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Well-heeled Chelsea is synonymous with so many London landmarks past and present: the swinging Kings Road of the 1960s.
Princess Diana and the chi-chi boutiques she frequented here and in neighbouring Knightsbridge; and the noveau-riche football club that’s risen from relative obscurity to threaten Manchester Uniteds dominance of the English game in recent years.
As a by-word for London glamour, Chelseas even more beloved by foreign visitors than locals if anything: no tourist worth their salt would visit the city without a trip to Harrods and a stroll around these hallowed streets, and recently the area’s become a favourite with Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea FC’s billionaire patron Roman Abramovich – he lives in a pretty tasty £150m pad in nearby Lowndes Square.
Conspicuous but terribly classy consumption is the order of the day in this neighbourhood, one of London’s wealthiest: though hippies and Vivienne Westwood’s punks gave the King’s Road its cultural infamy, nowadays its all about high, elegant fashion in the vast range of one-off boutiques and designer names along this famous drag.
If anything, Sloane Street’s even more high-end, giving its name to the impeccably well-bred, well-dressed young ladies who fill its boutiques day and night – ubiquitously known as ‘Sloane Rangers’. Sloane Square Underground station is on the District and Circle lines and sits between these two shopping meccas.
The Knightsbridge and Kensington ends of Chelsea (served by Knightsbridge and South Kensington Undergrounds) have Harrods, Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall and the marvellous Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert Museums; see our separate guides for more.
The football club’s actually in nearby Fulham – see www.chelseafc.com for information on John Terry’s boys – and another Chelsea landmark is the radical Royal Court Theatre at Sloane Square (020 7565 5000), one of the country’s most influential new writing venues with an excellent basement café-bar.
Tube stations in and around Chelsea include Sloane Square tube station, South Kensington tube station, Earls Court tube station and Fulham Broadway tube station.
|South Kensington Station||1||District - Piccadilly - Circle line||0.82 miles|
|Sloane Square Station||1||District - Circle line||1.01 miles|
|Gloucester Road Station||1||District - Piccadilly - Circle line||1.25 miles|
|Knightsbridge Station||1||Piccadilly||1.67 miles|
|Earls Court Station||1||District - Piccadilly||1.79 miles|
|Clapham Junction Station||1.70 miles|
|Battersea Park Station||1.84 miles|
|West Brompton Station||1.87 miles|
|London Victoria Station||1.90 miles|
|Queenstown Road Battersea Station||2.05 miles|