A guide to The best things to do in Kensington, London
Kensington is a bustling district in west London. Renowned as an upmarket area, it hosts London’s most famed museums, two magnificent Royal Parks and diverse shopping. Read on to discover the best things to do in Kensington, London.
Of course, there are lots of fantastic sights and an abundance of hotels near Kensington, allowing visitors to easily access this cultural and glamorous area.
The first stop for many in Kensington is three of London’s largest museums. These include the Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and Science Museum. All of which offer free entry alongside a wealth of exciting exhibitions.
The best museums in Kensington, London
Renowned as one of the most precious collections of natural history specimens, the Natural History Museum is not to be missed. On entrance, be sure to say hello to Hope the blue whale skeleton who looms over the foyer.
The museum is famed for its dinosaur collections, as well as other natural environment exhibitions. These include botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. In winter, the Natural History Museum also hosts an ice-rink and fairground rides.
Next door, discover the Victoria & Albert Museum, celebrated as one of the world’s greatest art and design museums. Inside, discover 5,000 years of creative genius with an abundance of ancient and contemporary collections.
These include eclectic collections of architecture, art, ceramics, design, fashion, furniture, paintings, performance, photographs, sculpture, textiles and jewellery. It’s certainly easy to spend a day getting lost within its astounding and varied exhibitions.
Adjacent, you will find the Science Museum. Here, you are welcome to learn more about the world around you with countless exhibitions and hands-on displays.
Quite often, the Science Museum will also host a collection of special temporary exhibitions. Currently on, The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution provides an interesting insight into the Russian royal family and their secretive medical history.
The interactive Fly 360° flight simulator ride also proves a popular paid attraction for adults and children alike.
What to do in Hyde Park Gardens, London
Have no fear though, museums aside, there is more fun to be had. Kensington is lucky to feature not one, but two Royal Parks. Discover the connected Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
These parks offer plenty of open green space to explore, be it for a summertime picnic or brisk winter walk.
Firstly, take a stroll in Hyde Park, one of the world’s greatest city parks. Here you will stumble upon 350 acres of nature at its finest. Appreciate its beauty among trees, flowers and meadows, as well as an array of monuments.
Stop for a moment by one of its lakeside refreshment points and enjoy views of The Serpentine. In summer, you may even opt to take a boat or pedalo out.
From November onward, you can also visit Winter Wonderland. Here you can enjoy traditional German wooden huts, fairground rides and an outdoor ice rink to boot.
You will also stumble upon a variety of monuments and memorials, such as the Achilles statue and the Joy of Life Fountain, to name a few. You may admire flora in the Rose Garden, take a moment at the Diana Memorial Fountain or listen to the voiced opinions of many each Sunday at Speakers Corner.
Hyde Park has something for everyone, and offers year-round attractions and sporting fun. Connected, you will discover Kensington Gardens via the glorious Serpentine Bridge.
What to do in Kensington Gardens, London
The gorgeous and graceful Kensington Gardens offers 265 acres of green space to wander. It is home to the celebrated Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial, Serpentine Galleries, The Italian Gardens, The Allotment Garden, Peter Pan Statue, Elfin Oak and the treasured Diana Memorial Playground.
Kensington Palace is a particularly popular pastime for tourists and local residents alike. This lovely stately home is embellished with period furnishings, landscaped by gorgeous surrounding gardens.
Inside, discover the State Apartments, Queen Victoria’s former living quarters and a special Diana exhibition, dedicated to the fashion and charitable work of the late Princess of Wales.
It is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton). Afterwards, enjoy traditional afternoon tea in the Orangery before taking a stroll through the Sunken Garden, much loved by Diana.
What to do in High Street Kensington
Culture and outdoor ventures aside, Kensington offers a spectacular selection of outlets for leisure and shopping.
South Kensington is home to High Street Kensington, renowned for its impressive variety of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries, as well as many a high street favourite. For antique finds, you will want to visit Kensington Church Street.
You could certainly spend hours hunting around Kensington’s variety of fabulous shops. My personal favourites include Whole Foods Market, Urban Outfitters and Japan House London.
Be sure to stop for a quick lunch at Whole Foods Market, this gigantic organic food market is famed in the area.
Next stop, the recently opened Japan House London. Surprisingly, contained within a three-floor art deco building, it features Japanese artwork, retail shopping and fine dining at the authentic Akira restaurant.
A fantastic experience for all, head downstairs to enjoy a fascinating biology of metal exhibition and become immersed in this cultural hot spot.
Finally, the Royal Albert Hall offers a night to remember. This concert hall is home to many a classical offering. Surprisingly, this grand venue also hosts a diverse selection of gigs, dance, opera and sporting events on occasion.
The Kensington area is especially accessible, served by the Central line at Queensway station and the Piccadilly, Circle and District line at South Kensington, as well as numerous buses.
If you are looking to spend a weekend in London, Kensington is an area not to be missed!
Have you ever explored Kensington in London? Where would you go first?
The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own