Things to do in Chelsea London

Wisteria Flowers

How to make the most of your day in the Borough of Chelsea, London

Things to do in Chelsea LondonThere are so many things to do in Chelsea London, and you’ll be visiting the upper-class area of London.

Chelsea is a bustling and vibrant neighborhood located in the heart of London. It is renowned for its fashionable streets, trendy boutiques, and high-end restaurants and bars, attracting a diverse and cosmopolitan crowd.

Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Chelsea is bordered by Knightsbridge to the east, South Kensington to the south, and Fulham to the west. It is a short distance from major landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The origins of Chelsea can be traced back to the 12th century, when it was a small village on the banks of the Thames. It was not until the 17th and 18th centuries that it became a fashionable residential area for the wealthy, with grand mansions and gardens springing up along its tree-lined streets.

One of the most famous residents of Chelsea was the artist J. M. W. Turner, who lived in a house on Cheyne Walk from 1808 until his death in 1851. Today, the house is open to the public as the Turner House Museum, displaying a selection of his paintings and sketches.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Chelsea continued to attract a bohemian and artistic crowd, with writers such as Oscar Wilde and artists like Virginia Woolf calling it home. The area became known for its vibrant nightlife, with pubs and clubs attracting a diverse and lively crowd.

Today, Chelsea is home to a mix of residential and commercial properties, with a mix of grand mansions, modern apartment buildings, and charming townhouses. It is a popular destination for shopping, with a range of high-end boutiques, designer stores, and independent shops lining the streets.

One of the most famous shopping destinations in Chelsea is the King’s Road, a bustling thoroughfare lined with fashionable stores and cafes. The street is named after King Charles II, who used it as a private route to the countryside when he was in residence at the nearby Palace of Whitehall.

Another popular shopping destination in Chelsea is Sloane Square, a bustling square surrounded by designer stores, high-end fashion boutiques, and a range of cafes and restaurants. The square is named after Sir Hans Sloane, a wealthy physician and collector who donated his collection of books, manuscripts, and artifacts to the British Museum.

In addition to its shopping and dining options, Chelsea is home to a range of cultural and recreational attractions. The Saatchi Gallery, located on the King’s Road, is a popular destination for art lovers, showcasing contemporary works by emerging and established artists.

The Chelsea Football Club, one of the most successful teams in the English Premier League, plays its home games at Stamford Bridge, located on the border of Chelsea and Fulham. The stadium is a popular tourist attraction, offering tours of the facilities and the opportunity to watch a match from the stands.

Chelsea is also home to a range of green spaces, including the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a large green area with gardens and a chapel, and the Chelsea Physic Garden, a beautiful botanical garden founded in the 17th century.

Despite its reputation as a wealthy and fashionable neighborhood, Chelsea is also home to a diverse population, with a mix of young professionals, families, and students living in the area. It is a thriving and vibrant community, with a range of cultural events and festivals taking place throughout the year.

If you’re an Instagram influencer, this post will tell you which streets to visit, if you’re a family of four looking for children’s attractions, this guide will tell you what museums and parks to enjoy. Whether you’re on a budget or want to splash some cash, the four places mentioned below has everything for everyone.

Beware, this post involves a lot of walking. I don’t recommend you cover all the areas mentioned in this post because once you’ve seen one area of Chelsea, everything else around this area looks similar.

Let’s begin.

How to get there

The following bus numbers include 11, 19, 22, 319, 328, and 49. You can get the Great Western Railway and the South Western Railway by train and the Circle, District and Piccadilly Line by tube. If you’re planning to visit London, you should know that walking around its neighborhoods all day can be tiring as it would take at least a day or two to cover most of the attractions. However, you don’t have to worry about getting tired as there are many convenient transportation options available, such as bus stops on every corner and easily accessible tube stations. If you apply for the “Hopper” fare, you won’t be charged twice for taking two or more buses within an hour. Although public transport can be expensive, the £1.55 fee for two or more journeys by bus is worth it. Keep in mind that buses can take longer to get from one place to another and may cause some headaches, but kids under the age of 11 can travel for free. Chelsea is no exception when it comes to getting around.

