With some of the world’s most iconic shops, museums packed with treasures and restaurants to die for, Knightsbridge has all the ingredients for a luxurious London day out. Whether you’re a tourist with a tick list or a Londoner revisiting old haunts, read on for five must-see places in this stunning and lively part of town…
1 Connect with nature in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of London’s largest Royal Parks. With its vast expanse of green space, it’s the perfect venue for major music events, but there are quiet spots to enjoy peace and seclusion too.
Hyde Park’s lake, the Serpentine, is London’s oldest boating lake and home to various species of birdlife. You can take a dip in the Serpentine Lido, which is open from May to September. Or hire one of Hyde Park’s fleet of rowing and pedal boats, available from 10am to sundown, April till October. Alternatively, take a trip in the UK’s first Solarshuttle. This amazing vessel carries up to 40 passengers across the lake, silently and powered entirely by the rays of the sun.
2 Shop till you drop in Harrods
Possibly the world’s most famous department store, Harrods is a byword for luxury. Established in 1834 as a grocery and tea merchant, the store’s enduring appeal never wanes. In this distinctive Knightsbridge building, with its trademark dark green awnings, you’ll find seven floors of fashion collections, desirable brands, sumptuous food and exclusive accessories.
You could spend all day in Harrods. But if you’re pushed for time, the legendary food halls are a must. Be sure to visit the fresh market halls, which showcase the best seasonal produce, including fruit and veg, sustainably-sourced fish and shellfish and artisan cheese and charcuterie.
For the ultimate shopping binge, you needn’t stop at Harrods. Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge’s other premier emporium, is less than five minutes’ walk away. For well over a century Harvey Nics has served London’s fashionistas, from its site on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. Pay a visit for eight floors of women’s and menswear, accessories, food, wine and homewares, plus a fabulous selection of bars and restaurants.
3 Explore the wonders of the V&A
The V&A describes itself as the world’s leading museum of art and design, and it certainly lives up to the hype. From rare ancient artefacts to cutting-edge fashion, you’ll find it all among the museum’s permanent collection of more than two million objects, spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. It would be impossible to cover it all in a day, so concentrate on one or two galleries. Choose from rooms of jewellery, textiles, furniture, glass, ceramics or fashion.
Entry to the collection is free, or book ahead for the museum’s blockbuster temporary exhibitions – coming up in 2019 are shows on iconic fashion designers Mary Quant and Christian Dior.
If art and design isn’t your thing, you’ll find the treasures of the Natural History Museum close-by. As is the Science Museum – the home of human ingenuity, iconic objects and amazing discovery.
Or pop into the Andipa Gallery on Walton Street, which has been dealing in fine art since 1969, selling works by Matisse, Picasso and Andy Warhol as well as old masters and Byzantine art and iconography.
4 Eat like a king at Dinner by Heston
Knightsbridge is home to one of the capital’s most famous restaurants, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Hyde Park. Taking as its inspiration everything from the Tudor court to Alice in Wonderland, the restaurant has been offering a unique dining experience for more than 20 years. Dishes on the menu include an earl grey tea-cured salmon starter and mains of spiced pigeon or roast Iberico pork chop, all with their origins in historic gastronomy.
The restaurant boasts two Michelin stars, and numerous other awards. It’s stunning interior features floor-to-ceiling glass walls, giving diners a view of the kitchen, as well as uninterrupted views of Hyde Park.
5 Take in views across London from the Wellington Arch
Featuring the largest bronze sculpture in Europe, the Wellington Arch is situated just opposite the Duke of Wellington’s former residence at Apsley House (with some of the finest Regency interiors around).
The arch was originally built as the entrance to Buckingham Palace, before being sited on Hyde Park Corner to celebrate Britain’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars. Inside you’ll find an exhibition on the arch’s history (on the first floor) as well as further displays about the Battle of Waterloo on the third and fourth floors. Climb to the balcony for amazing views of Hyde Park, and beyond to the Houses of Parliament. If you time it well, you might even see the soldiers of the Household Cavalry on their way to the Changing of the Guard.
Our Knightsbridge top five is just a taste of the places to visit in this special part of London. If you would like to know more about living or investing in and around Knightsbridge, please contact us.