Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of Central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park west from Hyde Park Corner spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Up to Brompton Road it is a part of the A4 arterial road while the remainder is part of the A315.
The eponymous district comprises the areas immediately surrounding Knightsbridge (the road) on the north Sloane Street to its junction with Pont Street and Brompton Road to its junction with Beauchamp Place. The district is notable as an expensive residential area and for the density of its upmarket retail outlets famously Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Harrods at ChristmasCadogan Hall presents concerts of classical and popular music in Sloane Street. The Royal Albert Hall is a large venue for music and sports events. The are a number of fine art auctioneers located in Knightsbridge including Bonhams together with many smaller boutiques.
To the north of the district in Hyde Park is the Serpentine Gallery and at Hyde Park Corner is Number One London (Apsley House) former London residence of the Duke of Wellington.
Nearby are the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square and in South Kensington the Ismaili Centre built by British architect Sir Hugh Casson together with the Victoria and Albert Museum Natural History Museum and Science Museum.
Prince's Club was a sports club based in two separate locations in Knightsbridge between 1853 and 1940 and was home to the sports of rackets squash and badminton. They have subsequently moved down the road to Queen's Club in Kensington.
Knightsbridge is home to many of the world's richest people. It has some of the highest property prices in the world. Fourteen out of the top 200 most expensive streets in Britain are in Knightsbridge (Source: The Times 2007). The district is leafy especially so considering its location at the heart of London with houses and apartment buildings some with private gardens.It is also adjacent to Inner London's largest public park Hyde Park. In 2006 a four bedroomed apartment in Knightsbridge sold for over £25 000 000 and on street car parking spaces sell for £300 000 on a 94 year lease. In February 2007 the world's most expensive apartment at One Hyde Park sold off plan for £100 000 000 and has been bought by a Qatari Prince. The development is valued in excess of £4 000 per square foot (£43 000 per square metre).
Knightsbridge is mostly made up of strictly controlled Conservation Areas and development land is difficult to find. Most properties offered by developers are refurbished flats and houses. Many of these now have huge basement extensions accommodating an eclectic range of facilities from swimming pools to private nightclubs.
The principal landowners in the area are the Duke of Westminster and Earl Cadogan. The two areas of aristocratic landholdings can be distinguished visually as the red brick Queen Anne Revival buildings are mostly to be found on the Cadogan Estates whereas white stucco fronted houses are mostly found on the Grosvenor Estate built by Thomas Cubitt.
The most sought-after prime addresses are the garden squares closest to Harrods which serves as corner shop to many of the world's billionaires and celebrities.The store's famous liveried footmen can be seen delivering purchases to the area's local residents as can the paparazzi hunting for residents and visiting celebrities. Popular addresses are Belgrave Square Egerton Place Cadogan Square Lennox Gardens and Hans Place which is located next to Harrods.
Derek Quinlan's private equity fund Quinlan Private purchased 3.4 acres (14 000 m2) of prime retail commercial property from the BP Pension Fund in 2005. This estate stretches along Knightsbridge from Harrods to Harvey Nichols. It is understood that this part of Knightsbridge which includes some of the world's most expensive retail properties will shortly be subject to substantial re-development
Knightsbridge has many notable residents. This includes many British and European socialites and aristocrats Roman Abramovich oligarchs from Russia international businessman from China and India Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge Saudi and several other Middle Eastern Royal Dynasties investment bankers and hedge fund managers such as John Duffield of New Star Asset Management. There are also trend-setters like Charles Saatchi and his television presenter wife Nigella Lawson. The famed fashion designers Valentino and Tom Ford formerly of Gucci also live in the area.
Residents from the world of entertainment include Sir David Frost Neil Simon Anne Robinson Laetitia Casta and film stars such as Hugh Grant Sean Connery and Joan Collins along with many other presenters musicians writers and models.
A number of high profile people were raised in the area including Princess Diana Sienna Miller Amanda de Cadenet and Ian Fleming creator of James Bond.
Nearest tube stations:
Knightsbridge tube station
Hyde Park Corner tube station
and formerly Brompton Road tube station (closed in 1934)
All of the above stations serve the Piccadilly line.