Queensway (formerly Queen's Road) is a bustling cosmopolitan district in the Bayswater area of west London. It contains many restaurants (particularly Chinese, Arab and Mediterranean ones), pubs, letting agents, and high street stores. Queensway and Westbourne Grove are identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.
This part of Bayswater was first developed as a residential suburb of London in the early nineteenth century. However, the road at its southern end (Bayswater Road) was a long established road across the countryside before this, and a road roughly following the present Queensway can be seen on early maps running north from Bayswater Road across fields under the name of Black Lion Lane. It was subsequently renamed Queen's Road in honour of Queen Victoria, who had been born at nearby Kensington Palace. This was a name somewhat lacking in distinctiveness, and for this reason the present name of Queensway was eventually substituted.
Near the northern end of the street is the multi-storey Whiteleys Shopping Centre, on the site of London's first department store, opened by William Whiteley in 1867. The store was awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1896. The facade of the current building is from 1911, but the building itself was demolished and rebuilt in 1989.
In recent years, Queensway has become a centre for the entertainment and leisure industry in London. London's biggest ice rink, the Queens Ice & Bowl in Queensway was recently renovated after investment and development by Robert Bourne (developer) and Bourne Capital. This has led the way for further developments in the area's entertainment and leisure industry. Queensway's retail industry is also booming with the famous Queensway Market showing significant growth in recent years.
It is reported that a wealthy Brunei family, in conjunction with Meyer Bergman and others, has acquired a large part of the Queensway district, which is bordered by the more prestigious Notting Hill and Kensington areas, in order to redevelop it. The purchases include the Queensway Estate, location of the ice skating rink and Queensway Market, and the Whiteleys shopping centre which was purchased from Standard Life Investments.
- Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority.
- Brunei family’s secret £500m swoop on Queensway by Suzie Neuwirth, City A.M., 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. Archived here.
- Whiteleys’ new owners reveal £1bn masterplan for Queensway by Mira Bar-Hillel & Jonathan Prynn, London Evening Standard, 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. Archived here.