08 January 2010
Behind the facade in Leinster Gardens
Most cycle facilities are just a facade, but there's a quirky couple of posh terrace houses just north of Hyde Park that are a facade too.
As you ride up Leinster Gardens, off Bayswater Road, there seems nothing untoward about the line of splendid terrace houses on the left.
But Nos 23 and 24 don't exist, despite being decorated with proper window and door frames and balconies. The windows are only painted on (right), because there's nothing behind.
The 'houses' sit over an Underground railway. If you nip round the back, via the bike cut-through to Porchester Gardens, you can see the back of the facade, the supporting metal joists, and the rail line (right).
They are next door to the Henry VIII hotel (which claims on one of its doors to be No 23, and which gets some entertainingly mixed reviews on TripAdvisor).
This is all pleasant territory to nose around by bike. Hyde Park is just over Bayswater Road to the south, and there are lots of little mews and well-to-do streets to explore. Leinster Gardens also has a few shops.