London area of SW5 guide

What to do and where to stay in London's SW5 neighbourhood

During the late 60s a huge influx of Australian and New Zealander travellers in SW5 saw Earls Court gain the nickname "Kangaroo Valley". Although there is still a large Antipodean population in the area, Earls Court is now the centre of the Filipino British community. Contrary to popular belief, there is no apostrophe in Earls Court - the district is in fact named after the Earls of Oxford, who owned what was once a rural area for 500 years. Before Soho earned its rainbow stripes, Earls Court was the centre of London's gay nightlife, though there is little evidence of this today. Princess Diana lived on Coleherne Road in a flat bought for her on her 18th birthday by her parents before she moved into Clarence House on the night before her engagement with Prince Charles was officially announced. There is also a blue police box which resembles Dr Who's TARDIS time machine located outside the tube station. Other landmarks include multiple private garden squares, the art deco Earls Court Exhibition Centre and the ever-popular Troubadour, a charmingly bohemian restaurant and live music venue frequented by the likes of Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Britain's first escalator was installed at Earls Court tube station in 1911, while 40 years later, the nation's first supermarket opened in SW5.

See our recommended nearby SW5 Hotels, Entertainment, Sights and Attractions, Shopping, Restaurants, Pubs, Nightlife, Leisure, Education, and Meeting Venues.

SW5 Hotels

in or near SW5
Hotel Indigo London Kensington - Earls Court
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
34-44 Barkston Gardens, SW5
Hotel Indigo London Kensington is a boutique hotel located within London's esteemed Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Situated only 150 metres from Earl's Court tube ... More
 
 
 
The Nadler Hotel Kensington
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
25 Courtfield Gardens, SW5
Promising 'the bill you pay at check-out is what you thought you'd pay when you checked in', the Nadler Hotels specialise in stylish, affordable accommodation. The ... More
 
 
 
London Town Hotel
London > Hotels > Budget Chain Hotel
15 Penywern Road, SW5
Dating back to 1877 and just a few steps from Earls Court tube station, the London Town Hotel (no relation) offers easy access to the West ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Entertainment

in or near SW5
PICK
The Troubadour
London > Entertainment > Live Music
265 Old Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
Kensington's original boho coffee house. Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon played here back in the 60s. Of course, Kensington has changed a ... More
 
 
 
PICK
The Troubadour
London > Entertainment > Live Music
263-267 Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
The Troubadour is a lovely little cafe, which hosts an inspiring program of folk, blues, psychedelia and poetry downstairs. It's also the place where Private Eye ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Finborough Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
118 Finborough Road, SW5, London SW10
The Finborough Theatre in Earls Court punches well above its weight, presenting award-winning plays and works by new writers in a small theatre above a pub. ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Sights and Attractions

The best museums, galleries, attractions in or near SW5
PICK
Maggie & Rose
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
58 Pembroke Road, SW5, London W8
A members club for kids, it could only be in Kensington and Chelsea. Classes taking place throughout the day, Monday to Friday, include mini musicians from ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Brompton Cemetery
London > Attractions > Other Attractions
Fulham Road, SW5, London SW10
Opened in the mid-19th century Brompton Cemetary was set up as one of the 'Magnificent Seven' series of cemeteries, which included Highgate Cemetery, established to cope ... More
 
 
 
Brompton Library
London > Attractions > Museums
Brompton Library, 210 Old Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
Signing up to the Brompton Library is easy and more importantly, free. All books are free to borrow whilst there is a small charge for audiobooks, ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Shopping

The best shops and markets in or near London's SW5
PICK
Zafash
London > Shopping > Chemists
233-235 Old Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
For all those late night emergencies which don’t quite warrant a trip to casualty, you can always try Zafash Pharmacy at Earl’s Court. You’ll never be ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Only Roses
London > Shopping > Florists
257 Old Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
If you've walked passed this fragrant rose specialist shop you'll most likely have stepped gingerly, trying not to crush the delicate petals scattered on the street ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Children's Book Centre
London > Shopping > Books
237 Kensington High Street, SW5, London W8
This is a bookshop and a whole lot more, with everything on offer from padded books for tots, through wonderful picture books and on to first ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Restaurants

