Are you making a flying visit to London? Why not soak up the culture in Kensington, one of the most exciting districts in London.
Kensington is one of London’s most affluent districts, but this doesn’t mean you have to be a millionaire to visit. Situated in the glamorous West End, this cultural district has something to offer everyone. Not only that, but it is one of the most beautiful areas in the capital.
Here’s how to spend the perfect day in Kensington’s leafy streets…
Kensington by Day
A gallery of middle eastern objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Image by David Baron
There are several museums in Kensington that are the perfect place to visit in the morning, whilst you’re waiting for the British weather to (hopefully) brighten up. And each covers a slightly different sector, so you can choose the one that takes your fancy.
I personally went for the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum which I would recommend to any of you who have an interest in history and love looking at glamorous remnants from the Victorian era. Plus, it’s free – that’s incentive enough.
Although, it’s worth mentioning that the Science Museum and Natural History Museum are also situated near Kensington. So really, you could do all three if you wanted to; but this may be a little bit too much history for one morning though. I just stuck with the one.
Of course, not all tourists will be able to indulge in such an experience, but what better place is there to have a spot of lunch than a Michelin-Star restaurant? I certainly didn’t regret it – this place definitely leaves you wanting more! Still, it’s not as pricey as you would think.
If you head on over to Launceston Place, you can opt for their set lunch-time menu which comes to £25 for three courses. Not bad at all ‘eh? Watch out though, they do add a 12.5% service charge to your bill.
Kensington Gardens is a royal park which covers 100 hectares of land, so it’s a great way to work off your lunch! And with a grand lake and various attractions to look out for in the park, you could easily spend your entire day here. It’s so refreshing to step into a park of greenery after a day in the hustle and bustle – this park is the perfect antidote for any city-weary traveller.
With a memorial fountain for the late Princess Diana built in 2004 and statues dotted about the grounds (there’s even one of Peter Pan!), I had a lovely time just admiring the variety of sculptures. There’s also a pirate-themed playground for the kids and areas for you to walk your dog, so if you’re coming as a family, it’s a great place to visit.
If you’re after a more quirky, cultural experience, then a wander down Golbourne Road is recommended, especially on a Saturday when the market is in full swing. Situated near Portobello Road, you’ll find some cool and odd foods here that you can munch on for lunch – or you can just sample food out of general curiosity.
During the street’s vibrant market, you’ll find stalls selling just about everything under the sun. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, this is a great place to browse.
This place is truly magical, and to be honest, I was sold as soon as I saw that they served cocktails from watering cans. Talk about quirky!
With an incredibly well-kept and vibrant garden to mooch around, whilst you admire the views of surrounding Kensington, this is a lovely (and rather posh – check out the website) place to spend the evening. London’s millionaires also spend their evenings on this beautiful rooftop garden – so keep an eye out for celebrities!
Coffee shop by day, music lounge by night – this café/ restaurant certainly satisfied my late-night whim for some live music to see out the last moments of the day.
With a selection of wine originating from places all over the world available on the top floor and an intimate music lounge just below, you can listen to some great music and meet the locals.
Of course, it can prove a little difficult seeing all the attractions in one day, so why not check out the hotels in Kensington, this way you can enhance your stay. A worthwhile decision if you need to trek quite far to get there.
Kensington really is a place that is too often overlooked because of its luxurious and affluent exterior. But no matter how much you’re willing to pay, there will always be plenty of things for you to get stuck into.
Have you had any great experiences in Kensington that you’d like to share? Add your stories below.
About the author: Gavin Harvey is a guy with a taste for exploration and travelling. When not found in the gym working on his skills as a fitness trainer, Gavin loves travelling at the weekend with his partner.