Kensington is a borough of London that oozes charm and opulence. The famous London area offers an array of exquisite experiences that cater to those looking to add an element of sophistication to their travels. From world-renowned museums to lavish dining experiences and a few hidden gems dotted around the borough, Kensington is certainly somewhere you can experience the quintessential English lifestyle.
While Buckingham Palace is iconic, Kensington Palace is where you might just bump into young royals like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This historic palace boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful gardens. Explore the public areas and admire the fashion displays inspired by the royal family. The walk up to the palace through the stunning Kensington Gardens will surely prepare you for immersing yourself in British luxury and royal history.
2. Roam the Enchanting Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens, the western part of Hyde Park, is a true gem within London's green spaces. Within these serene gardens, you'll discover charming pathways, tranquil ponds, and iconic landmarks such as the Albert Memorial. Don't miss a visit to Kensington Palace, nestled within these beautiful surroundings. Art enthusiasts will also appreciate the Serpentine Galleries, showcasing contemporary art.
3. Feast your Eyes at Harrods
Harrods, the world-famous department store, is a must-visit. Whether you're shopping for luxury goods, dining at one of its fine restaurants, or simply gazing at the stunning window displays, Harrods offers an unforgettable shopping experience. No trip to London, let alone Kensington is complete without a trip to this hub of luxury. The store is home to many famous fashion brands. The food court is also certainly something to behold, especially if you are more culinary inclined.
4. Admire Notting Hill's Colourful Houses
Venture into the neighbouring district of Notting Hill, renowned for its pastel-hued terraced houses. Embark on a picturesque journey through streets like Ledbury Road, Farmer Street, Kensington Park Road, and Hillgate Street, each boasting a unique architectural charm that's perfect for your Instagram feed. You can even try to find the blue door that was made so famous by the famous name-sake film - Notting Hill.
5. Catch a Performance at the Famous Royal Albert Hall
Indulge in high culture at the Royal Albert Hall, where you can attend concerts and events in a stunning setting. The Proms, a British classic music festival, is an event worth experiencing here if you happen to be in London around this time. The concert venue hosts around 400 events every year and is one of the world’s most famous stages. Pop musicians, orchestras and even stand-up comics have been known to grace the stage of the massive concert hall. Its phenomenal acoustics are globally renowned among artists and musicians even today.
6. Sip a Pint at The Churchill Arms
This English Pub is named after one of the most iconic British heroes - Winston Churchill. The Churchill Arms is not your average pub; it's a floral wonderland. Admire the extravagant flower displays that adorn its exterior. Inside, you'll find a cosy atmosphere steeped in British history, complete with Churchill memorabilia. Enjoy a crafty pint and soak in the ambience
7. Marvel at the Details of The Albert Memorial
Gaze upon the grandeur of the Albert Memorial, an iconic monument named after Queen Victoria's beloved husband. Admire its intricate design and symbolism in the heart of Kensington Gardens. This memorial is a true representation of the love that Victoria and Albert shared and stands as one of the most famous sites in Kensington today.
8. Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley
Indulge in the quintessential British tradition of afternoon tea at The Berkeley, a five-star hotel with sleek interiors. Their restaurant, Prêt-à-Portea offers themed cakes that are a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. Enjoy magnificent displays of mouth-watering treats when you decide to have a traditional English afternoon tea at this wonderful spot.
9. Brompton Cemetery
Explore the expansive Brompton Cemetery, the final resting place for many notable figures in British history. Stroll among the graves and discover the stories of remarkable individuals like Emmeline Pankhurst and Lizzie le Blond. This is an interesting activity to do, and it is a testament to the extensive history the city of London has to offer.
10. Kyoto Garden
Escape the urban bustle and find tranquillity in Kyoto Garden, a Japanese garden nestled within Holland Park. Marvel at its beauty, including the tiered waterfall, and pay homage to its historical significance. This is a must-do for flower and plant lovers and those who want to seek some inspiration for their gardens back home.
11. Enjoy a Coffee at Cafe Momo
This coffee shop and patisserie-style cafe is the epitome of sophistication, which is very apt for the borough of Kensington. Enjoy a delightful coffee break at Cafe Momo, a warm and elegant cafe serving modern European cuisine. From coffee to cocktails, this spot caters to all your beverage desires and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a sunny day at a curb-side table.
12. Have a Read at the South Kensington Bookshop
Book lovers, South Kensington Books is your haven. This independent bookstore, established in the 1940s, offers an impressive selection of books, from bestsellers to rare finds. The knowledgeable staff can guide you through their stock, and you might discover hidden classic gems or even some rare first editions.
13. Spend an Unforgettable Evening at Nocturne
For a memorable evening, visit Nocturne, a prohibition-style speakeasy hidden inside an unassuming wine shop. Enjoy old-fashioned cocktails and soak in the vintage atmosphere. Don’t worry if you struggle to find the entrance at first - that’s all just part of the fun!
14. High Tea or Cocktails at the 100 Queen's Gate Hotel
Indulge in tasty small plates and cocktails at ESQ, the Victorian-inspired cocktail bar within 100 Queen's Gate Hotel. It's a chic setting to unwind after a day of exploration. It’s the perfect activity to do with a group of girlfriends or to enjoy a romantic afternoon or evening. The sophistication of the setting is infectious and will certainly add to your quintessential Kensington experience.
15. Visit the Saatchi Gallery
This is something to do in Kensington for anyone who considers themselves to be something of an art enthusiast. The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea showcases cutting-edge contemporary art. Here, you can explore exhibitions, installations, and art-related lectures in this vibrant cultural hub.
16. Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
Delve into the world of art and design at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world's largest museum of applied design. Explore the diverse collections and discover design treasures spanning centuries. The museum has hosted historical collections from Chanel to Dior, and is a great place to learn about art, design, and fashion through the ages.
17. Science Museum
The Science Museum is home to some of the most mind-blowing displays and acts as an educational establishment that demonstrates scientific discoveries and concepts, both old and new. Hands-on exhibits cover a wide range of scientific subjects. It's a fun and educational experience for all ages.
18. Stroll Through Holland Park
This is the ideal attraction if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Kensington in the summer. Holland Park is a magical public park known for its formal gardens, lawns, and hidden gems like an open-air theatre. The Kyoto Japanese garden has already made it onto our list of one of the best things to do in Kensington, but the rest of the gardens should also not be ignored. Enjoy picnics, spot parakeets, and immerse yourself in the beauty of English gardens.
19. Natural History Museum
Uncover the wonders of the natural world at the iconic Natural History Museum. From dinosaur skeletons to botanical collections, this museum offers a fascinating journey through Earth's history. It’s a great activity to do with the whole family, and the kids will absolutely love exhibits like the dinosaurs. Some of the displays in this massive museum truly are awe-inspiring.
Kensington invites you to immerse yourself in a world of elegance, culture, and beauty. Each of these 19 brilliant activities promises a memorable experience in this affluent London borough. Whether you're seeking art, history, or simply a taste of luxury, Kensington has something extraordinary to offer. Enjoy your opulent adventure in one of London's most prestigious neighbourhoods.
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