One of the most annoying things about living in central London is that unavoidable crowed all over the city. Whilst I absolutely love the buzz and the forever-in-motion London lifestyle, sometimes less could be a lot more. On that note trying to arrange your Christmas shopping in Soho could end up in a proper disaster.
The Oxford Street – Regents Street – Carnaby Street triangle has always been my go-to shopping destination, however this year the crowed really started to get to me. Therefore I’ve been trying to explore alternative destinations to avoid the huge amount of people, mainly tourists in the city centre.Well, to start with, it is almost impossible to avoid the crowed in London whenever you go so this idea was dead on arrival. However I’ve recently ran into this lovely road I hadn’t known much about and it pleasantly surprised me with a good mix of high street and individual retailers as well as high end designer labels. Kings Road in Chelsea must sound familiar to many.
In the 1960’s King’s Road became the symbol of mod culture evoking “an endless frieze of mini-skirted, booted, fair-haired angular angels”
The name King’s Road gives away the original function of the road as it served as King Charles II’s private road to Kew (it remained a private road until 1830.). Today it functions as Chelsea’s high street and one of London’s most fashionable shopping streets. However…In the 1960’s King’s Road became the symbol of mod culture evoking “an endless frieze of mini-skirted, booted, fair-haired angular angels”. From that moment on the shopping street catered as a meeting place for youth culture and fashion and was frequented visited by famous music legends like Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles.430 King’s Road was the 1970’s most iconic address for the punk movement where Vivienne Westwood and former husband and business partner Malcolm McLaren opened their first shop. Malcolm McLaren was the Manager of the famous Sex Pistols that was on the top of the music charts in 1976 with God Save the Queen. This is when the media first created the term “Punk Rock”. The small store under no. 430 King’s Road is currently named World’s End and still belongs to the world-famous fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The trademark of the store is the large clock in the front that runs backwards.
King’s Road is still a major street stretching through Chelsea and Fulham in West London. The nearest tube station is Sloan’s Square in the very end of King’s Road. As soon as you leave the station you are surrounded by stylish designer stores as most of the shopping street is occupied by well-known brands like Hugo Boss, Riess or even Zara. King’s Road is about 3 km long (just under 2 miles) of which the first kilometre, up to the Chelsea Townhall showcases the most interesting stores and cafes. With so many different shops and stores bringing together the best fashion, jewellery, books and interior it’s impossible to pick a favourite. However, here is the best guide to explore King’s Road’s best stores without me going into too many details. The same website has an extensive list of all 40 cafes and bars in order of appearance starting from Sloan Square Station. Is it so handy I couldn’t create anything better myself.
I love places with astonishing history. Probably the number one reason I love living in the UK so much (not so much during Brexit negotiations…) is to have a piece of World history on my doorstep. History was one of my majors in high school but keep forgetting how much it sets my soul on fire. King’s Road is a great alternative to avoid the city-centre crowed in Soho and as a bonus it comes with a great piece of history and many many unique stores you can only find here. Enjoy.