Knightsbridge and Kensington

Knightsbridge is a section of London that caters to those who have it all. The stores are luxurious, the homes extravagant and walking through this area is a treat, especially when you add in a visit to the amazing Harrods store. Kensington is similar to Knightsbridge with the addition of a palace and numerous museums. On exhibition Road, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum are located in close proximity to each other.

Harrods

South Kensington Station

Harrods, London

Harrods, which has a reputation as the supplier to the “upper crust”, is a London institution that draws thousands of tourists to Knightsbridge and Brompton Road.

This icon of retailing is a large store that consists of seven levels appointed with luxury goods. It offers over one million square feet of selling space, but is known for its high quality goods and excellent service. Of course, most of us will never know the excellent service since we will probably not be purchasing items such as a £1,000,000 pair of diamond encrusted shoes or a £250,000 Madame Tassaud’s waxwork of …….yourself!

Harrod’s is a fun place to visit. If you are interested, head for the home furnishing areas and compare what you find there with the contents of your local mall.

Be sure to see the magnificent “Food Halls” – shopping was never like this at home. You will wander the Charcuterie, Fromagerie & Traiteur, Chocolates, Confectionary and a Meat, Fish and Poultry areas that will astound you with the available selection.

At last count, Harrods had 11 restaurants and a total of 30 eateries of one kind or another. Have a snack or a meal at Harrods; it is likely that you will not regret it.

Most visitors find a way to depart Harrods with one of their green shopping bags filled some goodies. Maybe these are goodies to die for, but many just want one of those trendy bags to show the folks at home.

Shopping at Harrods, England

Click here for access to the website of the Harrods’ Knightsbridge Store.

There are a number of  stores selling luxury goods in the Knightsbridge/South Kensington areas and you might want to walk down Brompton Road to Beauchamp Place. A short lane filled with exquisite shops and several good restaurants, Beauchamp Place was the shopping area favored by Princess Diana.  See this site for more information on Beauchamp Place.

  • An alternate route to Beauchamp Place is to exit on the Basil street side of Harrods and continue west down  Walton Street, exploring its interesting neighborhood until you reach Beauchamp Place – turn right.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

 South Kensington Station   

Victoria and Albert Museum - Silver Gallery
Victoria and Albert Museum – Photo credit: nick.garrod

Advertised as the world’s largest museum for the decorative arts, the V & A is considered one of the world’s treasure houses for this type of collection.

The Victoria and Albert has more than a hundred galleries housing a collection of over four million objects representing three thousand years of the best in decorative arts. It includes National Collections of sculpture, furniture, fashion and photographs. In addition, there are extensive sub-sections featuring architecture, ceramics, textiles, prints and sculptures.

Click here to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum’s web site.

The Natural History Museum

South Kensington Station

One of the finest European natural history museums, it includes Life Galleries (featuring dinosaurs, insects, ecology, human biology, mammals, primates and minerals), The Earth Galleries, the Darwin Center, the Wildlife Garden and changing special exhibitions.

Tours are provided and you can inquire about them at the Information Desk. If you like natural history, this is a great place for an in-depth visit.

For more information on visiting, see the Natural History Museum’s website .

The Science Museum

South Kensington Station

Dating back at least 600 years, the Leadenhall market was once a granary with a chapel. Rebuilt in the 19th century with wrought iron and glass, Leadenhall Market was restored again in 1991 and is a charming venue.

The market has a mixture of shops and eateries and is a pleasant place to spend an hour.  The market operates daily from Monday through Friday.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace has been serving as a royal palace since the late 17th century. Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace, as was Queen Mary, the present Queen’s grandmother.

In the past few years, this residence of the “Royals” has grown in popularity due its having been one of Diana, Princess of Wales “official” residences. In 2011 it was reported that a small apartment in the Palace would become the temporary home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (HRH Prince William and Kate).

The Kensington Palace tours are undergoing quite a change as they are being re-designed for the 21st century in the form  that includes fashion, performance and music. See the official website at Historic Royal Palaces for details of this interesting transition in style.

You might want to wander east to Kensington Gardens, a lovely formal Garden between the Palace and Hyde Park.