St John’s Wood Area Guide
Nestled in north-west London, leafy St John’s Wood has much to offer, with attractions, theatre, shops, restaurants, churches, parks and more. With something for everyone – both Londoners and tourists alike – read on for a few things to see and do in St John’s Wood if you find yourself in the area.
A brief history
St John’s Wood inherited its name from medieval owners, the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. In the early 19th century a sensitive building plan began, with architects who maintained the air of rural charm, abandoning traditional terraces in favour of grand Italianate villas, Cottage Ornés and Victorian Gothic design. This area attracted artists and philosophers, who were later joined by craftsmen and wealthy merchants, whose shops and outlets gave the area the village feel it retains to this day. In the 1960s St John’s Wood was designated a Conservation Area, and many of the houses are protected by English Heritage.
Perhaps two of the most well-known attractions in the area are Lord’s Cricket Ground and Abbey Road Studios. Lord’s hosts county and international matches, but did you also know that they offer daily tours of their historical grounds? Abbey Road studios has a live web cam of the infamous zebra crossing, should you feel like recreating the Beatles iconic image! There is also a graffiti wall you can leave a message on and an Abbey Road shop.
Regent’s Park – one of London’s immaculate Royal Parks – is just a 15 minute stroll away from Soutine. With its immaculate gardens (there are more than 12,000 roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens alone!) and beautiful boating lake, it’s a stunning spot to while away a few hours. The park also plays host to the Open Air theatre from May to September each year, as well as the world-renowned Frieze Art Fair each October. Regent’s Park is also home to London Zoo, ideal for a day out with little ones.
Worth a browse
St John’s Wood’s charming high street has a plethora of boutiques, deli’s, and sought after brands, worthy of an afternoon of wandering. From the cosmopolitan Zadig and Voltaire and much lauded Facegym, to the traditional men’s tailors Bruno and locally loved Panzers Deli, housed in St John’s Wood since 1944. The perfect afternoon after a lunch at Soutine which is located at the end of the high street.