Kensington is one of London’s most affluent neighbourhoods, boasting a plethora of attractions for visitors to explore. From the iconic Museum Mile to the picturesque parks and gardens, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Kensington.
The area is home to some of London’s most prestigious museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum, all located within walking distance of each other. Kensington is also known for its upscale vibe, with chic cafes, trendy boutiques, and elegant restaurants lining the streets. And let’s not forget the royal palace – Kensington Palace – which adds to the area’s regal charm.
- 1 Cool Things to do in Kensington
- 1.1 Visit Kensington Palace
- 1.2 Visit the Churchill Arms
- 1.3 Swanking it Up in Harrods
- 1.4 Discover the Pretty Mews of Kensington
- 1.5 Go for a Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
- 1.6 Walk Around Kensington Gardens
- 1.7 Pay Tribute at the Albert Memorial
- 1.8 Have Afternoon Tea at a Very Swanky Hotel
- 1.9 Discover Hyde Park’s Hidden Pet Cemetery
- 1.10 Visit Brompton Cemetery
- 1.11 Soak Up the Atmosphere at Kyoto Garden
- 1.12 Cafe Momo
- 1.13 Get Bookish
- 2 Cool Places to Visit in Kensington: Museums and Galleries
- 3 Kensington, London Area Guide: Practical Tips and Tricks for Your Visit
- 4 More Tips and Guides for Exploring Kensington and London
- Kensington offers a variety of attractions, from Museum Mile to beautiful parks and gardens.
- The area is known for its upscale vibe, with trendy cafes, shops, and restaurants.
- Visitors should not miss the opportunity to explore Kensington’s prestigious museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum.
Cool Things to do in Kensington
Kensington is a treasure trove of activities and sights that could take weeks to fully explore. But if you’re short on time, these top picks are a must-visit. From royal palaces to quirky pubs, to serene gardens, Kensington has something for everyone.
Visit Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a historic royal residence located in Kensington Gardens. It’s home to a slew of young members of the House of Windsor, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie, and a few of Queen Elizabeth’s cousins.
While visitors won’t get to peek into the private lives of the royals, they can explore the palace’s public areas, including the King’s State Apartments and the Queen’s State Apartments. Visitors can also enjoy the palace’s beautiful gardens, which offer a peaceful escape from the city.
Visit the Churchill Arms
Located in the heart of Kensington, the Churchill Arms is a charming pub that’s known for its quirky exterior. The pub is covered in plants and flowers, and the interior is filled with an extensive collection of Winston Churchill memorabilia.
Visitors can enjoy a pint of real ale and delicious Thai food while taking in the unique atmosphere of the pub.
Swanking it Up in Harrods
Harrods is a world-renowned department store that’s a must-visit for any shopper. The store, which opened in 1824, is the largest department store in Europe and one of Kensington’s biggest tourist attractions.
Visitors can browse through the latest collections from designers from Britain and abroad, or indulge in some luxury items like dinner sets and jewelry. For those on a budget, there are also options like teddy bears, chocolate bars, and postcards.
Discover the Pretty Mews of Kensington
For a glimpse into the quieter, more picturesque side of life in London, a visit to the beautiful mews of Kensington is a must. These charming streets were originally built off of major roads to house horses, carriages, and their drivers while the gentry visited nearby homes.
Today, the mews are coveted for their charm and beauty. Visitors can wander through the streets and discover hidden gems like Elvaston and Holland Park Mews.
Go for a Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall located in Kensington that offers some of the country’s premier arts and culture events. The hall hosts an impressive calendar of fancy events and concerts, including the famous Proms music festival held each summer.
Visitors can also book guided tours of the hall to learn more about its history and architecture.
Walk Around Kensington Gardens
Covering over 265 acres, Kensington Gardens is a fairytale to explore with lots of tucked-away hidden gems. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and discover landmarks like the Peter Pan statue, which was inspired by the gardens.
Pay Tribute at the Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is a grand monument located in Kensington Gardens that’s dedicated to Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, Albert. The monument is decorated with various symbols of his life, including many nods to his love of the arts.
Have Afternoon Tea at a Very Swanky Hotel
Afternoon tea is a quintessential British tradition, and there’s no better place to indulge than in Kensington’s swanky hotels. Visitors can enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea experience at hotels like The Ritz or The Savoy, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and a selection of teas.
Discover Hyde Park’s Hidden Pet Cemetery
Hyde Park is one of London’s most famous parks, but few visitors know about its hidden pet cemetery. The cemetery is located near Victoria Gate and is the final resting place for many beloved pets of Londoners. Visitors can pay their respects and learn about the history of the cemetery.
Visit Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery is a Victorian cemetery located in Kensington that’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The cemetery is home to many notable figures, including suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and writer Anthony Trollope. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cemetery to learn more about its history and famous residents.
Soak Up the Atmosphere at Kyoto Garden
Kyoto Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden located in Holland Park. The garden is a serene oasis in the middle of the city and features a pond, waterfalls, and a variety of plants and flowers. Visitors can relax and take in the peaceful atmosphere of the garden.
