Knightsbridge is undoubtedly one of Central London’s most affluent areas occupying an enviable part of the capital just south of Hyde Park and neighbouring Belgravia, Mayfair and Kensington. Tourists and wealthy international residents including media personalities and other high net worth individuals can be seen mingling here in high-end shops and restaurants.
If you want to live in this glamorous part of London, consider that this is a super prime residential area with grand Victorian homes and beautiful leafy garden squares that attract a fashionable crowd. Renting, say, a two-bedroom apartment will cost a minimum of £2,500 per month while mansion blocks in the most desirable streets can fetch ten times that amount. Property sales start at around £1.5 million for a two-bedroomed property but can be obtained for considerably less if the lease is short.
Exploring the delights of Knightsbridge should be on the itinerary of every visitor to the UK capital, and here are our top recommendations for must-see’s and must-do’s.
Knightsbridge’s iconic ‘corner shop’, better known as the luxury department store Harrods on Brompton Road, should need no introduction. Britain’s most famous department store and possibly the most famous store in the world, Harrods was opened in 1849 as a grocer and tea merchant business that emphasised impeccable service over value. Today, the store occupies seven floors and boasts a superb range of products ranging from pots and pans to perfumes and grand pianos.
Harrods’ younger, more fashionable cousin, Harvey Nichols, started life as a simple linen shop but is now renowned for its designer clothes, furnishing and exquisite food and wine.
That said, savvy shoppers know that there’s more to Knightsbridge than Harrods and Harvey Nicks. Also worth a visit are the lavish shops on Walton Street, luxury boutiques at Beauchamp Place and independent boutiques at Brompton Cross.
Hyde Park borders Knightsbridge to the north. Covering an area of 350 acres, it is one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks and a must-see for every visitor. There are lush lawns and colourful gardens, a lido and boating lake, riding stables and trendy cafes and restaurants for every taste. On a sunny summer’s day you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend your time than whiling away the hours in Hyde Park.
Victoria and Albert Museum, also known as the V&A, is the world’s leading museum of art and design, and only a short stroll along Brompton Road towards South Kensington. There are priceless collections of art and fashion spanning many centuries and civilisations from ancient Chinese ceramics to Alexander McQueen evening gowns and more. Don’t miss the wonderful museum shop for a true memento of London’s beating heart.
The London Oratory on Brompton Road is an Italianate Roman Catholic Church with roots dating back to the 1880s. Primarily a place of prayer, visitors are allowed in to view the oratory. What’s more, the London Oratory is internationally recognised as one of the outstanding custodians of sacred music in the Catholic tradition, with a rich programme of events and the great liturgies of Christmas, Holy Week and Easter that attract packed-out congregations.
If you’re looking for swanky cocktail bars and upscale restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice in this part of London. There are plush traditional and unashamedly contemporary bars aplenty and contemporary restaurants including Michelin-starred eateries Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Petrus from the Gordon Ramsay culinary stable.
Head to The Sake Bar & Lounge found within Zuma Restaurant for a traditional Japanese experience with a modern twist and a seemingly endless menu of unique and delicious cocktails. Buddha Bar, one of the best known bars in the whole of London, offers an opulent nightclub vibe, complete with dazzling cocktails and electrifying house music. The Library Bar offers an intimate private club atmosphere with a great selection of vintage cognacs, and The Wellington Club is worth a visit as one of the oldest member clubs in the UK but one that features a wild rock’n roll vibe with vibrant contemporary art from the likes of Damien Hirst, Chris Bracey and Jonathan Wylder.
Where to stay
If you are in town for a holiday or business trip, Knightsbridge is one of the most exclusive London neighbourhoods, and home to some of the best 5 star hotels in the UK capital including the ‘big names’ The Halkin, The Berkley and the Mandarin Oriental.
The area is perfectly located for many of London’s major sights including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, while art lovers will appreciate the Saatchi Gallery a short stroll away as well as a wealth of other commercial galleries.
For a more boutique experience, try one of the smaller stylish hotels such as The Beaufort, The Knightsbridge Hotel, No 11 Cadogan Gardens or Belgraves. You may have gathered by now that Knightsbridge is not a budget destination, and affordable accommodation is hard to find in this part of London.