 

Belgravia

If you get off at Victoria Station, you’ll be in the upscale neighborhood of Belgravia, known for its Victorian houses, trendy restaurants and cafes, designer stores, and high-end retail shops. A short walk from Victoria Coach Station will bring you to Peggy Porschen, a popular bakery that is perfect for Instagram photos. On Elizabeth Street, you’ll find a variety of colorful 19th Century shops and dining options, including The Thomas Cubitt Pub, Les Senteurs, Tomtom Coffee House, and Summerhill & Bishop. In the summer, you can expect to see posh crowds enjoying drinks and meals outdoors. For a quieter experience, head to Boscobel Place, a peaceful dead end with picturesque surroundings. Another high-end French restaurant and café, La Poule Au Pot, can be found at the end of Ebury Street, along with Orange Square and Daylsford Organic cafe. Motcomb Street offers a range of high-end dining options, including El&N, and The Fine Cheese Co and The Alfred Tennyson bar and restaurant can be found in the shopping arcade. Don’t miss the quiet and charming Kinnerton Street, with its small Victorian houses that were once home to animals and servants.

Kinnerton Street

Kinnerton Street is another quiet area, a contrast to the busy streets near Victoria. Take a walk through this street, the brightly white houses attached to each other are owned by the wealthy millionaires too, and somewhere hidden between the houses, you’ll see a small independent pub if you want to grab a quiet drink, and Kinnerton Place South, one of London’s quiet mews. In this dead end, you’ll find a quirky Judith Blacklock Flower School store front, and in front of this flower school, you’ll see quiet seating areas. Worth checking out. Check out other store fronts around Ebury Street such as Ottolenghi, a quirky café, and Rococo Chocolates. That’s it for Belgravia, next, we go to South Kensington.

South Kensington

South Kensington is a neighborhood in London that is conveniently located near several popular attractions. Just a short bus ride away is Portobello Road Market, Holland Park, Oxford Street for high-end shopping, and Knightsbridge, home to the famous Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores. To get to Knightsbridge from the Albert Memorial Statue, it will take about 20 minutes to walk through Hyde Park, or you can take the bus or the tube.

If you’re visiting London on a budget, consider taking a leisurely walk through South Kensington. While the main roads can be busy, venturing further into the neighborhood will reveal quieter streets filled with Victorian houses that make for great Instagram-worthy photos. When you arrive at the South Kensington tube station, you’ll find two beautiful hotels – The Ampersand Hotel, and the Number Sixteen Hotel – both worth checking out for their stunning tree-filled gardens.

From the tube station, take a stroll down Pelham Street and Pelham Crescent to see rows of white stucco houses. Then, head through Draycott Avenue to Walton Street, where you’ll find small independent shops and designer stores. For a quieter shopping experience, consider heading to Walton Street instead of the busier Regent Street or Old Bond Street. Ovington Street also has a mix of 18th century white and brown brick stucco houses that are worth a photo. From here, you can walk to Halsey Street and then turn left towards Cadogan Street and Cadogan Square, a peaceful square with 14th century Tudor houses. This area is just a short walk from Knightsbridge and Kensington Gardens, and a short walk south will bring you to the trendy neighborhood of Sloane Square in Chelsea.

If you’re interested in exploring more of London, the Piccadilly Line is just 20 minutes away from South Kensington and will take you to Leicester Square, The National Gallery, and the rest of the West End. Alternatively, the Northern Line will take you to Camden Town in about 10 minutes from Leicester Square.

Nearby attractions that are 20 minutes from the Piccadilly Line are Leicester Square, The National Gallery and the rest of the West End. Check out my West End walk for inspiration. If you want to visit Camden Town, take the Northern Line to Camden Town, an extra 10 minutes from Leicester Square.

Upon exiting South Kensington tube station, you’ll be greeted by a variety of shops including sandwich shops, pharmacies, and places to refill your Oyster Card. In the surrounding area, you’ll find coffee shops, mid-range restaurants, and beautiful 19th Century buildings. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, you’ll also find them in this area. This is the perfect tube stop for those looking to visit the nearby museums, as they are all located within close proximity to each other and make for a great location for children to explore.

The Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Science Museum are located within a short distance of each other, and are easy to find. While visitors often spend hours exploring just one of these museums, it is recommended to limit your time in each to about an hour in order to fully experience all three. It is important to note that touring museums can be physically tiring. Kensington Gardens, Behind the museums will be Kensington Gardens, one of the 8 royal parks of London.  Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are huge, and it will take at least 3 hours to walk if you want to cover both parks. There are also 7 things to do in Kensington Gardens if your kids want to roam free and you could easily spend a whole day there.

Sloane Square

If you’re feeling too tired to walk, it might be best to skip visiting Sloane Square or save it for another day. While the area is considered upper-class, like South Kensington, it doesn’t offer many unique tourist attractions. However, it’s a popular location for Instagram influencers to take pictures.

If you’re feeling up to it and want to visit Sloane Square, get off at Sloane Square Station. The bustling main road of King’s Street is filled with the typical sounds of cars honking, black taxi cabs, and red buses stuck in traffic, much like Oxford Street. Businesspeople can be seen walking around, talking on their phones, while upper-class residents shop for designer brands like Chanel and Tommy Hilfiger. However, if you want to discover the lesser-known gems of the area, you may need to wander off the beaten path.

Starting at Sloane Square station, walk across the road and continue straight until you reach King’s Road. Once you cross this busy street, you’ll see Pavilion Road on your right. Here, you’ll find a variety of unique, high-end independent designer shops that offer everything from beauty products and clothing to cafes and restaurants. The area is adorned with colorful buntings hanging above the shops and is a popular spot for people to enjoy their coffee and pastries on a warm yet windy April day after a day of shopping. As the weather gets hotter in June, the area becomes more crowded with people like bees. If you continue past Pavilion Road, you’ll end up in Cadogan Square.

To visit the Saatchi Gallery, you can walk a short distance up from King’s Road. This small, cultural gallery features various forms of art and is a refreshing change from the bustling National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square in the West End. To ensure the safety of visitors, it is necessary to book tickets in advance. Simply click on the provided link to access the Saatchi Gallery website and reserve your spot.

Located next to the Saatchi Gallery is the Duke of York Square, a posh shopping area filled with luxurious fashion stores and popular restaurants with outdoor seating. Although I have not personally dined at any of the establishments in this area due to their high prices, I would assume the service is excellent given the high-end nature of the area. After exploring the shopping district, you can take a walk through the flower tunnel which will bring you back to King’s Road.

To find the Instagram-worthy John Sandoe bookshop, take a short walk up King’s Road and then head through Blacklands Terrace. The exterior may appear unassuming, but step inside to discover a beautiful 19th Century architectural style.

If you return to Peggy Porschen Cake shop and take Oakley Street, you will eventually come across the much talked about pink Instagram Love door, which in reality is not particularly impressive. However, right next to this door, there is a plaque that marks the spot where Bob Marley lived and passed away in the 1970s. As you continue walking up Oakley Street towards the River Thames, you will eventually reach Cheyne Walk, a quiet residential area off of King’s Street. Between April and May during the summer months, you will be able to see the stunning wisteria flowers that many people love to photograph for their Instagram feeds. This, in my opinion, is a much more worthwhile sight than the Love door. Feel free to snap a few discreet photos of the flowers before making your way back home.

If you’re feeling tired, there are benches available for you to rest on in the Chelsea Botanic Garden full of flowers, greenery, and plants.

Chelsea Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Chelsea is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the area. With over 4000 medicinal, edible, and useful plants, the Chelsea Physic Garden is divided into several smaller gardens and planting areas. Explore the Tropical Corridor and see cocoa and vanilla plants growing, or take a trip through the garden’s history in the History bed. While this attraction does require a fee ranging from £10 to £35 for events, tours, and workshops, it is worth it for the unique experiences it offers. Why not gather friends and family for a Coffee Morning in the garden, or participate in a family workshop to create your own Kokedama (a ball of soil covered in moss and planted)? You can even learn about how trees hear a sound when it falls and how plants perceive the world. There is always something for plant lovers to do at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Ranelagh Gardens

The Royal Hospital is home to around 300 former military personnel, including veterans of conflicts such as the Korean War, the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and World War II. Although not all residents may have served in combat, they all share a strong sense of camaraderie and appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers. The hospital, which is a designated Grade I and II listed site, boasts stunning architecture and is a testament to the legacy of Charles II and Sir Christopher Wren. To preserve this historic building for future generations, ongoing restoration efforts are being made. With your support, we can continue to provide care and support for veterans for years to come.

