Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Royal Hospital Chelsea, located in one of the most exclusive residential areas of London, was founded by King Charles II in 1682 and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Tours of this architectural gem are conducted by the iconic Chelsea Pensioners themselves with their scarlet coats and tricorne hats. Positioned on the River Thames with Knightsbridge and Kensington on the doorstep, hotels near the Royal Hospital Chelsea are a must if you want to be close to all the action. With great shopping, trendy restaurants and the lively nightlife of the Kings Road, this area is the perfect base from which to explore the city.
Cultural highlights nearby
The world famous Natural History Museum exhibits a huge array of specimens depicting our planets history throughout the ages. Whether your interest lies in botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology or zoology, you will find it in this labyrinth of learning. There are two other major museums located within South Kensington, The Science Museum, which records the development of science and industry through the ages and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Specialising in decorative arts and design, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, spanning 5000 years of art history up to the present day.
For music lovers, South Kensington contains another iconic landmark, one of the most distinctive concert venues in the country, the Royal Albert Hall. Since it opened its doors in 1871, it has attracted huge names within the music industry, from the classical, pop, ballet and opera genres. It’s best known for the Proms, which have been held here every summer since 1941.
Where to shop
For great shopping, from china wear to fashion, visit Peter Jones, the prestigious department store found on Sloan Square with its six tiers and curved glass balconies. For book lovers, the Taschen in Knightsbridge is great for a browse. Lose track of time in this speciality bookshop with its glossy works depicting art, architecture, film and fashion. If you seek anything from fine wine to an exclusive handbag, then Harrods is likely to have the answer. Specialising in quality, luxury goods, it is one of the most celebrated department stores in the world and can be found on the Brompton Road in Knightsbridge.
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