Westminster Area Guide

Brief history to Westminster

Westminster has long been associated with the British Royal Family, as the central hub of British politics and the only true borough that holds city status. Seeped in architectural and British social history Westminster is a truly fascinating area of Central and West London. Situated on the North Bank of the River Thames, the area is comprised of the largest amount of historical buildings within the capital. It also attracts the largest volumes of visitors to the area.

Once a small purpose built village that supplied stores and servants to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament the area is no more than a mile in radius. Its name derived from an informal description of the Abbey church St Peter's, Westminster's Abbey. It's past is a tale of ambition and intrigue, evidence now shows that Westminster could have been home to Cnut, the Dane who ruled England as early as 1016. According to medieval chroniclers Cnut's palace burnt down and Edward the Confessor rebuilt the palace on a much grander scale.

Known as the centre of gossip, people flocked to Westminster to find out the latest news from across Britain and the narrow sea. The palace of Westminster became the principal royal residence until the 1700s when they moved to St James Palace and other palaces across the city such as Richmond a favourite of Henry VIII. Westminster Abbey has been the traditional venue of Royal coronations throughout its history and our current Queen Elizabeth was crowned Queen within its walls in 1953.

Hard to imagine, but the streets surrounding the palace were once a labyrinth of medieval alleys and lanes, packed tight with shops, slums and inns that were home to Westminster's most notorious characters. Now a highly popular area for tourists, it attracts the largest percentage of visitors than anywhere else across the capital.

Types of Property in Westminster

There is a vast variety of property types within this unique area of Central and West London. Elegant Georgian and Queen Anne town houses are typical to the St James Park region of Westminster, more recently developed apartments are to be found South of Westminster.

Developers have been converting disused government buildings and converting them into luxury apartments many of which boast roof terraces and leisure facilities. One great example of these contemporary conversions is the Old Hospital site at St Johns and Westminster Green. Regency apartments can be found close to the Thames and these include the recently completed New Palace Place developments.

Average rental prices

A studio flat in the area of Westminster would on average cost you £269.25 per week, the cost of a one bedroom apartment in the region of £693 per week and a two bedroom property will be in the region of £1,007 per week.

Council Tax Banding in Westminster ranges from A – £448.50 to H – £1,345.48. For more information about council tax charges in the area please go to Band values & charges.

Who lives in Westminster

Westminster attracts many international corporate tenants, the choice of great quality luxury apartments is massive and the location and transport links are unbeatable. The largest proportion of the population is between 20- 59 years old. Therefore it is a popular area for young professionals and families seeking to live in the heart of the country's capital.

As one of the country's most prestigious postcodes and home to the Houses of Parliament, it will be of no surprise to learn that MPs reside in the area. Prince Charles was born in Westminster and more recently it was home to Tony Benn and Rachel Weisz.

What to do in Westminster

London's most famous landmarks are situated in this history rich area of Central and West London. The Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral are all located in the square mile.

Westminster is home, or at least partly home, to five of the nine Royal Parks: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, St James's Park, and Regent's Park. Each is unique and boasts a wealth of activities and entertainment including sports facilities, lakes and boating.

The London Transport Museum offers you an interesting history into London's historic if not complex grid of transport systems. The area is rich with sculpture in particular Henry Moore's Arch, having taken 16 years to restore, it has to be first on your list of places to visit. You're spoilt for choice when it comes to taking in the London skyline. With incredible views from the Golden Jubilee Bridges across the breadth of the River Thames and beyond, we recommend seeing it in its full splendour in the evenings.

Great dining can be found at the Oxford Market which provides outdoor seating areas perfect for summer days. The Stockpot on Old Compton Street is a London favourite and offers great value for money. If you are seeking a more traditional style evening then the Warrington pub in Maida Vale is just minutes away.

For incredible cocktails Galvin at Windows Bar is the place to be, situated on the 28th floor of the Park Lane Hilton it really will not disappoint.

Transport

Public transport in and out of Westminster is in abundance with nearest tube stations at Westminster and St James Park. There is an extensive number of London buses to and from the area.

Schools, Colleges and Universities

There is an extensive list of schools in the Central and West London, notably at Primary level the All Souls C of E Primary School and the Barrow Hill Junior School come with great Ofsted reports.

For secondary education the area is home to private fee paying Westminster College, The Paddington Academy and the Pimlico Academy rate highly with Ofsted.

For more information on schools, colleges and universities in the area please visit our specified section here.