Gloucester Road

If you’re in South Kensington, you have two options for reaching Kynance Mews. You can either walk towards Gloucester Road for 15 minutes and then turn left towards Wingstop Restaurant, or you can take the tube from South Kensington to Gloucester Road, a 2-minute journey. From there, it’s a 6-minute walk to Kynance Mews. As you walk along Gloucester Road, you will pass many shops, restaurants, and hotels. On your left, you will come across Kynance Place, a quiet area with cobbled pathways and converted 19th century mews houses, now worth over a million pounds. These houses were once owned by wealthy London travellers who kept their horses in the garages and servants upstairs. There are many other mews in the Notting Hill area worth exploring, such as St. Luke’s Mews, Bathurst Mews, Warren Mews, and Cresswell Place Mews, home to Agatha Christie. Kynance Mews is a peaceful and quiet spot, hidden away from the busy main road, with a quirky house on the right worth photographing for its wisteria flowers.

That’s it for this post on things to do in Chelsea, London. Wherever you end your adventure in Chelsea, you can always visit the town of Battersea, a 7 – 10 minute walk from Chelsea Botanical Gardens. Just walk across the River Thames on the Albert Bridge and you’re there.

It is important to note that you may become tired while visiting the places mentioned in this post. To prevent fatigue, I recommend visiting one area in Chelsea and then exploring other areas the next day, or visiting Battersea Park and Battersea Park Power Station tomorrow instead. If you do decide to visit Battersea Park, then read on.

Old English Garden Battersea Park

Old English Garden, Battersea Park

Battersea Park

Battersea Park is one of the parks you can visit after a hard day of shopping, and it’s very conveniently located 20 – 30 minutes from Victoria Station by train, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Knightsbridge, and Hyde Park Corner by bus.

Battersea Park is not one of 8 royal parks of London, but it’s just as nice, and a great place to relax with your children and your partner.

When visiting Battersea Park, there are a variety of activities to enjoy. One option is to take a walk through the park, starting at the Rosery Gate entrance. As you begin your walk, you will see a beautiful flowerbed in front of you. Continuing on, you will come across the Rosery Garden, a picturesque spot full of colourful flowers and plants. Although you cannot enter the garden, you are welcome to take photos of it. The garden is also surrounded by park benches, providing a peaceful spot to sit and listen to the birds.

Pear Tree Cafe, Battersea Park

Pear Tree Cafe

Rosery Garden, Battersea Park

Rosery Garden

If you continue walking slightly to the right, you will come across the Boating Lake. There are approximately 20 park benches by the lake, as well as a small café called the Pear Tree Café. The café offers sandwiches, chips, cakes, and biscuits, as well as lunch menus. It can get quite busy, but the café appears to be well-maintained. Across from the Pear Tree Café, you will see a children’s playground with a pirate theme, as well as an outdoor exercise area. There is also a track for athletes, but it is only available to local residents and members. If you brought your tennis racket, you can play a game here. If you turn left and walk for a few minutes, you will come across the Children’s Zoo. This small zoo is suitable for children between the ages of 0-5 and costs £10.95 for adults and £8.95 for children between the ages of 2-16. The zoo is small and seems to be mainly visited by local families with young children. It takes about 20 minutes to walk around and see the animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, donkeys, birds, and another children’s play area. However, I think the admission fees are quite steep for such a small zoo and recommend visiting the London Zoo in Regent Street instead, which is one of the 8 royal parks of London and is also near Madame Tussauds and Camden Town.

Boating Lake, Battersea Park

Boating Lake

After visiting the zoo, consider spending some time at the London Peace Pagoda. This structure was gifted to the city in 1984 by Venerable Nichidatsu Fuji to promote peace and honor those affected by the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Built by monks and nuns, the pagoda was completed shortly before Nichidatsu Fuji’s death at age 100. In front of the pagoda, you can take photos and take in the views of the River Thames, which is often crowded with boats and shipping containers.

