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One Day In Kensington

One Day In KensingtonWondering how to spend your day and you’re thinking about visiting some beautiful borough in London? Well, Kensington is a pretty good choice! The borough where Queen Victoria was born was and still is one of the most picturesque areas in the city.

It is famous as a posh district, full of fancy pubs and restaurants with wealthy people going there. Still, it is a perfect place for tourists with its museums, green gardens, and elegant buildings- a fascinating mix of architectural styles.

From a tourist point of view, a lot can be done and seen to just one day in Kensington.

Landmarks and Gardens

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is one of the most prominent royal landmarks in London. It served as a residence for the royal family. From the day when Willian III bought the building in the 17th century, it hosted many monarchs for three centuries. Today it is open to the public to reveal collections of ceremonial and royal clothing and objects. You can visit the King’s State Appartments and Gallery to see the original interiors and paintings from the Royal Collection.

You can learn more about Queen Victoria’s life and personality by visiting the display “Victoria Revealed.”

Where: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, UK;

When: Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM;

Price: Adults- £17.00 at the gate, £15.50 online, Children- Free.

If you’re curious to learn more about other popular Royal landmarks in London you can follow our article.

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens

The gardens and the palace go hand in hand. You just can’t miss them once you reached the palace. The Kensington Gardens– today a separate landmark- were once part of Hyde Park. There is a lot to see there, but let’s see some of the highlights.

On the south side, you can go to see the Albert Memorial- an incredible monument honouring Prince Albert. Next jump to the Italian Gardens- inspired by Prince Albert’s passion for gardening they are a peaceful place for walks. Right next to the Long Water, where you can sit and relax is the famous Peter Pan Statue. On your way back don’t miss the Round Pond, and of course the Diana Memorial Playground- a heaven for children.

Where: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, UK;

When: Open daily from dusk, closing time in the winter months is between 4 PM

and 6 PM, and summer late to 9:45 PM.

Roof Gardens

Roof Gardens

These gardens are not something you’re about to see every day. Situated at 100ft, the Roof Gardens are event venue for film and music shows and weddings, with a restaurant and club. You can visit the gardens free of charge to explore the fantastic view, as long as they are not booked for an event. You will find a vivid coloured Spanish garden composed in Moorish style, a Tudor style garden, and a typical English flower garden. On your way, you will surely meet their permanent residents- the four flamingos and the exotic ducks hanging around with them.

Where: 99 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SA, UK;

When: Contact the venue to find out when the gardens will be open for visits, as they are often booked.

Holland Park

Holland Park

Looking for a green zone to rest with your family or friends? Visit the Holland Park on the north side of Kensington, which is the biggest nature area in the borough. Plenty to do there, as you will find tennis, football and golf grounds, playgrounds for children and large woodland area, untouched by urbanization. Inside the borders of the park is the famous Kyoto Garden.

It is a Japanese style garden donated to the borough, which will show you the best colourful view of blooming trees in the spring season. Don’t miss the little rock waterfall, the fish pond and look around for the curious peacocks.

Where: Ilchester Pl, Kensington, London W8 6LU, UK;

When: Open daily from 8 AM to 7:30 PM.

Museums in Kensington

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museums is a must-see in London. It is enormous space with numerous displays including collections of stuffed animal species, insects, and minerals. You can spend your whole day there, or you can choose to enter one of its sections. The Blue Zone features discoveries of dinosaurs skeletons and mammals species. In the Green Zone, you can explore fossils, insects, and minerals. The Red Zone will take you through the evolution of human kind with multimedia displays. Finally, the Orange Zone is for lovers of wildlife, reptiles, and butterflies.

Where: Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK;

When: Open daily from 10 AM to 5:50 PM

Price: Free admission.

Science Museum

Science Museum

The Science Museum is another museum giant. It is all about scientific discoveries, technology, and inventions. You can visit gallery displays, thematic exhibitions, watch 3D cinema or try simulators. The Science Museum deserves another day to spend inside. However, if you just can’t bear to miss it, try some of the temporary exhibitions or simulators.

Where: Exhibition Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK;

When: Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM;

Price: General admission is free, temporary displays start from £4 up to £17.

Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries are amongst the best contemporary art exhibition centers in London. The two buildings and summer Pavilion are located in the Kensington Gardens within 5 minutes walking between each other. Since the gallery’s opening in 1970 many world famous names have been exhibited there. Some of the artists are Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Zaha Hadid, Henry Moore and Marina Abramovich.

