Knightsbridge stretches from its boundary with Belgravia to South Kensington. It borders the rear of Buckingham Palace and runs parallel to the south end of Hyde Park.
Knightsbridge is known for the finer things in life and is synonymous with luxury. The independent boutiques and well-known fashion brands, high-end restaurants and 5* hotels help the area with its image. Not to mention the much-associated Harrods department store. The splendor of the area attracts the image-conscious who have the means to splash their cash on luxury shopping experiences. However, Knightsbridge has much more to offer.
It’s the perfect area to explore on foot, boasting impressive architecture and beautifully kept squares. Knightsbridge draws in lots of visitors as it plays host to many of London’s top museums and art galleries, such as the V&A Museum, Natural History Museum and the Saatchi Gallery, to name a few.
Now you might be surprised to learn that Knightsbridge didn’t always have a luxury status associated with it. The area was once regarded as nothing more than a no man’s land between Chelsea and Kensington, which historically were small villages. The only thing that Knightsbridge had to offer was a bridge which adjoined the two areas.
As with most London boroughs, there are some interesting stories about how the area got its name. One story is that the area was named Knightsbridge to commemorate two quarrelsome knights. To settle a disagreement, the knights decided to settle their differences with a trial by combat that would take place on the bridge. Unfortunately for the knights, neither of them emerged victoriously and they plunged into the river below where they met their fate. Some people believe that the bridge was a crossing for the wealthy, or, ‘knights and ladies,’ which is how the name eventually emerged. On the other hand, some people believe the opposite of this. They say that the bridge actually attracted local youths because the word ‘knight’ is actually a slang term for ‘lad’.
Wherever Knightsbridge got its name, one thing is for sure. It was a far cry from how we know it today. The area had an unsavoury reputation and was thought to be a magnet for rogues and highwaymen. One of the underlying reasons for this was that while Knightsbridge had developed into a town, geographically, it fell in between four different parishes and was cut off from London because of its poorly kept roads. On the whole, the town didn’t develop at the same rate as the other towns surrounding it.
It wasn’t until the late 18th and 19th century that Knightsbridge began to change its image to resemble how we know it today. In 1970, it was agreed that work to improve the area’s pavements would get underway, an act which instantly improved how it looked. Meanwhile, land in the surrounding areas had become sparse, which meant that building developments soon began to appear in Knightsbridge.
The area’s lack of boundaries and defining features made it difficult for Knightsbridge to establish its own unique identity. However, this changed when it became home to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and several embassies.
After a walk around Knightsbridge, visit us here and have a light bite to eat.
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