Winter sun and the delicious flavours of North Africa make the perfect short-haul break from London. Escape from West London to Marrakesh…

London is home to flavours, cultures and people from across the world. Walking down just a couple of streets you can find French bakeries, Spanish tapas, Middle Eastern tagines and Mediterranean salads.

As November approaches, and with it, London’s often colder and wetter weather, taking a short break from the city for some sunny skies, delicious cuisine and vibrant change of culture is perfect for recharging your batteries. 

North African cooking has become an unexpected staple on the London food scene, especially in West London neighbourhoods such as Kensington, Earl’s Court and Paddington, which have some of the best Moroccan restaurants in the city.

Take a stroll down Edgware Road and you’ll discover hundreds of locally owned eateries serving up slow-baked tagines, freshly baked flatbreads and mezze platters which will instantly tempt you into visiting their country of origin. Morocco may seem tantalisingly exotic, but in just a few short hours you could be relaxing by a pool in a traditional riad, sipping on a fresh mint tea and watching the sun go down. 

Prepare to experience starry desert skies, beautiful minarets and colourful markets with the #NestorDestinationGuide, to find out how you can get to Morocco’s most vibrant city from West London.

How to get to Marrakesh from West London

The simplest way to reach Marrakesh from West London is from London Victoria, from where you can board the Gatwick Express. If you’re staying in Earl’s Court, you can also get the Piccadilly Line directly to Heathrow Airport. 

Gatwick and Heathrow operate direct routes to Marrakesh and other Moroccan cities, with flights to Marrakesh taking as little as 3.5 hours. 

Travelling from a West London property

Before you go, don’t forget to make sure you have everything you need for your holidays – and we don’t just mean your sunscreen. 

Morocco currently is not imposing any Covid travel restrictions, however, it is always worth double-checking before you travel and ensuring you have a mask and hand sanitiser handy for your journey. 

Take the stress out of getting to the airport by booking one of Nestor’s airport transfers, which will drop your off in good time for your flight. Alternatively, all of our properties are within walking distance from tube stations which quickly connect to national rail and airport services. 

Although we always search for a perfect midday flight time, departures can end up being in the early morning, leaving you with no time to relax and have a bite to eat before you fly. Luckily, all of our properties have handy QR codes ,which allow you to order breakfast quickly before you go. Or, you can simply fill in this form to book.

nestor experience

If you’re travelling from London, booking a stay with Nestor will ensure both your time in London and your holiday transfers will be as comfortable and smooth as possible.

To take advantage of our best rates, book directly on our site

The Knaresborough, Kensington - London
The Knaresborough

What to do in Marrakesh

Get lost in the souks

The souks of Marrakesh are the heart and soul of the city; a maze of colours, smells, flavours and faces. The souks begin just off the main square and you won’t need a map – getting lost here is all part of the adventure. Round each corner, you’ll find something new, whether a brightly coloured shop selling hand-woven rugs, a tiny hole-in-the-wall covered in hundreds of sparkling lamps or a room exploding with large bags of fragrant spices. Souk Semmarine is the main souk in the city, and while tourists are prevalent, haggling is expected. This is the ideal way to get acquainted with the local culture and pick up some beautiful Moroccan souvenirs. 

Don’t forget to visit Souk Place des Epices, which is the souk selling spices, as you may be able to pick up unusual condiments unavailable back home such as saffron, also known as ‘red gold’ as it is one of the most valuable spices in the world. 

Explore the Sahara Desert

Although it is not strictly speaking within the city, visiting the Sahara is a day trip not to miss out on when you’re visiting Marrakesh. Most tours are over a day or two, depending on how you decide to travel. The easiest way is by jeep, allowing you to quickly explore the sand dunes and natural wonders with a guide. For an authentic experience, a camel ride over the classic high dunes will be an experience to remember. 

Most tours include stops or an overnight stay at a desert camp, where you will witness a night sky filled with stars and enjoy a tagine cooked in the traditional way under the sand. Sit around an open campfire with the people who live here and learn about the incredible history, culture and way of life in the wilds of Morocco, before heading back to the comfort of your riad. 

Take a cooking class

No trip to Marrakesh would be complete without learning how to cook delicious local cuisine for yourself. If you’re already excited about the food, consider starting with a food tour of the city, to sample some of the dishes you’ll be learning to cook. Moroccan cuisine is a delicate blend of Middle Eastern, French, Spanish and African flavours. Spices are essential ingredients in their cooking, which you can pick up on your journey. 

You will almost certainly learn to make a tagine, which is lamb, beef or chicken slow cooked in a traditional earthenware pot, mixed with fruit, nuts, spices and vegetables. Other dishes include couscous topped with rich stew, and pastilla, a flaky pie made with meat, almonds and raisins. Don’t forget to finish off with some sweet treats such as sfenj, a deep-fried doughnut, and chebakia, a fried pretzel covered in honey syrup. 

We hope our guide has inspired you to start packing your bags, ready for your next desert adventure. With pandemic restrictions quickly becoming somewhat of a distant memory and colder temperatures beginning to creep in, now is the perfect time for an exciting city break.