You can see exhibitions of photographs and drawing, art installation or performances. In the outdoor Pavillion, the gallery shows projects of contemporary architects. You will have the chance to see large scale innovative creations of both young and established architects.

Where: Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA, UK;

When: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM,

Pavilion is open every day from 10 AM to 6 PM;

Price: Free admission.

Leighton House

Serpentine Galleries
The Leighton House, also called “Private Palace of Art” once belonged to the then popular artist Frederic Leighton. He built it for himself, to settle a studio and collect works of his contemporaries. Today it is open to the public, showing collections of Leighton’s paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as the works of other Victorian artists.

The house itself is worth to be seen not only in the exhibition but for the extraordinary interior of the Arab Hall. The tall hall reveals rich Middle East decoration of tiles, floral murals and mind-blowing painted ceiling with a golden dome.

Where: 12 Holland Park Rd, Kensington, London W14 8LZ, UK;

When: Open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Tuesday closed;

Price: Adults £14, sold at the gate.
Are you an art lover? Learn more about London’s museums.

Shopping tour in Kensington

Kensington High Street

Kensington High Street

This is the borough’s shopping street with all kinds of stores and brands. It is known as an expensive street, as many celebrities go shopping there, but there is something for everyone. You can walk down on Kensington High Street from the Palace all way to the border of the borough.

You will find chocolatiers, clothing boutiques, cafés, juice bars and food shops. Amongst the luxury brands there well-known stores, such as H&M, Top Shop, Zara and Warehouse waiting for you.

Where: Kensington High Street, London, UK.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is housed in the Barkers Building, which is always meant to be a department store. This is the Mecca of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, milk products, fresh meat, seafood. Whole Foods is a trade mark keeping its fame on high standards of organically produced products, so if you’re searching for healthy choices, this is the place in Kensington.

On the second floor is positioned the food venue with different food brands, where you can have a quick snack after filling your bags with goodies.

Where:The Barkers Building, 63-97 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SE, UK;

When: Open Monday to Saturday from 8 AM to 10 PM, Sunday from 12 PM to 6 PM.

Kensington Church Street

This is the second place where you can head up for a shopping tour. If you’re hunting for dresses, shoes, bags, cosmetics and skincare products, you will find everything you need. You will also find tea and coffee shops, wine sellers, as well as home-decor and furniture stores. Some of the highlights are Dirty Bones, Trilogy, Sweet Beauty, Ash and the popular Cologne&Cotton home-décor store.

Where: Kensington Church St, London, UK;

Portobello Market

>Portobello Market

The Portobello Market is a little aside from the heart of Kensington, but it’s worth to be visited. Placed on Portobello Road in Notting Hill- Kensington’s smaller neighbour district, it has over 150 years history and millions of visitors every year. It is known as an antique market, but you can also find food stalls, jewellery and vintage clothing stores, old school vinyl and books.

At the street surrounding Portobello Road are hidden hundreds of other little shops, so there is a lot to discover. The perfect day for shopping would be Saturday or Friday, but anytime you go you will find working shops.

Where: Portobello Rd, London, UK;

When: Daily from 8 AM to 6 PM, Thursday from 8 AM to 1 PM.

Local Restaurants and Pubs

Mazi

Mazi

This time we will feature some foreign delights, like Mazi– a modern Greek restaurant near Notting Hill Gate station. They are proud to serve traditional Greek recipes with a reimagined taste, prepared with fresh local or Greek ingredients. Of course, you should try the Greek salad, the fish or seafood dishes, accompanied with a glass of Ouzo.

Where: 12-14 Hillgate St, Kensington, London W8 7SR, UK;

When: Every day from 120PM to 3 PM and 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM, Monday 6:30PM-10:30 PM;

Prices: $, $$.

Yashin Sushi

Yashin Sushi

Yashin is a trendy sushi bar with quite a rich menu. With style, they offer different lunch menus to choose from, cold and hot tapas, carpaccio and salads. The menus are selected by the style of the food, although offering different dishes within the same menu. Aside you can taste a diversity of wines, sakes, cocktails, and tea. The atmosphere is really simple and clean, with an interior of black leather furniture and white walls.

