- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's London 2014
Mobile AppDownload Fodor's City Guide App for FREE!
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Chelsea Review
Charles II founded this hospice for elderly and infirm soldiers in 1682 to reward the troops who had fought for him in the civil wars of 1642–46 and 1648. A creation of three of England's greatest architects—Wren, Vanbrugh, and Hawksmoor—this small village of brick and Portland stone set in manicured gardens (which you can visit) surrounds the Figure Court (the figure being a 1682 gilded bronze statue of Charles II dressed as a Roman general), the Great Hall (dining room), and a chapel. The chapel and the Great Hall, where you can see Antonio Verrio's vast oil painting of Charles on horseback, are open to the public at certain times during the day. There is a small museum devoted to the history of the resident "Chelsea Pensioners," but the real attraction, along with the building, is the pensioners themselves. Recognizable by their traditional scarlet frock coats with gold buttons, medals, and tricorne hats, they are all actual veterans, who wear the uniform, and the history it represents, with a great deal of pride.
Chelsea Flower Show. Also in May (usually the third week), the Chelsea Flower Show, the year's highlight for thousands of garden-obsessed Brits, is held here. Run by the Royal Horticultural Society, this mammoth event takes up vast acreage, and the surrounding streets throng with visitors. 0844/338–7506 in U.K.; 121/767–4063 from outside U.K. www.rhs.org.uk.
- Address: Royal Hospital Rd., Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR | Map It
- Phone: 020/7881–5298
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Grounds, Chapel, Courts, and Great Hall Mon.–Sat. 10–noon and 2–4. Museum open weekdays 10–4. Closed holidays and for special events.
- Website: www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk
- Tube: Sloane Sq.
- Location: Kensington, Chelsea, and Knightsbridge
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
First … thank you so much to all who helped with suggestions. Read more
We saw London, we saw France and lots more.
Day 1 (9/18) Amsterdam
Well I have put off this trip report long enough so here goes. I am writing this to pay forward the help and advice which I received from Read more
Hub and I are arriving in London on the Eurostar and need to get to Fleet River Bakery, near the Holburn tube stop. Read more
· News & Features
The new Rosewood London is London's latest luxury property, touting a hip twist on Edwardian style, complete ... Read more
'Tis the season at London Heathrow, which almost seems like a giant shopping mall with an airport attached.... Read more
The beacons of hotel-cool are at it again, this time across the pond.... Read more