A short walk away, you will find a large lake with fountains and a well-maintained garden filled with greenery, benches, and a beautiful archway. You can spend up to 20 minutes exploring this area before making your way to a hidden Old English Garden nestled within the bushes. This secluded spot feels like a secret garden, where you can relax with a cup of coffee or appreciate the various flowers, including numerous roses, lily pads, and a pond with a water fountain.

Battersea Park Children's Zoo

Children’s Zoo, Battersea Park

Children's Playground, Battersea Park

Children’s Playground

If you take a 10 minute walk, you will come across several attractions in Battersea Park, including Go Ape, a treetop rope course for those who enjoy heights and adventure, Putt in the Park, a crazy golf spot, and a Children’s Playground. For more information, visit the Go Ape website.

After exploring these attractions, be sure to visit the Old English Garden and the large fountain next to it. As you make your way back to Rosery Gate, you may spot various wildlife, including swans and ducks, on the Boating Lake.

This suggested walk will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. If you’re in the mood for traditional British food, check out The Mason’s Arms, a small yet busy pub, or The Magic Garden, a vibrant beer garden where you can enjoy drinks with friends and family. Both of these pubs are located around the park.

Putt in the Park, Battersea Park

Putty in the Park crazy golf

Battersea Power Station is a historic landmark located in south London. It was once a coal-fired power station, but has since been decommissioned and transformed into a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. One of the most famous features of the power station is its appearance on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album “Animals”. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as crazy golf at Birdies, or take in the views of London from Lift 109, an alternative to the Sky Garden and The Shard. With so much to see and do, Battersea Power Station is a great destination for families and tourists alike.

Battersea Power Station is set to be a major attraction in London in 2023 with the opening of London’s first art’otel. Designed by award-winning artist and interior designer Jaime Hayon, the hotel features 164 rooms and is located within the Battersea Roof Gardens on Electric Boulevard, a new high street for the city. The hotel will officially launch on 21st February 2023, along with a spa and skyline restaurant called JOIA by Michelin starred chef Henrique Sá Pessoa. From 12th December, guests will be able to stay at the hotel and sample the delights at the TOZI Grand Cafe. This highly anticipated hotel opening is sure to be a must-see destination for art and luxury enthusiasts visiting London in 2023.

Another main attractions that will be opening in the power station is Bounce, a ping pong venue that will also offer other games such as shuffleboard and beer pong. Bounce will be open in the spring of 2023 and will serve pizzas and small bites as well as a variety of drinks. Visitors can also book a Bounce Games Guru to host their group and add extra games and competitive rounds to the experience. In addition to ping pong, there will also be resident DJs at the venue to keep the party going late into the night.

Battersea Power Station is a great social hang out for families, couples and solo travellers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a plethora of things to do in Chelsea, London, and the surrounding neighborhoods of Belgravia, South Kensington, and Sloane Square. From shopping and dining at chic boutiques and restaurants, to exploring the stunning architecture and gardens, to visiting world-renowned museums and art galleries, there is something for everyone. Instagram addicts will love capturing the stunning streets and buildings, and there are endless photo opportunities to be found. So whether you’re looking for a day of culture and history, or simply want to indulge in some retail therapy, Chelsea and its surrounding neighborhoods have it all.

Battersea Park is an ideal location for those who want to take a break after a day of shopping in Chelsea. It’s just a short bus ride away and offers a large, open space to relax. Additionally, Battersea is conveniently located near Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, and Victoria Station, which can be easily accessed by taking the train from Battersea Park Station. If you have any questions about Chelsea, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Facebook or follow me on social media. Remember to stay safe and take care.

If you have any questions regarding accommodation in the Borough of Chelsea, please feel free to contact me on Facebook or follow me on social media.

I am a part of an affiliate program with Expedia.comGo City and Tripadvisor. Click on the link if you want to find accommodation near Chelsea. If you book through me with no additional charge to you, I get a commission from them.

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