Where: 1A Argyll Rd, Kensington, London W8 7DB, UK;

When: Open daily from 12 PM to 2 PM and 6 PM to 10 PM;

Prices: $,$$.

Babylon

Babylon restaurant is part of the Roof Gardens complex, but it is the most popular place in the whole borough, so we decided to list it separately. It is an award-winning restaurant, worth to be visited just for the view from the 7th floor and the rooftop terrace. We already told you about the garden, so let talk about the food. The restaurant offers modern British cuisine, and we suggest you should try one of their steaks, risottos or the pudding. As you can guess, the prices are not of the cheapest ones, but the experience is worth the money.

Where: 99 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SA, UK;

When: Open daily from 12 PM to 12 AM, Sunday from 12 PM to 7 AM;

Prices: $$, $$$.

Scarsdale Tavern

The best word that describes Scarsdale Tavern is cozy. It is the perfect choice for a classic British pub with a warm atmosphere in the quiet borough. The pub is always full, but it’s big enough to satisfy both beer lovers and visitors who are after a delicious dinner. In front of the bar, you can sit for a drink, while at the back you will find a dining area with a fireplace. The interior is a delicate combination of antique and modern furniture with a taste of typically British decoration. Choose from a variety of tap and bottled beers, soft drinks and spirits.

Where: 23A Edwardes Square, Kensington, London W8 6HE, UK;

When: Open daily from 12 PM to 11 PM, Sunday from 12 PM to 10:30 PM.

Prices :$, $$.

Churchill Arms

Churchill Arms

Churchill Arms is not just another English pub. With its Thai cuisine, British tap beers and extraordinary interior it is a hidden treasure in Kensington. Even before you enter, you will notice the flower façade. Once you step inside, you will know you’re in the right place.

You will see lights, baskets, flowers, flags, pots, bells and metal signs hanging from the ceiling. And they even have a real sign placed indoors pointing you the direction towards the bar or the cloakroom. Churchill Arms serve some traditional tap beer, such as London Pride, Fullers and Honey Dew or you can order some of their seasonal offers of craft lagers and ales.

Where: 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN, UK;

When: Open Monday to Wednesday from 11 AM to 11 PM,

Thursday to Saturday 11 AM to 12 PM and Monday 12 PM to 10:30 PM;

Prices: $, $$.

The Goat

The Goat

The Goat is famous for being the oldest pub in Kensington. Built as a coffeehouse in 1965 it has a long history of customers, some of them with horrific stories. It didn’t last long serving only soft drinks, and from 1702 it became a pub, to survive present days. Along with the ales, The Goat serves a dark story- the story of a serial killer called John George Haigh, the “Acid Bath Murderer.” It is known he met his first victim there, which makes the place even more attractive to tourists.

There are also rumours the pub is connected with the Kensington Palace, which it is facing, with secret tunnels. No one knows whether this is true, but as long as they keep serving cold beer and delicious burgers, people will fill the place. Try it, either for the craft beer or the history.

Where: 3A Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5NP, UK;

When: Open Monday to Thursday from 11 AM to 11:30 PM,

Friday 11 AM to 12 AM,

Saturday and Sunday from 12 PM to 10:30 PM,

Prices :$, $$.

Try our route

If you still wonder what direction to head to you try our route. It includes the best sights in Kensington and will leave you satisfied at the end of the day.

Start from the Kensington Palace. To get there, you can take a bus to Kensington Palace Stop, or if you prefer the underground, you can take off at Notting Hill Gate.

Next will be the Kensington Gardens to take a peaceful walk around and stop for a coffee. Once you’re at the gardens, you can walk a little bit to reach the Serpentine Galleries for an art experience.

From there you can head south on Exhibition Street, and you can take the opportunity to pass along Royal Albert Hall, as it is on your way. Down on Exhibition Street are the three big museums – Science Museum, Victoria& Albert, and Natural History Museum. It is up to you to decide which one you will choose.

Then you turn on Cromwell Road, a street full of shops and cafés and head north to reach Kensington High Street. Once you’re there, you can go to the Whole Foods department store, or just hang around with the crowd.

In case you feel hungry you can jump to the Roof Gardens and Babylon restaurant or slip inside The Churchill Arms or The Goat. They are both on the same street.

So, you made a full circle! You can again return to the bus, tube station or even hire a local Kensington minicab to get home quickly.