For anyone who loves shopping, London offers a huge array of choices, from local markets to streets full of luxury brands. If you’re looking for the latter, then a trip to Knightsbridge is an ideal choice.
This exclusive neighbourhood in West London is one of the two international retail centres in the capital. It’s home to a number of department stores, flagship stores and luxury retailers, and promises a fun – and possibly expensive – day out for anyone wanting to go on a bit of a shopping spree.
If you’re planning some retail therapy in Knightsbridge, one option is to head to one of the two famous department stores:
Probably Britain’s most famous department store, and possibly one of the most famous in the world, Harrod’s is often on the must-see list of tourists visiting the capital for the first time. This massive shop has 300 departments covering a million square feet of retail space and is the largest department store in Europe. Its motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which means “all things for all people, everywhere” in Latin. With such a diverse range of items on sale – from toys and electronics to clothing, food and home furnishings – it’s hard to think of anything that you can’t buy in Harrod’s. The food hall and Christmas shops are some of the most popular for tourists, and be sure to check out the Egyptian Escalator. This might be the most glamorous escalator in London, and it’s also the location of a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed.
Founded in 1831 on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, Harvey Nichols is a British department store chain. This is the chain’s flagship store and it still maintains some of its original features on the outside. Inside, you’ll find a variety of stylish clothing and furnishing, as well as food. There’s also a choice of bars and restaurants, including the Fifth Floor Cafe, which boasts a fantastic view and delicious fare.
A number of luxury brands have also established shops in Knightsbridge, for example:
1. Clothing and accessories: Burberry, Armani, Gucci, Versace.
2. Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo.
3. Cars: McLaren.
If you want even more luxury shopping, the area around Sloane Square – where the neighbourhoods of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea come together – is home to several more high-end shops and world-famous brands.
A privately owned British auction house is also located in Knightsbridge. Established in 1793 by antique print dealer Thomas Dodd and book specialist Walter Bonham, this is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine arts and antiques. The firm handles a broad range of items, including jewellery, porcelain, furniture, armour, art and wine.
Today, the firm has offices around the world, in Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Sydney to name just a few locations. Notable sales have included:
Madonna, by Edvard Munch, sold for £1.25 million in 2010.
A previously unknown oil painting by Velazquez sold for more than £9 million in 2011.
The car that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to win his second Formula 1 world title was sold for more than £19.6 million in 2013.
How to Get There
Knightsbridge is located in West London, just south of Hyde Park. There are plenty of ways to get to the area, but the most popular is probably the London Underground. Knightsbridge station is on the Piccadilly line. Other nearby Tube stations include Hyde Park Corner (also on the Piccadilly line) and Sloane Square (on the Circle and District Lines.
Travelling by bus is another option and there are plenty of routes that serve the region, including the 9, 10, 52, 452 and N9. The closest mainline rail station is Victoria.
If you’re planning to drive to Knightsbridge, please be aware that the area is borders the London Congestion Zone, and it is easy to accidentally end up within the charge zone. Be sure to keep an eye out for the signs and, if necessary, arrange to pay the fee. There are a number of car parks around Knightsbridge, including the ones on Kinnerton Street and Pavillion Road.
Where to Stay
If you’re visiting London and looking for a hotel near Knightsbridge, then be sure to book a room at the Park Grand London Kensington Hotel. This boutique accommodation is ideal for people travelling on business, as well as families and couples on city breaks, and it offers a combination of comfort, convenience and friendly service.
In addition to the Park Grand London Kensington’s stylish decor and friendly staff, the hotel is also just a two-minute walk from Earl’s Court Tube station, making it easy to get to other parts of London. In fact, Knightsbridge is just three stops away on the Piccadilly Line. If you want to try another method of transport, Knightsbridge is only about 1.5 miles away from the hotel.