Cafe Momo is a cozy cafe located in Kensington that’s known for its delicious brunch and coffee. Visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes, including avocado toast and pancakes, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Kensington is home to many independent bookshops, including Daunt Books and The
Cool Places to Visit in Kensington: Museums and Galleries
Kensington is a hub for museums and galleries, making it a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts. Here are some of the top museums and galleries that visitors should check out during their trip to Kensington.
Discover Art and Design at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
The Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of applied design. With over 2.25 million objects in its collection, the museum spans over five hectares and covers designs from over 5,000 years.
The V&A is a hidden gem that many visitors overlook in favor of other museums in the area. However, the museum’s impressive Islamic collection is one of the most notable in the western world. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibitions that showcase different designs, such as jewelry, prints, and metalwork.
Entrance to the V&A is free, except for special exhibitions. Visitors can also check out other free museums in London, such as the Natural History Museum.
Get Hands-On at the Science Museum
The Science Museum offers a fun and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. The museum features hands-on exhibits that explore different subjects, such as space, identity, and cars. The exhibits are united by one central theme: science.
The Science Museum is a great destination for those who enjoy learning and having fun at the same time. Visitors can expect to spend hours exploring the various exhibits and activities available.
Learn About Pretty Much Everything at the Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of the most iconic destinations in London. The grand building is full of taxidermied animals and specimens of thousands of plants, making it a fascinating wonderland for visitors.
From skeletons of megafauna to a delve into the dinosaur world and the geology of the planet, the Natural History Museum has something for everyone. However, visitors should try to avoid visiting during school holidays and weekends, as the museum can get crowded.
Leighton House Museum
Leighton House Museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in architecture and art. The museum was once the home of Frederic Lord Leighton, an Earl, painter, and philosopher who envisioned a home that mixed Islamic, Victorian, and Italian elements.
Today, visitors can marvel at the architecture and paintings on display. The museum is currently closed for renovation and is set to reopen in early 2022.
The Design Museum
The Design Museum is housed in impressive quarters on the edge of Holland Park. The museum aims to open visitors’ eyes to the good designs that we take for granted in everyday life. Visitors can explore iconic items that we use in our daily lives, such as the tube map, BMX bikes, wishbone chairs, and even the simple Biro.
The Design Museum is a great destination for those who want to learn more about design and appreciate the everyday items that we use.
The Serpentine Galleries
The Serpentine Galleries are set across two sites in Kensington Gardens and are known for their original and quirky set up. The gallery opened in 1970 and has since showcased works from some of the biggest names in the art world, such as Man Ray, Henry Moore, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol.
The North Gallery’s extension was designed by Zaha Hadid, adding to the gallery’s unique character. The original buildings are also Grade II listed.
18 Stafford Terrace
18 Stafford Terrace offers visitors a glimpse into Victorian life. The home belonged to an upper middle-class family, offering a unique perspective on Victorian living. Visitors can explore the home and get a feel for what it was like to live in Victorian London.
The home is currently closed for renovation and is set to reopen in early 2022. However, it is still a destination worth adding to any Kensington itinerary.
In conclusion, Kensington is a hub for museums and galleries, making it a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits and activities that showcase different designs and offer a glimpse into different eras and cultures.
Kensington, London Area Guide: Practical Tips and Tricks for Your Visit
Where to Stay in Kensington
If you’re planning a trip to Kensington and looking for a place to stay, there are several accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences.
For those seeking luxury, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is a top choice. This hotel has been a favorite of royals and celebrities for over a century and offers opulent rooms, Michelin starred dining, and a prime location for shopping and sightseeing in Kensington.
For mid-range options, the Kensington House Hotel and The Harrington are both excellent choices. The Kensington House Hotel is located near Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, as well as the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum. The rooms are cozy yet light and airy in a beautiful old building. The Harrington, on the other hand, boasts modern and spacious apartments and a prime South Kensington address.
To check prices and availability for these accommodations, visit Tripadvisor or Booking.com.
How to Get to Kensington
Kensington is located in western London and is easily accessible by public transportation. The best way to get in and out of Kensington is by taking the tube.
The High Street Kensington tube stop is conveniently located near the High Street and is serviced by the Circle and District Lines. South Kensington tube station is another option, especially if you plan on visiting the V&A, Science, and Natural History museums in South Kensington. This station is serviced by the District, Circle, and Piccadilly lines.
Other nearby tube stations include Knightsbridge and Earl’s Court.
Overall, getting to and around Kensington is quite easy with the tube, and there are several accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.
More Tips and Guides for Exploring Kensington and London
For those who are looking for more things to do in London, consider starting with the London Bucket List, which offers over 150 activities to explore in the city. Alternatively, for those seeking unusual and offbeat experiences, the guide to London’s Secret Spots provides a list of unique places to visit.
For budget-conscious travelers, there are plenty of free things to do in London. This includes visiting the many free museums and galleries, taking a stroll through the city’s parks, or attending free events and concerts.
While exploring Kensington, there are plenty of cafes and coffee shops to stop by for a quick refreshment. Check out the article on the best cafes and coffee shops in Kensington, London for some great recommendations.
For those in need of accommodations, consider checking out the insider’s guide to the best places to stay in London. This guide provides a list of top-rated hotels and guesthouses in the city.