Marble Arch; typically regarded as one of London’s focal points, representing everything from a great historic monument, right through to an ideal meeting place for avid shoppers, tourists and families visiting the city. Surrounded by a great many luxurious and iconic destinations, including a selection of the finest Marble Arch hotels and eateries, the monument is a destination with great historical significance – but it hasn’t always been where it is today.
It wasn’t until 1850 that Marble Arch was moved to its current location, having formerly provided the gateway to Buckingham Palace. However, when the enlarged Palace building began to overshadow the previously grand archway, the decision was made to move the Arch to Cumberland Gate where it now marks the top of Oxford Street and entrance to Hyde Park, and is only accessible during processional celebrations.
Today, it is a destination with great status – a view only heightened by the rumour that only the Royal Family, King’s Troop or members of the Royal Horse Artillery are permitted to pass through it!
The Arch today
Today, Marble Arch is one of those statement landmarks that people mostly walk by without giving second thought to. Emerging from the flurry of luxury hotel rooms in London and famous restaurants that surround the area, the 14m high structure stands tall and welcomes people to the high end area of Mayfair that sits to the South of the arch.
Speakers Corner is another famous destination that shares an address with Marble Arch, situated just metres away from the monument. In historical and more recent years, Speakers Corner has been used to protest and mark many political and social movements, with an ever-changing body of speakers and campaigners.
Then of course, we come to Oxford Street, which lies just to the East of Marble Arch and begins at the crossroads on which the Arch sits. Home to a number of iconic stores such as Selfridges, which boasts almost as much history as the Arch itself, Oxford Street is one of London’s most popular attractions and as such is always busy. You have been warned!
Worth a visit?
If you’re visiting London for a weekend or a longer trip, chances are you will find yourself on Oxford Street or in Hyde Park at least once. And when you do, Marble Arch is definitely worth a visit. It may not be surrounded by the finery of areas like Buckingham Palace, but its history and status as a regal landmark make the Arch both a worthy destination and an impressive site. Our recommendation is to stroll through Hyde Park and take in the sites dotted around the green space, including the famous Speakers Corner, the Serpentine which sits in the middle of the Park, and Marble Arch which marks the top of the park.
And if the rest of your group aren’t keen, the area of Marble Arch is just minutes away from a range of other attractions, including Buckingham Palace itself, the River Thames and the literary-famed Baker Street.