1. Victoria & Albert Museum
Human creativity is celebrated at the Victoria & Albert museum, more commonly referred to as the V&A. There are around 2.3 million artefacts housed within the museum, providing visitors with a fascinating journey through 5,000 years of human design and art.
The museum collections cover paintings, fashion, photography, furniture, jewellery, manuscripts and so much more. Must see treasures for any visitor include the Cast Courts, Tippoo’s Tiger, Raphael's’ cartoons, oil sketches by John Constable and the stunning iron screen from Hereford cathedral. Since opening in 1852 the collections held across its many galleries has continued to grow. Today, visitors have over seven miles of inspiring galleries to explore. The entrance is located on Exhibition Road and the public still enjoy free admission to this wonderful museum.
The V&A has a main cafe and a garden cafe offering a selection of hot and cold food, while there are three shops on site that are accessible during museum opening hours, purchases from which go toward the V&A charity.
2. Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch is a grade I listed triumphal arch located at Hyde Park Corner. This imposing structure was initially part of the plans for the remodelling of Buckingham Palace.
However, the arch would eventually commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon.
The arch is hollow within, and until 1992 housed a small police station. In 1999 it was taken over by English Heritage which now allows visitors entrance to the inside areas. This means visitors have the chance to enjoy the incredible views across London from the Wellington Arch balconies.
Wellington Arch has undergone changes since first erected. One of the main changes was the replacement of the original statue of the Duke of Wellington on top of the arch. This was replaced in 1912 by the large bronze statue of the Angel of Peace and a four horse chariot you can see today.
The interior of the arch also hosts exhibitions, including those detailing its history. Adult concession prices start from £.5.90, with cheaper admission fees for children. There are family admission tickets available which include two adults and three children.
3. London Oratory Choir
Listening to the choir at the London Oratory is a treat that visitors to Knightsbridge do not want to miss. The oratory’s actual title is the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and it is the second largest Catholic church in London.
The church was built between 1880 and 1884 and is located on the Brompton Road. It is also referred to as the Brompton Oratory. Visitors can arrange a tour of this lovely church using an online form on the church’s website.
However, many people visit the church to attend mass and listen to the internationally renowned Oratory choir. The choir sings at all the church's main Latin liturgies and is an incredibly beautiful sound to behold.
The choir has recorded music and regularly features in music productions. They have often formed the choir for performances staged by the Royal Ballet. The church website provides a list of the music at the oratory for the forthcoming month.
4. Hyde Park
Hyde Park borders the north side of Knightsbridge and offers hundreds of acres of varied landscape in which to relax. Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks and contains lots of things to see and do within its grounds.
Whether you want to stroll, sunbathe, picnic or go for a swim, Hyde Park is a great place to escape the urban environment.
There are a number of memorials, statues and fountains to admire as you wander around Hyde Park. These include the Princess Diana memorial fountain, the 7th July memorial and the Boy and Dolphin fountain in the Rose garden. Head to the famous Speaker’s Corner to witness the debates and speeches of the day.
Hyde Park is a haven for nature lovers. The different landscapes within the park offer a wonderful habitat in the centre of London, attracting a diverse range of wildlife. It is also an ideal place to cool off with a swim in the Serpentine Lido or to take a boat out on to the Serpentine lake. Hyde Park is easily accessible, with entry points from Knightsbridge along South Carriage drive.
Knightsbridge is renowned worldwide for its shopping. Many of the globe’s most prestigious brands have stores located in the district.
Harrods is probably the most well known luxury department store in the world, whose lavish interiors are worth a visit in their own right. You can find Harrods on Brompton Road. The varied departments are set across eight opulent floors and include fashion, home and furniture, jewellery, toys and the famous food hall, where you can pick up your Harrods hamper. The store is packed with international brands and designers, affirming its reputation for quality.
The flagship Harvey Nicholls store is also located in Knightsbridge. The store first opened in 1831, providing London residents and visitors access to all the leading designer brands. Exclusive and niche designer brands are sold alongside everyday accessible labels and collections. Brands include Gucci, Chanel, Stella McCartney and Givenchy. As well as cutting edge fashion, the store also sells lifestyle, beauty, home and food items.
Sloane Street epitomises the quality of shopping Knightsbridge offers its visitors. Iconic luxury brands line the street, attracting customers from across the world. You will find brands such as Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Prada, Versace, Saint Laurent and Valentino among the many luxury brands located on Sloane Street.
While Knightsbridge may be famed for its high-end luxury stores there are other hidden gems to be found in the area. Walton Street is an example where you can find independent boutiques, stores, delicatessens and florists away from the more famous names. This colourful street offers shoppers further variety and choice of store away from the hustle and bustle of its more celebrated neighbours.
6. Natural History Museum
The striking Romanesque-style building housing the Natural History museum borders Knightsbridge on the Cromwell Road. This museum is a family favourite from the moment you walk in, with their dinosaur gallery a particular treat.
Take a trip back in time as you get up close to these prehistoric giants, including part of the first Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be found.
The museum holds 80 million items in its collection. It forms an important scientific treasure trove to help better understand the natural world, past, present and future. Visitors to the museum can see a huge part of this collection, held across different coloured zones.
As well as exploring their collection of mammals, birds, insects and more, the museum has further fascinating sections including the volcano and earthquake zone. Here films, exhibits and interactive games demonstrate the power and force of nature. Try the earthquake simulator, designed to let you feel what it is like during an earthquake such as the one in Kobe in 1995.
Access to this popular museum is free, although donations are welcome. There are cafe and restaurant options around the museum where you can take a break from your explorations. The museum also has a couple of shops where you can buy mementos and gifts.
