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What is Mayfair?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Mayfair is a district in Central London which is famous for its high-end shopping and extremely wealthy and powerful tenants. Rents in Mayfair are among the highest in London, and the district is quite fashionable, hosting a wide assortment of shops selling everything from fine art to couture garments. Many notable public personalities do their shopping in Mayfair, from film stars to royalty. Numerous visitors to London like to take a trip to Mayfair to experience this elite district for themselves, and some do a bit of shopping as well.

The area is named for the annual May Fair which was held there until the 1700s. Initially, Mayfair was developed as a residential district, hosting some of London's wealthiest and most powerful families, and it slowly transitioned into a commercial district. The area is surrounded by parks and gardens, including Hyde Park, Holland Park, and Kensington Gardens, making it a very pleasant place to visit, especially in fair weather when the parks can be enjoyed.

A number of prominent London landmarks are also found in Mayfair, including Piccadilly Circus, Grosvenor Square, Berkeley Square, and Hyde Park Corner. Luxury shopping can be found on Bond Street, Savile Row, and Regent Street, all located in Mayfair, and the district also hosts a number of prominent corporations, especially financial firms, along with fine art galleries, museums, embassies, and luxury hotels. For a business, a Mayfair address can be a very powerful tool.

This London district has become particularly famous thanks to the landmark locations and streets found within it. Because Mayfair is also associated with wealth and privilege, objects purchased in the district carry special meaning for some people. Tourists often enjoy splurging on a stay in a Mayfair hotel to have easy access to the district's shopping and entertainment, and various events are held in Mayfair throughout the year to attract people to the area.

Mayfair is extremely easy to access, with several London Underground stations connecting to major points in Mayfair, and ample public transit options within the district. Mayfair also borders on other fashionable districts, like Soho and Knightsbridge, so once the district has been explored, there will always be more to do.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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