Pimlico Car Hire
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Located on the northern edge of the Thames and bounded to the north by Victoria Station, leafy Pimlico is a central London area in the City of Westminster characterised by elegant Regency architecture and gorgeous garden squares. Originally constructed as an extension to Belgravia, the suave symmetry of its residential street grid was the brainchild of planner Thomas Cubitt and dates back to 1825. An oft-overlooked area in the heart of London, you’re a stone’s throw from Westminster Abbey and the Tate Britain art museum here and you’ll also be charmed by kitsch cafes, cool independent shops and market stall bargains.
A great place to cruise around and a brilliant base for exploring the rest of the city and southeast England, contactless car hire in Pimlico from Easirent lets you book online through Enjoy Travel and conveniently collect your car keys from a secure smart box. Hiring a mini-sized car in Pimlico like a Toyota Aygo is a snip at just £9.05 a day if you book off-season, an economy-sized Ford Fiesta is £9.81 per day and a Kia Optima saloon ̶ a roomier ride for road trips ̶ is £21.12 per day. Rent a car online in London Pimlico from Enjoy Travel and discover this underrated and captivating part of the British capital.
In partnership with Easirent, Enjoy is the first car hire comparison website in the UK to offer Covid friendly car hire using a contactless collection system
Overview of Pilmico
Thomas Cubitt’s original, visionary project is now protected as the Pimlico Conservation Area but more recent additions to the real estate here include the Lillington and Longmoore Gardens estates, Churchill Gardens and Dolphin Square. This is a haven for awesome architecture, boasting hundreds of Grade II listed buildings and a clutch of Grade II listed churches. There’s a longstanding debate over the roots of the area’s name, with the traditional theory being that it comes from Ben Pimlico, a publican famous for brewing a popular brown ale. However, novelist H.G. Wells proposes a rather more romantic etymology in his book The Dream ̶ that it was imported by trade ships from America and is a corruption of ‘Pamlico’, the lost language of the indigenous Algonquin Indians.
Linguistic debates aside, Pimlico has hosted many famous residents over the years, including wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, famous for embodying the British bulldog spirit worldwide, renowned actor and director Laurence Olivier, revered fashion designer Laura Ashley, and record-breaking aviator Sheila Scott, who flew solo around the world several times.
Pimlico is perfectly placed for exploring many of London’s most iconic tourist sites, but it’s also a joy to simply stroll around and admire the sublime stucco-fronted residences that line St George’s Drive and Belgrave Road, as well as the lovely garden squares at St George’s, Warwick and Eccleston. .
What to see in Pimlico
There’s so much to see and do in Pimlico that you could stay here for a month and not get around all the sites ̶ this is a gateway to central London, with all its glamour and grandeur. However there are lots of quirky attractions in the area itself, for instance if you’re a yoga practitioner you’ll want to see the blue plaque for Swami Vivekananda at 63 St. George’s Drive, where this transcendental trailblazer lived in 1896, and the Pimlico Toy Library is an amazing innovative space with over 1900 toys and expert toy librarians to advise parents on the best toys for kids creativity and development. Meanwhile, the commercial hub of Orange sits on the extreme west of Pimlico and there are some super square gardens here if you fancy some bird-watching or tree-bathing, a weekly farmer’s market selling fresh local fare and a Mozart statue (he lived close by on Ebury Street).
Historic and religious architecture
Fans of religious architecture (and spiritual sites) definitely shouldn’t miss St Gabriel’s Church, which is a fine example of the Gothic Revival style designed by Thomas Cundy. Visitors are welcome but it’s best to check beforehand in case a special event is taking place.
Last but not least, if you’ve got a bit of a thespian streak, you’ll enjoy the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd at the Victoria Apollo Theatre, which originally opened as a cinema in the 1930s and was repurposed into a unique performance space in the 1970s. Here you can see the latest concerts and blockbuster musicals like Wicked.
Eating out in Pimlico
Whether you’re a genuine gourmet or simply want to stuff your face with tasty street food, Pimlico is definitely a taste sensation for any type of foodie and its gastronomical offering has improved in recent years, with everything from cool cafes to bijou bistros in the mix.
The Cambridge Street Kitchen is a brilliant place for brunch during the daytime, with its airy vibe and décor that’s somewhere between Scandi-cool and industrial-chic, while the menu puts flavourful new twists on traditional British dishes and focuses on fresh local ingredients. There’s also more to this venue than meets the eye, because in the evening there’s a swish cocktail bar opens downstairs where you can sample some exotic creations from the resident mixologist.
O’Sole Mio is your first choice if you fancy an intimate Italian that’s small but perfectly formed. Tucked into a corner near Warwick Square, you’ll find authentic pasta and pizza dishes here, a cosy atmosphere and staff who bend over backwards to make you feel welcome ̶ wonderful!
Pimlico Fresh is an uber-popular café/restaurant that’s a local hotspot for anyone who wants a hearty breakfast or brunch in a buzzing, open-plan environment where the décor is simple yet stylish and comfy ̶ think long wooden benches and blackboards where the menu is chalked up daily. The chefs here also specialise in filling and healthy soups, home-made curries, artisan pies and warming stews. If you want value for money and a vibrant ambience, you’ll love it.
The Vincent Rooms is a modern European restaurant specialising in French haute cuisine and the terrific twist in the tail with this elegant emporium is that it’s run by cooking and hospitality students from Westminster Kingsway College, which means that you’re dining on delicious dishes from the celeb chefs.
Transport in Pimlico
London City Airport (LCY) is the nearest to Pimlico, at 8.3 miles away. Meanwhile, London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), and London Luton (LTN) are 13.6 miles, 23.1 miles and 29 miles away respectively. If it’s more convenient for you to collect your hire car from any of these airports, this is easy to arrange with Enjoy Travel ̶ we work with a range of reliable car hire partners at LCY and all other London air hubs, so you can confidently book online in a few clicks and hop in your ride on arrival.
Pimlico public transport
In terms of public transport, London Victoria Station is the main hub here and it’s a major central London railway terminus that connects to the rest of the southeast as well as Gatwick Airport. There’s also an underground station here on the same line as Pimlico underground, which is a couple of stops away on the Circle and District Line. Victoria Coach Station is also nearby and here you can find services that take you all across the rest of the UK, with routes running right up to Scotland, for example.
Driving and parking
Always drive on the left-hand side of the road in Pimlico, as you would in the rest of London and all across the UK.
There are several car parks in Pimlico ̶ the Q-Park at Cumberland Street is a secure 24 hour parking facility which is close to Victoria station and there’s an NCP car park at 5 Wilton Road. There’s also another car park in Victoria station itself and several others in the area.
If you fancy rolling out of London for a road trip, there are several lovely locations in striking distance. For instance, Marlow is around 35 miles away and it has some lovely Tudor-style buildings, the Grade-I listed Marlow Bridge, scenic spots along the Thames Path and a historical High Street where you’ll find the house where Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein and a building where poet TS Eliot lived during the First World War.
Alternatively, if you’re prepared to hit the road for a couple of hours, Stonehenge is around 90 miles away and it’s a relatively simple drive down the M3. This mysterious site is one of the wonders of the ancient world and it’s a whopping 5000 years old. Pop into the Stonehenge Inn and fuel up on great British pub grub before your return trip (but lay off the pints unless you have a designated driver!).
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