meal for £3.50p, either to eat in, or take out. Thay have a Tandoori Oven and will cook a Chicken Tandoori, or Kebab, or Naan, for you while you watch.

Kazan – the Turkish Restaurant opposite – does an excellent value menu for those eating before 18:00.

I’m afraid Seafresh, the Wilton Rd. Fish and Chip shop  – whilst offering excellent quality, is severely overpriced. The best Fish and Chips to be had in the area are at Lupus Street .

For Kebabs I have always gone to Marmaris for Kebabs, and they were the best I have ever eaten. Sadly the restaurant has passed into new hands, and is now known as Cyprus Mangal – I can’t guarantee that the food is of the same standard, but I think it’s worth finding out.

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July 2015


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