A Knightsbridge & Hyde Park Walk

Route & what to see


Areas of London with grand houses also had mews and service areas nearby. Now the houses tend to be used as embassies & offices and the former provinces of the servants are smart (if small) residences. A large shop and a small pub are also featured. The circular walk takes in a number of monuments and memorials. There is the opportunity to visit Apsley House and the Wellington Arch.

This 2 mile linear walk begins at Hyde Park Corner tube station (Piccadilly line) and finishes at South Kensington. It can be extended into a circular route by returning through Hyde Park. The 3 mile circular walk passes a number of London's monuments.

Exit by the Lanesborough Hotel, formerly St George's Hospital, and go left along Knightsbridge.
The frontage of a disused underground station entrance with distinctive ox-blood tiles is now incorporated into a hotel.

Go first left through Old Barrack Yard, through the gate and down steps alongside the Grenadier pub
The stables, cottages and pub were built in the 1830s and ran alongside Foot Guard Barracks constructed in 1758. The pub was used for gambling and a soldier found to be cheating was beaten and died of his injuries. His ghost haunts the pub and is said to be particularly active in September!

Go left around Wilton Row then around Wilton Crescent to the right. At the centre go right along Wilton Place
St Paul's Church was built in 1840-3 by Thomas Cundy the younger.

Go left through Kinnerton Street
This was built in the 1820s as a service road but courts ending at the Ranelagh Sewer became slums. The Nag's Head probably served as livery stables. It could claim to be one of London's smallest pubs although a semi-basement area became a second bar in the 1970s. It has many genuine curios including two 1930s slot machines.

At the end go right along Motcomb Street
On the north side stood the two acre complex of the Pantechnicon built in 1830. These 'fireproof' warehouses, stables, wine vaults and carriage houses were almost totally destroyed by fire in 1874 and only the frontage remains. There are arcades to either side of this street.

Cross Lowndes Street into Cadogan Place ahead. Go left along Sloane Street and right through Hans Street. Go to the right around Hans Place and take the second exit across into Hans Road.
Houses in this street were rebuilt in 1880s-90s. Number 12 is by Arthur Mackmurdo and numbers 14-16 by Charles Voysey. On the right is the Harrods store. The food department is well worth a visit. Harrods was founded by Henry Charles Harrod, a tea merchant of Eastcheap, who opened a small grocers in the village of Knightsbridge in 1849. His son bought and expanded the business. The building was destroyed by fire in December 1883 but still managed to fulfill its Christmas orders. In 1889 it became a limited company and the premises were re-built and extended in 1902-11.

At the end go right along Brompton Road then left into Lancelot Place.
Harrods former warehouses, which were linked to the main store by tunnels, have been re-developed for residental use.

Go around Trevor Square and exit at the NW corner passing through to Trevor Place. Go ahead along Montpelier Terrace and left through Sterling Street. Go right along Montpelier Place and left at Montpelier Walk
These houses of 1840-50 were not considered very high class dwellings until the 1890s.

Go right at Fairholt Street and right along Rutland Street.
The 30 small cottages built here in 1830 were described as 'mean'. Those that remain back directly onto properties in Rutland Mews South.

Go through the opening in the wall ahead and left along Ennismore Street
Notice the Clock House and Ennismore Arms pub on the right

Continue around Ennismore Gardens Mews.
This passes the grounds of Holy Trinity Church. There are views of the dome of Brompton Oratory and the top of the V&A Mueum.

For the linear walk go left at Princes Gardens and through the grounds of Imperial College to the left into Watts Way. Go right into Exhibition Road. Opposite is an entrance to South Kensington tube station (Circle, District & Piccadilly lines).
Admission is free to the Science, Natural History and V&A Museums and all have cafes.

For the circular walk go left at Princes Gardens then right along Exhibition Road.
At the end are the premises of the Royal Geographical Society. There are statues to explorers Ernest Shackleton (by Jagger) and David Livingstone.

Cross Kensington Road and enter the park ahead by the Alexandra Gate & Lodge
To the left is a view of the Albert Memorial, restored and re-gilded by English Heritage.

Continue along West Carriage Drive
To the left is the Serpentine Gallery (in Kensington Gardens). On the right the water feature which is a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales was opened by the Queen on 6 July 2004

Cross the bridge over the Serpentine
The bridge was designed by John & George Rennie. The building ahead was the Powder Magazine used for storing gunpowder. Originally built in 1764-5 it has had later alterations. It now houses the Serpentine Sackler Gallery with a restaurant extension by Zaha Hadid.

Go to the right along the north bank of the Serpentine
This was created in the 1730s from an existing string of fishponds. On the opposite bank is the Lido Pavilion of 1930, now used as a cafe. Further along are two boathouses and on the left the Norweigan War Memorial, Receiving House plaque and Serpentine Lodge. At the end is the Dell Restaurant (designed by Patrick Gwynne).

Take the path to the right
On the corner there is an urn monument to Abbey Spring.

Take the path to the left (marked with Diana walk plaque)
On the right is the Holocaust Memorial

Continue through the flower gardens. Detour to the left at the Rose Garden.
The Cavalry Memorial was designed by an army vet.

Head towards Park Lane
52 steel columns commemorate the people killed in the London terror bombings in July 2005.

Go southwards to the statue of Achilles
This is a tribute to the Duke of Wellington. Beyond are the Queen Elizabeth Gates of 1993.

Exit the park by the Apsley Gate alongside Hyde Park Corner Lodge (park information centre) to the tube station
You may like to visit Apsley House - home to the Duke of Wellington or the Wellington Arch with displays and rooftop views both in the care of English Heritage. [


london-footprints.co.uk 2013

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