Bounded by architectural gems of varying designs, Berkeley Square features the homes of some of London’s most renowned residents, both real and fictional. Large London plane trees dominate the grassy patches that make up the historic plaza. Place yourself at the centre of Mayfair’s prosperous history by sitting on one of the benches at the park’s core.
Snap photos of the impressive houses in which such historic figures as Winston Churchill, writer Horace Walpole and Rolls-Royce co-founder Charles Rolls lived. Among the highlights of the houses overlooking the park is the 18th-century Lansdowne House.
Consider the history of the structure, which contained the famous Lansdowne Club that proudly treated men and women equally since its early days. Former residents included the founder of Selfridges Department Store, a few British prime ministers and affluent U.S. entrepreneur William Waldorf Astor. Fictional Bertie Wooster of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories, lived in a mansion on the square.
The park at the square’s core was designed by landscape architect William Kent in the 1700s. In the park, study the Woman of Samaria statue by Alexander Munro. It depicts a penitent sinner from a biblical scene. Admire the floral features and stony platform marking the heart of the square.
Wander along the paths crisscrossing the leafy park and have a picnic on a summer day. With its birdsong and tall trees, the plaza provides a serene escape from the hubbub of the city centre. These trees were planted in 1789, which ranks them among the city’s oldest.
Note that the square is open to the public and free to enter at all times. It is named after Lord Berkeley of Stratton, whose house here was sold and demolished in the 18th century on the condition that the grounds be preserved.
Find Berkeley Square in the heart of the Mayfair district, a little west of central London. Ride the London Underground to Bond Street or Green Park and walk a few minutes to reach the plaza. Discover other surrounding landmarks, such as Hyde Park, Grosvenor Square and Spencer House.