Knightsbridge is well known for its fine dining. The following are a flavour of the restaurants to be found in Knightsbridge.
Dinner by Helston Blumenthal
Famous for his experimental cuisine, Helston Blumenthal brings modern dishes inspired by historic British food and recipes to Knightsbridge. This is a two Michelin star fine dining experience with the À la carte menu available seven days a week. Dinner offers a modern twist on classic British ingredients, where the Earl Grey tea cured salmon can be followed by a fillet of Hereford beef.
Zuma brings authentic Japanese food to Knightsbridge, providing a sophisticated twist to the nation’s izakaya dining style. You can eat in the restaurant or on the terrace, enjoying authentic dishes using quality ingredients that create intense flavours. Complement your meal with one of Zuma’s heritage cocktails. You can also enjoy fine Japanese dining at home through Zuma’s takeaway service.
Opened in December 2019, Feya Cafe is a lovely refuge away from the busy streets, a place to relax and take a break from shopping. Offering all-day brunch, sandwiches and dining choices, including pasta dishes, Feya brings quality cafe food to London. With an extensive list of hot and cold drinks, plus a tempting dessert menu, visitors to Feya cafe will be enchanted by the colourful, rainforest inspired interior.
Knightsbridge is not all about celebrity restaurants. There are a number of good, traditional style pubs to be found, including the Grenadier, not far from Hyde Park Corner. Allegedly one of the most haunted pubs in London, put your fears to one side and enjoy their range of real ales. A main menu, Sunday menu and bar snacks offer classic British pub food to help keep you well fed and watered whichever day you visit.
8. Apsley House
Apsley House was the London residence of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington and future Prime Minister.
The Duke bought the house in 1817 and renovated the property in to the palatial residential home you see today. The house is located opposite Wellington Arch, and boasts a strikingly impressive interior.
The beautifully gilded interiors were designed to befit the Duke of Wellington’s status. It is one of the finest surviving examples of Regency interior design, very few of which remain open to the public. The stunning state dining rooms and the Waterloo gallery are highlights of the visit.
As you wander around the house you can see gifts from around the world which were presented to the Duke. The Duke was also an avid collector, with over 3,000 works of art housed within Apsley House. These include paintings by Velásquez, Rubens and Goya, as well as sculptures by Canova.
Concession adult admission prices start from £10.20, while two types of family ticket are available. Multimedia touchscreen guides are included with your admission, and the house is currently open Friday to Sunday each week. There is also a gift shop on site.
9. Royal Albert Hall
The iconic Royal Albert hall sits on the western fringes of Knightsbridge, near to Hyde Park. The hall is an internationally renowned music venue, hosting major artists, bands and prestigious events.
The grade I listed building is instantly recognisable, including its 20,000 sq ft glazed-iron domed roof.
The lush interior s are warm and inviting to their audience. The circular nature of the theatre makes for a special atmosphere. As well as all the great live music staged at the Royal Albert Hall, the venue also plays host to large screen events. The choice of shows and entertainment is designed to cater to all.
Attending a concert at the Royal Albert Hall should be on everyone's to do list. You can book a guided tour to access all parts of the venue, including the Royal areas. You will also be able to enjoy the history of this iconic building and the people who have helped forged this history.
The Royal Albert Hall has restaurants and cafes providing hot and cold food options, as well as a bar where you can enjoy a pre-show drink.
10. Science Museum
Visitors to Knightsbridge have access to wonderful museums, and the Science museum on Exhibition Road is another example.
You can explore the history of science through the museum’s collections of iconic objects and pieces, as well as their interactive exhibitions.
The Wonderlab covers seven zones and offers visitors an interactive experience you will not forget. Mathematics, medicine, flight, space explorations and the information age are just some of the themes you can explore in the awe-inspiring museum galleries.
The ever popular IMAX theatre uses the latest in cinema technology to provide visitors an immersive viewing experience. As you wonder around the museum look out for the space suit used by Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, and the Wells cathedral clock, which is one of the oldest in the world dating from the 14th century.
Entry to the Science museum is free, but certain exhibits like the Wonderlab have admission prices.
11. More things to do in Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge has much to offer visitors. Listed below are three more ideas for places to visit when in Knightsbridge.
The Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial sits across from the Royal Albert Hall in the beautiful Kensington gardens. The gardens were once part of Hyde Park and the memorial was unveiled in 1872. It commemorates the death of Prince Albert and is one of the most ornate monuments in the capital.
A statue of Prince Albert facing south sits on top of the memorial. He is holding a catalogue from the Great Exhibition held in 1851, an event very much inspired by the Prince. Figures representing continents of the world and various industries are positioned around the memorial, while artists from different fields are recognised on the memorial base in the Parnassus frieze.
The Russian Orthodox Church
Located in Ennismore Gardens, the church is one of the principal places of Orthodox worship in London. Also known as the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and All Saints, the church is a grade II listed building.
The interior is striking, with many paintings adorning the walls, and iconography and artefacts to admire. Regular services are held on Sunday, while the cathedral shop is open each day between 11am and 4pm.
Bonhams auction house is sat on Montpelier Street, opposite Harrods. You can bid for exclusive pieces of artwork, jewellery, furniture, collectibles and more. Knightsbridge is known for its shopping, and Bonhams adds the thrill of the auction.
The Bonhams saleroom is located in an impressive building, where you can come and view prospective purchases during the week before a planned sale. Bonhams stages around 140 auctions every year from its Knightsbridge saleroom, providing plenty of opportunity to bid for something special.