Luxury holidays in Chelsea

Chelsea was once London’s mop-topped then mohican-sporting wild child – with Vivienne Westwood’s Sex shop at its counter-culture boiling point – until Sloanies took over and the exquisite Victorian and Edwardian townhouses became London’s priciest properties. Yes, there may be a few more zeros on shopping sprees (notably for the Westwood originals in the Worlds End shop on the King’s Road) and dining out, but you are in part of a Royal Borough.

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When to go

Chelsea is lovely in all weathers, with plentiful shops, bars and brunch spots to shelter in if the heavens open. The decoration effort for the RHS Flower Show is truly impressive; but, for a glittering Dickensian scene, come at Christmas.

Getting there

  • Planes

    From London Heathrow, the drive is around 40 minutes, or you can take the express train to Paddington Station and jump on the Circle Line to Sloane Square (roughly a 45-minute journey), or simply ride the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington and walk to Chelsea (an hour’s journey in total). From Gatwick (a 90-minute drive away), get the express train to Victoria, then hop on for one stop on the District or Circle Line to Sloane Square.
  • Automobiles

    Chelsea’s Tube stations are set fairly far apart (a bus is the quickest way to get from Sloane Square to Fulham Broadway at the other end of the King’s Road), but the Underground is still the easiest and most efficient way of exploring the city. The neighbourhood doesn’t fall inside the Congestion Charge zone, but you will have to deal with parking woes, traffic jams and other road rages.