Chelsea and Kensington

Recently made famous on British reality TV for being home to the super-spoilt, Chelsea is a hotbed of glamour and opulence.  If you’re looking for society London, you’ll find it here.  Or if you just want to admire beauty and the high life from the sidelines, you’ll be spoilt for choice.  Most commonly grouped with neighbouring (and equally glam) Kensington, read on for your guide about what to see and do in Chelsea.

Photo by Rupert Ganzer
Photo by Rupert Ganzer

Natural History Museum

This huge museum is a must-visit for any tourist in London.  It’s free to enter and houses some of Britain’s most famous natural artefacts.  A wise choice would be to visit during the holidays or later on in the day to avoid the troupes of schoolboys and girls traipsing through and making rather more noise than you would like in a museum!  The dinosaur collection is the jewel in this museum’s crown, and the mammal exhibit houses a fascinating Blue Whale.  The temporary exhibits change on a fairly regular basis so there’s always something new to see.

While we’re on the subject of museums, Chelsea is stacked with some of the best London has to offer: the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Army Museum are all more than worth a visit.

The Royal Albert Hall

If you time your visit right, you might be able to catch your favourite band or play at the fabulous Royal Albert Hall.  If you don’t fancy a concert, the building alone is reason enough to visit.  Originally built on behalf of Prince Albert, the idea behind the building was to promote arts and sciences in the area.  The grade I listed building is lit up when night falls and is topped by the most incredible glass and wrought iron dome.  From the outside, it’s a spectacular building and the inside doesn’t disappoint either.

Harrods

A visit to London isn’t complete without a visit to Harrods.  London’s most famous shopping destination, both the interior and exterior of this magnificent building are a sight to behold.  Located in Brompton Road, the store is home to 330 departments in total including women’s clothing, men’s clothing, electronics, sporting equipment, jewellery and housewares amongst many, many others.  There are plenty of cafes dotted throughout the department store, so if your budget can’t quite stretch to some of the rather pricey wares, you can surely spare a couple of pounds for a cup of tea and some great people watching.

Blue Plaques

This tip extends to the entire area.  As you make your way through Chelsea and Kensington (and the rest of the city for that matter), you won’t fail to notice them.  They are affixed to buildings where people of note lived or worked and were founded back in 1866.  Amongst many others, Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, Sir Norman Lockyer and Hattie Jacques have been remembered.

There is a website (plaqueguide.com) to guide you through the various plaques that can be found in the area, as well as all over the country.

 

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