Most notably home to the iconic Kensington Palace, the home of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the royal family, the area of Kensington has a particular charm derived from its varied architecture. It is a mixture of some of the largest privately owned homes in London found on Kensington Palace Gardens together with large portered mansion blocks, and charming family houses on some of the loveliest garden squares in London.
Kensington High Street is a wonderful spot to find larger shops whilst Kensington Church Street has smaller boutiques and a large selection of antique shops and restaurants.
Kensington began as a small village lying on the Great Western Road. It became popular in the early 1600s for its proximity to the City whilst retaining its clean country air for which reason William & Mary purchased Kensington Palace as their country residence in 1689.
But it was Great Exhibition of 1851 and the introduction of the High Street Kensington underground station in 1868 that changed the area most dramatically. Seemingly overnight, Kensington went from a quaint village to a bustling part of the capital with landowners developing large parcels of land into opulent family homes.
Over the last 150 years the area has attracted some of Britain’s most important historical figures, from Henry James who lived on De Vere Gardens to John Stuart Mill who resided on Kensington Square.
Today Kensington stands as a very affluent area but has managed to retain a welcoming village charm. It also benefits from the beautiful green spaces of Kensington Gardens and Holland Park which hosts open air opera concerts. Reminders of Kensington’s history can be spotted everywhere, in its interesting architecture, historically significant street names and an array of blue plaques reminding us of its history at every corner.
Kensington High Street (Circle & District Lines)
Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle & District Lines)
Holland Park School
St Barnabas and St Philip
St Mary Abbots CE Primary School
Fox Primary School
Norland Place School
The Windsor Castle
Kensington Wine Room
Kensington Roof Gardens
The Devonshire Arms
The Churchill Arms
Campden Hill Tennis Club
Royal Garden Hotel Gym
The Kensington Studio