What are the best dining options in or near SW5 London?
PICK
Byron
London > Restaurants > American restaurants
242 Earls Court Road, SW5, London SW5
Of all the many burger chains in London, Byron is the least gimmicky and could well be the best. Byron claims to source its beef from ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
London > Restaurants > American restaurants
Earls Court Road, Earl's Court, SW5, London SW5
New Zealanders take their burgers pretty seriously, and back in 2001 three Kiwis living in London found themselves homesick from the lack of well-crafted quality burgers ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Masala Zone
London > Restaurants > Indian/South Asian restaurants
147 Earls Court Road, SW5, London SW5
The obvious point of comparison for this chain of trendy, inexpensive Indian restaurants is Wagamama's. Like that sainted chain, they offer authentic street food, quick service ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Pubs

The best pubs in or near London SW5.
PICK
Devonshire Arms W8
London > Nightlife > Pubs
37 Marloes Road, SW5, London W8
Always a popular hangout with the South Kensington locals, The Devonshire Arms had a fresh lick of paint in 2014 and emerged with its proper pub ... More
 
 
 
PICK
The Abingdon
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
54 Abingdon Road, Kensington, SW5, London W8
... More
 
 
 
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The Duke of Clarence
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
148 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW5, London SW5
Gastropub... More
 
 
 

SW5 Nightlife

SW5 clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
PICK
Ping
London > Nightlife > Bars
180-184 Earl's Court Road, SW5, London SW5
We can't help but feel that Boris Johnson would approve of Ping, a cavernous venue which serves cocktails, pizzas and ping pong (or whiff whaff if ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Evans & Peel Detective Agency
London > Nightlife > Bars
310c Earls Court Road, SW5, London SW5
Taking the speakeasy trend to another level, the Evans & Peel Detective Agency is a bar moonlighting as fully functioning detective company. The basement bar can ... More
 
 
 
Brompton's
London > Nightlife > Bars
294 Old Brompton Road, SW5, London SW5
Gay friendly bar with a mostly men clientele.... More
 
 
 

SW5 Leisure

SW5 gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
PICK
The Roof Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
99 Kensington High Street, SW5, London W8
Although a restaurant, clubbing and event venue, the extraordinary Kensington Roof Gardens are still accessible to the general public during the day if there are no ... More
 
 
 
Young Chelsea Bridge Club
London > Leisure > Games
32 Barkston Gardens, SW5, London SW5
... More
 
 
 
Earls Court Gym
London > Leisure > Fitness
254 Earls Court Road, SW5, London SW5
Gym ... More
 
 
 

SW5 Education

in or near SW5
PICK
The London School of Painting and Drawing
London > Education > Evening Classes
23 Kensington Square, SW5, London W8
Evening and weekend classes in life drawing and painting, taught by tutors from the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Society of British Sculptors. ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Dana Centre
London > Education > Evening Classes
165 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, SW5, London SW7
There are plenty of initiatives trying to get kids involved in science, but the Dana Centre, an extension of the Science Museum, is the first one ... More
 
 
 
London Electronics College
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
20 Penywern Road, Earls Court, SW5, London SW5
... More
 
 
 

SW5 Meeting Venues

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course in or near SW5.
 
PICK
Kensington Roof Gardens
London > Business > Venue Hire
99 Kensington High Street, SW5, London W8
An oasis high in the sky above Kensington High Street, the Roof Gardens comprises one and a half acres of themed gardens. These gardens surround an ... More
 
 
 
Best Western Burns Hotel
London > Business > Venue Hire
18-26 Barkston Gardens, Kensington, SW5, London SW5
This traditional Kensington town house is located in one of the most elegant areas of Central London. It combines friendly service and an informal restaurant with ... More
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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