What is Chelsea like?
Chelsea has been synonymous with sophistication and gracious living for 300 years: even as a rural village, it was a magnet for the nobility and the wealthy. It also developed a reputation as an artistic colony and a centre of bohemianism, and was the centre of ‘swinging London’ in the 1960s.
Property in Chelsea
From studio apartments and bijou mews houses to detached villas and grand townhouses, Chelsea encapsulates the finest of the London property market. The core of the original village, by the Thames, retains some impressive Georgian properties; mostly, though, Chelsea is handsomely 19th-century, with plenty of red-brick terraces and mansion blocks in a network of pretty streets dotted with gracious garden squares.
For palatial detached and semi-detached houses, look in The Boltons and Tregunter Road.
For quaint cottages and mews houses, head to South Kensington, and such roads as Claireville Grove, Bolton Gardens Mews and Queensgate Mews.
For impressive lateral apartments, try the area around Cromwell Road: Queen’s Gate Gardens, Onslow Gardens, Onslow Square and Evelyn Gardens.
For contemporary riverside developments, look in Chelsea Harbour and Grosvenor Waterside.
The local scene
Today, the King’s Road boasts a wide range of major retailers, including some of the leading names in fashion. Other smart shopping locations include Park Walk, with its enticing selection of galleries and antique shops, and the area of Fulham Road known as The Beach, where the 24-hour restaurant and brasserie Vingt-Quatre is a major draw. South Kensington has plenty of patisseries and boulangeries, and there is a farmers market in Bute Street every Saturday.
The annual Chelsea Flower Show is a major event, attracting Royalty and celebrities. The great museums and the Royal Albert Hall in nearby South Kensington ensure year-round cultural interest.
The riverside, numerous garden squares and the grounds surrounding the glorious Wren buildings of the Royal Hospital provide charming green spaces.
Chelsea is surrounded by tube stations: Earl’s Court provides District, and Circle Line services direct to the West End and the City; Gloucester Road and South Kensington are both served by the District, Circle Lines and Picadilly lines, while Sloane SquareFulham Broadway is on the District and Circle Line’s Wimbledon branch.
Imperial Wharf railway station, next to Chelsea Harbour, provides overground services to Brompton Road and Clapham Junction.
Thames River Services operate from Chelsea Harbour Pier, providing commuters with direct access up the Thames to the City.
The King’s Road and Fulham Road are well served by numerous bus routes.
Schools in Chelsea
The area’s excellent schools include The Garden House (kindergarten, pre-prep and prep); Hill House International Junior School; Faulkner House Girls’ School; and Cameron House School (pre-prep and prep). The Bousfield School is an excellent state primary, while the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington is a major draw for overseas buyers.