Kings Road in London

Show Map

King's Road or Kings Road, known popularly as The King's Road or The KR, is a major, well-known street stretching through Chelsea and Fulham, both in west London, England. It is traditionally associated with 1960s style, and fashion figures such as Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood.


King's Road runs for just under 2 mi through Chelsea, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, from Sloane Square in the east (on the border with Belgravia and Knightsbridge) and through the Moore Park estate on the border of Chelsea and Fulham opposite Stamford Bridge. Shortly after crossing Stanley bridge the road passes a slight kink at the junction with Waterford Road in Fulham, where it then becomes New King's Road, continuing to Putney Bridge; its western end is in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.


King's Road derives its name from its function as a private road used by Charles II to travel to Kew. It remained a private royal road until 1830, but people with connections were able to use it. Some houses date from the early 18th century. Thomas Arne lived at No. 215 and is believed to have composed "Rule Britannia" there. Ellen Terry lived in the same house from 1904–1920, and is commemorated by a blue plaque. Photographer Christina Broom was born in 1862 at No 8.

In 1876, the world's first artificial ice rink, the Glaciarium, opened just off King's Road, and later that year it relocated to a building on the street.

King's Road was home in the 1960s to the Chelsea Drugstore (originally a chemist with a stylised chrome-and-neon soda fountain upstairs, later a public house, and more recently a McDonalds), and in the 1970s to Malcolm McLaren's boutique, Let It Rock, which was renamed SEX in 1974, and then Seditionaries in 1977. During the hippie and punk eras, it was a centre for counterculture, but has since been gentrified. It serves as Chelsea's high street and has a reputation for being one of London's most fashionable shopping streets. Other celebrated boutiques included Granny Takes a Trip and Stop The Shop, a fashion boutique with a revolving floor.

484 King's Road was headquarters of Swan Song Records, owned by Led Zeppelin. They left following closure of the company in 1983. King's Road was site of the first UK branch of Starbucks which opened in 1999.

The road has been represented in popular culture on various occasions: "King's Road" is the title of a song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from the 1981 album Hard Promises and Ian Fleming's James Bond lived in a trendy unnamed square just off King's Road.

Planning and Transport


The eastern part of the King's Road is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.


At the eastern end of the street is Sloane Square, and Fulham Broadway lies at the western end, on the boundary between Chelsea and Fulham. The King's Road, and the area of Chelsea as a whole, is known for having poor links to the London Underground, however the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line would rectify this with the construction of a new Chelsea tube station.


Buses 11, 19, 22, 49, 211, 319, 328, and C3 all go down the King's Road, yet most of these turn off the street at one point or another. The 11 and the 22 are the only routes which run down the entirety of the King's Road, with the 22 being the only route that runs all the way from Sloane Square to the end of the New Kings Road in Fulham.


The western end of the King's Road is close to the newly opened Imperial Wharf railway station on the London Overground network, with connections to Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction. Southern also run direct rail services to and from this station.


Chelsea Harbour Pier is also within easy reach of the western end of the King's Road, with river bus services provided by London River Services and Thames Executive Charters to Putney and Blackfriars. Further east, the same services are also provided at Cadogan Pier, only a few blocks south of the King's Road near the Albert Bridge.

See also

  • King's Highway
  • Sloane Ranger
  • World's End, Chelsea
  • List of eponymous roads in London

External links