If you have a large budget and want to live in one of the most affluent areas of London, try house hunting in the SW7 postcode.
This well-heeled postcode is home to fine white stucco-fronted townhouses, high end boutiques and a number of world-class museums, venues and galleries.
But you have to pay the price. The average property value in SW7 stands at a weighty £2,572,000, although larger apartments and townhouses can fetch considerably more. To check the latest figures, click here.
Living in SW7: what to expect
SW7 is filled with wide streets lined with impressive townhouses, some of which reach up to six or seven storeys. Peaceful garden squares and private communal gardens are dotted between the streets.
The area boasts a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants – as well as museums and galleries. Known as the ‘Museum Mile’, Exhibition Road serves as the cultural centre of SW7. The Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Science Museum all line the route.
There is a heavy European influence in the area, particularly French, thanks to the presence of the French Institute on Queensberry Place.
Where to start your property search
Most property consists of luxurious flats in converted period townhouses, although if you have the cash you can also snap up a whole Victorian terrace. Mews-style buildings are also scattered throughout the area.
If you have a substantial budget, you can pick up a Grade II listed townhouse over four storeys with up to eight bedrooms on Rutland Gate.
Alternatively, try Queen’s Gate Gardens, which has four- and five-bedroom lateral flats that boast floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies. The most desirable overlook the nearby garden square.
For coveted views across to the Royal Albert Hall, check out the flats in listed properties in the iconic Albert Court on Prince Consort Road.
For something slightly smaller but still stylish, look along the quiet cul-de-sac of Emperor’s Gate. Here you can find plenty of two-bedroom flats in late-19th-century homes, some of which have roof gardens.
For studio apartments, check out Old Brompton Road. And for maisonettes with bay windows and original fireplaces, consider Onslow Gardens.
You can find mews properties that have been converted from old coach houses built in the 1870s on Cornwall Gardens. And there is a number of similar properties tucked down the narrow Queen’s Gate Mews.
Substantial four-bedroom versions built in red brick and with attractive arched doorways can be found on Stanhope Mews East.
More modern and purpose-built developments sit between traditional housing. Prince’s Gate has a purpose-built apartment block where you can enjoy a porter service, communal gardens and covetable views over Hyde Park.
One of the latest developments is The Knightsbridge Apartments, where you can also tap into a porter service, underground parking, landscaped communal gardens and a top-notch leisure suite, which comes complete with a spa and swimming pool.
Another place to look for a new-build apartment is Harrington Road, home to upmarket one- and two-bedroom flats with high ceilings and stylish interiors.
Getting around SW7
By rail: You can easily navigate around London using the Underground. South Kensington and Gloucester Road stations both connect to the District and Circle lines, and South Kensington also links to the Piccadilly Line.
By car: The A4 bisects the area east to west. Follow the road east and you can connect to the A4202, which later links to the A5. To the west are Hammersmith, Chiswick and the Great West Road, from which you can link to the M4.
By air: Heathrow Airport, the UK’s busiest, is just a 35-minute drive away. From here, 80 airlines provide flights to 185 destinations, including New York, Dubai and Dublin, across 84 countries.
Things to do in SW7
History: The Natural History Museum is a leading attraction and science research centre that has more than 5 million visitors every year. Its 80 million specimens include dinosaurs and massive mammals, fossils and lifelike models. Top exhibits include the first ever T-Rex skeleton to be discovered.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is a top museum of art and design. Its permanent collection includes more than 2.3 million objects that span 5,000 years of human creativity. It was established in 1852 and now has vast collections of architecture, furniture, textiles, sculpture and photography.
One of London’s other popular museums is the Science Museum. It is filled with interactive displays and exhibits and has more than 300,000 objects in its care. Topics range from astronomy, physics and clinical medicine to ICT and engineering.
Cultural: The Ciné Lumière is part of the Institut Français and is designed to help promote French language and culture. Its screenings focus on French, European and World cinema, including new releases, previews and exclusive on-stage events.
The Grade I-listed Royal Albert Hall is one of the highlights of London’s arts and entertainment scene. Its events include concerts by musicians, singers and orchestras as well as comedy and film screenings. Every year, more than 390 shows are performed in the main auditorium.
The Italian-styled Britten Theatre is an intimate venue of 400 seats. It is designed to look like an Italian opera theatre and it hosts opera, music, theatre and ballet.
Outdoors: The largest outdoor area in this postcode is Hyde Park, one of eight royal parks in the capital. It covers over 350 acres and includes landmarks such as the Serpentine Lake and the memorial fountain for Diana, Princess of Wales. As well as walking around the park, you can take part in open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding.
There are also several garden squares in the area, including Stanhope Gardens, Queen’s Gate Gardens and Ennismore Gardens.
Shopping: SW7 is packed with high end shops. The design quarter of Brompton Road and Fulham Road, as well as Sloane Avenue, is the place to look for designer stores, which include furniture shops as well as fashion labels.
Food and drink: The best of British can be found at the South Kensington branch of Bumpkin. This brasserie serves traditional food made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, such as devilled whitebait, cod and chips and sticky toffee pudding.
Satisfy a sweet or savoury tooth at the Kensington Crêperie in the heart of South Kensington. Choose from fresh crêpes, waffles and homemade ice cream served with a traditional cup of cider. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves savoury gallettes including salmon and dill or sweet versions stuffed with fillings such as apple and cinnamon.
Stylish night spots include Montezuma, an intimate boutique club that has proved popular with the rich, famous and fashionable.
The Anglesea Arms pub has been a long-running favourite among locals. Charles Dickens used to drink here when he lived nearby and its back room is also thought to be where the Great Train Robbery was planned.
5 reasons to live in SW7
Cosmopolitan, well-heeled community
Elegant stucco-fronted townhouses and mews properties
Choice of world-class museums and galleries
Mix of tasteful restaurants and exclusive bars
Scattered with gardens and communal green spaces
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