MAY 21,2013 - MAY 21,2013 (1 DAYS)
Chelsea - 1 day:
Start: Sloane Square tube station.
End: Sloane Square tube station.
Weather: The visit in the Royal Hospital and the urban part of Chelsea - can be done in any weather. For the rest of the day - along the Thames and Battersea Park - better in a clear day (or, at least, cloudy but not rainy day).
From Sloane Square head west toward Sloane St. Turn left to stay on Sloane Square, slight left to stay on Sloane Square. Turn right onto Lower Sloane St. Turn right onto Royal Hospital Rd and the Royal Hospital Chelsea Chapel will be on your left. It is a walk of 10-15 minutes. This is a magnificent historic rest home for retired armed service people. These are all ex service men and women who have served the UK and now retired to this beautiful haven. The buildings and grounds are full of interest and very well maintained. The grounds and gardens are peaceful and perfect for walking. The grounds are extensive and a real oasis from the rest of bustling Chelsea. The permier world flower show takes place in these premises - every year, usually, in May. Many visitors there are just coming to be "seen" instead of seeing the gardens and horticulture issues. try to see the Grand Hall and Chapel both of which are well worth seeing. The dining room is laid for the luncheon and the menu which was on the table would clearly indicate that these admirable old soldiers, in the hospital, are very well catered for. Try to get in touch with one of the pensioners. They are glad to explain and to guide your visit around. The inhabitants are full with wisdom and stories. There is a cafeteria on site which adequately provides tea, coffee and snacks:
Head northeast on Royal Hospital Rd. toward Franklin's Row. Turn right onto Chelsea Bridge. You are facing the Chelsea Bridge. The impressive features along the bridge look their best against blue sky. Stand on the bridge and look down the river to Albert Bridge and Battersea Park - it is all just truly beautiful. Right next to the bridge is one of Londons historical- Iconic buildings - the Battersea power station. Just to look at that is worth standing on the bridge. Admire the ornamental lamp posts along the art-deco white bridge, each comprising a golden galleon on top of a coat of arms.
Charles II statue on the southern end of the bridge:
Chelsea Bridge and Wandsworth mansions (the southern edge):
After crossing the Chelsea Bridge the Battersea Park is on your right. The main attraction: many paths to wander, the Pagoda with its Budhaaa, the Lake, football and hockey pitches, play / adventure areas for children, tennis courts , a new winter garden, Crystal palace fountain, hidden waterfalls, famous sculptures, Cafe' and restaurant and much more:
Three figures standing - Henry Moore:
Battersea Park - the sub-tropical garden:
As we came from Chelsea Bridge, crossed the Battersea Park - our direction is, basically, from east to west. The next bridge to the west - is Albert Bridge. Many residents in London (and tourists) think that Albert Bridge is the most beautiful bridge on the Thames and it looks like a wedding or cream cake. Well, certainly the most elegant !
The best time to take photos of the bridge - is when it is illuminated during the dark. Do not miss it during the night. The transport , over the bridge, isquite sparse from the evening hours. It took a long time to refurbish it before the Olympic Games. It was closed for 18 months for re-construction.
Battersea new properties - from Albert Bridge:
After crossing the Albert Bridge, from south to north, do not miss the Boy and Dolphine sculpture by David Wayne, 1975, Cheyne Walk, on the Northern Bank of the Thames:
Another statue in Cheyne Walk is :Thomas Carlyle statue:
You can walk along Cheyne Walk or Chelsea Embankment (from east to west, turn left after crossing Albert Bridge). The first turn to the right is Old Church street whre you can see the Thomas More statue near the Chelsea Old Church:
To the west of the church is a small public garden containing a sculpture by Jacob Epstein. Head north on Old Church St toward Petyt Pl. Turn right onto Justice Walk, turn left onto Lawrence St. Facing you, as you emerge from Justice Walk into Lawrence Street are two early Georgian houses: Dukes House and Monmouth House built around 1705. Originally occupied by the Duchess of Monmouth, later occupants included the writer Tobias Smollett and Nicholas Sprimont, owner of the famous Chelsea China factory from 1747 to 1769. Part of the building was also used as a showroom for the porcelain works. The building was demolished in 1835 to create Upper Cheyne Row.
Turn right onto Upper Cheyne Row. A blue plaque commemorates Chelsea Porcelain Works which occupied a nice site from 1750 to 1784:
From Cheyne Row, turn left to Glebe Place and left to Bramerton street. In every corner you'll notice wonderful doors, fences and grilled-windows:
Turn right to Kings Road and, again, do not miss another interesting house in this section of the most bustling street in Chelsea:
Turn left onto Sydney St and the St Luke's & Christ Church will be on the right. Charles Dickens was married at St Luke's to Catherine Hogarth, who lived in Chelsea, on 2 April 1836, two days after the publication of the first part of the Pickwick Papers, his first great success. It is a beautiful construction and is of architectural significance as one of the earliest Gothic Revival churches in London:
Here are two alternative routes. Most of you will prefer to skip the busy main road of Chelsea: the Kings Road and head to Saatchi Gallery. Head north on Sydney St toward Cale St and turn right onto Cale St. Continue onto Elystan Pl. Turn right onto Anderson St. Turn left onto King's Rd. On the second turn to the right the Duke Of York Square will be on your left. Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) statue stands in this square:
Retrace your steps. Walk back and turn left into KIngs Road. 50 metres further and you are in Saatchi Gallery. One of the most controversial places in London. First,, the only famous gallery of modern art in the world that does not charge an entrance fee. It inhabits a beautiful green space and is housed in the extended Duke of York's HQ. The gallery spaces are light, high and beautiful and provide a cool environment for the modern art on display. The current exhibitions change very frequently. Much depends on your exact day of visit. Interesting contemporary works from young artists. A gallery with art for sale in the basement. Compared to the maddening crowds of Tate Modern, one can walk with ease and without the crowds here at the weekend. This gallery is almost empty in the weekdays... The exhibits are unique and quirky. Very interesting free tours, at 3pm, everyday. WHATEVER IS YOUR TASTE - DO NOT MISS !!!
In our day of visit the gallery was very crowded: Hermes Paris gave a brilliant demonstration on thechniques of prints on fabrics:
Contemporary Art in Saatchi Gallery:
It is further 5 minutes walk to our final post today: Sloane Sqaure. Head northeast on King's Rd toward Cadogan Gardens. Turn left onto Sloane Square road and turn right and the tube station will be in front of you. the square is beautifully maintained, a little spot of peace surrounded by London traffic. It offers great shopping without the hustle & bustle experience of Bond St or Oxford St. The space and area around Sloane Square includes some great upscale shopping names. Go have an overpriced coffee and pastry on the top floor of Peter Jones but you'll get great views !
Another option is to continue on the Kings Road until arriving to the Sloane Square. King’s Road offers a wide variety of award winning boutique luxury fashion and dining establishments to indulge; starting with the department store Peter Jones to trendy high-fashion shoe stores. it has always been a popular location for the wealthy. But it is a wonderfully diverse community. The local elderly residents from the Royal Hospital in their regal uniforms, are always up for a chat on the sidewalks of Kings Road in dry days.