Knightsbridge & Belgravia
Situated at the foot of Hyde Park, Knightsbridge is home to the internationally wealthy, to fine dining and to London's most famous luxury department stores. Just South East of Knightsbridge, towards the Houses of Parliament, is Pimlico. The area enjoys beautiful views across the river to Battersea and a 20 minute walk past Westminster Cathedral to Big Ben.
Ivy's Guide to Knightsbridge & Belgravia
Knightsbridge's Rich History
Knightsbridge hasn't always been a hangout for the rich and famous. Many centuries ago, there was bridge in the area, where 'Knights' gathered. But at the time, Knights were not brave, stately warriors, but local men who worked-for-hire in various odd jobs. These are the original frequenters of what is today arguably the wealthiest borough of London.
For those who want to explore London’s less well known but still equally fascinating sights, this area is fabulous too – the Oratory church on the Cromwell Road, (founded by John Henry Newman during the Catholic emancipation of the late 18th and early 19th centuries), is a beautiful example of neo-Baroque architecture, and is a haven of peace on this busy shopping street. A bit further up towards Knightsbridge, just at the bottom of Kensington Church Street, is St Mary Abbots church, the steeple of which is the highest in London. Beatrix Potter was also a fan of the church, and married here in 1913.
Did you know that over 100 of the Queen's soldiers live at the Hyde Park Barracks? With only ¾ of a mile between the Barracks and Buckingham Palace, they're perfectly positioned to protect England's best loved monarch.
Luxury Department Stores
Harrods and Harvey Nichols still have the best window displays in London. For the happy shoppers that browse within, they also sell the biggest collections of clothes, accessories and shoes that can be found anywhere in the city. Wallets beware.
Pimlico residents are lucky enough to have Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament on their doorstep. From Pimlico, enjoy a 25 minute walk to Big Ben, past the gorgeous stucco-fronted houses of Rochester Row.
The streets of Pimlico are almost as impressive as the famous landmarks of Westminster. We love the coloured houses of St George's Square mews and the wide-set columns that flank Eccleston Square's large townhouses.
3 Royal Parks & The Serpentine
Three of London's most beautiful parks are set only metres apart in Knightsbridge. St James Park offers an exceptional view over the lake to Buckingham Palace. The geese and ducks that roam freely often waddle up to the feet of tourists in request of a crumb or two. Here are our favourite walks between the parks, and what to look at as you pass through.
The Serpentine lake stretches over 4km down Hyde Park. Halfway down is The Serpentine Gallery, just over the Serpentine Bridge - where Kensington Gardens meet Hyde Park. Enjoy the whacky contemporary art on display and go for brunch at its restaurant, The Magazine.
Just under the Serpentine Bridge is Benugo, which serves brunch and lunch right on the edge of the river. Its open picnic tables offer the most peaceful of London lunch settings.
Hawksmoor does incredible burgers in a smart setting. For hedonistic dining and a great wine and cigar bar, dine at the Boisdale, Belgravia, which has a dedicated celebrity following. Scott's of Mayfair is still the best in London for seafood.
For more casual, but just as delicious eateries, head just South East of Knightsbridge to Pimlico. Our favourite of the many Pimlico eateries are Goya, which serves yummy authentic Spanish tapas, and Tozi which specialises in Italian small-plate dining.
Even without the white tablecloths and silver ice buckets, The Enterprise is a chic and characterful London bar. It's also great for people watching the boutique-lined Walton Street.