Kensington: A complete guide to London finest area

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    So you have decided to stay in Kensington for your next trip to London? Well, give yourself a large pat on the back; you have picked a cracking part of the capital to holiday in.

    Located close to all the best bits of the city, with excellent transport links, Kensington is the ideal place to base yourself, but also has enough going on to keep you more than entertained on those days you just don’t want to go too far. You have the best of both worlds right at your doorstep.

    To make sure you take full advantage of your time in Kensington, we’ve put together a handy guide detailing all the sensational, scintillating and down-right stupendous things there are to do here. Enjoy.

    Hotels

    West London is known for its upmarket chic, and as such it can be a very glamorous place to spend the week. However, this does mean the area can be somewhat expensive to stay in. But do not fear; our incredible range of Kensington Hotels will ensure that you can find fancy accommodation without breaking the bank.

    The pick of the bunch may be the Park Grand Kensington, a wonderful boutique-style hotel with a fabulous bistro to boot.

    Awarded with the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence in 2014, the service at this hotel is second to none, and the facilities are everything you need them to be for a trip to the capital.

    Whatever you are after in the capital, booking a room at our Park Grand Kensington is your first step towards a great trip.

    Attractions near Kensington

    There are plenty of big attractions right on your doorstep when you stay in Kensington. In fact, you can walk to most of them.

    For museums, you are spoilt for choice. There’s the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the Science museum, all right next to each other. You also have the Royal Albert Hall for theatre and the IMAX for educational cinema.

    There is also a great deal of wonderful outdoor space in Kensington, with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens being the most notable options.

    Within Hyde Park you have the serene Serpentine Lake, the Serpentine Gallery, Speakers’ Corner and a whole host of fascinating monuments to discover at your leisure.

    As for Kensington Gardens, you can visit the regal palace itself (the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), stroll through the Italian Gardens, visit the Diana Memorial Playground with the kids, and just generally enjoy yourself in the well-kept surroundings of these grounds.

    To the east of the district you will find yet more of London’s finest attractions. Buckingham Palace and Westminster are just short trips away from Kensington, and a trip to both can easily be done in the same morning. As well as the Queen’s modest living arrangements, you’ll also be able to lay eyes on the imposing Big Ben, the elegant Westminster Palace and the regal Horse Guards Parade.

    Across the Thames, you’ll see the London Eye, which gives you some of the best aerial views of the surrounding area.

    North-east of Kensington, you will find Soho and Covent Garden. These two lively areas house London’s famous theatreland as well as the wonderfully vibrant LGBT scene.

    Tube stations in Kensington Gardens

    The London Underground is usually the fastest and easiest way to get around in the city and Kensington is incredibly well connected in this respect.

    There are four main stations here, and how you use them will depend upon where you are going and which lines you need to use:

    • South Kensington: serviced by the Circle, District and Piccadilly Lines.
    • Gloucester Road: serviced by the Circle, District and Piccadilly Lines.
    • Earl’s Court: District and Piccadilly Lines.
    • High Street Kensington: Circle and District Lines

    There are of course other tube stations in the general area, but these are likely to be the ones you use the most frequently during your stay.

    A helpful tip: download the CityMapper app for your stay in the capital. You can use this to plan out your route to and from London attractions, and it will also tell you which modes of public transport are the quickest as well as informing you about any travel disruptions you may face. This covers buses, trains and can even help you plan out a route on foot. It really is very easy to use!

    Food and drink in Kensington

    The district has plenty to offer in terms of food and drink, and it really just depends on what you are after.

    There are, of course, the usual chains such as Nando’s, McDonald’s and Starbucks, but for a more authentic dining experience you will want to explore Kensington properly.

    To eat, head over to Kensington High Street and take your pick of the fine eateries that are on offer here. For rustic French fare, look no further than Côte. If Italian is your preferred flavour, Soprano’s Restaurant is the place for you. Perhaps you fancy something a bit more traditional? Head to Clarke’s for a bite to eat.

    We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface in terms of quality restaurants yet, but we can’t talk of food in Kensington without giving mention to Kitchen K8; the district’s Michelin Star restaurant. The food here is top class, but the atmosphere is curiously laid-back and unpretentious (in the grand scheme of high-end London eateries). Find out for yourself. All foodies visiting the area should want to dine in K8.

    To drink, you have plenty of options also. For pubs, look for the Britannia, the Churchill Arms, the Devonshire Arms, or the Builders Arms – you seemingly can’t go wrong in finding a decent pub in Kensington, as long as it is preceded by ‘the’ and followed by ‘arms’.

    If you are after something a little more “sophisticated” (not that a packet of pork scratchings and a pint isn’t) then there are plenty of cocktail and wine bars around within which you can whet your whistle thoroughly. Piano Kensington, Dirty Bones, Eclipse and Polo Bar are all worth of honourable mention, but there are many more besides in this eclectic part of the capital.

    Shopping near Kensington

    You don’t have to look very hard in west London to find somewhere amazing to shop, but we can hardly address this section without pointing out that Harrods and Harvey Nichols are not but a stone’s throw away.

    Located in Knightsbridge (you can take the Piccadilly Line from Gloucester Road or South Kensington straight there), both of these stores are London attractions in their own right and are top of the deck when it comes to shopping in the city. Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor cafe is worth a visit for some wonderfully posh afternoon tea.

    Other high-end shops in the area include Tiffany & Co, Burberry, Zara UK and Topshop.

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